September 19th, 2011

ASA Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address (2011)


SNOW: Good afternoon. You can see me. I can't see you. But anyway, let us get started, and thank you for coming to order. I'm Dave Snow, the vice president for the ASA this year. And as such, I have
the privilege of emceeing this awards ceremony presidential address. So let me welcome you, on behalf of the ASA, and thank you for participating in our 106th annual meeting. And I do hope all of you
are having very good luck here. Before turning to the awards, let us have a moment of silence to remember our colleagues who have passed away this year. Thank you. We now turn to the presentation of
the 09/2011 ASA awards. The presider for the presentation is Omar McRoberts, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and one of the ASA council liaisons to the Committee on Awards. Please
welcome Omar. MCROBERTS: Thank you, David. This very special part of our program is dedicated to the presentation of ASA's major awards, which, of course, are a tribute not only to the excellent
scholarly and public contributions of our members, but also to the substantive and theoretical and methodological breadth of our discipline. And so I'm very honored to lead the presentation of awards
tonight. We'll begin with the ASA dissertation award, which honors the best Ph. D. dissertation from among those submitted by advisors and mentors in the discipline. Please welcome Susan Farrell, who
will highlight the award and the terrific work of this year's recipient. FARRELL: This year's dissertation award is given to Alice Goffman. Drawing on six years of fieldwork in a poor, black
Philadelphia neighborhood, Alice Goffman's dissertation goes beneath the statistics on incarceration rates and criminal records to reveal how the war on drugs, targeted imprisonment, and new
technologies of policing are transforming everyday life in the contemporary ghetto. Reminiscent of W.E.B. DuBois' Philadelphia Negro, Dr. Goffman's work is a timely and relevant ethnography focusing
on the very real life and death questions of how a fugitive status shapes life and relationships. While acknowledging her status as a young, white woman researcher in a poor, black neighborhood,
Goffman brings a clarity of vision, scholarly rigor, and originality to give voice to a population largely unknown and ignored. Using and critiquing Foucault's Panopticon and his theory of power, she
brings a creative approach to a complex topic to reveal how the young men and women in her study construct their lives in the midst of constant surveillance and threats of violence. The dissertation
committee felt that this was a truly groundbreaking and important new contribution to our field. Alice Goffman. GOFFMAN: Thank you, Susan. This dissertation was about the transformation of the ghetto
in the era of mass imprisonment and about some of it, 80,000 young men in Philadelphia with low-level warrants out for their arrest, living as fugitives. The work was possible because four families
living on Sixth Street in Philadelphia granted me the privilege of being part of their lives, even as the warrant unit was tracking their movements with sophisticated technology, even as the police
were raiding their houses, banging their doors down, and taking their sons into custody in the middle of the night. So I want to thank them for their trust in dangerous times and for their patience
with an outsider trying to understand. I also want to thank my mother, Gillian Sankoff(?), my terrific professors, my undergraduate professors at the University of Pennsylvania, and my dissertation
committee, Vivianna Zelzer(?), Paul Demaggio(?), Diva Pager, Cornell West, and especially Mitch Denire(?) who nurtured and guided this from the beginning. I want to dedicate this award to my two
fathers, one of, the first of whom died when I was a baby, and the second one who had the great generosity to speak about him to me often. Thank you. MCROBERTS: The Jessie Bernard Award is given
annually in recognition of a body of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society. Please welcome Jen'nan Read, who will present this
year's recipient. BEST: My name is Amy Best, and Jen'nan Read was unable to be here, and asked that I present in her place. Verta Taylor, professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa
Barbara, is the 2011 recipient of the American Sociological Associations Jessie Bernard Award. Dr. Taylor's career exemplifies the very purpose of this award, to recognize innovative scholarship that
has enlarged the discipline to encompass fully the role of women in society. Her consideration of the women's movement as a social movement, and the salience of gender to a social movement's
development and trajectory inspired sociologists to rethink the conditions of collective action, the role of activist networks, emotions, and collective identity in social movement formations in
continuity and change. Dr. Taylor is also the recipient of the John D. McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award in Social Movements and the Simon and Gagnon Award for Lifetime of Scholarly Contributions to
the Study of Sexuality. Her career has been nothing short of courageous. Her legacy will be lasting. It is my great honor to present this most important award to her. TAYLOR: Thank you. I'm deeply
honored to receive this award. Growing up in Jonesboro, Arkansas, I could never have imagined becoming a college professor, much less joining the company of all the amazing feminist scholars who have
received this award in the past. I would like to thank the members of the committee and the American Sociological Association, as well as the mentors, friends, and colleagues in the fields of gender,
social movements, and sexuality, both in the discipline and at Ohio State and University of California, Santa Barbara, who believed in me and helped me along the way. I have learned so much from all
of you, and you know who you are. They limited us to one minute, so you just sit there and revel in the pleasure that I am now of having worked with you throughout my career. I would never have
achieved what I have without my students, who have been a source of intellectual inspiration, collaboration, joy, and pride, and my beloved coauthor and life partner for nearly 35 years, Lila Rupp(?),
to whom I owe everything. Winning this award has been my life's dream, and I'd like to thank the American Sociological Association and all of you for your support. MCROBERTS: The Public Understanding
of Sociology Award is given annually to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public. Please welcome Robin Ann Goldstein, who will
present this year's recipient. GOLDSTEIN: For the past two decades, Barbara Risman has been engaged in the work of developing a public understanding of sociology. As president of Sociologists for
Women in Society, she saw to it that the private voices of a feminist sociology were heard. More recently, she has not only taken the position that there was more than one way to know what we know
about families, but she has also revealed herself to be committed to spreading the word as to the importance of gaining knowledge of families as they really are, and that's a quote, as distinct from
how we would like them to be. This encompasses research that treats gender and equities as belonging to the general category of the things that we can get beyond, but in the broadest sense possible,
the view that empirical research should be front and center stage, the debate about how to solve today's challenges. This year, I am happy, in a sort of time-honored way, to present the award for the
Public Understanding of Sociology to Professor Risman, head of the department of sociology at University of Illinois-Chicago, former president Sociologists for Women in Society, and executive officer
and board member, Council of Contemporary Families. RISMAN: Thank you. I'm deeply honored to receive this award. My work to promote the public understanding of sociology has been with others and not
by myself. I've worked, as you know, for a long time, with the Sociologists for Women in Society, and my public understanding of sociology work has been primarily with the Council on Contemporary
Families. We're a community of dedicated scholars who work very hard to bring new research, our own and others, to public conversation. I understand this award as really belonging to the council. One
of the founders and the present co-chair of the council is with us tonight, and I'd like her to stand, historian Stephanie Coontz. Without her, the council wouldn't exist, and I wouldn't be receiving
this award tonight. I'd also like any of our past, present and past board members who are in the room to stand because you too are really receiving this award. I also want to thank my husband for all
his support and encouragement. He's here tonight, even when it means, sometimes, months on end, I'm not home very much. And, finally, I want to thank the ASA for honoring the work of public
engagement. And I ask any of you who are in the room who study families or children or sexualities or gender to join CCF and use some of your energies to help us bring research to public conversation.
