Mary Bernstein

Mary Bernstein: “Standing Against Despair”

Check out the recent UConn Today article titled “Standing Against Despair,” featuring Professor of Sociology Mary Bernstein and her work with other University Professors to research and gather the data needed to approach gun violence differently, and to craft real solutions to the problem.

**Excerpt from article**

“My role in the project has been to help facilitate these listening sessions with the most impacted communities within New Haven, which are predominantly poor Black and Brown communities, communities that have been impoverished, disinvested in, historically segregated, and discriminated against,” says Bernstein, who is also affiliated with the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative at UConn Hartford. “We’ve been doing these listening sessions to learn from people in the community about how they see their experiences with gun violence, what they think can be done to prevent gun violence, and the impact of the gun violence that they have experienced.”

 

Mary Bernstein: 2022 Provost’s Award

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Congratulations to Professor of Sociology Mary Bernstein, who has been awarded the 2022 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship in the Distinguished Scholar Research Award category. Bernstein has shown a commitment to engaged scholarship through her intersectional research on sexual orientation, gender, and race, her teaching, and her service to the UConn community, and, most importantly, through her current work aimed at developing evidence-based solutions to gun violence. Her research focuses on the disproportionately higher rates of gun violence in Black and Brown communities, positing that racial justice cannot be achieved until the high rates of gun violence are reduced, especially in urban areas. She has partnered with organizations and communities in Connecticut to help evaluate and develop gun violence prevention and reduction measures, including working on a blueprint for a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention in New Haven and evaluating a statewide gun buyback effort. She also frequently includes students in her work, with many of them going on to become research partners and later to secure academic positions or careers in social justice fields. Her work and mentorship have radiated outward, affecting communities locally and more broadly through her efforts, as well as through the development of students as researchers and practitioners.

Mary Bernstein: “Are the Courts the Way to Queer Rights?”

Check out Professor Mary Bernstein's recent article in the Boston Review, "Are the Courts the Way to Queer Rights?".

***Excerpt from Article***

Today, as LGBTQ and other legal protections hang in the balance, we ought to move beyond the narrow question of the generic benefit or harm of legal strategies. We need a broader focus, in particular, on the interplay among law, social movements, and institutions. Rather than view the law in isolation from the rest of society, we must recognize that law has a complex relationship with other social and cultural institutions and that legal strategies do not represent the totality of social movement activism.

Mary Bernstein: President-Elect of SSSP

Please join us in congratulating Professor Mary Bernstein, who has been named the President-Elect of the Society for the Study of Social Problems for the 2022-2023 term and President for the 2023-2024 term!

The SSSP's stated purpose is to promote and protect sociological research and teaching on significant problems of social life and, particularly, to encourage the work of young sociologists; to stimulate the application of scientific method and theory to the study of vital social problems; to encourage problem-centered social research; to foster cooperative relations among persons and organizations engaged in the application of scientific sociological findings to the formulation of social policies; to foster higher quality of life, social welfare, and positive social relations in society and the global community and to undertake any activity related thereto or necessary or desirable for the accomplishment of the foregoing purposes.  Fulfilling this purpose requires both a strict adherence to the highest principles of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and due process, as stated in the AAUP’s 1940 statement on academic freedom and tenure and 2014 statement on academic freedom and electronic communications; and the protection of the right to engage in intellectual debates of all types without fear of censorship or retaliation.

Mary Bernstein: Connecticut’s underappreciated role on the frontline of LGBTQ+ legislation

Mary Bernstein

Check out Professor Mary Bernstein's recent interview for Fox61, "Connecticut's underappreciated role on the frontline of LGBTQ+ legislation."

***Excerpt***

Dr. Mary Bernstein, a professor of sociology at UConn, said the ruling [Goodridge v. Massachusetts] redefined civil unions, not a stepping stone to marriage, but as something legally inferior to marriage. Love Makes a Family used that argument to shift from advocating for civil unions to pushing for same-sex marriage - which was controversial at the time.

"We felt like it did not make sense for us to be pushing for civil unions when we really were there for marriage," Stanback said, "Many of us felt like civil union was insulting, it was a second class at status. It provided all the state rights and protections of marriage. But it did not allow us to then move on to get the federal rights of marriage. But strategically, if we had supported civil unions, our board of directors felt like it... would have been very hard for us to come back with our electoral work, and oppose legislators who supported civil union, simply as a way to take marriage off the table, and unopposed marriage."

Bernstein said: "When something happens like that, it shows that things are possible and all of sudden, for activists that care about this issue or people who never were activists, but for whom marriage was very meaningful, all of a sudden they can get on board with this issue."

Mary Bernstein: Southern Queeries Podcast

Check out Professor Mary Bernstein's recent appearance on the Southern Queeries podcast, which provides a look at what is going on in the world of gay marriage or LGBTQ weddings, with a southern twist. Why did the queer community push so hard for marriage in the first place, were there other fights we should have been focusing on, and should LGBTQ people participate in such a cis/straight institution in the first place?