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Advice on Pol Sociology/Fit in the Field


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Hi all! I wanted you ask you guys for some advice about whether my interests could fit within sociology. Just a quick recap of my situation, I've got an MA in Poli Sci and have applied for PhDs almost entirely in Poli Sci, where I have a few acceptances. But I have one waitlist at a top-20 sociology program, and need to decide whether it would make sense to pursue in case I get in off the waitlist at the last minute.


I'm interested in the interplay between economic crises and ideas about economic policy, and more specifically in trying to explain the political resilience of neoliberalism following the Great Recession. The subfield I'm interested in (social constructivism) is sort of a marginal/heterodox one within political science, and as the field moves in an ever more quantitative direction, I've thought about making the switch to sociology. That said, I'm a bit worried that my relative ignorance of sociology literature would set me back.


So I guess I have two questions: 1) do you think these interests would fit and could be pursued within sociology? and 2) what is the place of political sociology/political economy within the field? I've heard that there are fairly few jobs open for this subfield, so do you think it is worth specializing in it?

Sorry if that was a bit long, but any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

Edited by NYCBluenose
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Your  research interests sound cool and I'm sure you'd be fine in a sociology program. Although, I may be a bit biased since I am also interested in the persistence of free market (and alternative) development models, but in Latin America. 


Also, political economy is an inherently interdisciplinary field no matter what discipline one is in--sociology, political science, economics, or history. I actually find myself citing political scientists and economists as often as I cite sociologists. In my opinion, having a poli sci background and being quantitative would make you more marketable. You should be able to benefit from attending conferences and making connections in both fields (e.g. both ASA and APSA). 


What sociology program are you waitlisted for?

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I hope your interests are relevant to sociology. They're pretty similar to mine, and I'll be starting a PhD in the field in a few months. ;-)

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This is slightly outdated but I am not sure if someone has updated this data. In 2010, ASA (the main sociology organization in the US) compared what specialty job postings were looking for with what phd candidates were selecting as their areas of interest. They did this to look as possible mismatches between what universities are hiring for and what phd students are specializing in.


Page 7 here has the data: http://www.asanet.org/research/Moving_Toward_Change_2010_Job_Bank_Survey.pdf 


Politics was one of the worst specialties in terms of having more students than jobs. However, it was tied as the second highest advertised specialty. So jobs are probably out there, they just have a lot of competition. 

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A more up to date ASA job bank survey. 




"Politics and social change" is quite high in the rankings of job posting (6th). There is a small mismatch between job postings and student specializations  in this field, but it's not as bad as other areas (e.g. social psych, stratification).

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