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Networks Among Black Studies Professors

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Networks Among Black Studies Professors Fabio Rojas Department of Sociology Indiana University Black Studies: Discipline in Formation For the last five years, I ve ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Networks Among Black Studies Professors


1
Networks Among Black Studies Professors
  • Fabio Rojas
  • Department of Sociology
  • Indiana University

2
Black Studies Discipline in Formation
  • For the last five years, Ive been working on the
    evolution of Black Studies programs.
  • See my conditionally accepted book manuscript
    From Black Power to Black Studies. (Johns Hopkins
    Press)
  • Articles at www.fabiorojas.com
  • The history of Black Studies allows us to answer
    important questions about the academys response
    to social movements.

3
Discipline in Formation
  • The evolution of Black Studies also provides data
    on the formation of new disciplines.
  • How is a new discipline created from other
    disciplines?

4
The Hypothesis
  • Black Studies is an interdiscipline
  • What is an interdiscipline?
  • An academic community that is strongly integrated
    with other disciplines.
  • In contrast, a discipline is self-contained.

5
Let Me Elaborate a Little
  • If you look at central disciplines, such as
    English or philosophy, you notice that they have
    their own academic units, elite training (PhD
    programs) and certification (the journals and
    presses).
  • In contrast, the interdiscipline is not socially
    closed it either teaches, trains, or certifies
    in other disciplines. It has a distinct
    institutional identity, but is deeply rooted in
    other fields.

6
What are some examples?
  • Disciplines English, philosophy, civil
    engineering.
  • Interdisciplines Black Studies, public policy,
    cognitive science, American studies
  • Research communities network studies, artificial
    intelligence, medieval studies.

7
How am I going to show that Black Studies is an
interdiscipline?
  • Use publicly available data on Black Studies
    professors
  • Analyze survey data that I collected.
  • This data will show that Black Studies recruits
    and is socially connected to other disciplines.

8
Institutional Data
  • Ill keep this brief so I can get to the network
    data
  • Black Studies has some disciplinary features
  • Journals, degree programs, and even a few Ph.D.
    programs.

9
But it is interdisciplinary
  • Most professors recruited from other fields.
  • They tend to publish in other disciplinary
    journals.
  • They teach many, many courses in departments
    other than Black Studies.

10
Lets Get to Networks
  • You can look also look at the informal structure
    of an academic group.
  • One would hypothesize that disciplines would be
    more socially open than other academic groupings.

11
Disciplines and Social Closure
  • Members of an academic discipline should have
    common training, institutional histories, and
    ideology. Therefore, they should be more likely
    to cooperate with each other, than outsiders.
  • The interdiscipline, in contrast, is socially
    connected to other academic communities.

12
Lets visualize it!
Discipline
Black Studies
Interdiscipline
Black Studies
13
The Data The Survey of Issues in Africana Studies
  • In 2004-2005, every single professor of Black
    Studies received an invitation to participate.
    Check it out ! www.africanasurvey.indiana.edu
  • 200 professors participated in the study.
  • Survey included a battery of network items.

14
The network items
  • Respondents were asked the following questions
  • Important professional matters
  • Career decision
  • Scholarly feedback
  • Conflict

15
Some Descriptive Statistics
  • 140 people provided information about
    importance network
  • Average of ties in importance network is 9.63
  • Almost 1400 people mentioned.

16
First Question
  • How often do Black Studies professors contact
    others in their own program to discuss
    important matters?
  • Answer 1 15 of alters were in the same
    program.
  • Answer 2 Average ego-neighborhood has 9.6
    people in it, 8.1 are outside the persons
    program.

17
Second Question
  • How often do Black Studies professors contact
    other Black Studies professors in regard to
    important matters?
  • Answer 1 25 of alters are not Black Studies
    professors at all.
  • Answer 2 Average person has 9.6 in
    neighborhood, 7.13 are not in any program.

18
Lets investigate a little more
  • Who are the most central Black Studies actors?
  • Who are the professors most likely to be
    nominated by their peers in this survey?
  • Many people mentioned once or twice but a few
    stood out.

19
The Afrocentric center
Dr. Molefi Asante former chair of theTemple
Univeristy Black Studies program.
PhD in communications, prolific author, but most
importantly creator of the fields first PhD
program and inventor of Afro-centric theory.
Intellectual prominence corresponds with social
centrality.
20
It doesnt stop there
  • Other highly central scholars tend to be
    afro-centric.
  • Example 3 in centrality is Maulana Karenga of
    CSU Northridge. Founder of the US organization
    and prominent Black Nationalist of the 1970s.

21
What about Skip Gates?
  • Some universities have tried to improve their
    Black Studies Programs by hiring highly visible
    mainstream scholars like Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    So how central is he in the Black Studies network?

Only mentioned once by another scholar, who works
at a research university.
22
Lets think about that
  • The Survey picked up about 25 of the total
    population and participation was random.
  • The founder of the afrocentric movement is on
    personal terms with probably 4-5 of the entire
    profession.

23
Sources of the Network
  • Weve gleaned some vital information about Black
    Studies professors and their connections. We
    learned some important things about the fields
    social structure.
  • What factors might explain an individuals of
    ties within the profession? What about ratio of
    in ties to out ties?

24
Hypothesis 1 Demography
  • We expect some gender racial differences.
  • We also expect time since PhD to have an effect
    people who have been in the field longer have had
    more chance to develop networks within the field.

25
Hypothesis 2 Disciplinary Training
Institutional Effect
  • It might also be possible that disciplinary
    training might have an effect.
  • Maybe specific disciplines encourage a more
    interdisciplinary orientation, leading to many
    more out ties.
  • Public/private research/non-research effects.

26
Hypothesis 3 Self-selection
  • People who believe in a self-contained Black
    Studies field will be more likely to have ties
    inside the field.
  • Call this the afro-centric effect.

27
Data
  • Dependent variable of ties within Black
    Studies proportion of all ties within Black
    Studies.
  • Demography gender, race, year of Ph.D.
  • Discipline Area of PhD
  • Self selection measure of belief that Black
    Studies has its own ideas

28
Summary of Poisson Models
Note Yes means significant effect. Poission
regression results. Alpha.05. Complete Data on
about 130 respondents.
29
Summary of OLS Model
30
Summary
  • Research question 1 Is Black Studies an
    interdiscipline?
  • Yes when you measure networks, most ties are
    from Black Studies to non-black Studies.

31
Summary
  • Research Question 2 What factors explain Black
    Studies networks?
  • Answer Gender plays a pretty big role. Recent
    PhDs have bigger inside networks. Same for
    profs at research schools.
  • Afrocentric orientation correlates with smaller
    networks which have few outside ties.

32
Future Research
  • Do these results holds for other types of ties?
  • Explore further the effect of Afrocentric
    ideology on fields social structure.
  • Link network structure to observable behavior.
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