PhD Candidate Gabriel Menard, in collaboration with Professor Robert Brym and Melissa Godbout, Andreas Hoffbauer, and Tony Huiquan Zhang, on Social Media in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising

Gabe MenardAndreas Hoffbauer

Ph.D. Candidates Gabriel Menard and Melissa Godbout, in collaboration with Professor Robert Brym, and PhD graduates Andreas Hoffbauer, and Tony Huiquan Zhang, have published an article in The British Journal of Sociology, entitled “Social media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.” The article examines the role of new electronic communications media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

Gabriel Menard is a Ph.D. Candidate of sociology at the University of Toronto. He has successfully defended his dissertation proposal, entitled Explaining Variation in the Development of Regulatory Regimes: Network Neutrality and Internet Service Provision Regulations in the U.S. and UK, 1984-2015. Melissa Godbout is a Ph.D. Candidate of sociology at the University of Toronto. She has successfully defended his dissertation proposal, entitled Corruption, Employment Inconsistency, and Getting Ahead.

Robert Brym is a professor of sociology and S.D. Clark Chair in Sociology at the University of Toronto. He has conducted research on the sociology of intellectuals, social movements in Canada, Jews in Russia, and collective and state violence in Israel and Palestine. Currently, his research focuses on the democracy movement in the Middle East and North Africa.  Andreas Hoffbauer and Tony Zhang both received their PhDs in 2018.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available here.

Brym, R., Godbout, M., Hoffbauer, A., Menard, G., & Zhang, T. H. (2014). Social media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising. The British Journal of Sociology, 65(2), 266-292. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12080

This paper uses Gallup poll data to assess two narratives that have crystallized around the 2011 Egyptian uprising: (1) New electronic communications media constituted an important and independent cause of the protests in so far as they enhanced the capacity of demonstrators to extend protest networks, express outrage, organize events, and warn comrades of real‐time threats. (2) Net of other factors, new electronic communications media played a relatively minor role in the uprising because they are low‐cost, low‐risk means of involvement that attract many sympathetic onlookers who are not prepared to engage in high‐risk activism. Examining the independent effects of a host of factors associated with high‐risk movement activism, the paper concludes that using some new electronic communications media was associated with being a demonstrator. However, grievances, structural availability, and network connections were more important than was the use of new electronic communications media in distinguishing demonstrators from sympathetic onlookers. Thus, although both narratives have some validity, they must both be qualified.

U of T Sociologists at the 2019 ASA

This year, 71 faculty members graduate students from Sociology at the University of Toronto are participating in the Annual Meeting of the American Sociology Association in New York City. In addition to the people presenting papers, a number of our community are also participating as session organizers, discussants or journal editorial panel members. The meetings happen between August 10th and August 13th. We have listed the papers we’re presenting below by the day of the presentation, with student and recent grad presenters shown in italics. Please refer to the ASA Program for complete information.

Saturday, August 10th

Ellen Berrey, U.S. Universities’ Responses to Hate Speech Incidents and Free Speech Politics and the Implications for Inclusion Policy

Yvonne Daoleuxay, The Most Canadian Neighborhood Ever: Social Disciplining and Driving in the Greater Toronto Area

Ethan Fosse and Jason Settels, Population-Level Variability of Happiness Trends in the United States

Chris Kohut, Unanticipated Gains in Homeless Shelters: A Study Examining the Social Networks of the Homeless Population

Ron Levi (with Holly Campeau of U of Alberta and Todd Foglesong of U of T, Munk School), Legality, Recognition, and the Bind of Legal Cynicism: Experiences of Policing During an Unsettled Time

Matthew Parbst, Gender Equality, Family Policy and the Convergence of the Gender Gap in Depression

Kristin Plys, Politics and Poetics in Lahore’s Pak Tea House during the Zia Military Dictatorship (1977-1988)

Markus Schafer (with Matthew Andersson of Baylor University), Looking Homeward with the Life Course: Early Origins of Adulthood Dwelling Satisfaction?

