sorta like springsteen getting both covers in '75
minnesota sociology's american mosaic project landed in both time and newsweek today. the mosaic is a cool multi-method study of racial and religious intolerance. three faculty members -- penny edgell, joe gerteis, and doug hartmann -- put together a dream team of grad students to do a national telephone survey, in-depth interviews, and extensive fieldwork in several cities.
a spate of fresh articles and books are in the works that should bring to light some new social facts on core issues in race and ethnic relations and the sociology of religion. the time article concerns an asa paper on white racial identity by (grad student) paul croll, doug hartmann, and joe gerteis. newsweek cites penny edgell's asr article with joe and doug on atheism.
to be sure, such large-scale primary data collection is a huge freakin' pain in the butt. on the other hand, it can be incredibly liberating to break out of the standard secondary sources. moreover, even simple descriptive statistics from such projects can tell fascinating stories. in this case, the mosaic uncovered far more intolerance of atheists and far more white racial consciousness in the united states than existing data would have led us to believe.