Author: Brereton, Ajalon

Laura Bunyan: Pop-Up Food Pantry at UConn Stamford

Check out UConn Today’s recent article “Pop-Up Food Pantry at UConn Stamford Aims to Curb Food Insecurity” featuring Assistant Professor in Residence, Laura Bunyan’s, work with Katharine Vartuli ’23 (CLAS)  to provide food to those in need. The pop-up pantry  is a hands-on project that came about at the suggestion of colleagues and after talking with organizers of a pantry at Norwalk Community College.

UConn Junior Named a Truman Scholar

Congratulations to Irene Soteriou ’23 (CLAS) who has been recently named a Truman Scholar with the help of mentoring from Professor of Sociology, Bradley Wright. Check out the article here. 

*Excerpt from Article*

“Working with Dr. Wright was illuminating in that it opened my eyes to the possibility of leading a life of intentionality and purpose without compromising on sustainability,” says Soteriou. “His mentorship motivated me to consider ways in which I could more creatively utilize resources uniquely accessible to me at UConn so as to leave a tangible impact in spaces that hold great meaning to my community, and he showed me that it was feasible to carve out a path towards a long-lasting career that I find deeply fulfilling.”

Darrell Irwin: Russian Disinformation Campaign Targeted Ukraine

UConn Today featured Assistant Professor of Sociology, Darrell Irwin, in "Report: Russian Disinformation Campaign Targeted Ukraine, Other Countries During Pandemic." The article discusses Professor Irwin's involvement with research to counter Russian sourced disinformation efforts directed at the state health sector and its COVID-19 response and vaccine hesitation in Kazakhstan, Georgia and the Ukraine.


*Excerpt from Article*

Irwin was a consultant on a December report put out by The Critical Mass, “Contaminated Trust: Public Health Disinformation and its Societal Impacts in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine,” that looked at the dissemination of Russian disinformation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia during the pandemic.

The study, which was conducted from February to August last year, relied on in-country civilian volunteers, journalists, and medical professionals who logged their media consumption and submitted to in-depth interviews during a time when the pandemic raged and vaccines were shunned in the three countries.

Christin Munsch: Residential Fellow at CASBS

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Christin Munsch has been invited to be a residential fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University during the 2022–23 academic year to work on a monograph that extends her work on “masculinity contest cultures” (MCCs) to academic social science and other professional contexts characterized by waning horizontal segregation and persistent vertical segregation. The book draws on findings from four methodologically diverse studies, currently underway, and is tentatively organized around three parts. Part 1 advances a theory of hybridly masculine occupations by describing academic social science in terms of gendered occupational defaults (e.g., rules, norms, expectations) that shift across the prescribed career trajectory. In general, this trajectory continues to reflect and reward men’s bodies and lived experiences, while selectively incorporating elements of femininity and non-hegemonic masculinities, particularly at earlier career stages. Part 2 considers the implications of this structure for both individual social scientists and the work they produce. Specifically, it attracts women and other minorities to the profession--while inflicting increasing levels of physical, emotional, and economic violence--sustaining macro-level patterns of gender inequality. It also leads to slower rates of socially beneficial discovery and diminished societal benefits. Part 3 offers recommendations for revamping professional structures and cultures.

Jane Pryma- “Technologies of Expertise: Opioids and Pain Management’s Credibility Crisis”

Read Assistant Professor of Sociology Jane Pryma’s recent article titled, “Technologies of Expertise: Opioids and Pain Management’s Credibility Crisis” in The American Sociological Review. Pryma discusses the reasoning for the


Journalistic accounts of the opioid crisis often paint prescription opioids as the instrument of profit-minded pharmaceutical companies who enlisted pain specialists to overprescribe addictive drugs. Broadening beyond a focus on pharmaceutical power, this article offers a comparative-historical explanation, rooted in inter- and intra-professional dynamics, of the global increase in rates of opioid prescribing. Through archival analysis and in-depth interviews with pain specialists and public-health officials in the United States and France, I explain how and why opioids emerged as the “right tool for the job” of pain relief in the 1980s and 1990s, affecting how pain science is produced, pain management is administered, and a right to pain relief is promised in different national contexts. I argue that opioids, selected and destigmatized as the technology for pain relief, helped establish a global network of pain expertise, linking a fledgling field of pain specialists to the resources of global-health governance, public-health administration, humanitarian organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. I then compare how U.S. and French pain specialists leveraged opioids to strengthen the boundaries of their emergent fields. Pain specialists’ differing degrees of autonomy in each country’s network of pain expertise shaped the extent to which opioids could dominate pain management and lead to crisis. Tracing the relationship between opioids and pain expertise, I show how technologies can drive crises of expert credibility if and when they escape the control of the networked fields that selected them.