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May 17, 2017

Spring Colloquium 5/22/17

Jennifer Utrata
Department of Sociology
University of Puget Sound

Monday May 22
12:00 – 1:00 pm
714 PLC

Title: Rethinking Single Motherhood: Normalized Gender Crisis and Russia’s Quiet Revolution

Abstract: How might Russia be understood as an extreme case of the increased gender distrust and relationship fluidity shaping families worldwide? Both women and men in Russia observe that there are few real men, and note an entrenched “problem with men,” especially given the “scourge” of male drinking. This state of normalized gender crisis has important implications for Russia, shaping people’s experiences of the state, society, family life, and the transition to neoliberal market capitalism. However, it also has implications for our understanding of single motherhood and gender crisis elsewhere, including in the United States. Russia is a sensitizing case, one which challenges scholars to move beyond American exceptionalism in studies of families and gender relations. From growing numbers of single mothers and de facto single (but legally married) mothers, to overburdened grandmothers and men who share women’s disillusionment with men and the state, this talk discusses several aspects of Russia’s quiet revolution which challenge Western assumptions about single motherhood, poverty, families, and gender.

Bio: Jennifer Utrata is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Puget Sound. Her research focuses on how economic and social transformations shape gender and intimate relationships. Her book Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia (Cornell 2015) won the PSA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award (2017) and the ESS’s Mirra Komarovsky Distinguished Book Award (2016). She has also published in journals such as Gender & Society and Journal of Marriage and Family. Utrata’s current research focuses on how grandmothers’ unpaid care work shapes the transition to parenthood, parents’ responses to the child care crisis, and broader inequalities among families in the United States.


May 15, 2017

Spring Colloquium 5/16/18

Tuesday, May 16
12:00 – 1:00 pm
714 PLC

Josh Gamson
Department of Sociology
University of San Francisco

Talk Title: “Extraordinary Kin: The Politics of Unconventional Family Creation Stories”

Abstract: In Modern Families, I try to apprehend larger changes in family structure and kinship by looking at it nontraditional family creation from the inside out. I recount the stories of how I and some other people I know created our unconventional families (single mother families; lesbian, gay, and trans families; multiparent queer families) through assisted reproduction and adoption, using them as a spot from which to view the norms, conventions, and institutions that regulate contemporary family making. In this talk, I focus on the politics of telling such family stories. I situate them within the larger context of myths about the One True Family, and within the main competing genres through which unconventional family origin stories are told, one celebratory and the other critical. I then tell pieces of those stories, to illustrate how family storytelling can reveal complex encounters with normative regimes, global inequalities, class inequalities, medical and legal institutions, and market transactions. I finish by considering both the micropolitics and macropolitics of telling family origin stories, especially where these stories might enter broader discussions of reproductive justice and freedom.

Bio: Joshua Gamson is Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of Claims to Fame:  Celebrity in Contemporary America (California, 1994); Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity (Chicago, 1998); The Fabulous Sylvester (Henry Holt/Picador, 2005), and Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship (New York University, 2015), along with numerous scholarly articles on social movements, sexualities, and contemporary culture. Among other honors, he’s received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.



May 3, 2017

Spring Colloquium 5/8/17

Pegging and the Heterosexualization of Anal Sex: An Analysis of Savage Love advice

May 8, 2017
12-1 pm
714 PLC

Jade Aguilar
Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies
Willamette University

This presentation examines the act of  “pegging,” a term that American sex advice columnist Dan Savage and his readers coined to describe a woman performing anal sex on a man by penetrating the man’s anus with a strap-on dildo. Since 2001 when the term was coined, the act (and the term) have gained popularity in the United States, appearing regularly in the mass media. This talk analyzes the Savage Love columns that discuss pegging. Using a queer theory approach, I show how Savage and his readers discursively normalize deviant sexual behaviors to construct socially “appropriate” sexual acts, bodies, behaviors, and identities. Straight-identified peggers are benefitting from the gains that gays/lesbians/queers have made in opening norms and sexual culture, but at the same time are working to highlight their straight identity and the social privileges that come with it.

Jade Aguilar is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Willamette University in Salem, OR. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She studies and teaches courses in gender, sexuality, and family, in particular examining and challenging essentialist and biologically determinist perspectives. Her main areas of study include Intentional Communities, non-normative sexualities, and women in the construction trades.

