A couple of people have asked what I'm doing with myself now that I'm going to be done with my degree. So...
My program is a masters degree only program. This was deliberate, for a lot of reasons, on my part, but this post is already going to be long. I'm going to have an MA in sociology once I successfully defend my thesis.
Next year, I'm going to be teaching a local community college, in their faculty training program. I'm very very excited. I'll get the chance to really focus on my teaching and really improve it, with a heck of a lot of mentoring. I'll get to do what I liked doing with a population I like working with. This is fantastic.
What happens after that? Well, there are three ways that this could go.
1. I get a full time community college instructor position. I sit on my masters degree, teach the rest of my life, and eventually retire. :) [this option will involve adjuncting until such time as I get hired FT somewhere.]
2. I can't get a full time teaching position (there are not that many full time line items around here; adjuncts are cheaper. You almost have to wait for someone to die or retire, though the CC system is going to grow) or my chair's predictions turn out to be accurate and I get bored. Thus...
2a. I apply to phd school in both anthropology and sociology, go wherever I get in/get offered the better deal, earn a phd, and then use it to get a full-time teaching position as a local private college focussed on teaching (I could take my phd and try to get a job at a public university, but I don't want to tenure track, and if I don't want to TT, I'm stuck with one and three year contract visiting appointments at public universities. And besides, there are more CCs than unis around here) or to be more hireable at a CC. From this standpoint, anthro would make more sense, as I could teach both soc AND anthro, making me twice as useful.
Down sides of this: being geographically bound, I have three choices: Carolina, State, or Duke. I do not want to do my phd at State. It's a good program, but it's quantitative and research driven, and I'd go batshit there. I have no idea what my odds of getting into either Carolina or Duke are.
2b. I apply (and with luck, get into) the education program at my school, in the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching with a Specialization in Cultural Studies. I combine adjuncting, assistantships, and whatever else to pay my bills while I'm doing it. When I'm done, I then start applying for professional academic jobs (such as running programs for first generation college students, running advising centers, that kind of things) and either go full-time over into administration, or leverage myself into a half-time admin, half-time teaching position.
If I went this route, I would end up with at least 4 more years of grad school (it's a 60 hour program), which I'm not sure I'm at all interested in. However, the program itself is very interesting, and focused on issues I'm interested in. I hear good things about it, from people in my department and people in ed.
However, I could apply for administrative jobs without the phd, which may be what ends up happening if option one doesn't come through in a couple years. It is not uncommon in the academic world for people that can't get hired as full time teachers to end up in administration - after all, you're still working with students, just in different ways. The phd would make me more hireable as a high muckety muck, and more qualified in general for administrative jobs, however.
So, yea. I have a strong preference for option number 1, then 2b, then 2a last last last, but I really don't know what I want to do. Also, a lot of it depends on forces external to me. Liking what I do, doing something in academia, and staying in this area trump all other concerns.
So, yea. Whee.