News

2019 Provost’s Award

Carol Ann Jackson 20'

Department of Sociology 

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Carol Ann Jackson is currently a graduate student at the Department of Sociology. Her primary research interests are race, gender and urban education. More specifically, examining processes of racialization, gendering, and social mobility in relation to the social marginalization and criminalization of youth in urban educational settings.

 

Congratulations to Carol Ann Jackson on her achievements in Community engagement!

Community Engaged Scholarship is defined as the collaborative and mutually-beneficial creative exchange of knowledge and resources between the University and the community to create conditions for the public good, culminating in sustainable change, and the dissemination of those activities

During her time here at Uconn, Carol Ann Jackson demonstrated academic, intellectual and professional development, sustained leadership responsibilities that have progressively increased over time. Most importantly, she presented innovative ways of working for the well-being of citizens and communities.

 

 

2019 Faculty Awards

Shoulder-up photo of Sneed, dressed in a blue suite jacket
Chriss Sneed

2019 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Scholarship, formerly known as the Women of Color Dissertation Scholarship. The primary purposes of the scholarship are to offer support to women of color scholars who are from underrepresented groups and are studying concerns that women of color face domestically and/or internationally. Also to increase the network and participation of students and professionals of color in SWS and beyond.

Chriss Sneed is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Connecticut. In the dissertation tentatively named “Queer Passages and the Assemblages of Blackness,” Chriss examines how Black identity is constructed, negotiated, and utilized by Black/Afro-descendant activists in the United States and Brazil. This multi-sited, qualitative research focuses on activists who are also gender and sexual minorities– those identifying as women or LGBTQ – involved in transnational, racial justice organizing across the Western Hemisphere and the two aforementioned nations specifically.

Bandana Purkaystha
Bandana Purkaystha

The Jessie Bernard Award was established in 1977 by the ASA Council to honor Jessie Bernard’s enormous influence on the study of gender. The award is given in recognition of scholarly work inclusive of research, teaching, mentoring, and service, that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.

Dr. Bandana Purkayastha is a professor of Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut, has an enviable publishing record of 14 books and over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is a nationally and internationally respected sociologist conducting path-breaking research in gender theory, migration, Asian studies, and human rights. Purkayastha has written extensively on women’s human rights. In addition to her own research, she has strategically worked with colleagues and students to develop interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives. At UCONN, Bandana served as Chair of the Sociology Department from 2011-2016. Through her effort and vision, the outreach of our professional associations has grown.

 

Manisha Desai
Manisha Desai

The mentoring award was established in 1990 to honor an SWS member who is an outstanding feminist mentor. In establishing the award, SWS recognized that feminist mentoring is an important and concrete way to encourage feminist scholarship. 

Manisha Desai is the Head of Sociology and Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her research and teaching interests include Gender and Globalization, Transnational Feminisms, Human Rights movements, and Contemporary Indian Society.

Many of Manisha Desai’s mentees expressed how inspiring Manisha has been, her students described her as "passionate feminist mentor", In the words of Chriss Sneed, “Often, her mentorship reaches beyond office hours and yet, Dr.Desai graciously makes room for more inquisitive minds. I can only hope that I will be able to provide one fourth of the passionate mentorship that Dr. Desai offers her students.”

Awards Photos

Congratulations and Welcome our new Graduate students!

The Sociology Department provides a challenging and engaging environment for students entering into our Graduate program. Entering cohorts typically range from 5-12 students per year.

This year we welcome five new students to our program. 

Madison Danton 

Madison Danton has a B.A. in Psychology with a Sociology minor from the San Diego State University and is completing a M.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno.  He is interested in: demographic predictors of political attitudes and behavior, LGB political experience, influence of religion on understandings of political issues, social identity approach, and statistical methods.

Olivia Dono

I have a BA in history and sociology with a minor in women’s studies from St. Joseph’s College. My undergraduate thesis focused on the effectiveness of the social features in the popular first person shooter video game Overwatch. I am interested in studying culture, especially pop culture, gender, race/ethnicity, and intersectionality. I think pop culture is a useful tool for analyzing social issues and norms.

Chase Lonas

Chase Lonas received his BA in Middle East Studies/Arabic from Brigham Young University. His undergraduate studies allowed him to study in Jordan, which greatly influenced his research interests in culture, narrative, religion, nationalism, and political sociology.

Cassie Quattropani

Cassie Quattropani is a 24-year old Connecticut native. She is a graduate of Saint Anselm College (c/o 2017), majoring in sociology. Broadly, her research interests are in the area of gender inequality. Opposingly, her personal interests are much more specific, and include spending too much money at Barnes and Noble, livestreaming April the Giraffe, and waiting for new music from Taylor Swift. She looks forward to continuing her academic career in sociology at UConn, and figuring out the next steps as they come. 

Rianka Roy

I am from Kolkata, India. I have been a student of English literature in BA, MA and MPhil. In 2018, I submitted my doctoral thesis on social media surveillance and privacy at the School of Media, Communication and Culture, Jadavpur University. At present I teach English literature at an undergraduate college in Kolkata. I usually teach John Milton, Literature of the English Revolution, Postcolonial Literature and Critical Theory. I’m also interested in Digital Humanities, Media Studies and Cultural studies.

