Jessica Calarco receives a second early career award

Jessica Calarco received the 2018 Early Career Award from the ASA Sociology of Children and Youth Section. This is Jessica’s second early career award, the first being from the ASA Sociology of Education section. Our hearty congratulations on this welldeserved honor! Jessica writes not only for other academics but also for wider audiences. You can read her work in The Atlantic (https://www. jessica-mccrory-calarco/), on the Scatterplot blog (, and on her own Parenthood PhD blog (https://

Andy Halpern-Manners receives an Indiana University 2017-18 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award

Each year, Indiana University identifies promising tenuretrack faculty who have already made outstanding contributions to their disciplines. We are delighted— if not at all surprised—that Andy Halpern-Manners received this recognition in 2017-18.

Each year, Indiana University identifies promising tenuretrack faculty who have already made outstanding contributions to their disciplines. We are delighted— if not at all surprised—that Andy Halpern-Manners received this recognition in 2017-18. Andy is a social demographer and sociologist of education whose research focuses on two main areas: educational inequality and panel conditioning effects. In both areas, his analyses are sophisticated and break new theoretical and methodological ground. Consider, for example, his 2016 Social Forces article on educational differences in mental health (with Landon Schnabel, Elaine Hernandez, Judy Silberg, and Lindon Eaves). Over the past three decades, scholars have published literally hundreds of articles that explain the association with reference to stratified adult life experiences. Andy entered this line of research by asking a simple, yet profound, question: Could the association be attributable to confounding (i.e., are there unmeasured factors that affect education and mental health, leading to a spurious association)? He employs a sophisticated twinstudy design to demonstrate that, as he suspected, the observed association does not hold up to rigorous controls for confounding. Perhaps as remarkable is the clear and measured way in which Andy presents the results: nonpolemically, as one colleague speaking to others—a model of civil academic discourse. Andy’s research on panel conditioning is similarly impressive. By taking up the question of whether participation in longitudinal studies affects people’s responses to questions, Andy has challenged decades of common wisdom and defined a new line of inquiry. In a series of articles, he observes large “panel conditioning” effects in major national surveys; in other words, he finds that answering questions in one round of a survey influences the answers respondents give in later rounds of the survey. The implication of this finding is that any analysis that uses longitudinal survey data to study change may produce biased results. Given the ubiquity of panel studies in the social sciences, Andy’s research challenges much of what we believe to be true and will reshape how research is done in all social science disciplines. Prominent scholars wrote in support of Andy’s nomination, sharing their enthusiasm regarding his achievements and contributions. Distinguished Professor Scott Long commented that “the work he has completed will have a lasting impact and, I believe, his best work is yet to come.” Professor Rob Warren from the University of Minnesota wrote, “I am not one for hyperbole. However, Andy is an extraordinary young scholar and deserves accolades that border on hyperbole. He is exceptional—not just strong, but exceptional.”

Although teaching is not the primary criterion for this award, Andy’s excellence in and commitment to teaching warrants mention. His teaching evaluations are consistently above the departmental average (a rare achievement for someone who teaches research methods and statistics!). Students rave about the clarity with which he presents material and the support he offers inside and outside of the classroom. His graduate course on survey analysis has proven a revelation for our students— so much so that some have suggested that we make it a requirement.

In sum, Andy Halpern-Manners has already made his mark on the field of sociology and on our students, bringing distinction to our department and discipline. We are proud to have him as a colleague!

Tom Gieryn publishes Truth-Spots: How Places Make People Believe (2018, Chicago: University of Chicago Press)

Writing Truth-Spots was a labor of love. Late in life, it gave me the opportunity to combine my two enduring academic obsessions: credibility (why believe any statement or account as true?) and place (defined as the intersection of geographic location, gathered materialities and narratives that give meaning and value to all of that). As I froze myself standing on the shores of Walden Pond one winter several years ago, I got the idea that Thoreau constructed this particular place in order to convince us that his claims from there were true. But how? As I stood in Sheridan Square in New York’s Greenwich Village, I watched the U.S. National Park Service frame the Stonewall Inn in order to persuade visitors that here was the exact spot where the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights actually began. But how? As I stood beneath Mt. Parnassus in Greece, absorbing the ruins of the oracle at Delphi, I wondered how this remote mountainside and its stone temples and treasuries assured leaders of archaic Greek citystates that the prophesies from the priestess heard right there at the Temple of Apollo were true. To find out how, you need to read the book. It is short enough to be enjoyed easily on your own next trip somewhere (170 pages), and accessible (no theoretical decoder ring is needed).

Pamela Braboy Jackson And Rashawn Ray Published How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections Of Race, Gender, And Work (2018, New York: Lexington Books)

The topic of family has always served as a backdrop of our academic careers as our own family circumstances propelled us towards a study that would encompass a diverse group of people who were embedded in diverse family networks. This book deals with a pressing issue of concern to family scholars, the often resurfacing of concerns and alarmist claims that the family as a social institution is in decline. How Families Matter provides a qualitative and fresh exploration of family life. This project found its beginnings in the 2004 Sociological Research Practicum (SRP) where the first author served as Faculty Director and the second author was a member of the first-year cohort. After Rashawn was awarded tenure at the University of Maryland, we decided to explore further the rich data we collected from our sample of 46 Black, White, and Mexican American families. We rely on an intersectional approach and conceptualizations of transnationalism to show how race/ethnicity influences difficult decisions families have to make about jobs, children, and geography. We hope you will find part of your family story somewhere in the pages of our book.

Brea Perry and Bernice Pescosolido publish Egocentric Network Analysis: Foundations, Methods, and Models. (2018, Cambridge University Press)

I struggled for years to compile a manageable collection of essential readings and resources for a graduate course and workshops on egocentric (i.e., personal) social network analysis. Eventually, I gave up and convinced Bernice Pescosolido to join me in writing a comprehensive guide to conceptualizing, collecting, and analyzing ego network data. Later, Steve Borgatti of the University of Kentucky also signed on to the project. While dozens of reference books had been written about sociocentric (i.e., whole) network data, there was nothing comparable on ego networks. Ego network analysis requires a unique set of data collection and analysis skills that overlap only minimally with other network methodologies. In writing this book, we attempted to bring together the current state of knowledge with the most effective research tools to guide both rookies and veterans. We covered the entire research process in a logical sequence, from conceptualizing research questions to interpreting findings, in hopes of providing a solid foundation for researchers at any stage of their career to learn and apply ego network methods. I’m happy to report that our book (Egocentric Network Analysis: Foundations, Methods, and Models) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

View the book on Amazon