This is, in fact, a wonderful version of intellectual activism. In the reception, feel free to ask any of us how you too can be a member. MCROBERTS: This annual award honors the intellectual tradition
of Oliver Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. Please welcome Earl Wright, who will present this year's recipient. WRIGHT: The Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award is given to an individual or
individuals for their work in the intellectual traditions of three African-American scholars. This award was established through the Herculean efforts of the founding members of the Association of
Black Sociologists, then a subgroup within ASA called the Caucus of Black Sociologists. Oliver C. Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier, placed their scholarship in service to social
justice with an eye towards advancing the status of disadvantaged populations. Their scholarship was not limited to the gathering of mere data, but on better understanding and improving the condition
of African-Americans and other similarly situated groups. Taken all together, Cox, Johnson, and Frazier worked to broaden the thinking of society and to broaden what the mainstream included. The same
can be said about this year's awardee, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. For more than a decade, Eduardo has been a leader in the area of race studies. Through his many journal articles, book chapters, and
books, including White Out, The Continuing Significance of Racism, Racism Without Races, Colorblind Racism, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States, and White Supremacy and
Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Area, Bonilla-Silva has challenged us to rethink and, in some cases, think about our analysis of issues regarding race and racism. It is for these reasons that I am
honored to present the 2011 Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. BONILLA-SILVA: Can you hear me? I'm deeply honored of receiving this award, but I'm concerned and somewhat confused.
When I got the award, I thought, this is a career award. I'm just 49 years old. So, you know, I'm 49, I said. I thought maybe the committee members were telling me you're sociologically done,
therefore, we're giving this award to you now, or worse, they knew something about my health that I was not aware. I hope that is not the case. Seriously, I want to thank those who nominated me, those
who wrote letters on my behalf, those who have supported me over the years, as well as the courageous colleagues in the selection committee. I thank all of you from the bottom of my black, Puerto
Rican heart. And I recommit myself, today, to continue working in the Oliver Cox, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier tradition. Accordingly, I will continue raising hell by telling it as I see
it, no matter what, no matter where, and no matter who is involved. Thank you. MCROBERTS: The award of Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues honors individuals for their promotion of
sociological findings and a broader vision of society. Please welcome Debra Carr, who will present this year's recipient. CARR: Thank you. Okay. Just a moment here. Okay. Great. This year, the award
for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues goes to the New York Times columnist and PBS NewsHour commentator, David Brooks. As one of the nominating letters for Brooks stated, quote, few
commentators in the public sphere, from anywhere on the political spectrum, have done as much as David Brooks to promote public understanding of and appreciation for the social sciences in general and
sociology in particular in recent years, end quote. Over the years, Brooks' columns have used or explored, either explicitly or implicitly, such core sociological themes as social capital, status,
trust, embeddedness, networks, norms, and the impact of social structures on life chances. His columns regularly mention sociologists, ranging from senior scholars to graduate students, by name and
provide a wide audience for their work. For example, his columns have described or otherwise promoted the work of scholars, including Manuel Castells, Christopher Jenks, Lisa Keister, Annette Lareau,
and Robert Wuthnow. He has criticized economists for an insufficiently social view of human nature, insisting that economics must, quote, get human nature right, end quote For these accomplishments
and others detailed in his nominating letter, David Brooks is the recipient of the 2011 Reporting of Social Issues Award. Okay. David Brooks sends his sincere regrets that he's unable to join us
today, but also his sincere gratitude for this award that he truly cherishes. So thank you on his behalf. MCROBERTS: The Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology honors outstanding
contributions to sociological practice through the work facilitated or served as a model for the work of others, work that had significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in
sociology. Please welcome Judy Auerbach, who will present this year's recipient. AUERBACH: Good afternoon. Thank you. Henry J. Steadman, president of Policy Research Associates, is a world-renowned
scholar in the sociology of mental health and criminal justice. In a distinguished career of more than 40 years, he epitomizes the sociological practitioner who weaves fundamental contributions to
knowledge with significant, practical applications. At the New York State Office of Mental Health, Dr. Steadman undertook innovative longitudinal studies of criminally insane persons released into the
community, calling into question commonplace assumptions about predictions of violence. This early work led to developing several risk assessment scales and measures of perceived coercion associated
with psychiatric treatment, now widely used in research and clinical practice fields. Simultaneous to being a prolific author of 8 books and over 130 journal articles, Dr. Steadman has dedicated his
work to vulnerable populations and has trained thousands of local and state workers in evidence-based procedures for dealing with mentally ill persons. On behalf of the ASA's Distinguished Career
Award for the Practice of Sociology selection committee, I am very pleased to present this award to Dr. Henry Steadman. STEADMAN: Thank you. I am truly humbled to be included in the company of the
prior recipients of this award. They represent the best that ASA has to offer. They have refined and applied their craft to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people. When I left
the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1970 with my wife, Caroline, I never envisioned the incredibly wonderful career that department and the field of sociology would afford me. I hope that
I have met the standards set by the prior recipients. I thank the ASA for counting me among this esteemed group. Thank you. MCROBERTS: The Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award is given in
honor of outstanding contributions to the graduate and/or undergraduate teaching and learning of sociology, which improves the quality of teaching. Please welcome Jeanne Ballantine, who will present
