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Department of Sociology Newsletter

January 22, 2019
Welcome back!
I hope you all had a nice holiday season and a restful winter break after a busy fall semester. We are thrilled to have completed a successful hiring season and look forward to welcoming two new faculty next year. Be sure to check out the details below.

This semester, we have a dynamic colloquium series to enjoy, organized by Ali Chaudhary (chair), Chip Clarke, Laurie Krivo, Quan Mai, and Jason Phillips. Thank you to the colloquium committee for their excellent efforts. In  addition, we have invited Professor Lawrence Bobo of Harvard University to be the speaker for the SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series, scheduled for April 4.

We also look forward to informative presentations by our own faculty and graduate students!  The first Gretel Weiss Faculty-Student Collaboration Panel will be held on January 30 with lunch and presentations by teams Ali Chaudhary/Mario Mercado Diaz; Laurie Krivo/Idit Fast and Mario Mercado Diaz; and Hana Shepherd/Lexi Gervis. The Sociology Honors Undergraduate Theses presentations are scheduled for the morning of April 17, with lunch to follow.  Make sure you come out and support our terrific undergraduates!

We have several festivities to enjoy at the end of the semester, including the annual log cabin party on May 2 and the undergraduate major graduation ceremony on May 15.  Finally, we'll be trying something new for our undergraduates this semester -- an informal get-together scheduled for March 14. More details are provided below. Undergraduates, please hold the date!

Best wishes for the new year and a good spring semester ahead.
Julie Phillips
Department Chair
We look forward to welcoming two new faculty members next year!
Catherine Bliss                                                      Leslie Jones
Catherine Bliss, currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California San Francisco, explores the sociology of race, gender and sexuality in science, medicine, and society. Bliss's award winning book Race Decoded: The Genomic Fight for Social Justice   (Stanford University Press 2012) examines how genomics became today’s new science of race. Her second book Social by Nature: The Promise and Peril of Sociogenomics (Stanford University Press 2018) examines postgenomic convergences in social and genetic science led by new sociogenomic sciences, including their implications for equality, identity, and belonging. Her latest book, Go Edit Yourself: Programming People with DNA Scienceintroduces social debates around human gene editing to academic and nonacademic audiences.  Rina will join us in July 2020.

Leslie Jones is currently completing her doctoral work at Penn, specializing in race and gender, critical race theory, online social media, and collective mobilization. In her dissertation, she argues that Black women are forming intellectual “salons” through online social media, in which they are making groundbreaking theoretical contributions toward the public understanding of race and gender.  
Election Results Are In!
Steve Brechin                                             Sharon Bzostek
We are delighted that Steve Brechin will continue on as graduate director for a second three-year term and that Sharon Bzostek will assume the position of undergraduate director in July 2019.  
Recent Dissertation Defenses
Congratulations to Alicia Raia-Hawrylak, who defended her dissertation "The Social Context of Peer Victimization in Schools" on December 19, 2018.  Alicia worked with Patrick Carr (co-Chair), Lauren J. Krivo (co-Chair), Hana Shepherd and Phaedra Daipha. Alicia has been selected for a 2019 Leadership for Educational Equity Public Leaders Fellowship. She is Co-Project Manager and Supervisor of Evaluation with the School Climate Transformation Project, a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Education and the Graduate School for Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers.
Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Brooklynn K. Hitchens! Brooklynn was awarded the Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity by the American Society of Criminology at the Annual Meeting in November 2018. The highly competitive fellowship is intended to encourage students of color to enter the field of criminology and support them in the completion of their doctoral studies.
Faculty Awards

Congratulations to Lauren J. Krivo! Laurie has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), in recognition of her contributions to the intellectual life of the discipline of criminology and support of career development of other criminologists. Laurie is pictured with the other ASC Fellows named in 2018 (Faye S. Taxman, Daniel Mears and Joanne Belknap) and ASC President Karen Heimer.
Recent and Forthcoming Article Publications

Eda, Haruki. 2018. "Unmaking Borders to Demilitarize Peace: A Zainichi Korean Experience." Social Text Periscope Dossier

  • This short essay is an invited contribution to the Social Text Periscope dossier on "Korea and Demilitarized Peace," in which Korean diasporic feminist scholars contextualize the historic shifts that have taken place around the Korean peninsula since 2017. By connecting geopolitics to social identity, I offer a critique of militarized borders from the perspective of Zainichi Koreans (Koreans in/from Japan) working transnationally for peace and social justice. 

