Introduction from the Editors

McGill Sociological Review, Volume 4 (February 2014): i-ii

Rony Blank, Alina Geampana, Julie Hagan, Qiaoling He, Jason O. Jensen, Robert Jones, Angela Kalyta, Hadi Karsoho, Alissa Mazar, Alexandre Miltsov, Jose Ignacio Nazif Munoz, Xavier St-Denis, and Luyang Zhou

Welcome to the fourth volume of the McGill Sociological Review (MSR). Since our last meeting, MSR has been undergoing stabilization alongside expansion. The founding generation of MSR has by now left us (many pursuing exciting academic careers), but the infrastructure they put in place still holds strong, and the mechanics of publishing a journal are running (largely) smoothly. But stability does not mean stagnation. We are proud to announce completing the project of putting MSR on Proquest, thus increasing its visibility and dissemination. Further, we greatly expanded our call for papers, bringing responses from three continents; we have added conference reports to publishing articles and book reviews; and we have been successfully experimenting with new platforms of internal coordination. The result is proudly presented in the pages below.

This volume's articles can be roughly divided into three categories: two articles each in the areas of social network analysis and capitalist expansion, and an article in the sociology of deviance. Mahesh Somashekhar’s richly detailed network analysis of recruitment patterns of a Freemason Lodge challenges the view that organizations which recruit homophilously become more homophilous over time, showing how homophilous recruitment can lead to organizational diversity. A group of researchers from Pittsburg University, led by Alla G. Khadka, attempt to establish a method to use network analysis to compare the quality of knowledge between academic disciplines. Drawing on a comparison of health sciences and security studies, they argue that a discipline will produce better knowledge if its contributions are characterized by greater heterogeneity, multidisciplinarity, and diversity of sites

On the issue of the consequences of capitalist expansion, Natalia Ilyniak’s analysis of mercury poisoning in an Anishinaabe community in Northwestern Ontario, demonstrates how systematic environmental injustice undermines the livelihood of First Nations communities and eventually makes their lands available for more extensive capitalist extraction. Burak Gürel’s work on changes in agriculture practices in China over the last three decades shows how this sector adopts capitalist practices. Although it is commonly argued that Chinese farmer cooperatives are an alternative to agribusiness, Gürel shows that in practice, they function mainly like Western-style companies.

Finally, Frank Edwards examines the role of experts in framing media representations of juvenile delinquency. He shows that experts’ framing of the causes of and solutions to juvenile delinquency is related to their professional and structural relationship to the juvenile courts, and argues that journalists’ selection of experts is linked to shifts in general public discourse on the issue, in particular the move away from rehabilitative ideologies.

The number of submissions for our fourth volume greatly exceeded previous years. In total, 36 full-length articles were submitted of which 5 are being published in this volume. Three book reviews were submitted, of which one is published. While this expansion was undoubtedly a success that brought us a great diversity of papers, it comes with new challenges, particularly with our French and Canadian content. We regret that only one article is from a Canadian university, and there is no French-language content in this volume. We received 6 French submissions, and peer reviewed 2, but the one that was accepted was dropped by the author for personal reasons. A few Canadian articles were similarly dropped by authors. We are excited to be able to give editors, authors, and peer reviewers a chance to exchange with students from many universities, but we do not want this to come at the expense of engaging Canadian and francophone students. As students of a Canadian university, who come mostly from fellow (English and French) Canadian universities, we know that there is exciting sociological work happening in Canada, and we want to help share it with the world. In our goal to foster scholarly dialogue among graduate students (and in line with the motivation of the second article in this volume) we want to keep as many voices in the discussion as possible.

Readers will notice an uncommon addition to this volume: conference reports. About halfway through the Volume 4 process, two enterprising students from the University of Toronto contacted us hoping to publish a report on their graduate student conference in MSR. Given the general invisibility of grad student conferences, we thought this was a great idea and invited other grad student conference organizers to submit their own reports. The three reports included in this volume vary a lot stylistically. However, as this is a relatively new format, the EB decided to not impose style guidelines on the authors, so that these could be used as inspiration for future graduate conference reports. This inspired us to help bring greater visibility to the many grad student conferences organized in North America. To this end, we have created a page on our website that we keep updated with the latest announcements of graduate student conferences. We have also established a mailing list that we send new Call for Papers to when we update the page. It has proven immensely popular.

As always, this volume demanded a concentrated effort from the MSR editorial board, dozens of anonymous peer reviewers, and the McGIll sociology department faculty members advising us. Especially since we provided feedback for every article, even those that did not make it through to the double-blind graduate-student peer review process. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all those who contributed their time and enthusiasm to getting this volume out, as well as our loyal and new readers across the world. A special thanks goes out to our retiring coordinators, Angela Kalyta and Jason Jensen, whose stamina, organizational talent, and perhaps most of all patience and diligence have been vital. You will be greatly missed! We would also like to thank our first ever guest editor, Julie Hagan from Université Laval. Having a guest from another university gave this EB a uniquely rewarding opportunity to dialogue intimately with other academic legacies. We hope that future editorial boards will get to enjoy and expand this experience with future guest editors.

For the upcoming year, we plan to continue our institutionalization, most importantly to extend our connections with francophone student colleagues. Bilinguialism is an important but often technically difficult goal and we see it as imperative to adhere to our bilingual ideal, as spelled out it in the MSR charter. We greatly look forward to your submissions for MSR’s volume 5.


The Editorial Board 2013-14

McGill Sociological Review

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