Monday, March 10, 2008

Sociological blogs (from Intute)

For those who might be interested ...

Intute is a free online service, run by a network of British universities and other scholarly institutions, that provides access to on-line resources in education & research. (Fields include Science, Engineering & Technology; Health & Life Sciences; Arts & Humanities; and Social Sciences.)

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, which is apparently happening from March 7-16, "Intute: Social Sciences is featuring a series of articles by our subject editors presenting their favourite blogs."

An overview of blogs with sociological interest (which happens to include my own blog) is below.

=> By the way, note the reference to another wide-ranging compendium, the very useful Academic Blog Portal on Wikipedia started up by Henry Farrell..

=> So far, Intute has also run overviews of "favourite blogs" in Law and Psychology. Politics is coming up later this week (and I admit to being curious about whether my blog will be a "favourite" there, too).

[Update: Overviews have now been added for some other subjects, including Economics, Business & Management, Statistics & Data, and Elections. ]

Yours for sociology,
Jeff Weintraub
Favourite Blogs: Sociology
Friday, March 7, 2008
Posted by Suzanne Barbalet at 9:25 am

Welcome to Our Favourite Social Science blogs.

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 7th –16th March, Intute: Social Sciences is featuring a series of articles by our subject editors presenting their favourite blogs.

Today, Suzanne Barbalet the Section Editor for Sociology looks at blogs in her subject.

When C. Wright Mills recommended the keeping of a journal he did not envisage the options now available for the craft of sociology, but I’m sure he would have been as interested in reflecting on the potential of the internet as the American academy are now!

Just two months ago the American Sociological Association and the Social Science Research Council launched sets of blogs which are a must for any sociology blogroll and top the list for Intute: Sociology. The new blogs are Contexts Crawler and Contexts Discoveries from the ASA and Societas: The Blog; Knowledge Rules; The Immanent Frame; and Making Sense of Darfur from the Social Science Research Council. There are more to come from both organizations. The impetus for the ASA was the recognition that blogs are now the most popular medium for group networking and discussion. Sociologists have been more interested in the internet as a social phenomenon than they are in using it BUT, say Contexts’ editors:
With the internet we can provide rapid, timely, and varied commentary on current events. It also provides a forum for community-building....
Just a few weeks old but already packed with timely comment from the president of SSRC on such topics as the role of social science outside the academy as well as reflections on the current presidential primaries Craig Calhoun’s Societas: The Blog and podcast should not be missed. Its focused sociological approach will lead many future exchanges.

Chris Uggen, who himself maintains an excellent criminology blog, and graduate students manage Contexts Crawler and Contexts Discoveries slipping immediately into current debates and surprising at least one sociology blogger at with the initiative. They describe the blogs as a “new experiment in online scholarship and community”. Written by the graduate student board of the ASA’s journal Contexts, Contexts Discoveries summarizes recent research in a wide range of prominent sociological journals to invite discussion and comment.

Contexts Crawler first posted in January this year invoking C. Wright Mills’ “sociological imagination” in its subtitle. A debate has ensued with comments posted first from Scatterplot about the place of blogs in academic work. The question is defended by and Crooked Timber’s sociology writer Kieran Healy. The comments continue. Crooked Timber is one of the most cited social science blogs and its blogroll has provided the Academic Blog Portal with the list of what it calls ’sociologues’.

Jeff Weintraub can claim to be the first ’sociologue’, maintaining a personal archive that commences in 1990 by adding email discussions with peers and graduate students to his weblog archive. From 2003 onwards the majority of sociology blogs begin to appear including the excellent New Mobilities blog, Global Sociology Blog, Amitai Etzioni notes, Socializing Finance, Ordinary Sociology and Sociological Stew, plus many interdisciplinary blogs with sociological content such as George Monbiot. All can be found on Intute: Sociology together with some 100 or so selected blog entries located across the range of browse sections and we welcome suggestions for more.

One of my personal favourites is Sozlog which I discovered 18 months ago on the Sociology blog wiki. It can be accessed in German and English, the posts provide a perspective on issues of interest to German sociologists together with strong international links. Six months or so later I met the author at an economic sociology seminar we both attended. This experience, it seems to me, is the ideal mix of the virtual and real.

You can contribute to this event by leaving a comment on this article, perhaps letting us know about your favourite sociology blogs or by helping expand our catalogue of academic blogs by filling in our suggest a site form.

Intute: Social Sciences features more blogs in our Sociology section.