Death threats and sociologists

Death threats and sociologists aren’t words you often hear in the same sentence.  Since I’m in training to be a sociologist, this is a source of some comfort to me.

Given how tame my life has been, I have a perhaps unreasonable fear of death-threats, knocks on the door in the middle of the night, and other forms of intimidation.  I’ve known a few people who’ve had to deal with them, but they’ve almost always been doing much more controversial work than my own, and they’ve hardly ever been scholars.  So imagine my dismay this week when I learned that the right-wing attacks against sociologist Frances Fox Piven have escalated to the point of death threats.  This is especially alarming since Piven is the kind of scholar that I often hold up as a model for myself.  She’s spent her life studying social movements and politics in the US, and tries to make her work speak to audiences beyond just other scholars.

Piven is a prolific writer, and I’ve only read a fraction of her work.  She’s certainly on the political left, but hardly off the deep end.  Here’s what I’ve read by her so far:

And here’s some of the press on her frightening circumstances now:

2.15 update:

One thought on “Death threats and sociologists

  1. Pingback: The week that was: Doing sociology in Las Vegas « The Long Haul

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