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May 2, 2006

Women's Movements in Times of Democratic Expansion - The Spanish and Portuguese Cases

Presented by Ana Prata Pereira

Different theories of Southern European democratizations have privileged an elitist or "top-down" orientation to democratization, focusing mostly on the state and on pacts between elites. These approaches tend to neglect the role of non-elite political actors (e.g. women's movements) and are unable to capture the full range of experiences that impede or facilitate participation of previously excluded actors in democratization.

After the formal transition to democracy in Spain and Portugal (elections, drafting of the Constitution) began a decade of democratic expansion in which various groups struggled to participate and find representation. In both countries, the women's movement actively joined this process. They made claims for several specific issues, the most important of which was reproductive rights. However, the outcomes of their efforts were very different, with Spain providing much greater reproductive rights policies then Portugal. The difference in outcomes is unexpected because the two countries had many similar conditions: similar democratic rights provided to women; organizationally weak movements; a political environment dominated by parties; similar fascist experiences; patriarchical cultures; and strong Catholic counter-movements.

By focusing on an issue central to women's movements in both countries - reproductive rights - this paper explains the relative impact of women's movements in the two democratization processes. Using archival research and interviews, I gathered data in both countries on women's organizations and their interactions with the state, the media, political parties, and the parliament. At this point, my analysis indicates that the difference in outcomes occurred due to allies and the institutional structure of government. Compared to Portugal, the women's movement in Spain could count on the presence of influential allies (Socialist Party) and had increased possibilities for legal collective action in regions due to their relative autonomy within the Spanish state.

April 25, 2006 - CANCELLED

Social Science in Employment Discrimination Law

Presented by Robin Stryker

April 18, 2006

The Effects of National Educational Structures on Educational Participation and Inequality

Presented by Shawn Wick and Evan Schofer

Societies differ significantly in they way they organize education. In some countries it is routine for young children to be separated at early ages into "college-bound" versus "vocational" schools. In others, students face daunting exams at particular stages which prevent educational advancement. In short, the very structure of education varies across societies. We explore the effects of these structural differences on two key outcomes: educational participation and overall societal economic inequality. We argue that sharp structural divisions in education generate and legitimate higher levels of social inequality. We draw on newly collected cross-national data on educational structures of a large sample of nations. We use pooled panel regressions over the period from 1980 to 2000 to explore the issue.

April 11, 2006

Individual Affiliation to the Political Community “Europe�? and the Role of Institutions and Modernization

Presented by Markus Hadler (University of Graz, Austria)

The analyses presented in this talk are part of a larger research project that deals with the influence of institutional settings and modernization processes on individual attitudes and behaviors. In this talk I will focus on the affiliation to a particular political unity, namely the European Union.

For a long time, the political community was more or less congruent with the fellow citizens of the nation-state. But, during the last decades the European Union has expanded enormously and comprises nowadays 25 member states. From the institutional point of view, the European Union can also be considered as an institution which promotes itself and tries to create a European consciousness. For instance, the introduction of the common currency, the Euro, can be seen as an effort to create a European identity. It, thus, can be expected that the subjective affiliation to the European political community will become stronger with the expansion of the European Union. Furthermore, it can be assumed that the longer a country is a member of the EU, or the farther negotiations about a joining are, and the denser the intersection with the EU, the higher will be the affiliation to the European Political Community of its citizens.

Modernization and socioeconomic progress can also be related to the subjective affiliation to and the perception of a political community. Here it is asserted that within less affluent societies higher rates of national pride can be found. Inhabitants of affluent nations also prefer functional-communicative aspects of national identity while those of less affluent societies prefer traditional aspects.

This talk shall highlight the complex interactions of individual attitudes and features of the social context. Furthermore, the effects of institutional settings and modernization factors will be contrasted.

April 4, 2006

Toward a New Racial Studies: Revivifying the Sociology of Race in the 21st Century

Presented by Howard Winant (UC-Santa Barbara)

What is our understanding of the significance of race in the post-civil rights, post-apartheid, post-colonial era? Enormous transformations have occurred since the end of WWII in racial mobility (both geographic and socioeconomic), in racial politics, and indeed in the racial "common-sense" -- the cultural systems of racial representation -- that operate across much of the world. Yet for all these shifts the fundamental continuity of racial dynamics has not been seriously altered: racial inequality persists both locally and globally to a staggering degree and with dreadful social consequences; racial politics still rules from Quito to Capetown, from San Diego to the Sudan, from Urumci (Chinese Turkestan) to East Jerusalem. This situation cries out for sociological innovation, both as an effort to clarify and advance scholarly work on race, and as an intervention we "engaged" researchers are obligated to make in the arena of policy.

