Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

Notes on the Origins of 'New Zealand Sociology'

Academic journal article New Zealand Sociology

Notes on the Origins of 'New Zealand Sociology'

Article excerpt

Some time in 1985, Dick Harker from Education came up to me in a corridor in the Social Sciences building at Massey in Palmerston North, and suggested we start a journal for New Zealand sociologists. It was certainly his idea in the first place, but I quickly became interested in it, and took the idea to Graeme Fraser, who was Head of Sociology at Massey. As he always did, Graeme encouraged staffin their initiatives, and he supported us in this one, and so we started to prepare for the 'launch'.

I had been at Stanford seven years before, and at Stanford Buzz Zelditch reigned as the editor of American Sociological Review. Since Buzz clearly knew how to run a journal, I asked him how it was done. He replied succinctly that the key was blind review, with at least two reviewers involved. We approached people in each New Zealand sociology department, and gained some names to put on the masthead. We put out a request for papers, and submissions started trickling in.

There were several objections to us starting the journal. Some sociologists at other campuses clearly thought it was a bit rich that Massey, whose sociological staffhad an average age of about 35 in those days, should take on the mantle of scholarly leadership over and against their older colleagues. Others thought that the Sociology Association should run the journal. Questions were raised about whether New Zealand/Aotearoa needed its own journal.

We ignored the comments. …

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