April 26, 2017

Spring Colloquium 5/1/17

Monday, May 1
12:00 – 1:00 pm
714 PLC

Dan Jaffee
Department of Sociology
Portland State University

Talk Title: Who’s the Fairest of Them All?  Charting the Fractured Landscape of Fair Trade Certification in the U.S.

Abstract: A few years ago, U.S. consumers seeking fairly-traded food products could look for a single product label.  Today, shoppers are confronted by no fewer than four competing fair-trade seals, each backed by a separate third-party certification and based on differing standards.  This fracturing results from longstanding divisions within the U.S. fair trade movement over its relationship with large corporate food firms and the role of agribusiness plantations in fair trade.  This talk draws on content analyses of the standards behind the four main U.S. fair trade labels to explore three questions: (1) How specifically do these certifications differ, and what kinds of economic and labor relations are facilitated by each?; (2) How closely do the standards underlying these seals correspond to the foundational principles of the fair trade movement?; and (3) What does the fracturing of the U.S. fair-trade certification system signify about the dynamics of competition among nonstate standards?  It argues that the current fragmented certification landscape illuminates struggles among competing interest groups over which principles—and which labor and production forms—should be privileged under the banner of fair trade.

Bio: Dan Jaffee is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Portland State University. His research focuses on the effects of economic globalization and neoliberal policies on social and environmental conditions for rural communities, both in the global South (particularly Latin America) and the global North. This broad focus is reflected in his ongoing work on the international fair trade system and the commodification of public goods like drinking water. His research has appeared in his award-winning book, Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival (UC Press, updated edition in 2014) and other scholarly outlets, including Agriculture and Human Values; Organization & Environment; Rural Sociology; Sustainability; and Social Problems. Additional information about Dr. Jaffee’s work can be found here:

April 12, 2017

Spring Colloquium 4/17/17

Monday, April 17 || 12-1pm in 714 PLC

Nathan McClintock
Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
Portland State University 

Talk Title: Cultivating sustainability capital: Urban agriculture and eco-gentrification in Portland and Vancouver

Abstract: For many activists and scholars throughout the Global North, urban agriculture (UA) is central to food justice struggles. As new gardens crop up at a furious pace, however, critics from within and outside academia have begun to question who UA serves, raising the alarm about UA’s contribution to gentrification and displacement. Drawing on an ongoing mixed-methods study of UA in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia, I illustrate how capitalist valorization of UA occurs unevenly, mediated by land rent, municipal policy, race, class, and the growing predominance of an eco-habitus. Gardens ultimately become sustainability capital in a spatially and temporally variegated manner, undergirding a “sustainability fix” and related processes of eco-gentrification at city- and neighborhood-scales. At the same time, some UA activists are now linking their efforts to broader struggles for social justice; in some cases, their concerns over equity are actually filtering into municipal food and sustainability policies in new and potentially transformative ways.

Bio: Nathan McClintock is a geographer and an assistant professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His research focuses on food justice and urban political ecology with a particular interest in the origins of contemporary urban agriculture movements, obstacles to food access, and the possibilities of scaling up food production in the city. His work has appeared in a wide variety of scholarly outlets, including Cultivating Food Justice (Alkon and Agyeman, eds., 2011 MIT Press); Geoforum; Urban Geography; Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development; and Landscape and Urban Planning. Additional information about Dr. McClintock’s work can be found here:

April 6, 2017

Spring Colloquium 4/10/17

Hello everyone! I hope your Spring term is off to a great start! Just a reminder that our first colloquium of the term is happening next week, Monday April 10th in 714 PLC from 12-1pm.

Professor Michael Dreiling
Department of Sociology
University of Oregon

Talk Title: Agents of Neoliberal Globalization: Corporate Networks, State Structures, and Trade Policy

Abstract: Come learn about Professor Dreiling’s new book! Depictions of globalization commonly recite a story of a market unleashed, bringing Big Macs and iPhones to all corners of the world. Human society appears as a passive observer to a busy revolution of an invisible global market, paradoxically unfolding by its own energy. Sometimes, this market is thought to be unleashed by politicians working on the surface of an autonomous state. This book rejects both perspectives and provides an analytically rich alternative to conventional approaches to globalization. By the 1980s, an enduring corporate coalition advanced in nearly synonymous terms free trade, tax cuts, and deregulation. Highly networked corporate leaders and state officials worked in concert to produce the trade policy framework for neoliberal globalization. Marshalling original network data and a historical narrative, this book shows that the globalizing corporate titans of the late 1960s aligned with economic conservatives to set into motion this vision of a global free market.