A new racial studies would not repudiate past work, sociological or otherwise, on race matters; indeed it would base itself on that legacy. It would, however, seek to advance beyond previous analyses in order to grasp the dynamics and significance of race and racism in the 21st century.

In this presentation I will draw attention to five key problems or contradictions: (1)Nonracialism vs. Race Consciousness; (2)Racial Genomics; (3)The Nation and its Peoples: Citizens, Denizens, Migrants; (4)Race/Gender/Class "Intersectionality"; and (5)The Trajectory of Empire: Race, and Neoconservatism. I propose a radical pragmatist approach to these complex problems, one which recognizes the ineluctable link between racialized experience and racialized social structure. The racial reformism attempted in various sociopolitical settings after WWII (US civil rights, South African "nonracialism," European racial "differentialism," Brazilian "racial democracy," etc.) could not be consolidated, largely because racial rule is essential to rule itself. Therefore the imperatives of racial domination have tended to overwhelm those of inclusion and incorporation.

The presentation will conclude with a preliminary set of programmatic ideas for racial justice-oriented movements in the 21st century.

March 28, 2006

From Captains Courageous to Captain Underpants: Children's Books as a Cultural Field in the Twentieth Century

Jay Gabler (Harvard University)

Children's books in the United States have undergone a significant shift over the course of the twentieth century; the field has institutionalized in comparison and opposition to emerging new media, in the context of a broader social shift towards children's market autonomy. This case study, drawing upon archival and interview research, illustrates the dynamics of competing cultural fields and advances our understanding of childhood and culture in the media marketplace.

March 21, 2006

Disability in the Transition to Adulthood: A Latent Pathway Analysis

Presented by Gina Allen and Ross Macmillan

This project investigates the role of disability in the transition to adulthood. Specifically, the research models pathways in the transition to adulthood by focusing on similarity and difference in the order and timing of school leaving, entry into and continuity of paid employment and marriage, and the onset of parenthood. Our research addresses two specific issues: the ways in which disability shapes the transition to adulthood and the interaction of sex, disability and transitional experiences in young adult attainment. The data used in this research are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health. First, we use a two-stage latent class approach that allows us to formally model heterogeneity in the structure of the transition to adulthood for disabled and non-disabled adolescents. Second, we examine the conjoint role that sex, disability and pathway into adulthood play in shaping occupational attainments in early adulthood.

March 7, 2006 POSTPONED TO APRIL 18

The Effects of National Educational Structures on Educational Participation and Inequality

Presented by Shawn Wick and Evan Schofer

Societies differ significantly in they way they organize education. In some countries it is routine for young children to be separated at early ages into “college-bound? versus “vocational? schools. In others, students face daunting exams at particular stages which prevent educational advancement. In short, the very structure of education varies across societies. We explore the effects of these structural differences on two key outcomes: educational participation and overall societal economic inequality. We argue that sharp structural divisions in education generate and legitimate higher levels of social inequality. We draw on newly collected cross-national data on educational structures of a large sample of nations. We use pooled panel regressions over the period from 1980 to 2000 to explore the issue.

February 28, 2006 POSTPONED

An Overview of the Flexible Work and Well-Being Study

Presented by Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen

The Flex Work Study is a multi-method, multi-year project that investigates a local company's efforts to re-write the rule book about when, where, and how work is done. We approach this "natural experiment" using theory and scholarship that suggests that control over work conditions will be associated with more positive health outcomes, psychological well-being, and satisfaction with work, and that control over work conditions will moderate or reduce the negative effects of high work demands. We are also exploring how actors within a corporate culture attempt to change that culture. This session will give us a chance to describe our on-going research and share some of the challenges of doing a quasi-experimental, longitudinal, multi-method study in a real, live organization.

February 21, 2006

Life Course Trajectories and Retirement Transitions

Jim Raymo (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

Objectives: This study investigates relationships between occupational trajectories and the timing of retirement.

Methods: Using the large sample of respondents to the 1993 and 2004 rounds of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, we estimate discrete-time hazard models for self-reported transition to retirement. We estimate the association between retirement timing and occupational experiences across the life course, evaluate the extent to which these relationships are mediated by characteristics temporally proximate to retirement, and explore potential gender differences in the relationship between life course trajectories and retirement timing.

