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I did not realize immediately that it was the telephone call that would shape a large share of my intellectual activity for the next three years. Prepare an article or two for the new edition?
We would like you to serve as editor of the new encyclopedia. I was aware of both the — Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, edited by E.
Sills, not only as key reference works of continuing value but also as vital expressions of the state of the social sciences and the sociology of the social science community at their respective historical moments. It would be an honor and a unique opportunity to play a key role in the development of the new encyclopedia that would assess the scope of the social sciences at the start of the twenty-first century.
From the outset, the decision was made to commission an entirely new set of articles for the second edition of IESS; no articles on overlapping topics from the previous edition would be reproduced in part or in whole.
Instead, we would seek new voices and fresh perspectives for all of the entries.
In fact, a few contributors even chose to make observations about entries from the previous edition in their articles. The vision in assembling the new edition was to achieve comprehensiveness in coverage, to identify authors who would give their articles a critical edge and minimize hagiographic treatment of the leading figures in the fields represented, and to produce a set of volumes in which contested intellectual cum ideological terrain is openly and honestly explored.
Or is it something else altogether? In addition, the new edition embodies the changing demographics of the academy. The IESS had an editorial advisory board consisting of more than members.
This was a highly distinguished group of scholars, a number of whom are profiled with biographical entries in the current IESS: Clark, Erik Erikson, E. By the late s, the social sciences remained an overwhelmingly male preserve.
Nevertheless, I was startled to find Alvin Johnson making the following remarks in his foreword to the IESS when discussing the genesis of the earlier Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences: It was not unnatural that Professor Seligman should ask me to examine the great commission he had undertaken as editor of the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences.
He unfolded his plan—himself as editor, an associate editor, a copy editor probably a depressed lady scholarthree or four secretaries, and a far-flung farming out of articles. In the first place, articles should not be farmed out. Every article should be assigned to the man who is to sign it.
Although we have not yet attained gender equity in the academy—indeed, it was still possible in to publish a volume titled The Origins of Law and Economics: Essays by the Founding Fathers—the current edition of IESS is richly alert to the contributions of female scholars in the social sciences.
We are much further from achieving racial equity in the academy, but, arguably, black scholars have made contributions that are disproportionate to their numerical presence in the social sciences.
I believe those contributions are fully evident in the current IESS as well. Contributions from scholars from marginalized groups—the editorial advisory board included, at most, five black scholars—appear in the new edition through the regular process of identifying important developments in the social sciences.
Their work is so central to ongoing scholarship across the social sciences that it can no longer be ignored, dismissed, or hidden from view. It is not just that the vocabulary of the social sciences has infiltrated everyday speech, although it is common for persons with no formal training in the social sciences to use such terms as IQ, subculture, power structure, GNP, and the unconscious in their daily conversation.
More important, many people today perceive the world differently because they have been exposed to the perspective of the social sciences; they raise their children differently; they have different attitudes toward government borrowing and spending; they make different judgments of their friends, neighbors, and family members; they view both local and national politics differently; they place a different and more sympathetic interpretation upon the guilt of criminals, drug addicts, and deviants of all kinds; and they make different judgments of their own successes and failures.
Even on the narrower terrain of vocabulary, the array of terms and phrases that have migrated from the social sciences into popular discourse goes far beyond the brief list he offers: When concepts migrate they frequently undergo some change in meaning from the body of scholarship where they originated, and they may return to the social sciences under modified guise to be used by a new wave of scholars in a different way.
We sought authors for the entries in the new edition who are specialists on the topics about which they were asked to write.
In addition, we asked them to write in a style that will be accessible to a general audience, a readership of nonspecialists. That aim largely has been accomplished, with the exception of some of the articles that are devoted to more detailed, technical aspects of statistics and econometrics.
The entries in the second edition of IESS are final versions of the articles, and each is signed by its author or authors. We know who is responsible for what has been said; we know precisely who is responsible for arriving at a specific conclusion about a major controversy in the social sciences.Sunday, June 30, Injustice.
My Suburban Shtetl: A Novel about Life in a Twentieth-Century Jewish-American Village Grandpa's been arrested for hitting a Nazi with a salami So begins Robert Rand's novel of growing up in Skokie, Illinois, home to one of America's largest communities of Holocaust survivors and to Rand's alter ego, Bobby Bakalchuk.
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Apr 14, · My Suburban Shtetl. By Robert Rand. Syracuse University Press, pages, $ Mention the word shtetl and American Jews will feel a twinge . Robert Rand is former senior editor of the weekend edition of National Public Radio's All Things Considered.
He is author of Comrade Lawyer: Inside Soviet Justice in an Era of Reform and My Suburban Shtetl: A Novel about Life in a Twentieth Century Jewish-American Village. Books by Robert Rand, Dancing Away an Anxious Mind, My suburban shtetl, Comrade lawyer, Tamerlane's Children.