this year's awardee. BALLANTINE: If you haven't met Maxine Atkinson, try to get hold of her. Try to nab her at the reception. She's a fascinating woman with a lot of tales to tell. Just say, Maxine,
tell me something about teaching teachers, and you'll get an earful. Maxine is professor and head of the department of sociology and anthropology at North Carolina State University. She has made
significant contributions to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, or SOTL, to mentoring and preparing graduate students and new teachers and, as a social change agent, working to promote and
improve teaching and learning effectiveness in sociology. In addition to holding major leadership positions at regional and national levels, she has published research on teaching in classrooms, given
workshops at regional and national conferences, served in positions that promote teaching, won numerous teaching awards for her leadership in teaching and learning, and worked on national projects
such as integrating data analysis and quantitative reasoning into the undergraduate curriculum and preparing future faculty. She was the first woman in North Carolina State to win the coveted Board of
Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009. She's been a member of the ASA Departmental Resources Group and has published numerous influential publications in SOTL. Her seminal work on SOTL
shows the knowledge of 25 years of a career devoted to effective teaching. So I'm happy to present to Maxine Atkinson the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. ATKINSON: I hate the Academy
Awards, but I'll take mine anyway. And I'll also take the opportunity to express my gratitude to those who truly share in my accomplishments. First, I'd like to thank the members of the Section on
Teaching and Learning for their expertise and the community of teaching scholars that they've created for us all. I'd also like to thank my faculty and graduate student colleagues at North Carolina
State. They've provided support and appreciation for my work as a teacher scholar. Finally, my family. When I don't live up to my own expectations, my historian husband is there with comfort and
encouragement. My son gives me perhaps the greatest of all gifts, inspiration. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are here today, providing the support and love that makes us family. As sociologists,
our teaching mission is to provide an education that focuses on the skills of discovery. Our jobs are to construct diverse opportunities for learning, to ask questions rather than providing all the
answers, to challenge rather than to dictate. We do provide students with practical skills, but also educate for personal growth and community engagement. This current economic crisis and the
political morass reminds us of the critical need for an educated population equipped to make ethical decisions and reasoned judgments. Sociologists make a difference. Our students are our first
publics, and teaching them matters. Thank you. MCROBERTS: The Distinguished Book Award is presented annually for a single book or monograph published in the three preceding calendar years. Please
welcome Marc Ventresca, as he presents this year's recipient. VENTRESCA: Hello. I am Mark Ventresca, and, actually, I'm standing in stead today for David Yeman(?) who was the committee chair. He
wasn't able to be here today, so it's my good fortune to be joining you all. I'm going to be presenting two recipients of the award, two books that were vetted out of about 60 books, and I'll just
present them briefly. I also want to just encourage people to be sure to nominate books for the book award. We typically have between 40 and 60 books a year, but we're always happy to have more and to
have a wider range of books represented. So please consider that as you think ahead. The two recipients are a book by Marion Fourcade, Economists and Societies: Disciplines and Profession in the
United States, Britain and France, 1890s to 1990s, and a book by Randall Collins, Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory. I'm going to talk just briefly about both books, and then we'll have a chance
to hear from the recipients. Fourcade's Economists and Societies motivates the classic sociological insight with comparative methods, rich, empirical sources, and a focus on the claims that economists
make to be to, that economics makes to be disciplinary knowledge and also to be a grounding for a social identity to inform policy and action. Fourcade argues that different societies create different
types of individuals, a familiar claim. She motivates this, though, in a very rich, comparative, and empirically judicious way. She explores how this occurs by examining the content and form of
economic knowledge, what economists do, and the kinds of social locations that economists hold in a number of different countries, specifically France, Britain, and the U.S. She also, though, adds
that long historical and temporal dimension to understand how those very conceptions shift over time and are reformulated under political, social, institutional exigencies. The book is rich for all in
sociology. Both books, I think, have enormous vitality. The award itself recognizes both craft, the potential for impact, and the kind of topicality, the richness of the topic. So the Fourcade book
gives us sort of a very clear analysis of the, if you will, the variety of economics that are exist, that exist. The Randall Collins book, Violence: a Micro-sociological Theory, begins with rich
social phenomena, again, of great interest and also a counter-intuitive hypothesis. He reminds us violence occurs in many, many forms, bullying, mugging, dueling, sniping, domestic abuse, you know,
soccer hooliganism, a wide range of kinds of violence. It's all around us, he says, or so it seems. And then the kind of claim, the critical insight is, if we, and this is a quote, if we consider that
every day a life unfolds in chains of situations, minute by minute, most of the time, there is very little violence. So that puzzle is at the core of this argument and the theory that he builds. He
notes that confrontational situations are common, but actual violence is rare in that sense of many, many micro interactions happen, but only a very few yield physical, actual physical violence. So
his argument how people avoid violence, then, is at least as interesting and important to understand as how they engage in it. And that's the core of the book. He argues violence, then he has a set
of, and this is a quote, a set of pathways around confrontational tension and fear. It is a path less traveled, and when it occurs, it is often quick and too often clumsily done. I think we'll hear
more about the arguments, actually, in Collins' presidential address just in this session, so I'll stop there. I will note, though, with this award, Randall Collins joins Charles Tilly as one of two
people who are two-time winners of the Distinguished Book Award. And, of course, Collins' prior book, The Sociology of Philosophies, won in 1999. So please join me in welcoming the two recipients.