Results: Preliminary analyses indicate that, net of current occupational status, cumulative exposure to higher status work is significantly related to retirement timing for men but not for women. The nature of this relationship differs by the measure of occupational status used, with cumulative engagement jobs characterized by higher occupational education associated with later retirement and cumulative engagement jobs characterized by higher occupational income associated with earlier retirement. The latter relationship disappears when current economic resources are controlled but the former is robust to control of a wide range of temporally proximate correlates of retirement.

Discussion: These analyses extend existing work on life course influences on retirement by (a) using detailed occupational history data for a large cohort sample now in the midst of the retirement process, (b) considering multiple dimensions of occupational trajectories across the life course, and (c) elaborating the mechanisms through which life course trajectories influence the timing of retirement. These extensions are important in the context of growing heterogeneity in both occupational experiences across the life course and in the retirement process.

February 14, 2006

Educational Leadership in the States: A Cultural and Political Analysis

Presented by Karen Seashore (Educational Policy and Administration)

Using a framework derived from research on political cultures and policy instruments, this project examines how historical patterns of decision-making and power relationships within states are interpreted by participants at several levels. Interviews with approximately 90 positional leaders in 9 states (including elected officials, directors of professional organizations and interest groups, and higher education representatives) focused on recent educational policy-making in two areas: accountability and leadership development. In addition, questions about district-state relationships were part of interviews with superintendents and other top administrators, while surveys of principals included a few items on the state's role in improvement and accountability. A second round of data collection will be carried out this spring.

This research is part of a five-year project examining the impact of leadership on school learning conditions that is being conducted with funding from the Wallace Foundation. The nested sample includes 9 states, 5 districts in each state, three schools in each district, and 4 classrooms in each school.

February 7, 2006

Discrimination to Domicide: Discussing Immigration, Housing, and Rural Communities

Presented by Ann Ziebarth (Design, Housing, and Apparel)

Housing discrimination is often considered an urban phenomena, however in this work-in-progress, Dr. Ann Ziebarth explores the accumulating evidence that racial/ethnic immigrants and in-migrants face similar housing disadvantages in rural communities. Qualitative data indicate that the level of discrimination for Latino migrants, immigrants, and in-migrants in rural Minnesota communities has escalated from subtle forms of residential discouragement to blatant domicide-- the public policy of demolishing housing occupied by a particular social, racial or ethnic group in the name of "the public good". Conflicts over local housing issues reflect many social concerns including homeowners' attempts to protect the economic value of their homes, the difficulty of meeting housing demand for newcomers especially the rising number of in-migrants and immigrants, and the persistence of land use policies promoting residential segregation. This work puts domicide into a theoretical context and raises questions about the ways in which housing, as a concrete and visible element, provides an indicator of economic, demographic, and political change here in Minnesota, around the country, and across the globe.

January 31, 2006

What's Social Capital Got To Do With It? Social Ties and Underemployment in the St. Louis Ghetto

Presented by Teresa Gowan

Over the last ten years, social capital analysis has inundated political science, economics, development studies, and sociology. In social policy circles it has had equal success, providing the theoretical justification for a broad reconceptualisation of poverty and anti-poverty action in both advanced industrialised countries and the global South. Where the old social democratic notion defined poverty as the product of an unequal relationship to "capital," the new exclusion/social capital model addresses it as the result of isolation from a more positively conceived social "mainstream." In this talk I will address the relationship between social capital and unemployment by analyzing qualititative interviews with a group of African-American men drawn from several impoverished neighbourhoods of St. Louis, Missouri. Although some of the men had been circulating between illicit work and prison for many years, the majority had considerable experience in low-wage jobs, but were perennially dissatisfied with their options. Certainly lack of productive social connections appeared to be part of this picture. They were well aware that they did not have the family connections, or some other "right contact," which might open up more rewarding jobs. However, the simple "deficit" model of local social capital that is being mobilized in the non-profit sector neglects the less salubrious aspects of social capital, and therefore obscures the double-edged nature of social ties for those living in the ghettos of St. Louis. Social ties among whites, formal and informal, continue to mold the geographic segregation and economic marginalization of the city's African-Americans; while social contacts inside the ghetto pull residents into the arms of the drug industry.

