Tag Archives: News & Notes

Section Members in the News

Japonica Brown-Saracino‘s work is the New York Times article “How to Find Your Happily-Ever-After City.” Specifically, it references her book How Places Make Us.

Max Holleran has an article in The Atlantic called “The Water Wars are Here.” It looks at the ideological battles regarding water in the United States.

Victoria Reyes has a piece on The ConversationFor some children born abroad, US citizenship has never been a guarantee.” Reyes looks at the history of granting citizenship to some children of parents stationed abroad as employees or members of the U.S. armed forces.

News & Notes

Announcements

  • Jean Beaman, is joining the faculty in the sociology department at the University of California-Santa Barbara in Fall 2019. She was previously on the faculty at Purdue University.
  • Judith R. Halasz, State University of New York at New Paltz, received the 2019 Research Mentor Award from the State University of New York at New Paltz for her extensive work supervising theses and undergraduate conference presentations. Each year, the interdisciplinary Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Committee selects one faculty member for this honor. Judy is the first sociologist at the institution to receive this award. Judy was also recently elected to chair the Community Research and Development Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems for 2019-2021.
  • Matthew H. McLeskey, University at Buffalo, SUNY, was awarded an Advanced Ph.D. Fellowship from the University at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute for his dissertation project, “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rust Belt.” Lead exposure entails more than physiological and material consequences. Consequently, this dissertation documents the material and cultural processes defining the threat of lead exposure for tenants and landlords in disinvested communities to grasp how this urban epidemic further stigmatizes marginalized neighborhoods in post-industrial cities and contributes to debates on place-based stigmatization processes. Using Buffalo as a case of urban decline, multiple qualitative methods – semi-structured interviews, ethnographic observation, and archival research – are employed to capture the lived experience of “leaded life” in relegated areas.
  • Stacy Torres, University of California, San Francisco, is the 2019 recipient of the William Foote Whyte Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology. The award recognizes a scholar who has made notable contributions to sociological practice and public sociology for the discipline and will be conferred in August at the ASA Annual Meeting in New York City.

Dissertations

Precarious Workers in the Speculative City: The Untold Gentrification Story of Tenant Shopkeepers’ Displacement and Resistance in Seoul

-Yewon Andrea Lee

University of Toronto

University of California, Los Angeles.

Dissertation Committee

-César Ayala (chair)

-Marcus Hunter

-Jennifer Chun

-Stefan Bargheer

Precarious Workers in the Speculative City: The Untold Gentrification Story of Tenant Shopkeepers’ Displacement and Resistance in Seoul demonstrates how the life chances of tenant shopkeepers in Seoul, Korea, have been critically compromised by the displacement and dispossession that accompany Korean-style gentrification. I focus on tenant shopkeepers as self-employed workers whose capacity to organize has been overlooked within both the labor literature on precarious workers and the urban literature on gentrification. The dissertation explores a classic sociological question first articulated by Marx: How and when can the spatial constraints of fragmented work experience of the self-employed be overcome to activate collective identity formation? Through both ethnographic as well as historical comparative research, the dissertation analyzes how spatial precarity—such as tenant shopkeepers’ lack of ownership rights to their shops, their crucial means of production—is transformed into unique spatial leverage in organizing. Especially, the dissertation identifies how the unprecedented commodification of urban space taking place in the Global South is paving the way for new locations of resistance and new vocabularies of rights challenging the status quo.

Publications

  • Dana Kornberg, University of Michigan, announces two new journal articles. First, 2019. “Garbage as Fuel: Pursuing Incineration to Counter Stigma in Postcolonial Urban India.” Local Environment  24(1): 1-17. http://doi.org/10.1080/  13549839.2018. 1545752. This paper explains why local leaders may adopt and promote forms f environmentalism that privilege aesthetic and class-based concerns, displacing environmentalisms of the poor that promote more socially just and sustainable practices. Presenting a case study from Delhi, India, I ask why centralized and mechanized approaches to garbage services, which included incineration or “waste-to-energy,” were promoted over manual recycling systems despite their unproven efficacy and significant expense. I argue that Indian leaders saw incineration as a mechanism for decontaminating garbage, and by association, de-stigmatizing the city’s reputation. Transforming a chaotic cluster of materials – garbage – into a singular object for incineration – fuel – allowed Indian bureaucrats and managers, who tend to be upper-caste men, to claim and profit from materials that are recycled by lower-caste and Muslim informal workers. Second, with Amy Kings and Erin Lane. 2019. “Organizing Under Austerity: How Flint Residents’ Concerns Became the Flint Water Crisis.” Critical Sociology 45(4-5): 583597. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0896920518757053. What might it take for politically marginalized residents to challenge cuts in public spending that threaten their health and wellbeing? Specifically, how did residents of Flint, Michigan contribute to the decision of an austerity regime that was not accountable to them to spend millions to switch to a safe water source? We examine the influence and limitations of residents and grassroots groups during the 18-month period between April 2014 and October 2015 when the city drew its water from the Flint River. We find that citizen complaints alone were not sufficient, but their efforts resulted in partnerships with researchers whose evidence bolstered their claims, thus inspiring a large contribution from a local foundation to support the switch to a clean water source. Thus, before the crisis gained national media attention, and despite significant constraints, residents’ sustained organization—coupled with scientific evidence that credentialed local claims—motivated the return to the Detroit water system. The Flint case suggests that residents seeking redress under severe austerity conditions may require partnerships with external scientific elites.