FOURCADE: The serendipity of academic life, I am profoundly grateful to the Distinguished Book Award committee, not only for its humbling choice, but also for allowing me to share this very special
moment with Randall Collins. Few people will know that the very first catch of what was to become this book, I wrote for a class that a handful of impertinent graduate students had pressed Randy to
teach during his sabbatical leave semester at Harvard, his leave semester. So in a strange way, and maybe Randy doesn't remember that, but I do, so in a strange way, I would not be standing before you
right now without Randy's selflessness and appreciation for perilously ambitious topics. Economists and Societies compares and explains the trajectories of the discipline of economics in the United
States, the United Kingdom, and France over the last century. Now that may look as easy as pie to someone who has tackled the global history of philosophy from ancient China to the present West, but
it wasn't that easy, and the project only came together by relying liberally on the generosity and clarity of mind of a great, very great number of people. And I apologize that I cannot name you
because of my 60 seconds limit. So advisors, colleagues, friends, students, and editors, and last, but not least, I also want to thank the ingenious contribution of many trusting economists. One of
them is actually hiding in this room, hoping to pass as a sociologist or maybe hoping to be a sociologist. I don't know. Now they all have my deepest gratitude and affection. Thank you. COLLINS: Well,
I want to say to Marion there's nothing that teachers like better than to have their students succeed. You'll hear plenty from me in just a few minutes, so for now I'll just say, sociologically,
everything is a collective achievement, and so thanks to all. MCROBERTS: The W.E.B. DuBois Career Award of Distinguished Scholarship honors scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the
profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. Please welcome Ann Swidler, who will present this year's recipient. SWIDLER:
Harrison Collier White is perhaps the most influential sociologist of the last half century. Daring, original, and provocative, White has made transformative contributions to the study of
organizations, stratification, culture, and markets. His contributions, however, transcend specific subfields. Trained originally in physics, White re-imagined social organization, seeing structure
behind the buzz of social life. He transformed network analysis, stimulating new methods for capturing patterns of relationships. In identity and control, a magisterial work of social theory, White
envisions the dynamic and contingent interconnections of identities, stories, and structures that make up the social world. A world-renowned figure, White has influenced generations of students and
collaborators. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Harrison Collier White has earned the W.E.B. DuBois Career Award in recognition for
a lifetime of distinguished scholarship, extraordinary mentorship, and service to sociology. Peter Bearman will be accepting the award on behalf of Harrison Collier White. BEARMAN: So thanks, Ann, for
saying who I was. I was going to forget. Harrison couldn't make it to Las Vegas, and he asked that one of his students accept the award on his behalf, and that's me. Many of his students are here
today, and I'd like to ask them to stand, since it's impractical for all of us to crowd this stage. I know you're out there. Thank you. As Ann noted, much of the foundational work we do in the
discipline today would have been simply impossible without White's contributions to the study of social structure, the dynamics of mobility regimes, the structure of art worlds, and the world of
production markets, just to mention a few of the areas in which Harrison White worked. Like White, his students' work is diverse. We do not all agree on everything. Some of us, to use John Levy
Martin's words are, quote, weirdo, crypto structuralists. Some of us are just structuralists, and some of us are just weird. But all of us are deeply grateful for the lasting gift that Harrison gave
to us, which was his commitment to the absurd idea that he could learn from us and other sociologists. Harrison studied complex organizations, but he's never been an organizational man. He hasn't been
tied into the ASA, and because of that this long-due recognition of his work as a sociologist means a lot to him. He's deeply appreciative, and he's very sorry that he's unable to accept this award in
person today. In case you're wondering, the ASA nomination process, for those of you planning ahead, is not an easy one to navigate. In addition to the endorsement letters from his students, I want to
thank Andy Abbott, Howie Becker, Rob Sampson, and Randy Collins for writing, and most especially I want to thank Ann Swidler and her committee for using their position to signal that the discipline
has the capacity to recognize and endorse the revolutionary vision that Harrison White brought to sociology. Thank you very much. SNOW: Thank you, Omar, and all the award presenters for doing such an
effective job. I'd like all the awardees to stand and face your colleagues . . . please do that, and thank you. It's always both humbling and gratifying to be in the midst of such folks who have done
such special works. Thank you very much. I also want to remind you, immediately after President Collins' address, the reception that everyone is invited to. It's actually in the two rooms to my left,
so please plan to attend once Randy has completed his comments. It is both a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to introduce Randy Collins, the Dorothy Swaine Thomas professor of sociology
at the University of Pennsylvania and the 2011 President of the ASA. It is a privilege because Randy is the 106th president of our association, and it is an honor for me because Randy is one of the
smartest people and, clearly, one of the smartest sociologists I have met, both in terms of the depths and breadths of his knowledge and the impressive scope of his voluminous scholarship. Not only
has he written or edited more scholarly books, 19 or 18 in my last count, than most sociologists have published articles, but beginning with State and Society, published in 1968 with Reinhard Bendix,
through The Credential Society in 1979, Theoretical Sociology in 1968, Interaction Ritual in 2004, the previously mentioned Sociology Philosophy in 1998, to his 2008 Violence: a Micro-sociological
Theory, and co-winner of this year's Distinguished Scholarship Award, Randy's scholarship has addressed, in one fashion or another, most of the major substantive areas that together constitute what we
study. But also I found really impressive, in going through Randy's CV, was the number of these books that have been translated into a multitude of languages. So it's clear we not only read Collins
and have been for sometime here in the U.S., but his many works are also being read throughout the globe. And since one of the things we all do, some more than others, but we all do it, is we teach.
And his breadth of scholarship is reflected in the range of courses that he has taught. Listen to the listing of courses. Sociological theory, social conflict, economic and network sociology,
micro-sociology and social interaction, sociology of emotions, sociology of religion, sociology of science, sociology of culture, sociology of sex, social change, historical and comparative sociology,
qualitative methods, stratification, formal organization, introductory sociology, and literary theory. Wow. If some department is trying to cut back and need to hire one person, Randy can do the job.
In a profession in which the vast majority of us are niche specialists, Randy, clearly, is one of our true renaissance scholars and, I fear, one of a dying breed. So please join with me in welcoming
Randy Collins, our president, to the podium to hear his address. COLLINS: All right. Oops. Are we on? Go back. There we go. The basic principle of social conflict was stated more than 100 years ago by
Georg Simmel and elaborated 50 years later by Lew Coser. External conflict increases group solidarity. But conflict also causes, but solidarity also causes conflict. Solidarity is a key weapon in
conflict. Groups with solidarity are more capable of mobilizing and fighting. And groups that already have very intense solidarity are especially sensitive to threats to their boundaries. We can see
the mechanism on the micro level. Here is a model of interaction ritual that you won't be able to read unless you're in the first couple of rows. But some of you have seen it before. The boxes on the
left are the three major ingredients. Conflict raises the level of each. Face-to-face interaction is crucial so that micro signals and emotions can be sent back and forth. And threat motivates people
to assemble. In ordinary interactions, mutual focus of attention and shared emotions drive each other upwards by a feedback loop. Conflict is one of the most powerful ways of doing this by ensuring
everyone is paying attention to the enemy and to one's own combatants and victims. And anger and fear towards the enemy is one of the strongest and most contagious emotions. On the right side of the
model are three major outcomes of successful interaction ritual. Group solidarity, as Durkheim said, makes one willing to sacrifice oneself for the group. Interaction ritual also produces idealized
symbols of membership, identification of good and evil, with the boundary of the group, and it produces high emotional energy, that is confidence and enthusiasm. In conflict, emotional energy takes
the form of courage, feeling strength in the group and belief that we will win in the end. These outcomes are highest when the interaction ritual is at its most intense. Interaction ritual is a set of
variables, and we're going to trace their rise and fall over time. Conflict theory is not the opposite of a theory of human ideals, social cooperation, and solidarity. We don't have a sentimental good
theory of human beings on one hand and a cynical conflict theory on the other. It's all part of the same theory. We now have a series of feedback loops, and I'm going to add some more. Conflict and
solidarity cause each other to rise, and thus we have the familiar spiral of conflict escalation, plus we add what I will call the atrocities polarization loop. Atrocities are actions by the opponent
that we perceive as especially hurtful and evil, a combination of physical and moral offense that we found outrageous. Atrocities generate righteous anger, and especially Durkheimian emotion, bringing
about the empirative feeling that we must punish the perpetrators, not just for ourselves, but as a matter of principle. The atrocities loop starts already at the level of conflict talk. This is very
apparent in small-scale conflicts such as arguments and trash talking that precedes fights. Conflict talk is a combination of insulting the other, boasting about one's own power, and making threats.
