Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

UW Future of Sociology Talks Series

Posted: 11/29/2019 (Local Events)

Beginning this week and continuing through the final week of the quarter, the UW Sociology Department will be hosting seven faculty candidates in the Stice-sponsored Future of Sociology talk series. The department encourages faculty and students to meet each of the speakers and attend as many talks as possible. All talks will take place in SAV 409. Here is the lineup of our visitors:

Priya Fielding-Singh Tuesday, November 19, 12:00 p.m.
The Taste of Inequality: Food’s Symbolic Value and the Reproduction of Diet Disparities

Significant diet disparities in the United States follow a socioeconomic gradient. Scholars often account for these disparities using structural explanations that highlight differences in people’s access to food. These explanations assume that people eat simply to nourish themselves and to survive. But eating is about much more than physical nourishment: we eat not only to live, but to fulfill other functions, among them, to provide for loved ones, to cultivate belonging, to show affection, and to signal status. Drawing on 160 in-depth interviews with parents and adolescents and over 100 hours of participant observations with families across socioeconomic status, I show how food’s symbolic meanings help drive diet disparities.
Priya Fielding-Singh is a Sociologist and National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research investigates health disparities across class, race, and gender in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University, a M.A. in Cultural Studies from the University of Bremen, and a B.S. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.

Melissa Barragan Wednesday, November 20, 3:30 p.m.
Changing the Dynamic: Gun Violence & Community-Based Intervention in Richmond, CA

Over the last nine years, the city of Richmond, California has reduced their homicide rate by nearly seventy-percent, much of which is related to a decline in gun violence. Integrating 150 hours of fieldwork data with longitudinal crime data, Census data, and over 100 newspaper articles and reports, I examine the local level conditions and processes that have shaped Richmond’s varied history with gun violence since the turn of the century. My presentation will focus primarily on the theme of community mobilization and intervention. Specifically, I will discuss how residents, in collaboration with local organizations, have come to develop a robust network of gun violence reduction strategies since the early 2000s. In addition to documenting what this network looks like, I will discuss the collective impacts this work for gun violence reduction in the city, as well as the implications of my findings for theories of informal social control and gun violence prevention in urban centers.
Melissa Barragan is a PhD Candidate in Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine. Her primary line of research explores issues related to urban gun violence, including illegal gun possession and community-based prevention. Her secondary area of research focuses on impacts the of incarceration, particularly for prisoners held in solitary confinement.
Patricia Louie Thursday, November 21, 12:00 p.m.
The Category vs. the Continuum: Specifying Race and Skin Tone Disparities in Health

While it is clear that race and skin tone have powerfully shaped experiences of inequality throughout history, the interrelationship between these two systems of stratification are rarely studied together. Using merged data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL) and the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R), I evaluate the effects of race and skin tone on the social patterning of diabetes, hypertension, and any DSM-IV mental disorder, among Black and White Americans. Findings indicate that categorical inequality based on racial identity is far greater than the often smaller and non-significant differences due to skin tone among African Americans. These findings highlight the influential role that race, regardless of skin tone, plays in structuring mental and physical health disparities. The results of this study have implications for studying race and skin tone in sociological research, as well as for policies that target health inequality.
Patricia Louie is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health, with a focus on the mechanisms that underlie racial disparities in mental and physical health. In her current research, she examines how racialization processes based on skin tone, mixed-race status, and nativity shape population patterns of health. Patricia currently holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Social Science and Research Council of Canada.

Zimife Umeh Monday, November 25, 12:00 p.m.
Strategic Engagement: Formerly Incarcerated Black Women and the Labor Market

Previous research suggests that the mark of a criminal record has short- and long-term adverse consequences on employment. However, despite the growing number of incarcerated women, existing research largely documents the labor market experiences of system-involved men. Drawing from intersectional frameworks that explore how social categories such as race, class, and gender create independent and overlapping systems of disadvantage, I examine how race and gender shapes formerly incarcerated women’s experiences in the labor market. Using 40 in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated women, I find women use four key strategies to navigate labor market reentry: 1) identifying employers with low barriers to entry; 2) activating social networks; 3) disclosing criminal records; and 4) preemptive perception management. I argue that racial variations exist in women’s access to, use of, and the effectiveness of these strategies.
Zimife Umeh is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at Duke University. She is a mixed-methods sociologist who studies criminal justice, gender, inequality, and education. Her current research project examines how formerly incarcerated women navigate various institutions during the incarceration and reentry periods. Her previous research in education explores academic achievement and school discipline.