Sunday, August 11th

Philip Badawy and Scott Schieman, When Family Calls: How Gender, Money, and Care Shape the Family Contact and Family-to-Work Conflict Relationship

Irene Boeckman, Work-Family Policies and Working Hours’ Differences Within Couples After Childbirth

Lei Chai and Scott Schieman (with Alex Bierman of U of Calgary) Financial Strain and Psychological Distress: The Mediating Effect of Work-Family Interface

Clayton Childress, Shyon Baumann, Jean-Francois Nault (and Craig M. Rowlings from Duke University), From Omnivore to Snob: The Social Positions of Taste Between and Within Music Genres

Ethan Fosse (with Fabian T. Pfesser of U of Michigan), Bounding Analyses of Mobility Effects

Susila Gurusami, Carceral Complicities: Holding Institutions of Higher Education Accountable for Our Carceral Crises

Julia Ingenfeld, Parents’ Division of Housework and Mothers’ Labor Force Participation: Result of Selection and Assortative Mating?

Jonathan Kauenhowen, Framing Indigeneity: A comparative analysis of Indigenous representation in mainstream and Indigenous newspapers

Yangsook Kim, Doing Care Work in Korea Town: Korean In-Home Supportive Service Workers in Los Angeles

Kim de Laat, De-stigmatizing flexible work arrangements: The promises and pitfalls of buy-in from ideal working fathers

Chang Zhe Lin, Social Capital, Islam, and Labor Force Outcomes: Explaining Labor Force Outcomes among Muslim Immigrants in France

Martin Lukk, Fracturing the Imagined Community: Income Inequality and Ethno-nationalism in Affluent Democracies

David Pettinicchio and Jordan Foster, A Model Who Looks Like Me: Representing Disability in the Fashion Industry

Ashley Rubin, Target Populations or Caught in the Net: How Race and Gender have Structured Prison Reform Efforts Throughout American History and What it Means for Reforming Mass Incarceration

Ioana Sendroiu, Imagination, from Futures to Failures

Sarah Shah, Gendering Religious Reflexivity in Minority Groups: The Case of Pakistani Canadian Muslims

Michelle Pannor Silver, Embodiment and Athletic Identity

Lawrence Williams, How Career Identity Shapes the Meaning of Work for Referred Employees

Dana Wray, The Causal Effect of Paternity Leave on Fathers’ Responsibility for Children

Monday, August 12th

Katelin Albert, “The decision was made for me. I’m okay with that”: HPV Vaccine and Adolescent Girls’ Selves

Monica Boyd and Shawn Perron, The Vietnamese Boat People in Canada: 30 Years Later

Gordon Brett, The Embodied Dimensions of Creativity

Soli Dubash, “My House Is Your House”: Genre Conventions, Myspace Musicians, and Music Genre Self-Identification

M. Omar Faruque, Privatizing Nature: Resource Development and Nationalist Imaginaries in Bangladesh

Fernando A. Calderon Figueroa,Trust thy Neighbour, but Leave Up the Hedges: Trust in the Urban Scene

Vanina Leschziner, The Specter of Schemas: Uncovering the Meanings and Uses of “Schemas” in Sociology

Patricia Louie, Race, Skin Tone and Health Inequality in the U.S.

Neda Maghbouleh, Anti-Muslim Racism and the ‘MENA’ Box: Expulsions and Escapes from Whiteness

Gabriel Menard, Latent Framing Opportunities for Movements and Counter-movements: The US Network Neutrality Debate, 2005-2015

Sebastien Parker, ‘Both roads lead to Rome’: Pathways towards commitment in a far-right organization

Kim Pernell, Imprinting a Risky Logic: Graduate Business Education and Bank Risk-Taking

Sagi Ramaj, The Homeownership Attainment of LGB Immigrants: The Role of Social Relationships

Jeffrey Reitz (with Emily Laxer of York U and Patrick Simon of INED), National immigration ‘models,’ social welfare regimes, and Muslims’ economic incorporation in France and Canada

Ioana Sendroiu and Andreea Mogosanu, Stigma spillover and beyond: Resistance, appropriation, and counter-narratives in stigmatized consumption

Tahseen Shams, The Precariousness of South Asian Muslim Americans: Geopolitics, Islamophobia, and the Model Minority Myth

Lance Stewart, The Judgment of Objects: The Constitution of Affordances through the Perceptual Judgment of Digital Media

Laura Upenieks, Reassembling the Radius: Trust and Marginality across East-Central Europe

Tuesday, August 13th

Milos Brocic, Higher Education and the Development of Moral Foundations

Jerry Flores (with Janelle Hawes of U Washington-Tacoma and Kati Barahona-Lopes of UC, Santa Cruz), What are the challenges of girls in involved in the foster care and juvenile justice system?

