Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Q: I can't believe you had the nerve to criticize Barbara Ehrenreich! She's my idol! I've committed most of her columns so far to memory! You're just jealous because she has the guts to speak the truth to The Powers That Be and to Bill Cosby (as if these two are not one and the same)! I know she's not a "licensed" sociologist, but she's about as prominent a public sociologist as there is today. How can the so-called American Sociological Association have a so-called conference on so-called public sociology and not prominently feature her?

A: Au contraire. Of course Ehrenreich will be there. She'll be doing a back-to-back plenary and thematic session.  Thanks to my good friend from Coreyhart, MD for e-mailing me the program listing.
Plenary Session. Speaking to Publics: Limits and Possibilities
Monday, 8/16/2004 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Barbara Ehrenreich (Author)
William Julius Wilson (Harvard University)
Frances Fox Piven (City University of New York)
Eric Wanner (Russell Sage Foundation)

What publics can sociologists address? Are they disappearing? What are the ways of addressing them? Why should we bother to address them? Four commentators who straddle the boundaries of sociology from different directions discuss these questions and their own experiences with diverse publics.

Thematic Session. Berkeley's Betrayal: Wages and Working Conditions at Cal
Monday, 8/16/2004 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

Barbara Ehrenreich (Author)
Gretchen Purser (University of California, Berkeley)
Amy T. Schalet (University of California, Berkeley)
The panelists will discuss their collaborative research on the wages and working conditions of clerical and service workers at UC-Berkeley. They will also explore the opportunities and challenges of engaging in a "public sociology" intended to galvanize and inform public debate on campus work conditions.

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