March 8, 2017

Winter Colloquium 3/13

“A spectrum of belonging: How race, gender, and sexuality shape the experiences of women working in tech”

March 13th 2017, 12-1pm in 714 PLC

Lauren Alfrey
Assistant Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Social Work
University of Portland


February 28, 2017

Winter Colloquium 3/6/17

“Strategies for State-level Climate Action Policy-making: From Framing to Marriage Equality Tactics”

Janet A. Lorenzen
Willamette University

Abstract: Environmental sociologists recommend policy solutions to address climate change, but how are structural changes accomplished in a “post-hoax” political arena? My work (in progress) explores the process of environmental policy making in Oregon from 2015-2017. This talk draws on 25 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with legislators, legislative staff members, lobbyists, and environmental group leaders, as well as participant observation at hearings and lobby days. I will focus on the strategies used, and barriers encountered, by environmental groups in their attempts to support action on climate change.

Bio: Janet A. Lorenzen earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University. Her research interests, broadly defined, include studying the way people respond to social and environmental problems. She is interested in the micro- and meso-level foundations of macro-level social change; including lifestyle change, social movement strategies, and policymaking. Her dissertation explores the gradual process of transitioning to a green lifestyle, the strategies employed by actors to spread those changes through their social networks, the relationship between lifestyle change and social movements, and the co-construction of green technology and users. Her current research project is on local climate governance.

February 24, 2017

Winter Colloquium 2/27/17

February 27, 2017
714 PLC

Professor James Moody

Department of Sociology, Duke University

The Structural Dynamics of Groups and Roles in Early Adolescent Friendship Networks

A fundamental aspect of school life rests on the collective substructures of peer networks.  We examine two intersecting substructures here: peer groups defined as dense communities of close friends and role positions, defined on the pattern of ties one is embedded within, which are closely aligned with the school status structure.  Combined, these two dimensions define the social field of a school for adolescents. Despite intense policy interest in “peer pressure” and theoretical interests in generalizations of fields, there is little basic descriptive information on the life-history of these key social network substructures in real-world networks, in part due to lack of available data and appropriate methods. Here, we describe the dynamics of groups and roles in dynamic data on 6 waves of  peer network data in a way that lets us see the simultaneous emergence of behavior homophily and status stability.


Bio: James Moody is the Robert O. Keohane professor of sociology at Duke University. He has published extensively in the field of social networks, methods, and social theory. His work has focused theoretically on the network foundations of social cohesion and diffusion, with a particular emphasis on building tools and methods for understanding dynamic social networks. He has used network models to help understand school racial segregation, adolescent health, disease spread, economic development, and the development of scientific disciplines.


January 24, 2017

Winter Term Colloquium Schedule

January 23, 2017

Hilary Boudet (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Oregon State University) and Stephanie Shepard (MPP, Oregon State University)

A Culture of Resilience: Social Capital and Climate Adaption in Post-Flood Boulder County, Colorado

January 30, 2017 

Kelsy Kretschmer (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Oregon State University)

Men at the March: Feminist Boundaries, Media Messages, and Male Allies

February 6, 2017

Carol Stabile (Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies and the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon)

Cleaning the House of Broadcasting: Gender, Race, and the FBI Attack on Television

February 13, 2017

Amy Lubitow (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Portland State University)

Inequalities in Urban Mobility in Portland: Understanding Community Vulnerability and Prospects of Livable Neighborhoods

February 20, 2017

Patrick Greiner (Graduate Student, Sociology, University of Oregon)

Divergent Pathways On the Road To Sustainability: A Multilevel Model of the Effects of Geopolitical Power on the Relationship between Economic Growth and Environmental Health

February 27, 2017

James Moody (Professor, Sociology, Duke University)


March 6, 2017

Janet Lorenzen (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Willamette University)


March 13, 2017

Anissa Rogers (Professor and Director, Dorothy Day Social Work Program, University of Portland)

Contemporary Issues and Future Directions in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Aging



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