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Everything posted by Tritonetelephone

  1. One more thing: you asked if it was "necessary" to come out? We've established that your own comfort level is what's important, but I actually think it will be necessary further down the line to admit that you have a personal interest in your research. Some might disagree. But I think the best research lays out your personal interest on the table, then makes a really good argument (indirectly) for why you should still accept the results objectively. By the time you get to the stage in your research where you'd have to do this though, you'll have already figured out that NO one in your community is offended or maybe even surprised.
  2. I agree that sociology has to be THE safest discipline for coming out. People who do sociology TEND TO (at the very least, SHOULD) understand social inequality and social constructionism, and I would not expect anything but acceptance from your fellow students - especially if you're heading to a place that specializes in LGBT stuff. I would also argue that if what you're studying has anything to do with LGBTQ populations, you really won't have to come out. This is coming from the perspective of a straight person who does queer studies and is comfortable with the fact that almost everyone who only knows me for my research thinks I'm gay. Whatever your comfort level is with talking to people about your sexual orientation is what you should follow. Do NOT avoid it out of fear of being judged tho (or even worse, accommodating those who might judge you). You really should be fine. Don't take the bad energy that's infiltrated this thread as a sign. The topic title might catch the eye of some troll(s), but they don't represent the soc community. I'm with hoobers on this one too - homophobia is SO rare in sociology (in my experience) that I thought the original "OMG" response meant "OMG it's so obvious that you shouldn't worry!" Which says something about my own reaction when I first read the question.
  3. Well yeah, in an ideal department, but that's why we're saying to avoid it. It DOES happen. I have a friend in another field at a high-ranked university whose adviser makes him rewrite papers to match his own style and approach - sometimes he even makes him start over with a different topic! Such a nightmare. I also remember one of my young soc professors saying that there's a faculty member from his graduate school who clones; every time one of his graduate students publishes a paper, you can tell right away who their adviser is, because the papers all sound the same.
  4. This is exactly right. You really have to dig deep to understand how they are approaching the sub-field. Ultimately, you don't really want to repeat all the work they've done (i.e. "cloning"), but you want to make sure they will be an adequate resource in knowing what data would be useful to your project, etc. I would also emphasize that a good "fit" school would have MORE THAN ONE faculty member like this. ALSO, keep in mind that even if you are a good fit somewhere, so are other people. A rejection doesn't always mean you weren't a good fit, but it could mean that among those who were good fits, your credentials weren't quite competitive enough. But if you're lucky enough to get feedback from them, and they say your rejection was because you weren't a good "fit", I would take their word for it. They know more about themselves than you do.
  5. I applied there last year (for Fall 2009) and was one of only 5 people accepted, as I recall. The year before (Fall 2008), I had been wait-listed, then rejected. I wanted to work with Michael Kimmel (like most of the people that apply there, I'm sure), and he's a really nice guy. But for Fall 2008, they unexpectedly had every admitted person attend (11 total) and went way over-budget. So come Fall 2009 and the budget crisis, they cut their admit list in half AND couldn't offer a single person funding. But I'm really happy with where I ended up, so it's all good. Anyway, I actually did research them a lot since they were my top choice for such a long time, so I can try to recount what I remember. The location does not sound like my cup of tea (though I've never been). I hear Long Island is cold and windy most of the year, and housing is hard to find around campus because of zoning laws protecting native residents from crazy student parties. It's a pretty suburban/elite area, from what I remember, which can be good and bad, depending on your tastes. The program is actually not super-reputable, but Kimmel is. So I would say he's their biggest strength (from my perspective), but their biggest weakness is money, or lack thereof. As always, take everything I say with a grain of salt. Who knows how wrong/out-of-date/different-from-you I really am!
