Noel Cazenave: “Accusations about teaching ‘critical race theory’ in Connecticut often lack evidence”

June 14, 2021

Professor Noel Cazenave was cited in the recent Hartford Courant article, "Accusations about teaching 'critical race theory' in Connecticut often lack evidence, used as a vehicle for broader attacks on equity and inclusion."



Recent outcry over critical race theory is a manifestation of white conservative backlash to the racial justice movement that gained surging support in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, said Noel A. Cazenave, a professor of sociology at UConn.

The furor can also be linked to intense condemnation by conservatives of The New York Times’ “1619 Project” — which examines how slavery shaped America’s founding — and the school curriculum it generated in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

“What we’re seeing today is that no matter what word you use, it’s not going to be acceptable to have a conversation about racism, whether you use the word ‘race,’ ‘critical race theory’ or ‘racism,’” Cazenave said.

As for critical race theory, Cazenave said that its basic assumptions are “the assumptions of systemic racism,” adding that the theory provides a framework for understanding racism as a system of oppression. But critical race theory is also somewhat of a nebulous term, Cazenave said, and has entered the public discourse without a clear definition, thus becoming a vehicle for misinterpretation.

Mary Fischer: Chair Elect of the Community and Urban Section of ASA

June 4, 2021

Mary Fischer

Congratulations to Mary Fischer, who is the chair elect of the Community and Urban Section of the American Sociological Association! Members of the Section on Community and Urban Sociology explore new social theory and develop empirical research on groups living, working, and communicating across geographical boundaries, including cities, suburbs, and rural areas, as well as electronic communities and other spaces.

Cara Cancelmo: Mentorship Excellence Award

May 24, 2021

Congratulations to Sociology graduate student Cara Cancelmo, who received a nomination for the Mentorship Excellence Award. In recognition of the critically important role that mentors play in supporting undergraduate research and creative activity, the Office of Undergraduate Research offers two annual awards for outstanding mentorship. Each year, a committee of undergraduate students selects one or two faculty recipients and one graduate student recipient of the Mentorship Excellence Award. 

Jessica Yorks: 2021 Honorable Mention Awardee of the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship

May 19, 2021

Please join us in congratulating Jessica Yorks, the 2021 Honorable Mention Awardee of the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship. The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award was established in 2005 to support first generation college students who began their academic careers in a community college, have faced significant obstacles, are committed to teaching, and mentoring other less privileged students, and exemplify Beth’s commitment to professional service and social justice work through activism. Beth B. Hess was a President of SWS and one of the mentoring award winners; she was also the President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and Secretary Treasurer of the American Sociological Association (ASA).  These organizations join SWS in supporting the Beth B. Hess Scholar each year. 

The full announcement for 2021 winners can be found here.

Matthew Hughey: For Black Workers, Age Discrimination Strikes Twice

May 14, 2021

Check out "For Black Workers, Age Discrimination Strikes Twice" in The Washington Post, which cites research by Sociology Professor Matthew Hughey on racism among White people and his analysis of other's research on racism.


When he saw the chart above, University of Connecticut sociologist Matthew Hughey was struck by the steadiness of the trend for Whites, compared to the volatile swoop of the line representing Black workers. It shows hiring managers tend to accept White applicants at face value while subconsciously scrutinizing Black ones, he said.

“Black people have always been more objectified, scrutinized and surveilled than White people,” Hughey said. “Every little thing is nitpicked on a résumé or explained as a possible red flag.”

Kenneth Vaughan: Are We Really Ready to Return to ‘Normal’?

May 13, 2021

Read Assistant Professor in Residence Kenneth Vaughan's comments on how society will rebound from COVID-19 in "Are We Really Ready to Return to 'Normal'?" published by Fox5  New York.


The University of Connecticut's Dr. Kenneth Vaughan said this involves all of us taking interest in the well-being of others. Vaughan, a sociology professor, admitted to looking forward to a time when he feels comfortable returning to places, participating in events, and seeing people from his pre-pandemic life. But he cautioned us from thinking of the challenges, costs, and benefits of reopening as purely economic.

"What I'm really excited about," he said, "what I'm looking forward to is the return to voluntary associations."

Reopening Our Society: Interview with Kenneth Vaughan

In Memoriam: Christopher Loring (SOCI 2021)

May 12, 2021

The Sociology Department joins the University in mourning the death of Christopher Loring, a senior Sociology major who passed away on May 7, 2021.

For those wishing to pay their respect to Christopher’s family, calling hours will be on May 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm at DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 North Main Street, Southington, Connecticut. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on May 14, 2021 at 10:00 am at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 248 Savage Street, Plantsville, Connecticut. Condolences to the Loring family can be sent to the Dean of Students Office, 233 Glenbrook Road, Unit-4062, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4062.

Please read the University's statement, which includes resources available on campus for students in need of support, here.

Ryan Talbert: Research Funding in Academic Themes

May 11, 2021

Ryan Talbert (Sociology, PI) and Jolaade Kalinowski (Human Development and Family Sciences, Co-I) have been awarded a grant from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for Research Funding in Academic Themes. Funding is awarded to faculty working together to advance research stemming from a unique junction of their individual programs of scholarship in health, disease, and well-being. Their project will represent one of the first longitudinal assessments of the health impacts of exposure to deadly police encounters. In doing so, the study will examine the degree to which police killings are key to race-gender variation in mental and physical health across time. Congratulations, Ryan and Jolaade!

Laura Mauldin: Humanities Institute Fellow

April 30, 2021

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Sciences and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies/Sociology Laura Mauldin for being selected as a faculty fellow for the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI). “For All We Care” is a book project based on the stories of spousal/partner caregivers who everyday provide extraordinary care to their partners despite near total abandonment from the state. Mauldin uses interviews with dozens of spousal caregivers across the country, as well as her own experience, to reveal the realities of this untenable arrangement.

For more information check out the article "20th Class of Humanities Institute Fellows Pursue Wide Range of Scholarship
" published on UConn Today.