Friedman, Brittany and Mary Pattillo. 2019. "Statutory Inequality:  the Logics of Monetary Sanctions in State Law."  RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. 

  • Drawing on content analysis of legislative statutes in the state of Illinois, this research asks three questions: What are defendants expected to pay for and why? What accommodations exist for defendants’ poverty? What are the consequences for nonpayment? We find that the neoliberal logics of personal responsibility and carceral expansion suffuse these laws, establishing the basis for transferring greater costs of government onto criminal defendants, offering little relief for poverty, and supporting severe additional penalties for unpaid debt. We argue that statutory inequality legally authorizes the further impoverishment of the poor, thereby increasing inequality.

Hempstead, Katherine and Julie A. Phillips.  2019.  "Divergence in Recent Trends in Deaths from Intentional and Unintentional Poisoning." Health Affairs 38(1).

  • Suicide rates and opioid use have both risen dramatically over the past decade, raising the question of whether the broad availability of opioids is contributing to the suicide epidemic. Contrary to expectations, we found no positive associations in trends of poisoning suicides and unintentional overdoses. There are a number of other important differences in the characteristics of poisoning suicides and opioid overdoses.  Despair and hopelessness may be important in both kinds of death, but the manifestation of these factors doesn't appear consistent, raising questions about the "deaths of despair" explanation.  

Shepherd, Hana and Emily A. Marshall. 2018. "The Implicit Activation Mechanism of Culture: A Survey Experiment on Associations with Childbearing." Poetics 69:1-14.

  • This paper proposes a mechanism by which exposure to forms of culture “in the world” activates individuals’ cognitive associations beneath conscious awareness, making certain behaviors more likely. A survey experiment illustrates part of the proposed mechanism, testing whether cues that make salient a shared cultural representation affect the activation of individuals’ associations with childbearing. We discuss the conditions under which this mechanism may exert the most influence on behavior and outline key future research questions that the proposed model introduces.

Smith, D. Randall. 2018. "The Lure of Academic and Social Reputations Versus Athletic Success: Influences on Enrollment Yield at NCAA Division I Institutions." Research in Higher Education

  • The results show that academic reputation via USNews rank has a consistent, small positive influence on the percentage of accepted students attending while football and basketball performances have little relationship with a school's yield.  Prospective undergraduates appear to be more responsive to a school's academic reputation than to the performance of high-profile athletic teams or being named a party school.
Presentations and Addresses

Brechin, Steven R., Kyra Frank, and Maria Espinoza. “Tangling the Web of Development Funding?  Official Development Assistance, Climate Change Financing, and the UN Sustainability Goals in Belize, CA. Invited Presenter. Session 81: ODA for the SDGs. Sustainability and Development Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 11/11/2018. 
[This was the 1st ever /inaugural conference on sustainability and development at the U of Michigan, Ann Arbor].   
Brechin, Steven R. Invited Panel Participant.  “Civil Society-Government Collaborations in Belize Central America: From better to worse in shared ecological conservation governance?” Conflict and Collaboration: For Better or Worse – Book Symposium. PARCC, Maxwell School Syracuse University 10/26/2018.

Undergraduate News
Save the Date!
The department would like to hold one event per semester for our undergraduates. These events will be organized around various opportunities -- the chance to meet recent alumni and hear what they've been doing since graduation; the opportunity to meet some faculty in a more informal setting for conversation and/or advice; the chance to get to know one another better and network among yourselves.  

