I hope all is well as we turn in grades, restore some calm to our lives, and take time to enjoy the summer. We have awarded travel grants to five graduate students. We chose those who are on the market as a key criterion. Congratulations to Kurt Kuehne (UW, Madison), Melanie Brazzell (UC, Santa Barbara, Nathalie Rita (U Hawaii, Manoa), Andrew Messamore (UT, Austin), and Samuel Dinger (NYU). ASA notified me that our business meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 9th at 3:00 pm. This is not ideal for good attendance, so we will have the meeting then, but we will distribute the awards at the reception (Sunday, August 7th at 6:30 pm). Finally, please vote in the ASA election! May 27th is the last day to vote.
The book’s argument is that the spatial transformation of Manila is worsening class relations and widening the political divide. Specifically, I document the proliferation of poor and upper-class areas—slums and enclaves—across the city and their sharper segregation. I then describe the fraught relations between the residents of these places and argue that segregation—specifically, their proximity to one another—has made their relations worse. Slum residents more frequently experience discrimination, while enclave residents feel insecure about the presence of squatters nearby. I then consider the political views of each group, particularly with respect to the populist president Joseph Estrada. Not only do they tend to see Estrada in polar opposite ways, but their views are substantially informed by their feelings of discrimination and insecurity—that is, by their class positions. Broadly speaking, the books’ argument represents an effort to connect space, class, and politics, or rather, to show how these domains are more continuous than we like to think. Indeed, we should think about them together, as bound up in the same processes. And so while The Patchwork City is a work of urban sociology, it is also, equally, a work of political sociology. It adopts a view of social class as taking shape through spatial segregation (as well as shaping it, of course), and of political subjectivity as being shaped by class relations. Thus, as the city is transformed by global processes, so are social relations and contentious politics.
George (Chip) Greenidge, Jr., a Ph.D. Candidate at Georgia State University, was the winner of the 2021 Publicly Engaged Scholar Award. George is a scholar-activist whose commitments span non-profit work, government service, philanthropy, and education. Recently, he was President of the Boston Empowerment Zone, a federally funded HUD initiative aimed at economic investment in U.S. urban neighborhoods, and the Founder and Executive Director of the National Black College Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit focused on providing alumni mentors to college and high school students. Currently, George is also the Founder and Director of the Greatest MINDS, an organization which aims to promote public discourse, citizenship and inclusive democracy. He is also a Visiting Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Benny Witkovsky and Andrew Messamore reached out to George to discuss his career. Thanks to George for agreeing to participate in our interview!
Welcome to February 2022! I hope you are receiving this message safe or recovered from Omicron. My daughter contracted the variant (fully vaccinated and with few symptoms). It was distressing, but the rest of us managed not to get it. This has been a hard start to the year for many of us, but we are grateful that the surge is declining in many places.
The ASA submissions deadline has been extended but is approaching (February 16). Please consider submitting your work to our section sessions. Don’t forget to nominate yourself and colleagues for CUSS awards, as well!
Last month I mentioned that Council voted to offer small one-time travel grants to active CUSS student members who are presenting at any panel or roundtable at the 2022 Los Angeles conference. We will offer up to five awards of $300. If the conference is virtual, we will offer to cover the student registration fee. Either way, we will give priority to students with no travel funds. The application deadline is March 15, 2022. I will send more details in March.
Finally, I wanted to share that I attended an ASA Section Chairs Meeting recently. We discussed the struggles of our members, challenges to sections, and strategies for staying connected and helping our members. I want CUSS members to know that we appreciate that this is a difficult time to pay for and attend a conference in Los Angeles. We know that institutions have cut travel funds and that faculty from a range of institutions are spread very thin and feel burnt out. I hope there will be a way for all of us can participate in the conference this summer. I appreciate all the hard work of our members. You have been of great service to your students, organizations, communities, and families and deserve recognition.
The ASA Annual Meeting submission portal is now open for the 2022 meetings in Los Angeles (deadline for submissions: February 9). Please consider submitting your papers to CUSS Section sessions! This year we will have five open panels (plus a roundtable session). Below, please find the panels topics, descriptions, and organizers for this year’s CUSS Sessions. You are welcome to contact the organizers or me (email@example.com) with questions about the panel.
Welcome to my November Chair’s message. I am excited to report that many graduate students and junior faculty have expressed great interest in meeting new people and helping to organize the 2022 ASA conference. As we work hard to prepare for it, I would like to remind you to submit a paper to the conference. I know it’s hard to picture attending a conference again, but I hope you will see this as an opportunity to develop some ideas and share them with us!
Also, I want to let you know that the Membership Committee is planning a preconference. Ryan Center and Juan Martinez will share more on that later, as they gather information on our last preconference and consider formats for the next one.
Finally, many of us may not know that CUSS has an archive that Lyn Lofland compiled. Materials span the period from the early 1970s through roughly 2010 and are housed in the Special Collections Library at Penn State. Barry Lee at Penn State brought the status of the archive to my attention, so Council will soon meet with him to discuss plans for preserving it. I will keep you posted on this.
Warmly, Rachael A. Woldoff, Chair, Community and Urban Sociology Section Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, West Virginia University
This is my second Chair’s message, and we have accomplished a great deal in a short time. I am so proud of the work of Council members, committee members, and volunteers during this challenging time. I am especially thankful to the outgoing and current members of the Publications Committee for helping to revise the bylaws to comply with ASA’s policies. The changes passed in council and will be on the ballot next year. I am also grateful to the Reception Committee and Jan Lin (Chair) for volunteering to plan this event, which will bring us back together in person again. We increased the budget this year to make sure we find a space in Los Angeles that will be safe and festive. I look forward to reconnecting and hearing about your work and lives from the past two years and honoring our awards winners.
I also want to let you know that Council voted to donate $2,500 to the ASA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), and we also voted to add this to the budget as a line item in coming years so that giving will be ongoing. This is very important as giving varies by year; some sections do not give at all, some give a little (under a thousand), and some give a lot (several thousand). The MFP needs funds to pay fellows and to pay them better, and I am proud that our section wants to prioritize this.
Finally, I want to thank those serving on the Membership Committee, the Awards Committees, and those helping to organize sessions and put together the election slate. We have invited everyone to participate in the process if they have time. The sessions look fresh and exciting, and we have an extra session in 2022!
Rachael A. Woldoff,
Chair, Community and Urban Sociology Section
Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, West Virginia University
Dear CUSS members, I would like to begin my first Chair’s Message by expressing gratitude to Derek Hyra for his leadership during a difficult year and for assembling teams of people who created successful sessions and meetings at the online version of ASA’s annual meeting. I also want to thank our Secretary Treasurers, Mary J. Fischer and Yuki Kato. Special thanks to Yuki, who is staying on in that role for one more year after stepping in mid-term. They have made our section better and are helping me to transition into the role of Chair.