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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A scholar by any other name....

As you can tell from the title of this blog, my key scholarly interest (some would say 'obsession') is with "accountability" in all its many and varied forms and functions. Lately I've been working on putting together an international meeting on that topic to be held in Belfast this coming October. Thinking about folks to invite as possible speakers, I tried to track down two sociologists -- Marvin B. Scott and Stanford M. Lyman -- whose co-authored 1966 article on 'Accounts' is without doubt one of the most important academic studies on the subject.

It turns out that Scott retired from his Hunter College/CUNY position in 2001, and that is where that trail ended. Sadly, Lyman died of pancreatic cancer in 2003. For many years he was a member of the New School Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, and at the time of his death he held a named chair at Florida Atlantic University. Interestingly, neither of the obituaries written by the New School and FAU press offices mention the 'Accounts' article, despite its being among the most cited pieces in the field of sociology. And for good reason, for Lyman's accomplishments as a world class scholar went well beyond that particular work.

But what stood out among all the facts garnered from the obituaries was the information about his siblings. It seems that Stanford was survived by his twin sister, Sylvia, and three brothers: Harvard, Princeton and Elliot. In addiiton, the New School obit adds that a "fourth brother, Yale Lyman, passed away before him."

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