Author Archives: Chris Prener

Fearless girl statute in New York City. An audit of the firm that designed it revealed they had been systematically underpaying women and minorities. (Photo via Boston Globe)

Here is our latest collection of the news and essays we’ve been reading. Happy Friday!



Equifax makes money by knowing a lot about you (Seattle Times)

How the Equifax Hack Could Hurt Anyone Applying for a Job (The Atlantic)


At Work

It’s nine years since the recession. So why are employers still stingy with raises? (Washington Post)

The gender pay gap that still needs to be closed (The Economist)

The firm that brought us ‘Fearless Girl’ was underpaying women, U.S. government says (Washington Post)



Clueless on Cuba’s economy (The Economist)

A ‘Sonic Attack’ on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It (New York Times)

U.S. expulsion of Cuban diplomats includes all business officers (Reuters)



Super Awesome Sylvia was a role model to girls in science. Then he realized he is a boy. (Washington Post)

The Department of Justice Takes a Stand Against Transgender Rights in the Workplace (The Atlantic)

Should Universities Ban Single-Gender Discussion Panels? (The Chronicle)


Tensions on Campus

Confederate Flags With Cotton Found on American University Campus (New York Times)

After a Speaker Is Shouted Down, William & Mary Becomes New Flash Point in Free-Speech Fight (The Chronicle)

Racist Incidents Plague U. of Michigan, Angering Students and Testing Leaders (The Chronicle)

Death at a Penn State Fraternity (The Atlantic)

Then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after a game (via ESPN)

Here is a collection of what we’ve been reading this week. Happy Friday!



After Anthem Protests, N.F.L. Plots a Careful Path Forward (New York Times)

Football has Always Been a Battleground in the Culture War (The Atlantic)

Football really is America’s religion. That’s what made the NFL protests so powerful. (Vox)


Puerto Rico

At the U. of Puerto Rico, Widespread Damage and Anxiety After Maria (The Chronicle)

The Jones Act, the obscure 1920 shipping regulation strangling Puerto Rico, explained (Vox)



Trans Teen’s Murder Case Raises Question: Do LGBTQ Hate Crime Laws Work? (NBC)

Trump Administration Will Urge Court to Rule Against Gay Workers’ Rights (NBC)

U.S. No Longer Playing Leading Role in UN’s LGBTQ Human Rights Group (NBC)


On Campus

Amid Professors’ ‘Doom-and-Gloom Talk,’ Humanities Ph.D. Applications Drop (The Chronicle)

Racist Symbols Are Found at American U. After Launch of Anti-Racist Center (The Chronicle)

Virginia Tech professor accused of scamming National Science Foundation (Washington Post)


Spatial Inequality

America’s Most and Least Distressed Cities (CityLab)

Why Texas Is No Longer Feeling Miraculous (New York Times)

Protesters in St. Louis on Monday, September 18 via The Chicago Tribune

Here is a selection of the news articles and essays we’ve been reading this week.


Policing in America

Shooting of Georgia Tech student stirs old debate, with new questions (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Audio released of 911 call by Georgia Tech student killed by police (Washington Post)

George Tech Cop Who Shot LGBT Student Scout Schultz Wasn’t Trained in Dealing with Mentally Ill (Newsweek)

White ex-St. Louis cop acquitted in black suspect’s killing (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Department of Justice won’t prosecute Stockley for civil rights violation (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis police have fatally shot 8 armed people this year – the highest number in a decade (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

As St. Louis simmers over Stockley verdict civil rights leaders say region must address inequality (St. Louis Public Radio)

Review Board Recommends Stiffest Punishment for Officer in Garner Case (New York Times)


On Campus

What Ole Miss Can Teach Universities About Grappling With Their Pasts (The Atlantic)

What DACA’s End Could Mean for Colleges (The Atlantic)

Dust-Up Involving Conservative Student Sparks Political Uproar in Nebraska (The Chronicle)

A Free-Speech Divide: Why students and professors may think differently about free expression (The Chronicle)


Labor and Work

Induction of union-busting Reagan into Labor’s Hall of Honor shocks union (Washington Post)

Uber Loses Its License to Operate in London (New York Times)

Irma is Most Recent Stop for ‘Adrenaline Junkies’ of Disaster Rescue Team (New York Times)


Immigration in the U.S.

What the Waiting List for Legal Residency Actually Looks Like (The Atlantic)

Labor Unions Are Stepping Up To Fight Deportations (Huffington Post)


In Uniform

Building Mentorship Out of Trauma (The Atlantic)

For the first time, the Marine Corps plans to have a female infantry officer among its ranks (Washington Post)

Black Detectives in New York Were Bypassed for Promotions, Panel Finds (New York Times)

Antifa activists in Oakland, CA before an action (via The Washington Post)

Here are some of the articles and essays we read this week. Happy Friday!


Gender and Work

Gender Bias Suit Could Boost Pay, Promotions for Women at Google (Wired)

Nikon Picked 32 Photographers to Promote a Camera. All 32 Were Men. (New York Times)


Contingent Labor

Meet the Camperforce, Amazon’s Nomadic Retiree Army (Wired)


Campus Life

Boston College Graduate Employees Union Wins Election, Gains Collective Bargaining Rights (The Heights)

From Prison to Ph.D.: The Redemption and Rejection of Michelle Jones (New York Times)

Is Free Speech Really Challenged on Campus? (The Atlantic)



What the Rich Won’t Tell You (New York Times)


No Fascist USA!