  • Chris Tilly, University of California, Los Angeles, co-authored with Marie Kennedy “Field education and community-based planning in a worst-case scenario,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, Online First https://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X19847725, May 2019. Community-engaged planning education and community-based planning are often uphill battles. This article uses the case of a Mexican village to illustrate a pedagogical model that trains students as participatory planners by immersing them in a community-based planning project, an approach we call transformative learning and community development. We join larger debates on education and participation—arguing that students can and should learn about participatory planning by doing it; that while community participation sometimes reproduces unequal power relations, it can also be structured to challenge them; and that successful planning and teaching require a dialectic between expertise and broad participation.

CUSS 2019 Pre-Conference: Inequalities and Social Justice in the 21st Century

The ASA Community and Urban Sociology Section is pleased to announce a one-day conference on Inequalities and Social Justice in the 21st Century City to be held on Friday, August 9, 2019 at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Below is the exciting program for the conference.

At present we are not charging a registration fee now but may begin to charge for registrations after the first 120 participants or after July 26.

NOTE: WE ARE AT CAPACITY AND THUS FURTHER REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ADDED TO OUR WAITLIST. IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED AND CAN NO LONGER ATTEND, PLEASE INFORM US: cuss2019conference@gmail.com

We also encourage all participants to become CUSS members.

Read more

Call for Applications: Summer Institute on Methodologies for Housing Justice

Methodologies for Housing Justice:
A Summer Institute for Movement-Based and University-Based Scholars

The Summer Institute on Methodologies for Housing Justice brings together movement-based and university-based scholars to address key needs and gaps in housing and planning research. A part of the Housing Justice in #UnequalCities Network, which is housed at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin and supported by the National Science Foundation, this class advances research methodologies that tackle pressing housing issues and build power for advocacy and community organizations.

The course will be led by Ananya Roy, Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy and Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography at UCLA, and Raquel Rolnik, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, University of São Paulo, and former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing. They will be joined by movement-based and university-based scholars who will lead different modules of the class, including Benjamin Dulchin, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, New York; Melissa García Lamarca, People’s Debt Diaries and Barcelona Laboratory for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability; Terra Graziani, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project; Shayla Myers, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles; Yusef Omowale, Southern California Library; Amy Ritterbusch, UCLA.

Summer Institute goals: Examine the structural mechanisms of dispossession and displacement in unequal cities, such as financialization, and cover the methodologies needed to pinpoint, analyze, and expose these mechanisms.Study and implement the use of data and research to support forms of resistance, to contribute to public pedagogy, and to generate alternative housing and planning policies and programs.Think through the politics and ethics of data including who collects and controls data and how data is used and for what purposes.Adopt a comparative and transnational approach to housing research by thinking from Los Angeles and learning from struggles in other parts of the world.Participants should come prepared with key questions they would like to explore in the conversation around housing justice. Working in small groups, participants will put together a Methodologies for Housing Justice Resource Guide. This open-access volume will be a critical resource for defining housing justice as a field of inquiry. 

Location: University of California, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Community Action Network.

Summer Institute dates: Participants are expected to be in class 9:00 am–5:00 pm each day for the duration of the five-day Summer Institute (August 5–August 9, 2019). Continued work on assignments is expected through the following week and a final project will be due on August 16, 2019.

Funding and credits: Tuition will be waived for all accepted Summer Institute participants; enrollment is limited to 30 people. Limited fellowship stipends are available for participants involved in movement-based work. Arrangements may be made for UCLA students to develop this work further and receive academic credits.  

Eligibility: Graduate students, early career investigators, and movement-based researchers.