Ethan Fosse (with Christopher Winship of Harvard University), Bias Formulas for Mechanism-Based Models: A General Strategy for Estimating Age-Period-Cohort Effects

Angelina Grigoryeva, An Organizational Approach to Financial Risk-Taking: The Role of Firm Compensation Plans

Cinthya J. Guzman, Rethinking Boredom in (Inter)action

Andrew Nevin, Cyber-Psychopathy Revisited: An Alternative Framework for Explaining Online Deviance

Laila Omar, “What would my future be?”: Conceptualization of the “future” among Syrian newcomer mothers in Canada

Natalia Otto, The violent art of making do: Gendered narratives of criminalized girls in Southern Brazil

Laura Upenieks and Ron Levi (with John Hagan of Northwestern University), The Palliative Function of Legality Beliefs on Mental Health

 

 

Congratulations to Gabe Menard recipient of the Daniel G. Hill Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Sociology

Gabe MenardPhD student Gabe Menard is the 2016 recipient of the Daniel G. Hill Prize for the Best Graduate Paper in Sociology. This award is presented annually to an Ontario resident graduate student and is chosen on the basis of the quality of a paper published between July and June of the award year.

Gabe received the award for his paper, “Copyright, Digital Sharing, and the Liberal Order: Sociolegal Constructions of Intellectual Property in the Era of Mass Digitization.” which was published earlier this year in Information, Communication & Society. This paper grew out of the paper Gabe wrote in the Second-year Research Practicum course; we featured it earlier in our From Practicum to Publication series.  We have pasted the citation and abstract below.

Copyright, digital sharing, and the liberal order: sociolegal constructions of intellectual property in the era of mass digitization

Abstract

Intellectual property (IP) rights policy has long been driven by rights-holder interests, leading to IP regimes focused on protecting private property at the expense of broadening public access to cultural works. The rise of instant, low-cost digital sharing practices, however, forces the sociolegal construction of IP as ‘property’ into crisis by contradicting the conception of creative works as commodities that can be exclusively ‘owned’ and exchanged. This cuts into a classic social science debate over how best to balance individual rights against collective interests, which has played out in liberal society through tensions between contradictory principles seeking to uphold the sanctity of private property (the principle of ‘Individual Freedom’) while also correcting social inequality (the ‘Equal Means’ principle). While IP policy has historically developed largely in accordance with Individual Freedom, digital sharing of creative works is premised instead on Equal Means. As these forces collide, the question at stake is whether crisis in the status quo conception of property rights disrupts existing power relations, with implications for the logic of policy development in the digital age. To address this question, I test for continuity of the predominant trend in IP policy-making using recent legislative changes to the Canadian copyright regime. I find that, contrary to expectations, policy changes do not manifestly favor rights-holders. Rather, legislative outcomes are split between modest protections for rights-holders and clear gains for rights of open access. I take this as evidence of the increasing complexification of IP policy in response to mass digitization.

 

 

BJS Prize for article on social media in the Egyptian Uprising

bjs-certificateCongratulations to Professor Robert Brym and graduate students Melissa Godbout, Andreas Hoffbauer, Gabe Menard and Tony Huiquan Zhang who recently received the British Journal of Sociology 2016 Prize for their co-authored article, Social Media in the 2011 Egyptian Uprising.

Established in 2009, the BJS award is presented bi-annually to the authors of an article published in the past 24 months that “in the opinion of the judges, makes an outstanding contribution to increasing sociological knowledge.” The article by Brym, Godbout, Hoffbauer, Menard and Zhang was published in May 2014. Professor Brym recently attended the BJS Annual Lecture at the London School of Economics and accepted the prize on behalf of the team. While there, he recorded a short podcast about the paper and the experience writing, publishing and receiving the honour. Congratulations to all five authors!