January 24, 2006

Citizenship and Exclusion: The Case of Tanzania

Presented by Ron Aminzade

Scholars have identified inclusionary and exclusionary forces at the global and national levels that shape citizenship laws and practices. We analyze these forces in terms of the paradox of democratic legitimacy, that is, the tension between global liberal principles concerning human rights and property rights and democratic pressures for national sovereignty. Our case study of Tanzania documents more restrictive borders and more exclusive citizenship and examines exclusionary measures targeting refugees, borderland nomads, borderland politicians, the Asian-Tanzanian racial minority, and foreigners. Our explanation of these exclusionary policies and their targets highlights four factors: the historical legacies of colonialism and state socialism, the movement of capital fostered by neo-liberal economic reforms, the movement of people resulting from regional warfare, and political dynamics of democratization and multiparty politics. Citizenship in Tanzania remains territorialized, state-centered, and unified and domestic considerations of national sovereignty have sometimes trumped international commitments to both human rights and property rights. The dominant nationalist discourse of the neo-liberal era embraces participation in the global economy and welcomes the influx of foreign capital for economic development but locates the threat to national sovereignty in the unregulated cross-border flow of refugees, nomads and borderland residents. An alternative strand of nationalist thought, which commands considerable popular support, highlights the threat posed to national sovereignty by the unregulated movement of capital. The case of Tanzania suggests that the boundary between human rights and citizenship rights, and between property rights and citizenship rights, is not disappearing nor is the territorially-based nation-state. It is becoming reconfigured as nation-states in different parts of the world redefine national sovereignty and grapple with the paradox of democratic legitimacy.

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January 17, 2006

Voting and the Civic Reintegration of Former Prisoners

Presented by Chris Uggen and Shelly Schaefer

When Iowa governor Tom Vilsack restored voting rights to all former felons in that state this July Fourth, he noted that "research shows that ex-offenders who vote are less likely to re-offend." The National Review countered that "the problem with Vilsack's claim is that there is absolutely no research to support it. Not one longitudinal study exists showing the effects of the restoration of voting rights on crime rates or recidivism." We undertook such a study this summer, by matching criminal records with voting records. We conceptualize voting as a form of "civic reintegration," analogous to the work and family ties that are well-established in life course criminology. For our 1990 Minnesota release cohort, we find that approximately 20 percent of the former felons registered to vote. Our event history analysis shows that felons who voted in the previous biennial election have a far lower risk of recidivism than non-voting felons, and that this effect holds net of age, race, gender, and criminal history. The talk will discuss the strengths and limitations of our data and covariate adjustment approach for making causal inferences, the implications of felon enfranchisement for public safety, and the viability of weaving former felons back into the citizenry as stakeholders.

Spring 2006 Workshop Schedule

January 17
Chris Uggen and Shelly Schaefer
Voting and the Civic Reintegration of Former Prisoners (Full Abstract)

January 24
Ron Aminzade
Citizenship and Exclusion: The Case of Tanzania (Full Abstract)

January 31
Teresa Gowan
What's Social Capital Got To Do With It? Social Ties and Underemployment in the St. Louis Ghetto (Full Abstract)

February 7
Ann Ziebarth (Design, Housing, and Apparel)
Discrimination to Domicide: Discussing Immigration, Housing, and Rural Communities (Full Abstract)

February 14
Karen Seashore (Educational Policy and Administration)
Educational Leadership in the States: A Cultural and Political Analysis (Full Abstract)

February 21
Jim Raymo (University of Wisconsin - Madison) (Tentative)
Life Course Trajectories and Retirement Transitions (Full Abstract)

February 28 POSTPONED
Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen
An Overview of the Flexible Work and Well-Being Study (Full Abstract)

March 7
Shawn Wick and Evan Schofer POSTPONED TO APRIL 18
The Effects of National Educational Structures on Educational Participation and Inequality (Full Abstract)

March 21
Gina Allen and Ross Macmillan
Disability in the Transition to Adulthood: A Latent Pathway Analysis (Full Abstract)

March 28
Jay Gabler (Harvard University)
From Captains Courageous to Captain Underpants: Children's Books as a Cultural Field in the Twentieth Century (Full Abstract)

April 4
Howard Winant (UC-Santa Barbara)
Toward a New Racial Studies: Revivifying the Sociology of Race in the 21st Century(Full Abstract)

April 11
Markus Hadler (University of Graz, Austria)
Individual Affiliation to the Political Community "Europe" and the Role of Institutions and Modernization (Full Abstract)

April 18
Shawn Wick and Evan Schofer
The Effects of National Educational Structures on Educational Participation and Inequality (Full Abstract)

April 25
Robin Stryker
Social Science in Employment Discrimination Law (Full Abstract)

May 2
Ana Prata Pereira
Women's Movements in Times of Democratic Expansion - The Spanish and Portuguese Cases (Full Abstract)