February 2012 Issue • Volume 40 • Issue 2

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TRAILS Completes First
Full Calendar Year;
ASA Announces Call for
TRAILS Editor

With the close of 2011, TRAILS (Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology) has now completed its first full calendar year, and it has been a year full of learning, growth, and considerable success.

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Recipients of 2012 ASA Awards

The American Sociological Association proudly announces the recipients of the major awards for 2012. These outstanding scholars will be recognized at the 2012 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 18, at 4:30 pm. The Awards Ceremony will immediately precede the formal address of the ASA President Erik Olin Wright. All registrants are invited to attend an Honorary Reception immediately following the address to congratulate President Wright and the award recipients.

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Finding Sociology in Colorado

N. Prabha Unnithan, Colorado State University

As one of the many sociologists who will gather in Denver, Colorado, August 17-20, you probably will be making your way out of Denver International Airport and heading south to the site of the 2012 Annual Meeting in search of the meeting’s “Real Utopias.” After passing the 9,000-pound sculpture of a bucking horse painted cobalt blue and sporting fiery red eyes, look to the west and marvel at the Rocky Mountains in the distance (the unfortunate story about a part of the “Blue Mustang” falling down on its sculptor, Luis Jiminez, and killing him is true). I have lived in Colorado for nearly 25 years and this view of the mountains never fails to induce a sense of well-being and rejuvenation.

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Social Scientists and Research Development:  What Do Research Development
Professionals Do?

The concept of Research Development (RD) has existed for three decades, and select academic institutions have even created RD offices during this time. Over the last five years, precipitated by the economic downturn (and subsequent decline in overall research funding) and the increasingly complex and collaborative nature of research problems, RD programs have spread to more universities, colleges, and research institutions—large and small—that span the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education index.

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Chinese Social Science, Stability and the State

great wall of china

The Great Wall of China

China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, spoke in November about the urgency of going into the field to conduct research on “the masses.” In his speech to the Central Party School, where Communist Party leaders are trained, Xi made an impassioned plea for Party cadres to find out the deepest “hopes, worries, anxieties and resentments” of the Chinese people (see politics.people.com.cn/GB/1024/
16332666.html
).  Xi, set to become China’s next president, criticized cadres who curry favor and flatter superiors: “They are unwilling to look squarely at reality, they do not dare to speak the truth.” Then, he made a striking parallel between Chinese society today and the beginning of the 1960s.

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