You can access the winning paper here. The following is the citation and abstract:

Brym, R., Godbout, M., Hoffbauer, A., Menard, G. and Zhang, T. H. (2014), Social media in the 2011 Egyptian uprising. The British Journal of Sociology, 65: 266–292. doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12080

This paper uses Gallup poll data to assess two narratives that have crystallized around the 2011 Egyptian uprising: (1) New electronic communications media constituted an important and independent cause of the protests in so far as they enhanced the capacity of demonstrators to extend protest networks, express outrage, organize events, and warn comrades of real-time threats. (2) Net of other factors, new electronic communications media played a relatively minor role in the uprising because they are low-cost, low-risk means of involvement that attract many sympathetic onlookers who are not prepared to engage in high-risk activism. Examining the independent effects of a host of factors associated with high-risk movement activism, the paper concludes that using some new electronic communications media was associated with being a demonstrator. However, grievances, structural availability, and network connections were more important than was the use of new electronic communications media in distinguishing demonstrators from sympathetic onlookers. Thus, although both narratives have some validity, they must both be qualified.

P2P Regulating Digital Rights

Every 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.

Menard, Gabriel. “Copyright, Digital Sharing, and the Liberal Order: Sociolegal Constructions of Intellectual Property in the Era of Mass Digitization.” Information, Communication & Society, ISSN 1369-118X, 08/2016, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp. 1061 – 16

One of the defining features of our age is the ability to share information, ideas, knowledge, and entertainment in ways never before imaginable. Gabriel Menard began the PhD program with an interest in the social and political implications of the internet and instant communications technology. For him, the practicum was an opportunity to explore some ideas he had about the tension between access to information and regulation.

When he began planning for the practicum, Gabriel decided to ask Professor Jack Veugelers to supervise the project. Professor Veugelers is a specialist in social movements, political sociology and social theory. Though Veugelers’ own research is not connected to intellectual property rights, Gabriel knew he would provide useful support for this project because he had worked with Professor Veugelers as a Research Assistant and had developed a strong rapport with him throughout that project, What impressed Gabriel the most about Professor Veugelers was his ability to condense a “messy jumble of thoughts and ideas into a very clear and succinct summary of points.” Gabriel said that it didn’t really matter that his paper wasn’t in Professor Veuguelers’ substantive area of research, because he knew that his keen analytic mind would help him make sure he had all the elements of a strong paper in place. In the end, he found that the advice he received from Professor Veugelers was instrumental throughout the project, but especially crucial when Gabriel was revising the paper for publication. Professor Veugelers helped him restructure the paper around a cohesive narrative, and to fine-tune the analysis so as to more effectively communicate his findings.

Gabriel’s paper focuses on copyright reform in Canada. He started the project hoping that the Canadian case could illustrate some of the complexities of IP reform – and the tension between access and regulation – with more nuance than previous literature. The guiding research question is whether digitization of communications and media is having an impact on the development of intellectual property rights regimes. Gabriel was interested in this because it taps into a much broader discussion of whether and how digital technology disrupts existing institutions. With intellectual property rights, the tendency for a long time has been for rights protections to increase over time (with consequences for access to information and social inequality), but it seems digital technology might be disrupting this trend. The paper was about exploring that disruption.

For data, Gabriel used the text of legislative committee meetings, Parliamentary debates, and bills related to copyright reform in Canada (centering on the 2012 Copyright Modernization Act). During the practicum period, he accessed the data online, coded it for what stakeholders in the debate sought during committee meetings (as copyright reform was being considered), and compared that with the policies that came out of the reform process and into law.

By the time he finished the practicum, Gabriel had fully analyzed this data and found that, contrary to what much of the literature would lead one to expect, corporate interests are poorly represented in outcomes of the reform process. This finding caused him to interrogate the data through a variety of theoretical lenses. The practicum was a great venue for this. It provided him with the opportunity to explore a variety of literatures, theoretical frameworks, and academic perspectives even while focusing on his own particular research questions. Gabriel claims that the most useful aspect for him was the sheer diversity of feedback, which helped him consider the project from a wide variety of angles. Ultimately, Gabriel suggests that the poor representation of corporate interests is bound up with the rise of internet sharing practices which force us to reconsider longstanding assumptions about how, and to what extent, creative works can (or should) be exclusively controlled by individual legal ‘owners’ of those works.

When he finished the course, Gabriel’s paper was solid but he felt that it was bulky and cumbersome to read. He presented a draft at the annual European Consortium for Political Research Workshop in Spain shortly after the practicum had finished, and used the summer and part of the fall to consolidate his feedback. In early January, Gabriel submitted a revised draft to Information, Communication & Society, and the article was accepted for publication.