Application deadline: May 15, 2019

Applicants notified: May 24, 2019

Apply here

News & Notes

CUSS Newsletter, 2019 Winter, Vol 32, No 1


Several CUSS members received the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 40 for 40 Fellowship. CUSS members receiving fellowships include: Prentiss A. Dantzler, Colorado College; Jacob Faber, New York University; Michael Gaddis, UCLA; Philip Garboden, University of Hawaii at Manoa; and Eva Rosen, Georgetown University. A full list of fellows is available at the website: http://www.appam.org/meet-the-recipients-of-the-40-for-40-fellowship/

●Jeni Cross, Sociology, and Deana Davalos, Psychology, Colorado State University, and their research team received the inaugural Emerging Community Engagement Scholarship Award from the Office of Engagement and the Office of the Provost. The Emerging award celebrates a new initiative that has shown potential for long-term impact, achievement and scholarship. The BSHARP program is a community engagement effort launched in 2015 that provides dyads (persons with dementia {PWD} and their caregivers), tickets to attend five Fort Collins Symphony Masterworks concerts and social hours. The study explores factors such as the impact of the program on cognition in PWD, relationships with caregivers, and the degree to which participants feel supported by the community. Our collaboration has led to emphasizing facets of the concerts that participants endorse having the greatest impact (the appreciation of the Maestro’s recognition at the concerts) and understanding the course of change in the participants.

●Jerome Krase, Brooklyn College CUNY co-led with Małgorzata Bogunia-Borowska and Anna Sarzyńska a Graduate Visual Sociology Workshop, “Seeing Krakow Change: 1997-2018,” at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland (May 7-10). Subsequently, during his Fulbright Specialist Scholarship Assignment in Prague, at the Charles University (May 11-25) he was honored to give the Ernest Gellner Nationalism Seminar, Sponsored by the Czech Association for Social Anthropology and the Czech Sociological Society, in Cooperation with the Institute of Sociological Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. With his daughter Kathryn Krase he published “Undermining Governmental Legitimacy at the Grass Roots: The Role of Failed Promises and Inflated Expectations of Community Accountability,” In Legitimacy: Ethnographic and Theoretical Insights, edited by Italo Pardo and Giuliana B. Prato, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2019: 169-92. When he returned in the Fall, he was elected Vice-President, City University of New York’s Academy of Humanities and Sciences.

●Meghan M. O’Neil is Social Science Research Fellow with University of Michigan Law School, Postdoctoral Fellow Affiliate with Population Studies Center at the Institute for Social Research, and Faculty Expert at Poverty Solutions. O’Neil is co-investigator on over $2.7 million in grants to conduct empirical legal research to increase access to justice for vulnerable Americans and better understand the economic barriers facing people who interact with the criminal justice system. She is the lead investigator for the State of Michigan on a mixed methods multi-state study of fines and fees assessed for parolees on Community Corrections Fines and Fees sponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. O’Neil led a team of students and won two INNOVATE awards in a public service pitch campaign for her study, Removing Barriers to Recovery: Community Partnering for Innovative Solutions to the Opioid Crisis while completing her dissertation earlier this year. O’Neil has obtained support from seven courts, two treatment centers, and a tech-startup to provide no cost legal tools to 10,000 community members seeking recovery from addiction services over the next year. Echoing Desmond and Western (2018), she acknowledges that poverty is multidimensional and is a matter of “justice,” not merely economics. Her scholarship relies upon empirical evidence to improve our understanding of American poverty and help identify paths to overcome the challenges of achieving intergenerational mobility, especially for minority families. Her recent work is forthcoming in Law and Contemporary Problems and a special issue of Phylon sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and WEB Du Bois.

●Diane M. Sicotte (P.I.), Associate Professor of Sociology, Drexel University, and Kelly A. Joyce (co-P.I.), Professor of Sociology and the Center for Science, Technology and Society, Drexel University, were awarded $345,270 from NSF through the Science, Technology, and Society program for a three-year project, titled “Societal Aspects of Energy Infrastructure Expansion.”Through interviews, fieldwork and content analysis, the research team will examine the opinions of labor union leaders and members on efforts to develop and expand gas infrastructure versus renewable energy sources. The technical and scientific expertise of unionized workers will be studied in order to understand how, and if, such expertise impacts technology design and use, or is used in political claims-making and policy formation.

●Michael Timberlake, former CUSS secretary/treasurer and past North American editor of Urban Studies, retired at the end of June from the University of Utah.  Though retired, he is still working on three projects: Chinese cities in the world system of cities (collaborative with John Stevens and Xiulian Ma); urban transformation in Seoul in global perspective (with K. Shin), and race and the persistent under-development of the lower Mississippi Delta.  Now living in Seattle, he would enjoy meeting other social scientists doing related work living in the area and hearing about their research.  Mike can still be reached at timber@soc.utah.edu

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