The first such event will take place on March 14 from 3:30 - 5 PM in the department library.  Refreshments will be served. Stay tuned for more details on the theme of our first undergraduate gathering.  
Graduation is right around the corner!  The Sociology undergraduate major ceremony will be held on May 15 from 6-8 pm in Trayes Hall.
Check out some excerpts from our new brochure on the undergraduate program.  You will enjoy profiles of current and recently graduated students in the Sociology program on the new Prospective Student portion of the department website.
Alumni News
Jerry Kloby wrote a review of Jane F. McAlevey's No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age which considers features successful and unsuccessful features of contemporary social movements. You can read it at Shelterforce.

Brittany P. Battle has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University beginning in the fall of 2019. Congratulations, Brittany!

Karen A. Cerulo is organizing a mini-conference for the 2019 Eastern Sociological Society Meetings.  Titled "Resistance in the 21st Century," it will be held on Saturday, March 16 from 10:15AM to 3:15 PM. Presentations will be published as a special issue of Sociological Forum later this year. Karen also begins her fifth term as editor of Sociological Forum--the flagship journal of the Eastern Sociological Society in January 2019.

Ali Chaudhary was interviewed by The Star Ledger for an article on the shrinking number of undocumented immigrants in select states.

A forthcoming article from the Journal of Criminal Justice Education entitled "Contemporary Classics? The Early Onset of Influence of Articles Published in Criminology and Criminal Justice Journals, 2010-2015" identifies two peer-reviewed articles by Rutgers faculty as among the most highly-cited in the period from 2010-2015. They are:

#48 - Hirschfield, Paul J. and Alex R. Piquero. 2010. "Normalization and Legitimation: Modeling Stigmatizing Attitudes toward Ex‐Offenders." Criminology 48(1):27-55.

#86 - Browning, Christopher R., Reginald A. Byron, Catherine A. Calder, Lauren J. Krivo, Mei-Po Kwan, Jae-Yong Lee, and Ruth D. Peterson. 2010. "Commercial Density, Residential Concentration, and Crime: Land Use Patterns and Violence in Neighborhood Context." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 47(3):329-357.

Brittany Friedman is organizing a panel session on "Prison Gangs in the Era of Carceral Expansion" for the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology with David Pyrooz (University of Colorado, Boulder). Brittany was also interviewed on two occasions: First, you can listen to "Constructing a Threat:  On Prison Repression of Black Politics" here from September 2018 on This is Hell! Radio WNUR 89.3 FM Chicago. Second, she also gave an interview to Black Agenda Radio on "Solitary Confinement as a Tool of Political Oppression."

Brittany submitted to the NSF Big Idea Machine with Katherine Beckett, Heather Schoenfeld and April Fernandes in October 2018. They are proposing "Deconstructing the Carceral State" as the next pressing research agenda for NSF investment in science. 

Arlene Stein is happy to be continuing as director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers for another three-year term. Her book Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity made a number of “best of 2018 books” lists, including the Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews and The Advocate. On sabbatical in the Spring, Arlene will be a visiting fellow at Australian National University, where she looks forward to communing with wombats and beginning her next book project.

Take a look at the new faculty bookshelf on our website. Faculty, please send your submissions to Lisa Iorillo if you'd like to include your book(s). 

An article shelf is forthcoming. Stay tuned. 
Gretel Weiss Faculty-Student Collaborations Panel
January 30 (Seminar Room)
Lunch will be provided

Department Open House
March 29th (Seminar Room) 
10:00AM (Faculty Introductions)
11:30AM-1:00PM (Colloquium: Faculty/Student Panel)

Professionalization Workshop: Developing Research Proposals
April 3rd (Seminar Room)

SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series
Lawrence Bobo (Harvard University)

April 4th (Douglass Lounge)
Graduate Student Lunch with Professor Bobo in Department Libary @ 1:00PM

Undergraduate Honors Presentations
April 17th (Seminar Room with Lunch in the Library)

TA Training Session
April 26th (Seminar Room)

Log Cabin Party
May 2nd

Undergraduate Major Graduation Ceremony
May 15th (Trayes Hall, Douglass)

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