Archive by Author

Stop Bashing Methods. Help Create a Better World. #BMJnoQual

1. Last year, the British Medical Journal rejected an article. Such an action does not ordinarily generate attention; editors reject articles every day. The author, however, tweeted the rejection: “Thank you for sending us your paper. We read it with interest but I am sorry to say that qualitative studies are an extremely low priority […]

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Qualitative Research as Public Scholarship

At this year’s AERA conference, Bill Tierney and I presented a paper, “The Role of Ethnography as Ethical and Policy-Relevant Public Scholarship.” We had a great panel, including Rob Rhoads, Jessica Lester, Laurence Parker, and Yvonna Lincoln. Fellow blogger Antar chaired. Michelle Fine acted as discussant, providing great commentary. The idea for the symposium developed […]

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Why “Between the World and Me” is Required Reading

1. Written as a letter from father to son, Between the World and Me chronicles key moments in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ life. Imparting lessons to his son and the reader, the author, who contributes to The Atlantic, presents an unidealized portrait of America and its history of racial injustice and violence. The emotional center of the […]

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Snow days! And, Technology!

Snow days are magical events, for students and teachers. The days preceding them burst with energy and anticipation. The magic starts with murmurs. One student says to another, “Did you hear it’s supposed to snow on Thursday?” As the snowstorm strengthens, students start rearranging plans and due dates. They think, “Let’s see. If we get […]

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Semester in Review and Students as Change Agents

The semester is ending. Students are submitting papers. Professors are grading papers. And, hopefully, all had a great four months. As I reflect, I am thankful for a challenging and rewarding semester. I am grateful to have a career that allows me—via research, teaching, and service—to interact with an array of people and, along the […]

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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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