Professor Candace Kruttschnitt named a juror for the Stockholm Prize in Criminology

Professor Candace Kruttschnitt has recently been selected to serve as a member of the International Jury of the Stockholm Prize Criminology. As a member of the jury, Professor Kruttschnitt will be one of the eleven jurors to select the recipient of the annual Stockholm Prize. She will be invited to attend the annual meeting of the Jury as a guest of the University of Stockholm, and will be introduced in the Nobel Prize banqueting hall (the Blue Room of the Stockholm Stadsthuset ) prior to the award of each Prize by either the Justice Minister or a member of the Royal Family.

The Prize has a permanent endowment now in excess of 50 Million SKR, which yields a Prize amount each year of 1,000,000 SKR or more. These funds were established jointly by the Swedish Parliament and a group of Swedish and overseas foundations. Since 2006, the Prize has been awarded annually to outstanding contributions to the science of criminology, or to the application of criminological research to the reduction or crime or the advancement of human rights.

Professor Kruttschnitt was selected as a juror based on her international reputation in Criminology. The co-chairs of the jury wrote that they felt honoured to have her on the Jury and commended her as “extremely active world-wide in her research and participation in criminological conferences,” stating also that they “value highly both her knowledge and her judgment.”

We congratulate Professor Kruttschnitt on this commendation and are confident that she will be a valuable asset to the committee.

Professor Michelle Pannor Silver on the Discontentments of Retirement in New Forbes Interview

Silver, MichelleProfessor Michelle Pannor Silver has recently been interviewed by Forbes Magazine on her book Retirement and Its Discontents: unfulfilling, rudderless and filled with a loss of identity, which focuses on the realities of retirement from a sociological perspective. Her book delves into the world of retired professionals who have found the transition to retirement challenging. She found that they often felt forced into retirement by family, friends and colleague members.

Michelle Pannor Silver is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus with joint appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society (ICHS).  She also holds cross appointments at the Institute for Life Course and Aging and in the Department of Medicine. Her professional interests  include Gerontology, aging and the life course, retirement, pensions, health care expenditures, health information seeking behaviours and perceptions about aging.

The full article can be viewed here. We have posted an except below.

 

You asked what their retirement parties were like. Why? And what did you learn from that?

When I started talking with people about what marked their retirement turning point, they often pointed to the party leading up to it. One man, an academic physician, described it as being more like a funeral; he felt like he was sitting there and people were talking about him as if he had died and it was the end of his life.

He realized he had a lot of things he was still working on, if not his best work still to come. And he decided to focus on doing the research he sought to be his life’s work. The party sealed the deal.

He would tell me: ‘I’m retired and have a set of historical fiction novels I’ve always meant to read and I’m interested in.’ He’d try to pick up one of the books that was supposed to be for fun and just couldn’t do it. He’d immediately gravitate to the medical journals that were work-related.

 

“What a widely attacked experiment got right on the harmful effects of prison”-Professor Ashely Rubin Writes Article for The Conversation Canada

Professor Ashley Rubin has written an article for The Conversation Canada asking whether the critiques of the Stanford Prison experiment are missing the mark. According to Rubin, while the Stanford Prison Experiment has been widely criticized for its research design and execution, it effectively illustrates the harmful effects prisons have on both prisoners and prison workers.

Her piece discusses the robust prison research that found similar results as the Stanford experiment. Such research highlights negative effects such as high rates of depression, suicide, PTSD and anxiety along with the corruptibility that prisons have on those who live and work inside.

Professor Rubin is an associate professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus. Her research interests include the dynamics of penal change, focusing on the introduction of new punishments in America and England from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century.

An excerpt from the article is posted below.

In news articles, the Stanford experiment has been “debunked” and “exposed as a fraud.” Its findings have been declared “very wrong” and “fake.” It has been further criticized for experimenter interference, faked behaviour from participants and for research design problems, among other things.

These serious critiques have generated much discussion in academic circles and in news articles about what, if anything, we can learn from the experiment.

And yet, as someone who studies prisons, I’m struck by how much the Stanford Prison Experiment got right. A wealth of other research suggests prisons have serious detrimental effects on prisoners and prison workers alike.

What the research says

Living and working in prison is extremely stressful and demoralizing.

Some people are better at repelling these effects than others. Even so, prisoners and prison workers suffer from high rates of depression, anxiety, suicide, PTSD and other devastating conditions. For many prisoners, these conditions continue after prison and can be worsened by the transition into the free world.

Not just prisoners

Prison staff are also affected. The history of American imprisonment is also filled with examples of people with good intentions becoming “corrupted” by the prison.

Pennsylvania’s Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829. Progressive Philadelphia penal reformers designed Eastern to be more humane than other prisons, with prisoners’ physical and mental health in mind. They implemented a routine — combining work, education, mentorship and outdoor exercise — to benefit both prisoners and society. Finally, they sought to protect prisoners’ identities so they could reenter society without stigma.

Within five years of the prison’s opening, however, the penal reformers, now prison administrators, had betrayed their humanitarian goals.

Continue Reading…

 

P2P: Prevalence and Patterning of Mental Disorder in 3 Cohorts of Black and White Americans

Patricia LouieEvery student in the Sociology PhD program at the University of Toronto completes the Research Practicum course in their second year. This course involves each student working directly on a research project with a faculty member through the various stages of research and writing while also meeting with other graduate students in the course to tackle the hurdles of clarifying, strengthening, and sharpening one’s ideas in a journal-length research article. In this series, we highlight the practicum papers that went on to become published articles, and the students who wrote them.

