The winner is …

October 9, 2009 at 1:26 pm 3 comments

| Gabriel |

WASHINGTON — The American Sociological Association announced today that it is giving the distinguished book award to the prospectus for Climbing the Chart by Gabriel Rossman. In a statement, the ASA prize committee said they were awarding the prize for the prospectus’s “extraordinary efforts to synthesize sociology of culture, economic sociology, and social networks.”

Appearing in his front yard, Professor Rossman said he was ‘’surprised and deeply humbled” by the committee’s decision, mostly because he hasn’t finished writing the book yet. Previous ASA book awards have gone to such completed manuscripts as Charles Tilly’s Durable Inequality. However Professor Rossman quickly put to rest any speculation that he might not accept the honor. Describing the award as an “affirmation of the production of culture paradigm’s leadership on behalf of aspirations to scientific rigor held by scholars in all sociological subfields,” he said he would accept it as “a call to action.”

“To be honest,” Professor Rossman said “I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize, men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their actually finishing writing their books.”

[Update: I see Mankiw made what is essentially the same joke]

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Correlations and sparseness Probability distributions

3 Comments

  • 1. Rodney Andrews  |  October 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Congratulations, Gabe!!! It is, indeed, a call to action.

  • 2. Jay Livingston  |  October 9, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I think Obama won for not being Cheney-Bush. I’m not sure what the parallel in sociology would be. But Mankiw should have made his economics winner get the prize for not being the economic geniuses who got us into the current mess, like maybe Bush’s economic advisers, though I can’t recall who they were.

    • 3. gabrielrossman  |  October 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      I don’t know the details of what advise Mankiw gave or failed to give about complexity, too big to fail, bubbles, etc, but there are certainly some areas where I wish Bush had taken more of Mankiw’s advice — things like a phased-in revenue neutral swap of the payroll tax for a no-loopholes carbon tax. i think you can even make an argument that had Bush adopted this it might have helped mitigate the extent of the housing bubble by reducing the forecasted demand for exurban housing construction relatively early. of course this little thought experiment of mine is probably totally politically unrealistic given a) the Republican base in the sunbelt b) the almost certain prospect of Norquist demagoguery and c) the almost infinite capacity of Congress to take a relatively simple proposal like that and make it unbelievably complicated and ineffectual as a way to bribe incumbent stakeholders.


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