On the micro level, a lot of this is only Gothmanian, front-stage performance. But in an escalating situation, partisans take it as real. We remember our opponent's worst utterances and repeat them
among ourselves to keep up the emotional stimulus for our own high solidarity ritual. In gossip, as in politics, negatives are remembered much more strongly than positives. We take enemy threats
literally and visualize them as future atrocities that will happen to us. And as time goes along, stories about atrocities, about the atrocities the enemy has carried out circulate, mobilizing more
people onto our side, increasing the size of our interaction ritual. As conflicts escalate over time, some of the atrocities turn out to be real, but some of them are only rumors, and many are
exaggerated. During the period of escalation, it is difficult to distinguish between rumors and realities, and in the heightened interaction ritual, no one is interested in this distinction when
conflict turns violent. However, I would like to emphasize that there are several sociological reasons why atrocities really do occur. The most important point documented in my work on the micro
sociology of violence is that violence is generally incompetent and imprecise. Combat is supposed to have its rules, and tough guys believe that there are ways to carry out fair fights. But as we
closely observe violence in micro interaction, the dominant reality is that fighters are full of confrontational tension and fear. This photo is from the Palestinian Intifada, but it is typical of the
thousands of photos now available worldwide. Body postures are tense. Facial expressions most commonly show fear. Fighters are pumped up with adrenalin and cortisol. Their hearts are beating around
160 beats per minute, where fine motor coordination is lost. As a result, combatants often hit the wrong target, whether by friendly fire, hitting their own side, or by hitting innocent bystanders.
Moreover, the most successful tactic in real life violence is for a stronger or more heavily armed side to attack a weaker victim. In brawls, gang fights, and riots, almost all the damage is done by a
small group that manages to find an isolated victim. Thus, most violence is easily perceived as an atrocity to be avenged by further violence, which the other side, in turn, also perceives as
atrocity. The ideal fair fight between evenly matched individuals does happen, but only in carefully arranged duels or exhibitions. Such fair fights are not regarded as atrocities and do not result in
escalation, which proves my point by comparison. Finally, the most dramatic kind of atrocities are what I have called forward panic, an emotional frenzy of piling on and overkill that happens when a
group engaged in prolonged confrontation suddenly finds the momentum shifting in their favor. Here, two Israeli soldiers had the bad luck to drive their Jeep into a Palestinian funeral procession for
a young boy killed the day before by Israeli troops. The outraged crowd chased the soldiers into a building and killed them. In the photo, one of the killers waives his bloodstained hands to the crowd
below, who cheer and wave back. Their faces show joy and solidarity, entrainment in the act of killing. I might add, this is a real rapid emotional switch. It will be, you know, tension and fear at
the moment when you're fighting, but after you've won, after you've killed them, all right, if there's a focus group around it, you'll get this, the group celebration. From the Israeli side, this is
an atrocity. For the Palestinians, it is an intensely moral interaction ritual. Atrocities on one side cause atrocities in response. Neither side sees their own actions as atrocities because of
ideological polarization. Polarization is an intensification of the Durkheimian process of identifying the group with good and evil as what is outside the boundary of the group. Intense conflict
unifies the group in a tribalistic ritual, giving the palpable feeling that Durkheim argued is the source of the sacred, the base for the social construction of good and evil. As conflict escalates,
polarization increases. The enemy is evil, unprincipled, stupid, ugly, ridiculous, cowardly, and weak, negative in every respect. Our side becomes increasingly perceived as good, principled,
intelligent, brave, and all the other virtues. Polarization is the source of many aspects of conflict that, in calmer perspective, we would regard as immoral and irrational. Polarization causes
atrocities. Because we feel completely virtuous, everything we do is good, whether it be torture, mutilation, or massacre. And because at high polarization the enemy is completely evil, they deserve
what is done to them. Genocidal massacres, like Rwanda in 1994, start with the buildup of emotional polarization, broadcasting the threat that the enemy of atrocities the enemy has already carried out
or is about to carry out if we do not forestall them. Similar processes apply to the tortures carried out by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib in the atmosphere of small group ritualism and, indeed, hilarity
expressing intense emotional solidarity against a humiliated enemy. Polarization is the dark shadow of the highest levels of successful interaction ritual. The more intense the feeling of goodness,
the easier it is to commit evil. The second consequence of polarization is to escalate and prolong conflict. Even if a realistic assessment might show that further conflict is unwinnable or that it
costs would be too great, periods of high polarization keep partisans from seeing this. Because of polarization, both sides perceive themselves as strong and the enemy as ultimately weak. Therefore,
we expect to win. The poster represents the Soviet viewpoint during the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. It depicts the American General McArthur as a blind man about to walk off a cliff. If you
look closely, you'll notice the little toy-like device in his hand. It is an atomic bomb, which, at the time, only the Americans had as an operational weapon. The following cartoon shows the American
viewpoint, caricaturing Stalin as a buffoon blowing up from his own actions. At such moments, polarization sets the framework in which rational calculation takes place. Both sides regard an imminent
war as winnable. The extent to which conflict can escalate depends not only on emotional processes but on numbers of participants and resources. Longer lasting conflicts require further feedback
loops. As a group, a group needs to mobilize its members. For major conflict, it needs sympathizers and allies. This is done by activating prior network ties and by making exchange partners feel it is
not only in their interest to join us, but that it is morally imperative to do so. Partisans try to mobilize the network by appealing to ideals, shouting what virtues we represent and, above all, by
circulating atrocity stories showing how evil the other side is. The process of recruiting allies is done by spreading emotional polarization to others who are not originally involved. A typical move
is to magnify the enemy threat to include everyone. This poem was circulated and recirculated in a cascade of e-mails received by ASA officials and others this past January 2011, one of the things
that made it interesting to the ASA president. The mobilization lasted a little bit more than a week and began with stories that death threats were being made against one of our members, a sociologist
abricating(?) militant action by welfare recipients. These death threats were supposed to have come from the followers of the conservative television commentator who accused her of fermenting violence
and socialism. In short, a polarization, which had already been going on between these ideological opponents, was now looking for allies. As it turned out, these death threats had been going on
sporadically over the past year, and there was nothing imminent about to happen. And, in fact, as police reports show, and I mean this generally, overt death threats are a disruptive tactic and are
virtually never carried out. Real assassination attempts do not announce themselves in advance. But the nature of the e-mail list serves, a new weapon for conflict mobilization, made it possible to
create a sudden cascade. Each message carried a long list of recipients and a tail of previous messages, giving the impression that a large and growing number of persons were taking part in the demand
for action. This flurry of e-mails created a new kind of interaction ritual generating its own rhythm that accelerated for several days as the messages became more frequent. I don't know whether any
of you can read this very far in the back. Do you want me to read it? Yes? Okay. They came first for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade
unions, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me, and by that time, there was no one
left to speak up. Now the poem, the tone of the message is one of desperate urgency for action. The poem, which came from the 1930s, implies that if we don't take action, we will end up in a Nazi
concentration camp. The action that was being demanded was that we should join in signing a petition, and especially the ASA should take the lead in this. And, in fact, in a few days, current ASA
officials, that's Erik Wright and Evie Nicado Glad(?) hurriedly got around and got out a statement. And then, lo and behold, we got, for about 24 hours, we got a bunch of excited hate mail from the
right wing, and then suddenly everybody forgot about it. So you learned something about the, you know, timing of things in the Internet age. Among the things we learn is that peaks of ideological
polarization depend on a sudden acceleration and a circular flow of communications, creating a virtual interaction ritual, even at a distance. And, of course, we also learn there's always room for
micro sociological observation of whatever goes on around us. So keep your eyes open on the pattern of the Internet age because it has a social pattern to it, and if we stop oohing and ahhing about
the novelty of it, we can start seeing the pattern. I will add on more quote from this e-mail cascade because it illustrates something else. It illustrates the pattern of mobilizing, that mobilizing
allies in a conflict includes attempt to drive out neutrals by declaring that polarization boundary is absolutely dichotomous. And the quote says the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in
time of crisis remain neutral. Dante. Now it is typical of the polarization process not to be overly careful about preciseness. Dante did not say this, and if you've read Dante's Inferno, you will
know the lowest circle of hell is reserved not for neutrals but, no surprise, Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ, who went over to the enemy. But this is a rhetorical move. It is generically the
same as a militant slogan we used to say during the civil rights rallies in the '60s. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. It is an attempt to push those who have a positive
network connection with us into intensifying their commitment. It is not a tactic that will succeed with those who are more distant, and it is a tactic that appears during the early phases of intense
polarization. Later in a conflict, as we will see, if conflict is going to be negotiated, it is precisely those neutrals who are in a position to reduce polarization and bring about deescalation. It
is predictable whether third parties become allies on one side or another, and with what degree of enthusiasm or reluctance or whether they remain neutral. As Donald Black shows in The Social
Structure of Right and Wrong, it depends on the network position and social distance from both sides. If seeking allies and forcing out neutrals is successful, we add them to our coalition. This
supports the last component of the process, mobilizing material resources, up there at the upper left corner. These include the number of activists, fighters, and supporters who take part in the
effort. Money, as you well know, from fundraising campaigns, full-time organization, if the conflict is going to last for any considerable period of time, and weapons if the conflict is going to be
violent. All right. We already said that. Okay. One of the things that varies among conflicts is how much of their resources come from outside allies. I think I'll just . . . back there. In the era of
uprisings of 2011, some have relied heavily on outside intervention, notably, Libya. We will see what difference it makes if resources are mostly external or mostly internal and whether they are
military, economic, or communicative, such as journalistic sympathy and Internet activity. This is just another way of saying there are really plenty of opportunities for ongoing research about, you
know, how these processes work. We now have the full model. All these processes are happening on both sides of the conflict simultaneously, so we need to model them twice. This gives us two
interlinked flow charts, each escalating in response to the other, hence, my title C Escalation to emphasize counter escalation. They're both escalating at the same time. Now so that's the end of part
one. It's the basic model. I'm now going to try to set it in motion and show the kinds of things that can happen. Notice that all the feedback loops in the model are positive. If we do a computer
simulation, this model would simply escalate to infinity. What keeps this from happening in reality? Two processes introduce negative values into the variables. One process is victory or defeat, which
is asymmetrical. One side goes positive, and the other goes negative or, at any rate, goes negative at different rates. The other process is deescalation. All right. Moves against the enemy are
attempts to destroy their major variables that support their ability to carry out the conflict. So, you know, just to give you a little bit of the roadmap, the next set is going to be about how
victory and defeat fit into this model. And then we're going to go to the de-escalation path, which, obviously, is an alternative. You can't win or lose, then you may get to de-escalation. Okay. So
three main paths in, I've shown them all here simultaneously. The, and to show them separately, you can attack the enemy's group solidarity. This can be done by breaking up their organization or by
taking their initiative or momentum, thereby putting them in a passive or indecisive position. In terms of micro sociology, it means dominating the emotional attention space. The second path is to
attack the enemy's material base, physically destroying their resources. The third path is to attack enemy logistics, their supply lines, cutting them off from moving people, supplies, and weapons to
sustain the conflict. I'll illustrate this from a more elaborate model of victory or defeat in military battle, and while I take a sip here, I'll let you memorize this flowchart. Actually, hopefully,
all flowcharts are the, they're understandable if you can walk through them in a reasonably, you know, clear fashion. So let's see whether we can do it or not. War is one of the most extreme forms of
conflict, but in modified form, the general patterns apply to both conflicts. This flowchart has two main pathways. So on the top is the material pathway. It starts out with material resources, which
in the case of armed conflict, are the numbers of troops and weapons, the logistics to deliver them into action. The result is the actual fighting, the firepower that's delivered, and then over on the
right, eventually, casually is an overall attrition. Now I'm going to run through it again with the bottom level. The bottom level is the social-emotional pathway, starting with morale, which is to
say emotional energy in group solidarity. Napoleon famously said that in war, morale is to the material as three to one. Now why is this the case? I argue that superior morale largely affects the
ability to maneuver and to rapidly respond to enemy maneuvers without losing one's coherence. The key point in my model is that victory comes chiefly through breaking down enemy organization rather
than destroying their army by firepower. So, you know, without you memorizing all the elements of the model that the main takeaway message here is that, although up there in the, you know, in the
middle sector, you see assault is mostly being affected by the material conditions. The, on the whole, in combat, people in combat are really no more competent than they are in fistfights, really. And
people can withstand physical assault. What they can't stand is a breakdown of their morale in their organization. And so the key point is that victory comes chiefly from breaking down enemy
organization rather than destroying them by sheer firepower. In asymmetrical battles, organizational breakdown happens to one side, while the other side retains its organization. And breakdown
precedes the bulk of the casualties. I'll say it again. Breakdown first, then you start getting killed. That is, most casualties happen after it's broken down. Defeated troops have lost their
solidarity and their ability to resist, and this is when they get killed or captured. We see the same process on the micro level. In the photo taken during the overthrow of the Serbian Nationalist
leader, Milosevic, in the year 2000, we see a typical pattern in riots. Four men are attacking one, who is covering his head and trying to escape. But notice that the retreating soldier is the only
one with the gun. The pistol is still in his holster. Physically, he has superior force. The other, he could kill the others, if he could just get his courage up to turn around. He can't turn around.