Louie, Patricia and Blair Wheaton. 2018. “Prevalence and Patterning of Mental Disorder in 3 Cohorts of Black and White Americans Through Adolescence.” American Journal of Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy144.

Patricia entered the research practicum with an interest in the Black-White patterning of mental health. She had previously learned about the tendency for Black Americans to report similar or better mental health than White Americans in Blair Wheaton’s Mental Health seminar. The work of Dawne Mouzon, in particular, sparked her interest in whether the Black-White patterning of mental disorder would be observed in adolescent populations and across cohorts of Black and White adolescents. In the first year of her PhD, she started the analysis for this project under the supervision of Blair Wheaton. She presented preliminary research findings at The International Social Stress Conference in June 2016.

In September 2016, Patricia enrolled in the Research Practicum and began writing her paper. She appreciates how the practicum provided her the opportunity to present her research findings several times and she is grateful for the helpful comments she received from her practicum supervisors, Ronit Dinovitizer, Candace Krutschnitt, and Melissa Milkie as well as from students in her cohort. Patricia also presented progressive versions of the paper at the American Sociological Association and the Canadian Sociological Association in 2017. The comments received at these conferences helped to refine the manuscript.

In the fall, Patricia and Blair worked closely together preparing the manuscript for submission. Ultimately, they submitted the paper to American Journal of Epidemiology in December 2017, and it was accepted for publication soon after.

Patricia continues to explore the racial patterning of mental health in her work. Currently, Patricia’s research examines racial disparities in mental and physical health using multiple dimensions of race, including skin tone. In addition, she examines the counterbalancing role of social stressors and coping resources in explaining race and skin tone inequalities in health. Patricia uses single-country and cross-national perspectives and a range of quantitative approaches, such as event history models, logistic regression, structural equational models, and linear probability models, to explore the racial patterning of mental health in Canada and the U.S.

Congratulations to Professor Jooyoung Lee, recipient of Charles Cooley Book Award

Jooyoung LeeCongratulations to Professor Jooyoung Lee who recently received the Charles Cooley Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction for his book, Blowin’ Up: Rap Dreams in South Central. Professor Lee is an Associate Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities on the St. George campus. His research interests range from gun violence, health disparities, gangs, emotions, creativity, and Hip Hop culture.

Blowin’ Up provides an account of aspiring rappers who attended Project Blowed workshops in LA. The book explores the training behind rappers’ work to construct their style, as well as the meaning that rappers attach to their creative work.  The committee described Professor Lee’s book as “a superbly written and insightful five-year long ethnography of hip-hop artists in South Central Los Angeles.” They also noted that his book “offer(s) new avenues to interpret hip-hop as a meaningful and transformative art form.”

Congratulations to Professor Scott Schieman, recipient of Pearlin Award

Congratulations to Professor Scott Schieman who was awarded the 2018 Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health. The award was presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia by Professor Blair Wheaton, also of the University of Toronto.

Professor Schieman received the award based on the substantial contributions in theory and/or research that he has made to the sociology of mental health. Identified broadly as a leader in work-family stress, Schieman is an innovative researcher, a leader within the field, and a mentor to graduate students and junior faculty. Supported by over 1.5 million dollars in CIHR funding, Schieman has investigated novel research questions, elaborated and advanced new theoretical models, and informed practical knowledge through public engagement. His work on the sociological study of stress and the social psychology of inequality speaks to central issues for how we understand working and family lives.

The awards committee cited Professor Schieman’s work extending understanding of the stress process model and called him a “frontier scholar in the burgeoning industry of research on the spillover of work into the family realm, while also basing this work on the connection to stress in the stress process.” The citation also notes Professor Schieman’s broad influence and his integration of the sociology of mental health into other sociological domains including the sociological study of work,  stratification and inequality, neighborhoods and urban life, religion, social psychology, and the family.

Professor Schieman is a Full Professor of Sociology and the Canada Research Chair in the Social Context of Health. He currently serves as the Chair of the Department on the St. George campus.

 

Professor Zaheer Baber publishes photo essay: Making a Living in Neo-Liberal India

Professor Zaheer Baber has recently published a photo essay in The Citizen of India showcasing workers on the streets of India. The Citizen is an independent online daily in India with a combination of news and opinion pieces. Professor Baber’s essay connects the conditions of the workers on the streets in India with neo-Liberal policies. We have pasted an excerpt of the text below and the full story is available at the Citizen. Professor Baber is a Professor of Sociology who teaches at the Mississauga Campus.

Making a Living in Neo-Liberal India: A Photo Essay

“If I could tell the stories in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera”


 While the promised “tryst with destiny” indeed transformed the lives of many Indians, a large majority of men, women and children continue to strive and struggle against all odds.

Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of course had no illusions about the challenges that lay after the formal end of colonialism. As he put it, the “future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving…the service of India means the service of the millions who suffer…it means the ending of poverty, ignorance, disease and inequality of opportunity.”

Post-independence India, like most other nations that threw off the yoke of exploitative colonialism, has had more than its share of struggles, conflicts, the recurring blood-letting as well as the “incessant striving” for the betterment of the human condition in all its dimensions.

While few literally expect an ultimate and final eradication of poverty, disease and inequality of opportunity, such ideals are of course essential fuels for the “incessant striving” that Nehru spoke of. However, given the lack of land-reforms as well as the relative absence of any policies aimed at the redistribution of resources – material and symbolic – it is hardly surprising that pervasive social inequality not only persists but has worsened considerably over the years…

Read the full story