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April 28, 2023
February 24, 2023

Professor Claire Herbert Receives Teaching Award

Congratulations to Sociology Professor Claire Herbert, this year’s recipient of the Tykeson Teaching Award.  These awards are presented every year to one faculty member in each division of the College of Arts and Sciences: the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Recipients are recognized for their excellence in teaching.

In the last three years, Professor Herbert has continued to teach an array of Sociology classes that also serve the needs of students in GSS and CRIM, as well as a topical class in the Clark Honors College. Professor Herbert developed a strong, large enrolling version of Deviance, Control and Crime (SOC 380), assuring that we could offer this class more frequently and with more seats to the many Sociology, Criminology, and General Social Science students interested in this subject. Professor Herbert is a rigorous, innovative, and professionally engaged teacher who reinforces the values of excellence in inquiry at the University of Oregon.

February 22, 2023

Professor Norton Receives an Award

Professor Matthew Norton received a Book Publication Award from the Office of the Provost for his book The Punishment of Pirates. For more information on his book go to:

A sociological investigation into maritime state power told through an exploration of how the British Empire policed piracy.

Early in the seventeenth-century boom of seafaring, piracy allowed many enterprising and lawless men to make fortunes on the high seas, due in no small part to the lack of policing by the British crown. But as the British empire grew from being a collection of far-flung territories into a consolidated economic and political enterprise dependent on long-distance trade, pirates increasingly became a destabilizing threat. This development is traced by sociologist Matthew Norton in The Punishment of Pirates, taking the reader on an exciting journey through the shifting legal status of pirates in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Norton shows us that eliminating this threat required an institutional shift: first identifying and defining piracy, and then brutally policing it. The Punishment of Pirates develops a new framework for understanding the cultural mechanisms involved in dividing, classifying, and constructing institutional order by tracing the transformation of piracy from a situation of cultivated ambiguity to a criminal category with violently patrolled boundaries—ending with its eradication as a systemic threat to trade in the English Empire. Replete with gun battles, executions, jailbreaks, and courtroom dramas, Norton’s book offers insights for social theorists, political scientists, and historians alike.

May 3, 2022

Claire Herbert awarded $20k Sociological Initiatives Foundation Grant

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.

May 2, 2022
April 29, 2022
April 6, 2022

Mahindra Mohan Kumar Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

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!

February 17, 2022

UO Sociology grad student, professor win PSA publication award

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.

October 28, 2021

Professor Claire Herbert’s new book: “A Detroit Story”

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.

October 14, 2021

UO Sociology alum & instructor quoted in New York Times forest fire article

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.

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