The scariest paper I read today

As I’m bunkered down in the library this early evening plowing my way through back issues of Crime and Delinquency, I couldn’t help but get sidetracked by reading this paper unrelated to my dissertation.
Jill Leslie Rosenbaum and Lorrain Prinsky (1991). “The Presumption of Influence: Recent Responses to Popular Music Subcultures,” 37(4): 528 – 535.
It definitely has the scariest abstract I’ve read in quite some time:

This article focuses on the juvenile justice system in California and outlines approaches currently taken in response to teenagers who are part of the “punk” and “heavy metal” subculture. Data were collected from hospitals that have adolescent care programs. When these hospitals were given a hypothetical situation in which the parents’ main problem with their child was the music he or she listened to, the clothes he or she wore, and the posters on his or her bedroom wall, 83% of the facilities believed the youth needed hospitalization. These findings were placed within a labeling framework in order to understand the effect of these policies.

Apparently some California courts went so far as to tack on these stipulations to juvenile parole sentences:

1.Not to dress in any style that represents Punk Rock or Heavy Metal.
2.Not to wear hair (dye or cut) in any style that represents Punk Rock or Heavy Metal.
3.Not to associate with known Punk Rockers or Heavy Metalers.
4.Not to wear any Punk Rock or Heavy Metal accessories – earrings, or jewlery, spikes or studs.
5.Not to frequent any place where Punk Rock or Heavy Metal is main interest.
6.Not to listen to Punk rock or Heavy Metal music.
7.Not to write or draw Punk Rock or Heavy Metal.
8.No to tattoo, cut, harm or injure self in any way.
9.To keep parents of whereabouts at all times.

Maybe this explains why west coast punk rock sucks.

It’s been a while…

It has been a while since my last post and I apologize. In the past month or so I have been very busy traveling and such. First, I went to Houston, for a Liberty Fund conference on Francois Furet. Anyone interested in the odd self-deprecating nature of the bourgeoisie should give his works a close reading. After a brief but love-filled visit to South Florida for holidays with my family I attended the American Economic Association as part of my job search. Though the conference was hectic and stressful I feel good about my interviews and eagerly await callbacks for additional fly outs.
Here are a few things I wish I had been more informed of before doing my interviews.
1. Bring copies of your research with you, not necessarily to give to interviewers but to read and have fresh in your own mind for when you’re asked to describe it.
2. Map-quest the city before you go. Not so much of an issue for me since this year’s meeting was in New Orleans but I would have dreaded doing the same traveling in an unknown city. This goes hand and hand with wearing comfortable shoes.
3. Put thought into what your ideal course would be to teach. Know some books and readings you want to use in it and what key idea it would communicate to the students.
4. You obviously can’t take notes during an interview but write down everything you can remember about the specifics of the job after each one. This means you have to leave time between your interviews for travel and recollections.
5. Talk to someone who went in a recent year and have them explain the disclosure code system to you. I’d explain here but I don’t think I’d do it justice.