Colloquia

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

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Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
Feminism, like any globally dispersed and historically long-lived social movement, is intricately intertwined with local specificities of opportunity in how it develops and where and how it succeeds.  By looking at both the discursive opportunities institutionally imbedded in texts with power and the movement’s discursive strategies to frame its claims effectively, I explore differences in how “gender”becomes politically meaningful in three different contexts: Germany, the US and the European Union.  I argue that rather than a “master frame”there are competing “webs of meaning”about inequality that have different and changing resonances across contexts.           
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Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
The body is increasingly the focus of social science research, yet scant attention has been given to how bodies move, how habits of movement are acquired and what that may tell us about race, gender, and sexuality. Craig's forthcoming book places ethnographic observation and interviews into a larger social history of how recreational dance became associated with women rather than men, youth culture rather than adult life, queer but not straight men, and racial minorities rather than whites. By examining a practice that masculinity seems to exclude, Sorry I Don't Dance examines men living or solving the mind/body problem as dancers, reluctant dancers, or sitters-out. MAXINE CRAIG is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Chair of the Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research at the University of California, Davis. She received her doctorate in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her book, Ain't I a Beauty Queen? Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race. (Oxford University Press 2002) was the winner of the Best Book award on the Political History
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Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
In China Constructing Capitalism: Economic Life and Urban Change (2013), we - drawing on a decade’s research and experience - argue that China‘s is not neo-liberal.  Instead there are neo-Daoist and Neo-Confucian routines, which - though they may not have worked for the economy in Max Weber’s time -, are eminently suited to the 21st Century. The relational, embedded forms of economic life and urban property relations China may be closer to Adam Smith’s empiricism (and ethics) than to Weberian rationalism. Neo-liberalism has it basis in neo-classical economics. Carl Menger, one of the founders of neoclassicism was a major influence on Weber in the Methodenstreit at the founding of German Sociology: an influence that still may be dominant in today. Sociology should instead learn from China: it should draw on its own phenomenological routines and neo-institutional political economy (e.g. Ostrom) in a critique of both the neo-classical subject and neo-liberalism.
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Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
Government taxes and spends less in the United States than in most other rich countries, and much of our political debate centers on how much to cut from key programs. I argue that in coming decades we're likely to move in the other direction. Public spending -- particularly on policies that enhance economic security, expand opportunity, and ensure shared prosperity -- will increase rather than decrease.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
Over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic shift in the way Latin American states classify their populations on censuses. Abandoning color-blind approaches, states have adopted census questions that register the presence of indigenous and afro-descendent individuals within national populations. What explains the rise and spread of official ethnoracial classification in 21st-century Latin America? Historical research on national censuses conducted by nineteen Latin American states across nearly two centuries reveals that the recent embrace of official ethnoracial classification in the region is not without precedent. Drawing on lessons from the 19th century rise of racial data collection in Latin America, and its 20th century decline, this talk will explain the re-emergence of official ethnoracial classification in Latin America in the 21st century. Analyzing recent census reforms in comparative and historical perspective yields new insight into the general questions of when and why states engage in ethnoracial classification of their populations.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
Although "partisan polarization" has been a major topic within political science for a decade, analysts have been very slow to recognize that polarization largely results from a dramatic and persistent shift of the GOP to the right. The reluctance to accept that polarization is "asymmetric" has stemmed in part from the very substantial problems this development poses for dominant interpretations of American politics. Indeed, understanding recent trends in partisan politics requires that we see the two major parties as quite distinctive social configurations rather than simply mirror images of each other.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
The rising number of individuals being released from prison has prompted renewed interest among researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in reintegrating former prisoners. Yet relatively little is known about the social contexts into which former prisoners return and how those contexts affect their social and economic reintegration. This talk focuses on the role that neighborhood context and family social support play in the material wellbeing of former prisoners based on two data sources (1) a rich set of longitudinal administrative records on individuals paroled in Michigan during 2003, and (2) longitudinal qualitative interviews with former prisoners followed over a three-year period. Implications for conceptualizing the process of prisoner reintegration will be discussed.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
After centuries of slavery and formal caste subordination, in the three decades following WWII, hundreds of thousands of black people joined insurgent social movements in the U.S. Why did their insurgency thrive in these years? Classical social movement theories, founded on the study of black insurgency, assume a group actor and theorize macro-structural cleavages generating opportunities for insurgency by blacks generally. Instead, conceptualizing insurgent social movements as the proliferation of specific insurgent practices reveals not one, but three distinct black insurgent movements in these years: Black Anti-colonialism peaking mid-1940s, the Civil Rights Movement peaking early 1960s, and Revolutionary Black Nationalism peaking in the late 1960s. Following distinct temporal arcs, each movement mobilized different constituencies, advanced different ideologies, targeted different racial institutions, employed different tactics, challenged different authorities, and attracted different allies.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
“Looking Beyond the Election: The Shape of America’s Future” This is the first in an occasional series of panels exploring factors shaping American society–and global society–now and in the future. The first panel includes distinguished faculty from Berkeley’s Department of Sociology discussing the implications of widening inequality, political stalemate, and growing diversity. Mike Hout on widening educational and economic inequality Margaret Weir on policy formation in an era of political stalemate Irene Bloemraad on how immigration alters the political landscape Irene Bloemraad is author of Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada (University of California Press 2006) and the forthcoming Being American/Becoming American: Birthright Citizenship, Inequality and Immigrants’ Sense of Belonging, among many other articles and edited books.
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall
What can professional dominatrices teach us about ourselves?  Drawing upon observational fieldwork and interviews with women who work as professional dominatrices (“pro-dommes”) in New York City and San Francisco, Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism, and Control in the Dungeon (University of Chicago Press 2012) focuses on two major ways in which the seemingly marginal social sphere of the dominatrix’s “dungeon” can shed light on the contours of American society more generally.  First, although this industry is structured around interactions that superficially appear to be inversions of the gender-power hierarchy, it is also normatively patterned, in the sense that social expectations from everyday life work themselves into the dungeon.  Pro-dommes’ interactions with their clients thus contribute to our understanding of gender, sexuality, and control by showing us what an inversion of our gender-power arrangement can look like while at the same time speaking to the persistence of this arrangement.  Secondly, the people who inhabit this social world highlightdynamics that we suppress in daily life.  While the realm of the pro-domme may appear to be an exotic corner of