  6. To the OP: You're very lucky for being accepted without knowing much about them... My sincere condolences to all the well-qualified people who did their research and still got rejected. I got accepted to UMass last year to study gender. So the short answer is: yes. But I found that they accept a lot of grad students that do gender/sexuality, and it's a little out of proportion with their faculty interests. Janice Irvine is their "big name" gender scholar, but she doesn't even do that anymore. Amy Schalet is really cool, but there are a lot of grad students competing for her time/resources. Overall, it's a good program, though - great students, great health insurance (sounds trivial but seriously, it's really good). You also have access to all the faculty at Smith at the other colleges in the system. It was a close second choice for me. The rest of your questions are good to ask when you visit the school (which you've probably already done by now...)
  7. Sharon Hays is at USC. She wrote "Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform", which is amazing. Paul Lichtermann and others are there as well, who are really into ethnographic methods.
  8. 1) Do briefly introduce yourself and your interests and ask if they are taking on grad students next year. Maybe attach your CV/resume. But do NOT ask them about your possibility of getting in or anything else that basically requests a premature evaluation! Write to them with the attitude that you are good enough to get in, but you first want to make sure this particular professor would be receptive to working with you. Ask what they're working on now, as some profs current research might be very different from the research of theirs that you've read and would have liked to work on! 2) Send it to whoever you are interested in. A few is fine 3) YES still apply Full disclosure: I didn't email profs either and did get into grad schools, so if you do all your research independently, you still might be OK (i.e. pepper your SoP with why you're a good match to particular professors' research interests). But I wish I had emailed profs, especially when I found out after applying that some of the faculty I wanted to work with were leaving, or that they were doing something totally different than they used to.
  9. If I were on an admissions committee, i would wonder why you weren't staying to study with your father and if you'd be able to hold up in grad school without him. A fleeting mention might be alright since he's obviously a huge part of your experience, but don't leave them still wanting to know the answers to those questions. Deeply emphasize your independence and why you want THEIR school
  10. Soci could work for you. MPP's are appreciated, and there are policy jobs out there for sociologists, to be sure. Especially sociologists with quantitative skills! Poli sci probably isn't "better" than soc at quantitative methods. When quantitative analyses are performed, they're both using the exact same method. However, it may be likely that MORE poliscientists are quantitatively apt, as I know most sociology students are more interested in qualitative methods. This means it might be a little easier to find faculty with experience/support for quantitative methods in poli sci, but soc admission committees will appreciate quant skills more. (I'm a quant person, too, so believe me on this one!) It's up to you, obviously, but the research questions you mention would be very appropriately addressed by sociology, IMHO.
  11. Maybe it was one of my Dec 1 departments' website, then, that asked for 6 weeks? I don't remember. Might as well get it over with, anyway.
  12. I took mine in early Oct and felt that was cutting it close for the Dec 1 deadlines. I wouldn't wait until after Oct 15.
  13. It's extremely obvious to me to go with the 18-pager. If it's too long, you can insert brackets that say something like "[Methods section edited for length]" and cut out large pieces. I'm not going to bother explaining all the reasons why you should go with that one. Just do it.
  14. You have the right idea in that it's more important what fits your interests etc. but don't be surprised that rankings do "matter", at least somewhat. What's funny is most professionals you talk to will acknowledge that the methodology for ranking systems is hazy and that it shouldn't be taken too seriously, but they still do. Also, funding and cohort sizes does not predict ranking. You can find schools across the spectrum that fund most new students (though they are more common in higher rankings). You can apply only to schools that offer funding and still get a range of rankings. Be aware that some schools that have top ranking programs in your subfield may not be top schools in general sociology - those make great middle-tier or "safety" schools!
  15. agreed. go with the cultural anthropology professor, unless there's another soc. professor (at any level) that knows you
  16. I've also done two rounds. My undergrad also never had me write a paper more than 8 pages or so. My first writing sample, I expanded the most interesting paper I had in my subfield subject area, but it wasn't the most scientific piece of writing. That year didn't go so well. The second year, I took theory and stats grad classes over the summer and fall, and through them generated a totally new paper, where I went through an IRB and collected my own data to analyze. The final paper wasn't a huge treat to read (boring), and it didn't have much to do with what I wanted to specialize in, but it showcased the theory and methods that I was familiar with - and THAT'S what they want to see! That wasn't the only thing I improved in my applications, but I know it helped that they were able to see "oh, she already knows how to do such and such regressions." It was definitely a good idea for me to start from scratch, but you just need to ask yourself if the papers you have on hand really represent the level of methods and theory that you can apply to your work. A 15-page paper was enough for me to satisfy requirements.
