Manuel Ramirez: “Securing Racial Borders”

September 10, 2020

Read Manuel Ramirez (UConn) and Fae Chubin's (Bradley University) article in Sociological Inquiry, "Securing Racial Borders: A Comparative Study of Settler‐Racial Ideology and State Border Violence."

The Palestinian “Great March of Return” in 2018, marked by the Israeli government’s brutal attacks on Palestinians who were demonstrating at the Gaza border, nearly coincided with the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy in which the unauthorized border crossing of Latinx immigrants came under an ever severe attack. This article offers a comparative content analysis of the “border security” discourses of the two settler‐colonial states of the United States and Israel by examining American and Israeli government officials’ public comments on state violence at borders. We place our study within a settler‐colonial framework to provide a historically grounded analysis of the U.S. and Israel’s racial ideologies and the colorblind rhetoric of “border security.” Through a content analysis of the speeches, interviews, social media posts, and press releases of American and Israeli government officials, we identified a settler‐racial ideology shared by the two states comprised of three distinct and overlapping frames: (1) obscuring settler colonialism, (2) vilification of those constructed as non‐native, and (3) glorification of the state. By bridging theories of settler colonialism and structural racism, we demonstrate that a settler‐racial ideology is central to maintaining the ongoing systems of border violence within settler‐colonial states.

Bandana Purkayastha: Pandemics and Migrant Precarity

Soma Chaudhuri (Sociology, Michigan State University, PI), Elizabeth Chacko (Geography, George Washington University, Co-PI), Bandana Purkayastha (Sociology & AASI, Co-PI) along with S. Anandhi (History, Madras Institute of Development Studies, India), Anand Venkatesh (Economics, Institute for Rural Management, India), Paromita Sanyal. (Sociology, Florida State University), and Jaita Talukdar (Sociology, Loyola University, New Orleans) have been awarded an SSRC grant  to study pandemics and migrant precarity in India and the US. The project will bring together seven multidisciplinary international scholars from the fields of history, economics, geography and sociology to develop an interdisciplinary methodological toolkit to study migrant precarity in the international context. The toolkit will draw from several interdisciplinary methods, including the life history calendar (LHC), in-depth interviews, focus group discussion (FGD), the Zaltman metaphor of elicitation technique (ZMET) and content analysis of print media to answer the following question: How has the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing precariousness and created new disruptions in the lives of migrants?

Arnie Dashefsky: “Americans Abroad: Escaping or Enhancing Life?”

September 3, 2020

Read Arnie Dashefsky's Interview in UCONN Today, Americans Abroad: Escaping or Enhancing Life?

Dashefsky notes that the long-standing ideological metaphor of the United States as a melting pot of immigrants is not accurate looking through the lens of social science.

“It created a false idea that there was democratization of the country,” he says. “The way I explain it to my students is more to describe it as Anglo conformity. We’re speaking English, and our jurisprudence system is based on the English law with certain modifications that we added. We all read Shakespeare in high school although he’s not an American author, so part of our literature is derived from that. The point is, yes, there is a diversity, but not all of our culture has learned to deal with this diversity; otherwise we wouldn’t have all the social conflicts we have today.”

Alumna Rachel Fain (2007): 2020 40 Under Forty Honoree

August 11, 2020

Photo of Rachel Fain

Congratulations to Sociology alumna Rachel J. Fain for being selected as one of Hartford Business Journal's 2020 40 Under Forty! Rachel graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2007 and went on to earn a law degree from Western New England College Schoool of Law. She is currently a partner at Halloran & Sage LLP. See Rachel's full profile on Hartford Business Journal's website.

Kylar Schaad: Time-Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences

August 10, 2020

Congratulations to Kylar Schaad, whose proposal has been chosen to receive funding by the Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS).

Kylar's project will assess the factors that influence support for identity document laws that allow for people to change their birth certificate gender markers, including support for changes to a non-binary status. In particular, he will examine the role of (1) gender assigned at birth (female, male), (2) gender identity (trans man, trans woman, non-binary), and (3) narrative conformity (conforming to stereotypes about transgender childhood experiences or not) in formulating perceptions of identity legitimacy (i.e., the extent to which one's identity is believed to be real) and willingness advocacy (via a petition) to have the law changed. In so doing, his study will be the first to draw on a nationally representative, probability based sample to assess public support for gender identity rights and isolate the role of perceptions of legitimacy. It will also be the first to simply collect demographic data regading participants' gender identity status that includes a non-binary option. Thus, he'll be able to parsing out what percentage of the population identifies as trans, non-binary, neither, and both.

WGSS: “Thank You, Professor Ingrid Semaan!”

July 27, 2020

Ingird Semaan

After fourteen years, Ingrid Semaan is stepping down.

"Ingrid’s Stamford colleagues and students look forward to being able to thank her in person for her enormous contribution to the campus. Until then, we send thunderous, high bandwidth virtual applause and all good wishes for her future projects." Read the full farewell here.

Amy Lawton: “Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless – A Look at Science and Social Science in a YA Sci-Fi Book”

July 22, 2020

Screenshot of the participants in the 2020 panel, "Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless." Top, left to right: Sarah Tarkoff, Andrea Decker, Amy Lawton Bottom, left to right: Samantha Russman, Nicole Henniger
Top, left to right: Sarah Tarkoff, Andrea Decker, Amy Lawton. Bottom, left to right: Samantha Russman, Nicole Henniger

From Wednesday, July 22, to Sunday, July 26, San Diego Comic-Con will be streaming content for Comic-Con@Home ( Amy Lawton is part of a panel sponsored by the Fleet Science Center: "Sinless, Fearless, Ruthless - A look at science and social science in a YA sci-fi book." The book is about dystopian religion and the panel will be available to watch on Friday, July 24, at 4 pm.

Noel Cazenave Receives Faculty Excellence in Research Award

June 26, 2020

Congratulations to Noel Cazenave, recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity-Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Award!

The Faculty Excellence in Research and Creativity Awards are given to individual faculty who have made significant and or creative contributions to a field of knowledge or area of inquiry. These awards recognize research excellence and the highest levels of creativity that enhance the University’s academic and creative reputation. Individuals who are nominated for this award must have a distinguished record of ongoing scholarly and/or creative productivity and must have worked at UConn for at least 10 years.