However, my passion for interdisciplinary research has driven me to pursue another doctoral program. It is my privilege and honor that the Department of Sociology has accepted me as a student. I look forward to having intense academic and cultural interaction and collaboration with the professors and students at the University of Connecticut.

Beyond academic engagements, I read a lot of crime fiction. PD James and Raymond Chandler are my favourite authors. I am also interested in film criticism and vocal music.

Bandana Purkayastha Awards and Honors

Bandana Purkayastha is Professor of Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies. She served as Head, Sociology, at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) from 2011-2016 Leadership. Her current research interests focus on human rights/human security, migration and migrants, intersectionality, and violence. Her earlier research on ethnicity, racism, gender, violence and peace has been published in many countries.

Bandana Purkayastha was awarded the 2018 Sociologists for Women in Society’s Feminist Mentoring award. The mentoring award was established in 1990 to honor an SWS member who is an outstanding feminist mentor. In establishing the award, SWS recognized that feminist mentoring is an important and concrete way to encourage feminist scholarship.

In 2019 Professor Purkayastha was awarded The biennial Research Excellence Award. UCONN College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Research awards recognize national and international prominence in research. The recipients of Excellence in Research awards are honored for a research program that has gained national and international distinction and impact in their field of study. For more please see https://clas.uconn.edu/faculty-staff/excellence-awards/

Bandana Purkayastha is also a member of the International Sociological Association, Executive Committee. International Sociological Association is an organization of sociologists with members from 126 countries.  Bandana Purkayastha was elected to the 16 person executive committee which oversees the general operations of the organization along with the officers. 

 

Cutting Words: Etiquette as a Tool of Exclusion

Kenneth Best – UConn Communications

While researching the cultural processes of inequality in community organizations, sociologist Andrea Voyer found that manners and etiquette often are noted in racial, ethnic, class and gender exclusion.

In studying a parent-teacher group in a public school, for example, white and wealthy PTA parents rejected the efforts of volunteers of poor and Latinx parents who they considered “rude.” And within an elite black church, more affluent church members determined that lower-income newcomers were “not the right kind of people” for the church based on their use of language and more casual dress sitting in the pew.

Such examples led Voyer to a new area of study.

“I realized that expectation of manners made it acceptable to judge and exclude in ways that were reproducing social inequality,” says Voyer, a research professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an associate senior lecturer in sociology at Stockholm University. “As a result of that research I decided to study etiquette itself.”

Voyer is studying “Emily Post’s Etiquette,” the book written by the doyenne of manners first published in 1922 and currently in its nineteenth printing with the most recent update, “Emily Post’s Etiquette: Manners for Today,” published in 2017. The 19 editions include more than 7 million words and 90,000 pages of text. The research is supported by a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

Voyer is taking an innovative approach to the study of etiquette by utilizing the emerging research approach known as computational sociology, which uses computer science to study the social world. Computational sociology can take two major forms — big data analysis, which follows established models of social network structure and analysis by gathering as much information as possible; or a data science approach, which focuses on content analysis. Voyer is using the content analysis approach.

“By adopting a study of multiple editions of the same book what I get to do is look at exactly what changed, from edition to edition,” she says. “The benefit is that the research is almost like a panel study. Each time a new edition is written, it’s written in some relationship to the book that came before. When I see a change across editions, I can identify it much more easily but I can also try to find out where it came from.”

Voyer will have access to the archives of The Emily Post Institute, which the writer established in 1946 and has continued to publish new editions of the book by Post’s family since her death in 1960. Correspondence between Post and her publisher could provide insight on changes from edition to edition, Voyer says. The Institute has a website with etiquette information and programs for business, weddings and children. It also publishes etiquette columns and created the “Awesome Etiquette” podcast.

“The language [in the book] has changed, the structure of the book has changed but in addition to that the underlying ideas of manners have shifted as well,” Voyer says. “The biggest, most obvious example of that is that in the early books Emily Post begins with a discussion of what she considers a reference group that she calls ‘Best Society.’ The point of the book is to describe what the best people do so other people can learn and emulate that. Over the years what you see is the emergence instead of this idea that manners are for everyone and you don’t have to have some reference group that is the social elite of society; that there is this common sense courtesy and kindness. You see this happening over the course of the different editions of the book.”

In noting some of the changes in language over the years, for example, Voyer says in the 1922 edition of “Etiquette,” verb words used to discuss manners are the more rigid “can” and “ask,” while in 2011 the verbs change to the more flexible “allowed” and “permitted.” The guidelines for smoking for “gentlemen” and “ladies” in locations such as “ballroom,” “table” and “drawing room” appear throughout the first edition of the book, along with indications for the time and place for smoking. In more recent editions, there are more definite circumstances in which smoking is allowed or permitted.

Voyer says using this approach to research in social sciences was not an option during her training as a scholar so she has attended seminars to learn how to utilize the methodology to both explore new areas of research and transfer knowledge to graduate students assisting her with her research.

“One of the great things I’m excited about with this research is providing the opportunity for students to get trained in this approach and gain facility in computational sociology,” she says. “It’s my hope that there will be students who will want to do substantive work with their own questions.”

 

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