March 31, 2011 § 4 Comments
Gabriel Rossman’s post about the ASA job bank is an important one. Particularly important is the question of why the job bank should be treated as a profit center for the ASA. There is a hint of hypocrisy in the whole enterprise, for while the job bank is treated as a profit center, the proposed dues increase is rationalized by the statement that “ASA provides professional public goods … [It] provides timely information on the job market for sociologists and brings potential employers and employees together.” One of these things is not like the other.
The case of the job bank is striking, because in the modern day and age, it is trivially easy to perform the same function. Herewith a challenge to young, enterprising sociologists: set up a competing on-line job bank. Heck, colonize a portion of Craigslist. The main challenge is getting employers to send you their listings. (Job-seekers will find you.) But since you can offer a much lower price — if you get volunteer labor, the price could be zero — it is hard to see why they would resist. There is no way this costs anywhere close to $200/month per ad.