La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

And I thought political methodologists could be persnickity...

At least I haven't heard of any of them threatening violence.

The following are excerpts from the editor's report for Sociological Methodology (scroll down to SM):
Your editor reports a year of drama and success in preparation of his final volume of Sociological Methodology....

This has been a year punctuated by drama. Your editor seems to have encountered once again a small, previously unrecognized, nascent social movement that he calls the Thin-Skinned Scholar Movement (TSSM). TSSM serves the needs of scholars who object to publication of opinions that contradict their own. Your editor believes that the goals of TSSM are misguided, as his own professional fortunes have been advanced by the publication of debates about his own research. More important, disagreement is fundamental to scholarship, making the suppression of disagreements a fundamental violation of the purpose for which Sociological Methodology is published....

Your editor is deeply distressed by the style of the TSSM. In particular, consider the following incident: Several weeks ago, I encountered a thin-skinned scholar, who was driving in his car as I walked to my own car in a parking lot. Apparently unimpressed by the writings of Miss Manners, this scholar opened his car window, loudly and repeatedly declared strong views about the composition of my head and the phylum in which I should be classified, and rapidly drove his car so close to me that it did, on the third such maneuver, brush against my pants. I wonder still, is this thin-skinned scholar just a talented and kind-hearted stunt-driver with unusual ideas about parking? Or does he reveal true malice, a will to evoke fear and a willingness to use his car to damage a pedestrian? These are questions that I cannot answer. But answers are suggested by his emailed statement (with copies to others) that he would be pleased to see my body lifeless and in pieces. More to the point, these are questions that no editor should have to consider. This thinskinned scholar has wasted great volumes of an editor's time and effort, reviled the editor in numerous hostile email letters (with copies sent to a variety of others), delayed publication of Sociological Methodology, wasted hours of time by talented and highly-paid lawyers, and badly strained relations between an editor who sought to uphold the principles under which scholarly journals are published, and the ASA executive officer, who sought to save the ASA the expense and trouble of a lawsuit by an enraged scholar.

This makes those Lodge and Russo books seem less like fiction.
Via Freakonomics, where Levitt asks readers to publicly out who the culprit may be. [The editor is on the faculty at Chicago.]

posted by Michelle @ 10:51 PM,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Mexico City slideshow

Go to main page:

La Profesora Abstraída

About me:

Name: Michelle Dion
Location: Toronto, ON
View my complete profile
View my website

traducir este pagina

Previous Posts

Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?