Tenure and the Public Sociologist

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 15, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Interesting article on the public sociology movement and the attitude of academia toward a discipline that works outside traditional classes and journals. Public sociologists work inside the community, doing things like, say, redesigning soup kitchens. The perspective of the article is that there must be some sort of peer review in order to assess the discipline. Academics would review portfolios consisting of "research reports prepared for non-academic groups, research on the effectiveness of policies or programs developed by the tenure candidate for community groups or government agencies, op-eds or testimony before government bodies." Review is a good thing, surely. But why formalize it? And why restrict it to the 'peers' of academe?
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