Archive by Author

Interviewing and the Importance of Listening

Have you ever read a Henry James novel? I have, as an undergraduate in an American lit. class. I, along with 20 or so of my peers, read Portrait of a Lady. James—the brother of psychologist William James—is known for long, descriptive passages and a focus on the minutiae of life and consciousness. You can […]

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Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The realities and perils of the school-to-prison pipeline have been well documented. Scholars like Michelle Alexander and Victor Rios have illustrated the ways in which discriminatory practices and policies criminalize young men of color. And yet, despite all of the data that demonstrate the need to improve public policies and available opportunities, little changes. Last […]

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Doctoral Training and Innovation for Qualitative Researchers

One of the principal tasks of a research university is to train doctoral students to be able to design and conduct quality research studies. Optimally, training includes a mixture of theory and practice, coursework and experience. While a student marches to class to learn about research techniques, she also conducts research as part of major […]

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Why People Talk About Dukes of Hazard, Not The Charleston Massacre

A few weeks ago, Antar and Bill posted personal and thoughtful blogs about the Charleston Massacre and, more broadly, the repeated and targeted violence perpetrated against Black people in the United States. Antar asked “scholars to do some soul searching.” Bill wondered if he could do more. Since the tragedy, I’ve been thinking a lot […]

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Alice Goffman, Ethics, and Advising

A few years ago, as a graduate student at USC, I visited the American Sociological Association’s website. A name grabbed my attention. “Goffman,” I thought, “She can’t be related to the Goffman.” Alice Goffman, as it turns out, is the daughter of renowned sociologist Erving Goffman. I hurried to Google. She received her Ph.D. from […]

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Using Qualitative Research to Contest Stereotypes

How are black men portrayed? After Freddie Gray’s death due to the brutality of six Baltimore police officers, news casts focused on Gray’s criminal record and suspect behavior. When city residents protested, the media became more interested. Reporters searched for provocative stories and trolled for increased viewership. They showed dehumanizing videos of wild mobs looting […]

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Indiana, Duke, Yik Yak, and the purpose of Education

The news has been full of lamentable examples of bigotry and discrimination. The governor of Indiana signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legislation that permits businesses to discriminate on the basis of religion—a restaurant, for instance, could refuse service to a gay couple. The politician posed the law as a moral argument; and yet, any […]

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So You Want to be a Qualitative Researcher in the 21st Century

A tension exists between old and new. In The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom explains the generational process among writers: Old poets inspire young poets. The apprentice learns to love form by reading the work of a skilled master. The beginner writes derivative verse. Anxiety stirs as she realizes the only way to establish a […]

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Tom Hanks Loves #FreeCommunityCollege and So Do I

Is it possible for Tom Hanks to be any more lovable? Apparently, yes. Last week, the actor who made such endearing classics as “Big,” “The ‘Burbs,” and “Turner & Hooch” published an editorial about his time at Chabot Community College. After discussing his experiences, he concluded, “That place made me what I am today.” Hanks […]

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Ferguson, Ethics, and the Public Intellectual

During the 1890s, newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst competed against each other to sell more papers. They printed sensationalist stories accompanied with fear-inducing headlines and vivid, provocative pictures. Journalists eschewed facts for melodrama. At the height of yellow journalism, the two newspaper tycoons published stories that contributed to the United States’ involvement […]

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