Professor Claire Herbert was awarded a $20k grant from the Sociological Initiatives Foundation for a participatory action component of her new research project, “When Home is Illegal: How Law and Governance Shape Informal Housing in Lane County.” Claire will be working with a local nonprofit to identify regulatory changes that can help reduce the harms of unsheltered homelessness and promote safety and stability for community members without access to conventional housing.
|Two new books by Ken Liberman were released in May – Tasting Coffee: An Inquiry into Objectivity, 502 pp. SUNY Press; & Streams, Lakes, Trees, and Trails of the Salmon Mountains: Poems by Kenneth Liberman, 70 pp. Salmon River Restoration Council.|
|Professors Jessica Vasquez-Tokos (Sociology) and Priscilla Yamin (Political Science) are co-winners of the American Sociology Association’s Race, Gender, and Class Section Article Award (2021) for their article, “The racialization of privacy: racial formation as a family affair,” published in Theory & Society.|
Mahindra Mohan Kumar has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his research proposal titled “Defund the Police, Fund the Crisis Workers: An Ethnographic Study of A Mobile Crisis Intervention Program.” His project will focus on CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) here in Eugene. This is a highly prestigious honor that serves as a testament to the important work that Mahindra is doing. Congratulations to Mahindra!
The Department of Sociology is thrilled to share that Lola Loustaunau, with coauthors Lina Stepick, Ellen Scott, Larissa Petrucci, and Miriam Henifin, received the Pacific Sociological Association’s 2022 Distinguished Contribution to Sociological Perspectives Award for their article published last year (details below). This is wonderful recognition and acknowledgement for an excellent article. Congratulations to the entire research team!
“No Choice but to Be Essential: Expanding Dimensions of Precarity During COVID-19”
Lola Loustaunau, Lina Stepick, Ellen Scott, Larissa Petrucci, Miriam Henifin
Under COVID-19, low-wage service sector workers found themselves as essential workers vulnerable to intensified precarity. Based on in-depth interviews with a sample of 52 low-wage service workers interviewed first in Summer 2019 and then in the last two weeks of April 2020, we argue that COVID-19 has created new and heightened dimensions of precarity for low-wage workers. They experience (1) moments of what we call precarious stability, in which an increase in hours and predictable schedules is accompanied by unpredictability in the tasks workers are assigned, (2) increased threats to bodily integrity, and (3) experiences of fear and anxiety as background conditions of work and intensified emotional labor. The impacts of COVID-19 on workers’ lives warrant an expanded conceptualization of precarity that captures the dynamic and shifting nature of precarious stability and must incorporate workers’ limited control over their bodily integrity and emotions as core components of precarious working conditions.
Bringing to the fore a wealth of original research, A Detroit Story examines how the informal reclamation of abandoned property has been shaping Detroit for decades. Claire Herbert lived in the city for almost five years to get a ground-view sense of how this process molds urban areas. She participated in community meetings and tax foreclosure protests, interviewed various groups, followed scrappers through abandoned buildings, and visited squatted houses and gardens. Herbert found that new residents with more privilege often have their back-to-the-earth practices formalized by local policies, whereas longtime, more disempowered residents, usually representing communities of color, have their practices labeled as illegal and illegitimate. She teases out how these divergent treatments reproduce long-standing inequalities in race, class, and property ownership.
Read more and buy the book on the UC Press website.
Dr. Tim Ingalsbee (PhD, ’95) was quoted in The New York Times for his critiques of industrialized fire suppression and promotion of ecologically and ethically more sound methods for forest fire mitigation. The interactive article is a fascinating multimedia exploration of sociological and environmental reflections on fires, climate change, and history.
Timothy Ingalsbee, who co-founded Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology, a group that pushes for stronger land management practices, has argued that over the long term many of the tactics employed by emergency crews hurt forest land, which benefits from periodic controlled fires.
“We’re fighting fires under the worst conditions rather than lighting fires under the best conditions,” Mr. Ingalsbee added. “There are 10,000 firefighters on the line in California, trying to keep people safe. What would those 10,000 be able to do to apply fire in the winter or spring to yield the best ecological effects — and a very different set of costs?”
The full article can be seen on the New York Times website.
Shawna Heurgue, UO Sociology alumna and former Peer Leader, was featured in Around the O this week in a story about the surprisingly positive impact the pandemic had on her educational career:
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and shift to mostly remote instruction gave many students pause about starting, or returning, to college. Not Shawna Heurgue.
The Springfield mother of three had been struggling to transition into a new career after leaving her longtime job as an emergency room nurse. But the thought of returning to a college campus, surrounded by people 20 years younger than her, always felt daunting, Heurgue said.
So, when COVID arrived and the UO switched to remote learning, Heurgue jumped at the opportunity to kickstart her education, fully online, from the more comfortable setting of her bedroom.
“I thought, ‘This is my opportunity and I’m going to take it. I’m going to finally get my bachelor’s degree and I’m going to do it in a year,’” she said. “It just felt perfect.”
The full article is available on the Around the O website. Congratulations, Shawna, on all your accomplishments!
UO Sociology is happy to share the news that Lola Loustaunau and Mauricio Betancourt’s paper titled “Worse than Slavery”?: Chinese Contract Labor, the Corporeal Rift, and Ecological Imperialism in Peru’s Nineteenth-Century Guano Boom, coauthored with John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark, was accepted for publication in the Journal of Peasant Studies. This paper was the product of a Marquina Award supporting grad student and faculty collaboration. Congratulations everyone!
Other exciting news includes awards for Haisu Huang and Jinsun Yang by the Division of Graduate Studies, sponsoring their involvement in the Write Now Fall Writing Program offered by the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Congratulations Haisu and Jinsun!
Congratulations to Professor Emerita Marion “Mimi” Goldman, who has received a Fulbright Specialist Program Award for work in the United Kingdom. This award recognizes her earlier work in Sociology and with other UO faculty in the Folklore and Religious Studies departments.
Lancaster University’s Institute for Social Futures and Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion will be her hosts, and she will also lecture at King’s College London. Mimi will help develop curricula integrating recent approaches to the vibrant spiritual life that unfolds outside or at the margins of formally institutionalized religions. This project builds on her recent research about Finnish paganism. Entitled “Vernacular Practices and Religious Futures,” the project also adds to our department’s faculty and graduate students’ established international visibility and impact.
This innovative interdisciplinary project extends the Sociology Department’s sustained commitment to global and collaborative research. It is one of many recent Sociology faculty’s achievements and awards recognizing our long-standing support of international collaborations with academics and activists on every continent.