He is isolated from support. He has lost momentum. Emotional dominance precedes and determines physical dominance. The pattern is documented in all areas of the micro sociology of violence. We come
now to a series of slides showing how conflict can deescalate. In winning or losing, it is a matter of how one side successfully attacks the key components of the enemy's ability to escalate. In
deescalation, the variables fall for a variety of reasons, now necessarily from opponent's action. And this happens at a rate where both sides lose their ability to sustain the conflict. First,
solidarity may fail because people avoid the conflict. Small-scale quarrels and fights are especially likely to deescalate in this way, as most people stay out of a fight. That's the empirical
observation. On a larger scale, a movement may fail to keep up attendance at demonstrations. The conflict group may remain isolated and small. It is also possible that the enemy attack can break up
the group or prevent its supporters for assembling. Second, violent conflict has a, violent conflict, as compared to other kinds of conflict, has a special difficulty to overcome, confrontational
tension and fear in face-to-face photos. This photo shows Palestinian boys at the moment they are throwing rocks at Israeli forces. Their facial expressions fit Paul Eichmann's coding scheme for the
emotion of fear. Notice that only a small number of those in the picture are actually performing any violence. This is also typical of virtually all close observation of fighting. Most of the group is
incapacitated by fear. My book on violence gives the micro situational conditions under which the barrier of confrontational tension is broken through into successful violence. But here I want to
emphasize another point. In the great majority of violence threatening situations, it does not come off. Most violence does not escalate because it does not get past this point. Most face-to-face
threats consist of bluster, angry words, and gestures. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because many fights become stalled at the point of mutual equilibrium. This photo is one of my favorites. It
shows an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian militant in angry confrontation on the Temple Mount, the scene of many bloody incidents, but not this day. The angry quarrel eventually subsided without
further escalation. The details of how to avoid escalation are visible here. Both sides exactly mirror the other's gestures and emotional intensity. And you can go through this from, you know, top of
head all the way down to the, you know, the waistline, and you will see this is remarkable mirroring of each other. Neither one escalates ahead of the other. That's really the kind of crucial element
of timing that will bring about deescalation. Neither side has established domination of the emotional field. Neither has the emotional energy advantage, and eventually their EE fails, falls off. This
is practical advice from micro sociology. You can keep a confrontation from escalating by keeping it at the level of stalled repetition until it deescalates, quite literally, from boredom. Boredom is
your friend. Third, the entire set of feedback loops among solidarity, polarization, and conflict can become deescalated through emotional burnout. This is an area we're just beginning to research,
the time dynamics of various kinds of conflict. Conflict produces solidarity, but how long will it last? Right after the 9/11/2001 attacks, I realized this would be an opportunity to find out. The
first two days people acted shocked and bewildered, but on the third day they hit on a collective response, displaying American flags on cars, windows, and clothing. I counted the number of flags in
various places, repeating observations for over a year. The first two weeks were an explosion of flag displaying, rapidly reaching its peak. These symbols of the group remained at a plateau for three
months, at which point there began to be discussions. Is it okay to take our flags down now? After three months, solidarity displays begin to dissipate, falling off into a distinctly minority
expression by six months, with occasional blips thereafter on commemorative dates. Solidarity over time has the shape of a fireworks rocket, very rapid ascent, a lengthy plateau, and slow dissipation.
The actual length of these time patterns may well vary with different kinds of conflict and with some other variables. Here, we need more comparative research. The three-month plateau and six-months
dissipation fits such things as popularity spikes for political leaders at times of dramatic turning points, i.e., conflicts on the sides of entire(?) nations. There are other correlates such as the
suppression of descent that happens during the explosion phase and the tendency towards atrocities and paranoid rumors during the three-month plateau. Wars are almost always greeted by an initial
burst of enthusiasm, which wanes within six months. Not to say that wars can't continue longer, but they enter into another emotional phase, increasingly just grinding it through, accompanied by
internal, emotional splits that I will discuss shortly. Smaller scales of conflict, such as social movements, and then smaller yet riots and contentious assemblies, on down to brawls and quarrels
among very small numbers of people, they all have specific time dynamics of their own. I suspect that the shape of the curve may be similar for successfully escalated conflicts, rapid explosion,
plateau, slow dissipation, but the sum lasts for weeks or even only days instead of months or maybe even for just hours and minutes. A preliminary hypothesis is that the size of the group that becomes
successfully mobilized determines how long the entire sequence takes. Fourth, oops, we now shift to the left side of the model, and I hope we haven't shaken up, I have shaken up this . . . oh, no. All
right. We needed some comic relief at this moment, and I need some caffeine. I don't need that. I need something to keep my throat going here. All right. Well, that's a sign we're getting well past
the halfway point here and close to the cleanup phase. All right. Fourth, the left side of the model, where material and larger macro conditions come in. Tada. Thank you. You take . . . don't open
that. All right. Conflict may deescalate because material resources are no longer able to sustain it. That's what I was feeling like, oh, I've got to drink some more Coke, or I won't get through this.
