Category Archives: Books

Summer Reading List

OK, I leave for five weeks in a week. Its mostly vacation, but I am looking forward to spending some time reading some of the dense social theory or social science books that I rely on, but have never finished or even read (ouch, hurts to admit that in print). I’ll probably get drummed out of the bidness (its like our omerta) for saying this, but when you read lots of journal article,s you start to know what are the foundational texts and how they are used. Its like seeing the shape of a plane by its shadow. Foucault, is, I think a classic in this regard. Everyone cites, few have actually read (beyond strategic skimming). And Weber. (Although I did take a grad school seminar where we did nothing but read Economy and Society. That’s a story for another time).

Anyway, for the sake of _actually_ reading some of these from my ever-expanding list of books, I am limiting myself to two. So, this is the fun part, like choosing courses from a stellar menu. Which two?

Possible summer reading list (In Progress):

  • Identity and Control by Harrison White
  • Sociology of Philosophy by Randall Collins
  • Constitution of Society by Anthony Giddens
  • Volumes 2 and 3 of The Information Age by Manuel Castells
  • The Hacker Ethic By Pekka Hinamen
  • something by Bourdieu…
  • Brokerage and Closure by Ron Burt
  • Something by Charles Tilly, Big structures, large processes, huge comparisons or Identities, Boundaries and Social Ties
  • Code v 2.0 by Lawrence Lessig
  • The Hacker Ethic by Pekka Himanen (for  teaching really).

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Filed under Books, Castells, New Projects, organization studies, organization theory, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), Social Networks, social theory

Comparing fourth and fifth editions of Organizations by Richard Scott (And Gerry Davis for fifth)

So, a new edition of Organizations:Rational, Natural, and Open Systems by W. Richard Scott is out. Its co-authored by Gerry Davis (Who was a student of Scott’s at Stanford, apparently) and has a newer, more active title (stamp out nouns!). This book was an absolute classic for me doing my PhD at IESE. It also helped me bridge sociology and management. So, like the priests we are, it is good to turn back to the canon and see what is there.

Organizations and Organizing: rational, natural, and open systems perspectives.

I wanted to see if it is worth reading/buying the new version. A quick comparison of the two tables of contents reveals that some major changes were made. After Break for table.

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Filed under Books, organization studies, organization theory, Scholars, sociology

Recent Reads

Let’s talk about what I am reading these days.

Just finished Michael Chabon’s  Gentlemen of the Road.   Its a short novel about Jewish vagabonds/warriors with hearts of gold.  They have an adventure in a (I think) make believe kingdom called Kharzia.  I had heard of the author due to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.   The book was pleasant, but much of the conceit and the details went over my head.   Zelikman, the taciturn, melancholy, fussy surgeon-warrior of the pair was my favorite part.  He took offense at killing people more than one at a time since it was only possible to heal them one at a time.  Guess he never heard of a vaccine.  I never quite knew why I was supposed to find the whole set up amusing (hence my conceit comment above).   Was this a real historical context?  Is this adventure genrre one I don’t know so the wry, genre-based, meta jokes just went by me?  Also, lots of details seemed to me to be ether deliberately obtuse or simply inside references I am not privy to.  For example, various su-types of Jewish character are discussed knowingly without any exposition on who or what they are all about (Radanite is one).  Since he won the Pulitzer Prize for the other, maybe I should look for it.

Just before Gentelmen of the Road,  I finished the Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials  trilogy.  I had read them three years or so ago.  I loved them then, and perhaps more so now.   I suppose the film coming out had something to do with it (The Golden Compass).  I totally love the free thinking theology quality to it.  Many of the characters seem a bit stiff.  Sci-fi often seems to have that problem: thought provoking, great premise, but not great characters.  Lord Asriel seems particularly this way.   Mrs Coulter too.  I just don’t care what she is up to, even though he tried to do something interesting in terms of writing her as a wicked villain and then having her evolve into something more problematic in the later books.  At the end of the day, the story is so intriguing that I quickly forgive the stiffness and hapily suspend all kinds of disbelief so they can get on with the titanic struggle against a myopic and authoritarian God.

Next up: back to non fiction.  Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow has had its spine cracked.  Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant looks interesting (especially since I read Whats the Matter with Kansas  a few years back).  And a thick history of America by Sean Willentz’ The Rise of American Democracy, is elbowing in for attention especially given the portents of historically profound  elections going on now.

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Filed under Books, History, Sci Fi

Research Ideas for My Students

Hello folks. This is by no means a comprehensive set of resources. It more reflects sources that seemed to be of interest to two or more of you AND that I thought might not jump out at you as pertinent. It is a mix of search terms, blogs, or alternative media.

EVERYONE should make an appointment with a Bucknell research librarian.

Mob Mentality

□ See Swarm intelligence as a search term. Also this book and tool.

□ See Smart Mobs as a search term. Also, this site and book.

How context shapes roles

Stanford Prison Experiment

How social network effects company

□ Work by Rob Cross

David Krackhardt

David Obstfeld

How brekatoroughs happen…

□ Blogs: Search them for your topics.






Saddam Hussein and his network

RAND corporation



Experts on torture

A historian of torture

Overview of news on detainees

Financial Bubbles…

Bill Moyers with Kuttner

Interviews with Greenspan

Greespan debate Naomi Klein, a critic (bubbles and feds role comes up)
Fanatic communities


Org theory post

Size of communties

Gore-Tex maker


No logo– a critical assessment of advertising and capitalism.

Viral garden blog



Cobra II

Assassin’s Gate

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Filed under activism, Books, digital culture, economic sociology, higher education, Living Web, management, Marketing, national security, Network Dynamics, Org Design, organization studies, pedagogy, Resistance, Social Networks, Terrorism, Viral Marketing

Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade

Book recommended at my NITLE workshop.  Worth looking into?

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Filed under Books, Gaming, management

Excavating Victorians– Virginia’s Book Coming Out In November

I am so proud of Virginia! Her book is inches from being released, and she gets this great blurb from another scholar.

SUNY Press :: Excavating Victorians
“This book is a sheer pleasure to read. Zimmerman has crafted an important and genuinely intriguing interpretation of the relationship between literature, geology, and archaeology in the period when these new sciences came into their own as separate disciplines. Zimmerman brings to her interpretations an impressive knowledge of many now forgotten episodes in the history of science. She examines a wide range of works and finds elegant and convincing ways to make them speak to each other.” — Robert D. Aguirre, author of Informal Empire: Mexico and Central America in Victorian Culture

Sounds great, yes? Don’t you want to buy a copy?

UPDATE; Book is out! Its ranked like 1,320,000 in books! Last week it beat out Victorian Lesbian Erotica in the History and Criticism> Victorian category.


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