‘No Fascist USA!’: how hardcore punk fuels the Antifa movement (The Guardian)

Antifa: Guardians against fascism or lawless thrill-seekers? (Washington Post)

The Rise of Antifa (The Atlantic)


The Cajun Navy: Volunteers and Disasters

I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy. (Houston Chronicle)

Mother Of 9 Goes Door-To-Door As Part Of Yemen’s Anti-Cholera Brigade (NPR)

Finally, I came across an organization called Global D.I.R.T, which is mentioned in articles from The Washington Post on Hurricane Irma and U.S.A. Today on Hurricane Harvey.

Golfers playing as the Eagle Creek wildfire rages behind them in Washington State and Oregon

This week we’re introducing our “Friday Roundup” – a weekly compilation of news articles and essays that we think might be of interest to our readers.

Race in America

DACA Dreams

Harvey, Irma, and the Burning West

Policing and Hospitals


Today we are posting three articles related to work hours. In May, the Washington Posts’s “Wonkblog” argued that the next frontier of workplace legislation was “over when you work, not how much you make.” Their post provides some excellent context for the articles included in our panel. Our articles cover a wide range of topics. Naomi Gerstel and Dan Clawson’s lead article details the ways scheduling can impact workers in a variety of ways. Kyla Walters and Joya Misra describe the constraints placed on workers in the retail industry, and Brian Halpin details the use of last minute scheduling in a restaurant kitchen. Enjoy!

The New York Mets' infielder Daniel Murphy

The New York Mets’ infielder Daniel Murphy

Julie’s post raises some interesting points about what it means to be a professional athlete of any stripe. Another recent incident, this time in Major League Baseball (MLB), serves as both a teachable moment and an segue into a broader debate about parental leave and what it means to be a “good employee.”

Daniel Murphy, an infielder for the New York Mets, was recently at the center of a very public debate over taking parental leave while in the midst of a season. Major League Baseball has a pretty long season – players typically report to Spring Training sometime in February, the regular season runs from April (or the very end of March depending on the year) until September, with post-season play taking place in October. This means that players typically have a narrow window for off-season activities. Younger players may play in Winter Leagues in either Arizona, the Caribbean, or in Australia while older players spend the off season getting surgical repairs and readying themselves physically for another grueling season, which features 162 regular season games. Players therefore do not get an enormous amount of time off, and they have a lot of baseball work to do during the typical “off” season as well as pressure to make up for family time lost to the long season.

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Kain Coulter (R), Northwestern University’s football quarterback, and Ramogi Huma (L), head of the College Athletes Players Association ; Source: CBS Sports

The regional arm of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled last week that Northwestern University’s scholarship football players have the right to unionize. This is only the first step for the players, who will likely face an appeal from the University to the NLRB’s full board in Washington, D.C. If the initial ruling passes muster with the NLRB, it can also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, so there is a long road ahead for this case that has exposed quite publicly the tensions within big-ticket college athletics. The crux of the case is this – do scholarship athletes qualify as employees of the University?

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Over the weekend, Nicholas Kristof wrote a widely read piece asking where the public intellectual has gone. For those of you who may have missed the editorial, Kristof argues that the culture of PhD programs and the tenure process have forced the academy inward, celebrating dense prose published in little-read, high-priced journals. He notes that academics have been slow to embrace blogging and the use of social media platforms. Kristof also argues the research academics produce has far fewer consequences or conclusions for policy and the public than it has in the past, meaning that the “public intellectual” is a dying breed.

Almost immediately, the various public intellectuals that Kristof couldn’t find took to their blogs and Twitter accounts with gusto, reminding him and us that there are indeed many academics that have made a point of sharing their work on public platforms. Perhaps my favorite response comes from a guest post at Tenured Radical. The writer argues that, as a public university professor, she works as a “public intellectual” every day of the week. Kristof has re-tweeted many of the critiques, creating a running dialogue about his piece on his Twitter feed.

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Our first birthday is coming up on Sunday, and while most of you no doubt have it dutifully marked on your calendars, we thought a little reminder might be nice. It has been a fantastic year for us, and we hope you have enjoyed reading our posts  as much as we have enjoyed writing them.

As the big day approaches, we wanted to  let you know that there are some exciting changes in store for the blog. In the next few days, we’ll be rolling many of those changes out. The blog is getting a new name – “Work in Progress”. We’re told that the section we are affiliated with in the American Sociological Association, the Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, used to have a newsletter of that name. We happen to think that the name captures our evolving scope and size perfectly.

To go along with the new name, we’re also moving the blog to a new home on the web and giving it a bit of a visual makeover. We’ll be keeping our Twitter and Facebook pages updated with the changes, and those of you who follow us through email will also be getting updates once the transition happens.

As part of this process, we’re also launching a separate website for the Organization, Occupations, and Work Section. This will allow our members to stay updated with section news and announcements while allowing us to keep the blog to focused on commentary and analysis.

In the meantime, we thought we’d look back with our trusty analytics tools and put together a list of our greatest hits from the year. Based on page views,  our three most popular posts were:

Chris’s post was part of our panel on Facebook as work, and Adia’s post was part of our panel on the gender wage gap. While we’re hard at work this weekend getting ready for our birthday party and blog relaunch, we hope you check out our readers’ favorite posts from the last year and maybe some of your own as well!