Jerel Ezell Tuesday, December 3, 12:00 p.m.
Theater of Crisis: A Mixed Methods Examination of the Flint Water Crisis

There have been few anthropogenic conundrums of the scale and tenor witnessed in the Flint Water Crisis, a “man-made” environmental event occurring in one of America’s most impoverished cities. However, as a global audience and a sizable portion of Flint’s populace have decried both the substantiated and presumed impacts of residents’ exposure to the contaminated water supply, another contingent has actively repelled mainstream framings of the event as a crisis. Resultantly, fixes for the “crisis” have been at-once both novel and exceptionally anachronistic, inextricably linked to processes of post-industrial experimentation and threaded to longstanding racial and income-based inequality in America. Further, these fixes have doubly failed to account for the stark public mistrust which was sowed in response to officials’ obtuse decision-making and fraught response. This “theater of crisis,” addressed in this talk, reflects interpolating perceptions of crisis, its genesis, its pragmatic nature, and its social and health consequences.
Jerel Ezell, MA, MPH is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Chicago, a Fulbright Scholar and a researcher at the University of Chicago Medical Center. His current research examines health disparities and civic retrenchment, exploring intersections between population health, institutions and austerity in post-industrial American communities.

Magda Boutros Wednesday, December 4, 3:30 p.m.
Antiracism Without Races: How Activists Expose Racialized Policing in Colorblind France

In France, the dominant ideology views the concept of “race” as regressive and essentializing, and the law prohibits the collection of data on people’s race or ethnicity. While extant scholarship has analyzed French colorblindness as an obstacle to the production of knowledge about race, this talk shifts the analytical focus, from examining colorblindness as an obstacle to knowledge, to examining how activists address this obstacle and endeavor to produce knowledge making racial inequalities visible. Through an analysis of two contemporary mobilizations organizing against racialized policing practices in France, I analyze and compare three ways in which activists have produced knowledge about the role of race in policing. I argue that different modes of knowledge production – and the different types of evidence they generate about the role of race in policing – shape how mobilizations frame racialized policing, as a problem of racist individuals, institutionalized racism, or structural racism.
Magda Boutros is a PhD candidate in sociology at Northwestern University. Her current project examines how activists expose racialized policing patterns in colorblind France. Her work has been published in Theory & Society, Law & Society Review, and in the French journal Mouvements

Miguel Quintana-Navarrete Friday, December 6, 12:00 p.m.
Environmental Violence and Children’s Cognitive Performance in Mexico

A small but growing literature indicates that violent environments impair children’s cognitive performance, but this research has been carried out almost exclusively in large American cities. I argue that this focus has restricted the range of observed relationships and mechanisms between environmental violence and cognitive performance and I leverage a novel setting (Mexico) to analyze the connection between these factors, before and during a period when violence in some areas of Mexico erupted into an armed conflict. I find an inverted U-shaped relationship, which implies that some levels of violence increase cognitive performance in children, but also that there is an inflection point in the intensity of violence –associated with the armed conflict– beyond which cognitive scores decrease dramatically. I build on the concepts of violence ‘normalization’ and environmental complexity to argue that the wide range of residential environments that I analyze and the Mexican and Latin American contexts can help explain these results.
Miguel Quintana-Navarrete is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Harvard University. His main areas of interest are the sociology of crime and law, urban and community sociology, and political sociology. He holds a BA in Law (JD equivalent) from Universidad de Sonora (Mexico) and an MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from King’s College London. 

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Location: SAV 409