  17. Bingo! It's very important to be proficient in both, but the questions you're trying to answer should ultimately determine which methods you choose. When I was asked at school visits, "are you a 'qualitative' person or a 'quantitative' person?" I answered, "I'm more drawn to quantitative methods but I want to do both because my last quantitative project didn't fully answer my research questions"... The response was extremely positive. They want to see that you understand that distinction. Naturally, some programs have more experience emphasizing one over the other, but if they don't expect you do to become proficient in both, regardless of your previous academic background, that's not the kind of program that will prepare you to be a good sociologist.
  18. Florida State is the one I'm most familiar with. They're really into social psych. Here's the top 10 though: http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... psychology
  19. I don't know if anyone's said this yet - too lazy to read it all. But it can be very helpful to include something negative. This is my boss's strategy with writing LOR's, and trust me - she writes excellent ones! All 3-4 of the people she's nominated for employee awards have gotten one, for example. It doesn't have to be something big, but it helps to show them that the writer is aware that the person isn't perfect. It will help them take everything else in the letter much more seriously.
  20. La Voz - The transcripts thing is something the administrative staff deals with, not the committee. It would still be best to have everything in on time, but as someone whose made some of the same mistakes and been successful, I guarantee you that #3 is the only one that killed you. #3 is HUGE. Definitely stay in touch as much as you can with the people at your UG - they'll be able to help you more than anyone.
  21. YES, it is really getting harder to enter grad school - especially if you expect funding. I only applied to schools that fund all or the vast majority of their accepted students, which is common in my field. Every single school I applied to received more applications and accepted smaller cohorts than usual. There are lots of complaints about it from 2009's applicants throughout these forums.
  22. Taking the GRE by November is too late. I took mine the first week of October, but that was cutting it a little close. To be safe, take the GRE 3 months before your first applications are due. That usually means on or before September 1st. Also, you said you plan to write both of them by Nov... if you mean taking the math and verbal sections separately, you can't do that anymore (in the US, at least).
  23. Screw you guys, I'm still optimistic. Not that it's not going to make me work my ass off any less while I'm in school, anyway.
  24. I just had a very successful round 2, after a very disappointing round 1. Here's what I did differently... -Picked schools VERY carefully based on fit and picked more of them (10 vs. last year's 4). Tried for a range of rankings (safety, middle tier, top tier). I only picked schools that I would seriously consider attending (including the safeties). -Tried to study more for the GRE, but ended up only having time to focus on controlling my environment during the test (only used the PowerPrep software), which really made all the difference. Last year, I got a 550V 690Q 4.5W. This year, I got a 660V 650Q 5.0W. -Got a research job (in addition to my regular administrative university job) that involved quantitative and qualitative work, when I had no real research experience last year. Also TA'd for an online course this Spring. -Took the most difficult grad courses possible to combat my UG's extremely low rank. Cultural Theory on the master's level and Advanced Mutivariate Analysis on the doctoral level, and got an A in both. From those classes, I also generated a good paper to use as a writing sample. -For community experience: I had been an officer of a campus group relevant to my main research interests before, so I became an officer of a group relevant to my secondary interests. This turned out to not be as marketable as I had hoped for some schools that didn't really offer my secondary interests, but it at least gave me a good distraction/support group. So, if you're keeping track, this means that throughout the fall, I was working two jobs, enrolled in a course way above my level of study, an officer of an active campus group, and preparing 10 applications & SOP's. Not to mention my bf and band and whatever else needed attention in my personal life. It was exhausting. After all that, two of the five schools I got into were only my safeties. I didn't get into a school that rejected me last year, but I got into the school that waitlisted me last year. I'm really happy with how things turned out! Good luck everybody.
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