This may happen because the resource base is exhausted or because logistics channels failed to deliver the goods to the frontline activists. Wars wind down when it becomes materially impossible to
carry it on. More precisely, if both sides wind down resources at approximately the same rate, since a big disparity between the sides gives one of them the opportunity for victory. At a smaller
scale, riots tend to be short, easily confined to a few days because rioters have to go home and eat and eventually get back to their economic routines. And small-scale conflicts lack the
institutionalized resources to deliver material resources. And that keeps, and that's a key way in which they're different from larger conflicts, such as wars and social movements. Oh, all right,
that's, no, I need to stay here. In principle, the third route, which is that one, the third route and the fourth route are really the opposite of each other. In the former, material resources to keep
on fighting may still exist, but the participants are emotionally burned out. In the latter, they may still want to go on, but, materially, they can't. Now these are ideal types, and they interact in
various ways. Like Napoleon's three-to-one ratio of morale to material, it may be the case that if we can measure this, the emotional burnout path, indeed, the whole set of deescalation processes on
the right side of the model, tend to outweigh the material route on the left, unless you get a, you know, a really enormous material shift. Okay. Fifth, and finally, the alliances which earlier
supported a conflict fall away. Here, neutrals reappear. As Donald Black and Mark Cooney have shown in their work on third parties, neutrals equidistant from both sides, while maintaining contact with
both, are in the crucial position to negotiate the steps that will eventually bring disengagement. Neutrals, despised at the beginning, now take the idealistic high ground, and the mutual atrocities
accumulated during the conflict begin to cast a pall on continuing polarization. Much of what I said about deescalating conflict can be put in terms of micro theory. Here, again, is the interaction
ritual model, which I used earlier to show how conflict generates solidarity during the escalation phase. During deescalation, the variables go into reverse. Instead of assembling the group, it
becomes dispersed. Mutual focus of attention is broken as individuals pay more attention to nonmembers of the conflict group. Worse yet, they may even fraternize with the enemy. An emotional burnout
is the opposite of collective effervescence, reducing the shared emotional mood. On the outcome side, group solidarity declines. And since solidarity is the source of idealism, individuals become less
willing to sacrifice themselves for the group. Symbols of membership lose their intensity. Ideological polarization declines. The opponent becomes perceived as less demonic. Our images of ourselves
become less omni-righteous, less puffed up with our own virtues and omnipotence, and emotional energy falls away. Since high EE means high confidence and enthusiasm, we lose confidence in our cause
and pursue it with less energy. We are less exalted by the group, returning to the pragmatics of everyday life. I'm going to risk opening this bottle. As we near the end, I want to emphasize a
contradiction between the middle part of my theory and the latter part. The middle is asymmetrical. It is what one side attempts to do in order to gain victory, to impose defeat on the other. The
latter part is symmetrical. Deescalation happens when both sides undergo degradation of their emotional and material resources at a rate equal enough so that both become willing to end the conflict.
This is a contradiction in real life, not just in theory. As the deescalating processes increase, the main obstacle to peace becomes those participants who feel they can still win. Thus, in the later
phase of a protracted conflict, a new set of factions appears. On one side, the hardliners or militants, the victory faction. On the other, the peace party, the negotiators, the deescalators. As we
see in recent discussion about the Iraq and Afghanistan war, the reasons of the peace faction or disengagement faction could be a mixture of ideals, burnout, and material costs. The motives and ideals
of the war faction are also mixed, but above all, the war faction clings to the emotions and ideals of the phase of high solidarity at the early part of the conflict. This new level of conflict
muddies the purity of the near universal solidarity at the beginning of the conflict. The conflict between victory faction and peace faction can go either way. Think of Churchill and Roosevelt in
World War II or the disgruntlements of U.S. foreign policies from the Vietnam War to the present. I'm not preaching about this one way or the other, but stressing an analytical point. If the strength
of the various processes in the conflict model remain fluctuating long enough within a central range, this internal conflict will emerge. Theory should give us the conditions for whether the militants
or the compromisers prevail. Oh, that's still here. Sorry. On a theoretical level, a key point is that external conflict generates emergent lines of internal conflict. Hardliners and compromisers are
not the same thing as left and right. They are not rooted in preexisting identities such as classes or religions or ethnicities. They come into being because of the time dynamics of conflict itself.
They are, so to speak, latent possibilities in the structure of conflict space over time. Hardliners and compromisers do not easily fit into ideological categories, but in the latter phase of a
prolonged conflict, it is this axis that takes over the center of attention. This is the time period for the angriest accusations about traitors and sellouts and counter-accusations of blind
fanaticism. More advanced theory of conflict will tell us more about the process of emergent factionalization, conflict creating its own identities as it goes along, based more on tactics than on
ideologies and interests. We are beginning to see this, for instance, in Andrew Walder's work on Chinese Red Guard factions and in Stephan Klusman's(?) work on splits and mergers among revolutionary
movements as they struggle for dominance in revolutionary attention space. Conclusion. We're not just theorists and researchers. We live through such conflicts ourselves. Does being aware of
sociological processes help us navigate the real world? This is the most popular poem to come out of World War I. It was written by a Canadian soldier killed on the Western Front in the last year of
the war. It's a sentimental poem, maudlin, hokey. It's not true that men are unemotional. They're just emotional about different things than women. Men are sentimental about violence. And so I'll try
to read this. In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row. We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow. Now we lie in Flanders fields. Take up our
quarrel with the foe. To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high. If you break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields. The poem
reenacts the most effective of all conflict rituals, the funeral of a dead comrade. I have photos of motorcycle police mourning a fellow cop shot in action. They look like the photos of Hell's Angels
at their funeral procession, the same as photos of gang members making their gang signs over the grave of one killed in a drive by. The message is the same. Solidarity with the dead, keep the fight
going. If you break faith with us who die, I can't say it without getting into the spirit of it. What counts as losses for the deescalators are turned into symbols of our unstoppable drive towards
victory. I come down on being a sociologist. If there's anything we have to offer, it is clarity about a complex and dynamic situation. Polarization is the great enemy. It is false clarity, false
simplification to one bundle in which we pack all the negative stereotypes about our opponents, and another bundle in which we pack self-righteous praise of our collective selves. Polarization is
thinking through the categories of our insults. It makes for poor sociology, and, generally, it makes for unrealistic and inhumane action. Yes, sometimes we have to plunge into the phase of escalation
and polarization if we hope to win and make changes in the world, although, there are always unintended consequences. But we need to be aware of what we're getting into and be ready to pull ourselves
back into sociological clarity when the first emotional binge is over. Above all, we have to be sociological about our ideals. Our own is everyone else's. Ideals are part of social reality.
Interaction rituals make us ideal-making creatures, attached to our symbols. But ideals and solidarity are the strongest weapons of conflict, and the main forces that drive conflict in the C
escalation phase. Ironically, ideals and conflict, ideals and principles make conflict work. Worse, merely pragmatic and self-interested conflict is easier to negotiate. In the deescalation process,
solidarity and ideals are the greatest obstacles. That is what sociological sophistication is about. Thank you very much.