Tuesday, August 29, 2006

got it now, I think. Problems with passwords and so on.

Having had relatively free time over the last few weeks I spent much of it lazing...and also reducing the huge pile of scientific journals (Journal of European Social Policy, Sociology, Social Policy and Society, International Social Work, and Journal of Social Policy) that had built up over the last year. Do I really get five journals? They all come out quarterly but the quarters are fairly random. Most have one or two useful articles in every issue; these are now identified, marked and have little post-its sticking out for ease of reference. One thing that irritates me about the articles is the way the writers have to position their research in the context of other research, so about half of each article is the introduction. One article about social assistance for children in southern Europe had 8 authors, but the conclusions seemed really quite basic - though there must have been a fair bit of number crunching involved in building the relevant economic models. Did not give the impression of that, though. Purely sociological articles have a habit of stating what is obvious to people who are affected by the issues (eg dancers, poor people) to people who do not really understand those issues. Sociology is a great excuse for sitting on a sidewalk and watching people ('Oh, I'm doing some sociological research. Would you like to join me for a coffee?')

Also had some time to read some books. More of that anon.