Speaker series 2019

Picture of Christopher Wildeman

Christopher Wildeman

Cornell University

What Percentage of Americans Have Ever Had a Family Member Incarcerated? Evidence from the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS)

What percentage of Americans have ever had a family member incarcerated? To answer this question, we designed the Family History of Incarceration Survey (FamHIS). The Survey was administered in the summer of 2018 by NORC at the University of Chicago using their AmeriSpeak Panel. It was funded by FWD.us, which released a separate report using the data (Elderbroom et al. 2018). The data show that 45% of Americans have ever had an immediate family member incarcerated. The incarceration of an immediate family member was most prevalent for Blacks (63%), but common for Whites (42%) and Hispanics (48%) as well. College graduates had a lower risk of having a family member incarcerated, but the risk for Black college graduates was comparatively high. The most common form of family member incarceration was the incarceration of a sibling.

Picture of Yanfei Sun

Yanfei Sun

Zhejiang University

Pre-modern Empires and Religious Toleration

Recent scholarship of pre-modern empires likes to compare pre-modern empires with modern nation states and stresses the propensity of pre-modern empires to tolerate diverse religions and cultures under their control. This emphasis, however, belies the fact that the religious policies of pre-modern empires differ significantly: some indeed allowed all kinds of religions to exist and flourish, while others persecuted heretics and non-believers, and carried out forced conversions. This talk will take a look at the religious policies of dozens of pre-modern empires and rank them according to their degree of toleration towards non-state religions. It will also present a theory to explain their differences.

Picture of Patrick Egan

Patrick Egan

New York University

Identity as Dependent Variable: How Americans Shift Their Identities to Better Align With Their Politics

Political science generally treats demographic identities as “unmoved movers” in the chain of causality because they are rooted in either ascriptive individual attributes or hard-to-change aspects of personal experience. Here I hypothesize that the high salience of partisanship and ideology as social identities in the U.S. is leading some liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans to shift their demographic identities to better align with the demographic prototypes of their political groups. Analyses of a representative panel dataset that tracks identities and political affiliations over a four-year span confirm that small but significant shares of Americans engage in identity switching regarding their ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and class that is predicted by partisanship and ideology in their pasts, bringing their identities into better alignment with their politics. These findings enrich and complicate our understanding of the relationship between identity and political behavior and suggest caution in treating identities as unchanging political phenomena.

Picture of May Al-Dabbagh

May Al-Dabbagh

New York University Abu Dhabi

The Construction of Modern Motherhood and Work

My research is located at the intersection of gender, class, citizenship, migration, and global work. In my current project, I investigate the experiences of married expatriate women in the United Arab Emirates who leave full-time professional employment in order to establish entrepreneurial businesses after becoming mothers. These entrepreneurs specialize in mother or child related services or products and identify with the term “mompreneur” in ways that distinguish them from “mothers” and from “entrepreneurs”. Through a 3 year ethnographic investigation and 40 in-depth interviews, I explore how mompreneurs attempt to reimagine their mothering in market terms and how they describe the emotions involved in mothering and working. I also explore the variation in managerial practices of “work” in these entrepreneurial ventures: some businesses owners reproduce organizational cultures similar to their previous jobs while others cultivate cultures of resistance that reinforce the primacy of care as a work value for their employees. I argue that mompreneurs craft a class-based career mobility strategy that allows them to make certain types of care recognized as “work”. In particular, I explore the cultural capital that allows mompreneurs to feature in the UAE’s story of being modern and global in ways that they are not likely to have in other locations. Finally, the strategies they take help us rethink ideas about how paid and unpaid labor are recognized and how emotions feature as an important mechanism in defining “care” and “work”.

Picture of Diego Acosta

Diego Acosta

University of Bristol

Perspectives on the Global Compact on Migration and Latin America

Latin American countries have played a leading role in the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration. However, already two countries have rejected it (Chile and Dominican Republic) with a third one about do it (Brazil). What can Latin America offer to discussions on migration regulation at international level at a point in time where thousands of Venezuelans and Nicaraguans leave their country to apply for asylum or obtain an immigration residence permit in the region?

Speaker series 2018

Picture of Robert S. Jansen

Robert S. Jansen

University of Michigan

Revolutionizing Repertoires: The Rise of Populist Mobilization in Perú

Political sociologists have demonstrated that contentious political action typically draws upon relatively stable scripts, or repertoires of practices, for the enactment of claims making. But if repertoires tend to be reproduced over time, why and how do new political practices emerge? And when they do, what does it take for them to get assimilated into the toolkit of routine go-to options? In this presentation, I draw on pragmatist theories of social action to elaborate a novel approach to such questions of political innovation. I then apply this approach to explain a critical development in Peruvian political history: the emergence in 1931 of a distinctively Latin American style of populist mobilization.

Picture of Christian Joppke

Christian Joppke

University of Bern

Managing Diversity: Interculturalism v. Multiculturalism

This talk compares interculturalism and multiculturalism as two policies and theories of managing diversity. Interculturalism owes its existence to a critique of multiculturalism, but of highly distorted visions of it. I distinguish between two versions of interculturalism, a majoritarian, practiced in the Canadian province of Québec, and a post-majoritarian, in Europe. Both yield diametrically opposed visions of multiculturalism, as either footloose cosmopolitan (the Quebecois version) or parochial-segregationist (which is the European view). Among the problems of interculturalism is the vacuity of the local as its preferred site of intervention, and its rushed embracing of “diversity” that is also a central plank of neoliberal ideology.

Picture of Swethaa Ballakrishnen

Swethaa Ballakrishnen

New York University Abu Dhabi

Just Like Global Firms: Unintended Gender Parity and Speculative Isomorphism in India’s Elite Professions

Against most male-dominated accounts of professional work, elite law firms in India pose a puzzling exception: women make up about half of these firms, even at senior levels of partnership. Using in-depth interviews with over 130 professionals in India’s elite litigation, transactional law and consulting firms, this research suggests that elite law firms—as new, local organizations—aggressively differentiate themselves from their more traditional peers to establish organizational legitimacy. At the same time, as institutions trying to mimic global firms without actual scripts for doing so, these firms engage in a form of “speculative isomorphism” through which they signal meritocracy and modernity to their global audience. Because equal gender representation is one such mechanism, the result is environments where certain kinds of women are uniquely advantaged.

Speaker series 2016

Picture of Mabel Berezin

Mabel Berezin

Cornell University

Have the 1930s Returned? The Resurgence of Extreme Nationalism in Contemporary Europe

Picture of Matthias Koenig

Matthias Koenig

Max Planck Institute, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Religious Freedom in International Law: Global Dynamics of Diffusion and Institutionalization

Picture of Hannah Brückner

Hannah Brückner

New York University Abu Dhabi

Wikipedia, Democracy, and Academic Knowledge

Picture of Bryan Turner

Bryan Turner

Graduate Center, City University of New York

A Comparative Sociology of Islamophobia: Myths and Realities

Picture of David Cook-Martín

David Cook-Martín

Grinnell College

How Their Laws Affect Our Laws: Mechanisms of Immigration Policy Diffusion in the Americas

Picture of Avi Astor

Avi Astor

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Politics of Religious Heritage in Spain

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