Colloquia

Sociology Department Colloquium Series
Blumer Room - 402 Social Sciences Building
MONDAYS, 2:00 - 3:30 PM
[unless otherwise noted]

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Hybrid: via Zoom and in-person at 402 Social Sciences Building
Noncitizens seeking to make sense of US immigration systems encounter a labyrinth of information and deception. In a national study of scams (2011-2014) targeting noncitizens seeking immigration legal services, I use administrative and secondary data sources to analyze the correlates of immigration scam complaints submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I find welcoming counties have more immigration scam complaints, and counties with exclusionary contexts tend to have less complaints. The results do not suggest scams are more prevalent in welcoming contexts because the actual number of scams is unknown. Instead, we can conclude noncitizens tend to come forward to report immigration scams in welcoming contexts of reception, even after accounting for exclusionary policies. A robust safety net proved the most reliable predictor of immigration scams reported to the FTC.
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Hybrid: via Zoom and in-person at 402 Social Sciences Building
Immigrant “sanctuary” jurisdictions have recently reentered U.S. political discourse and engendered contentious debates regarding their legality and influence on public safety. Critics argue that sanctuary jurisdictions threaten local communities by impeding federal immigration enforcement efforts. Proponents maintain that the policies improve public safety by fostering institutional trust within immigrant communities and by increasing the willingness of immigrant community members to notify the police after they are victimized – changes which bolster community levels of formal and informal social control. In this presentation, I situate expectations from the immigrant sanctuary literature within a multilevel, contextualized help-seeking framework and discuss how crime-reporting behavior empirically varies across immigrant sanctuary contexts over a 25-year period. ----
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via Zoom
This talk will focus on the impact of ICE surveillance – electronic monitor (EM) – on immigrants, and their communities.  She shares insights on how EM operates as a surveillance tool that influences the immigrant’s relationship with the state, community, and self. Release from detention could conceivably provide an immigrant with the benefits of reintegration into a co-ethnic community. However, under surveillance, the immigrant loses access to co-ethnic social capital, as the state fractures their safety net. Thus, EM operates as a tool of legal violence, creating a new axis of stratification and producing the unequal distribution of autonomy and resources. EM generates a condition of ‘extended punishment’ that consists of material and social harms that affect immigrants, families, and communities. ----
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Hybrid: Zoom & 402 Social Sciences Building
Figures of the Future: Latino Civil Rights and the Politics of Demographic Change Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz Northwestern University
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Hybrid: Zoom and 402 Social Sciences Bldg
This talk examines a major historical change in employers’ pay-setting practices. In the post-war decades, most U.S. employers used bureaucratic tools to measure the worth of each job. Starting in the 1980s, employers abandoned these practices and relied instead on external market data to assess the price of a candidate. In doing so, organizations tied employee pay more tightly to the external labor market. This presents a puzzle for prominent theories, which propose that organizations aim to buffer internal functions from the environment. To describe this shift, I use a new database of 1,059 publications from the Society of Human Resources Management and 83 interviews with compensation professionals. These data highlight the surprising role of law. When the U.S. courts rejected comparable worth lawsuits in the 1980s, their decisions created an opportunity for employers to reduce liability for discrimination by relying on external, market data.
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Hybrid: Zoom & Latinx Research Center, 2547 Channing Way
How does the population structure of social settings shape the contexts in which friendships form? I advance a theoretical framework of consolidation as a measure of multidimensional social structure and use it to understand the intergroup dynamics underlying interethnic friendships among adolescents in Western European classrooms. My approach reveals barriers to interethnic friendships in more consolidated classrooms (in which students from different ethnic backgrounds also tend to differ in socioeconomic status). In other words, there is a strong positive association between consolidation and ethnic homophily, supporting the idea that the salience of ethnic boundaries is contingent on the joint configuration of socioeconomic status and ethnicity within social contexts.
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Hybrid: Zoom and 402 Social Sciences Bldg
Race and homeownership have been linked to notions of citizenship throughout American history. Policies including the Homestead Act of 1862 and New Deal policies of the mid-twentieth century have demonstrated the federal government’s commitment to subsidizing homeownership for white households. These policies have contributed to racial inequality in homeownership and, therefore, in wealth. An extensive literature explores the contemporary racial wealth gap through the lens of homeownership, however, few empirical works elucidate how policy has contributed to its production and reproduction. Taking the case of the Home Loan Guaranty of the 1944 GI Bill (HLG), one of the largest housing policies in American history, this paper asks (1) to what extent was there racial inequality in the implementation of the HLG? (2) What impact did this policy have on racial inequality in homeownership and home value?
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Hybrid 402 Soc Sci Bldg & Zoom
Drawing on a global and comparative ethnography, this presentation explores how Syrian men and women seeking refuge in a moment of unprecedented global displacement are received by countries of resettlement and asylum—the U.S., Canada, and Germany. It shows that human capital, typically examined as the skills immigrants bring with them that shape their potential, is actually created, transformed, or destroyed by receiving states’ incorporation policies. Since these policies derive from historically informed and unequal approaches to social welfare, refugees’ experiences raise a mirror to how states (re)produce inequality. ----
hybrid: 402 Social Sciences Bldg & Zoom
In this talk, I examine the micro-level processes that lead so many different-sex couples to reproduce rather than challenge gendered patterns in family life, despite their endorsement of egalitarian ideals. I use the case of cognitive labor, which is akin to project management for the household, to argue that one key process involves the selective erasure of gender from individuals’ self-understanding. I draw on 136 interviews with members of 76 different-sex couples to show how this “personal essentialist” logic allows respondents to acknowledge inequalities in partners’ household contributions but deny that these inequalities reflect their gender ideology. Instead, respondents understand their cognitive labor patterns to be a function of who they are—not as men and women but as individuals. While this perspective helps keep the peace, it also reduces the likelihood that respondents will seek change. These findings help explain how egalitarian intentions can fail to translate into egalitarian behaviors: cultural scripts related to individualism and self-expression enable couples to recast inequality as personal rather than gendered.
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via Zoom
Existing development theories predict that factors such as natural resource wealth and the legacies of European colonizers inhibit development. However, the case of Trinidad and Tobago challenges these theories, as a resource-rich former colony that has achieved high levels of development. What accounts for Trinidad and Tobago's development trajectory? Using the Black Marxist radical tradition, this study emphasizes what existing development theories miss, namely, the role of organized labor in enabling Trinidad and Tobago to escape the development trap through a different form of unionism that has not yet discussed in labor studies literature - "liberation unionism.” The findings suggest that development studies attend to how colonial labor legacies shape post-colonial development. -----