Ph.D student Kayla Preston named C. David Naylor Fellow at the University of Toronto

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Kayla Preston, who was recently named a C. David Naylor Fellow. The Naylor Fellowships support exceptional students who come to U of T from an Atlantic Canada university. The fellowship is in honour of U of T’s 15th president, David Naylor, a leading voice for the importance of Canadian research who is presently the co-chair of a federal COVID-19 immunity task force.

Kayla is currently enrolled in her first year of Ph.D. studies in Sociology at the University of Toronto.  After completing her BA (honours) in sociology at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, she went on to complete an MA in Sociology at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.  Kayla has co-authored an article in the journal Postcolonial Studies and has also co-authored two chapters in the edited volume Gendering Globalization, Globalizing Gender: Postcolonial Perspectives.   Kayla is a Junior Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society.

Kayla’s current supervisor is Dr. Jack Veugelers. Her research centers around far-right extremism in North America. Her research explores deradicalization programs in North America and Europe.

The C. David Naylor Fellows were featured in U of T News and can be found here.  The story details Kayla’s community work involvement and her research on right wing deradicalization in Canada.

Below is an except from the U of T News story outlining some of Kayla’s work and life experiences and accomplishments:

Preston has been a soccer coach, food bank worker and a workplace rights activist, but the volunteer work that’s touched her most was the time she spent at a nursing home. “I would go around and talk, sometimes for hours on end, to people who were feeling a little bit lonely,” she says. “About their lives, their interests… I learned so much about the importance of older generations, the importance of community, which I take with me to this day.”

Fredericton-born Preston comes to U of T from Dalhousie University, where she completed her MA in sociology—reaching the finals of the 2019 SSHRC Storyteller competition. In her doctoral work, she plans to build on her research into how people leave right-wing extremist groups in Canada by investigating effective ways to prevent radicalization and help those who have been involved in extremism.

“Extremism is definitely a problem that doesn’t impact just individuals. It impacts all of us when it happens,” she says. “I believe deradicalization is definitely bringing people back into the community.”

“Winning the scholarship has given me a lot of peace of mind, financially,” says Preston. “But also it felt good to be recognized by Arthur and Sandra as a scholar worth investing in, and who will hopefully be able to work with partners in the Atlantic provinces to help my community there. I’m also looking forward to being part of the Naylor community, and I thank Arthur and Sandra for bringing the East Coasters in Toronto together.”

Prof. Emine Fidan Elcioglu discusses her new book ‘Divided by the Wall’ at a UCLA and UCSD co-sponsored colloquium

Prof. Emine Fidan Elcioglu recently discussed her new book with Prof. Tom Medvetz, organized by UCLA and UCSD.  The recording is posted on the UCLA website and can be found HERE.

Author: Emine Fidan Elcioglu, (PhD, UC Berkeley)
Emine Fidan Elcioglu is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. At the intersection of sociology of migration and political sociology, her research examines how citizens make sense of non-citizenship and national gatekeeping.

Discussant: Tom Medvetz, (PhD, UC Berkeley)
Tom Medvetz is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Before joining the UCSD faculty, he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell University. His research has focused on the relationship between knowledge and politics, particularly on such questions as what it means, practically speaking, to be an intellectual in political life today

Why is immigration controversial? Drawing on 20 months of ethnographic fieldwork, this talk begins to answer this question by examining the motivations and life histories of white, U.S.-born Americans who are active in two politically opposed, volunteer organizations in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. One organization is a leftwing, pro-immigrant group that provides water and other forms of aid to migrants that volunteer members encounter in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. The other is a rightwing, Minutemen-type immigration restrictionist group that patrols the very same regions to find and detain migrants for the U.S. Border Patrol. By focusing on activists who, because of the privileges of whiteness and U.S. citizenship, are not directly impacted by immigration policy, I consider what factors nonetheless compel their strong feelings about and decision to engage in this political struggle. Immigration politics, I argue, has become a terrain on which white Americans grapple with their social positions in an increasingly unequal world. I conclude by discussing how this finding may explain, in part, why immigration is such a polarizing issue and how addressing the underlying problems of social inequality may help mitigate the current contentiousness of immigration and border policy.

Ph.D. student Jillian Sunderland receives the Barbara Frum Memorial Award in Canadian Scholarship

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Jillian Sunderland, who recently received the Barbara Frum Memorial Award in Canadian Scholarship. This competitive award is given to academically excellent Master’s and PhD students undertaking research related to Canada.

Jillian is currently enrolled in her second year of Ph.D. studies in Sociology at the University of Toronto and was just awarded the SSHRC Bombardier Scholarship.  After completing her BA (honours) in Sociology as Valedictorian at the University of Winnipeg, she went on to complete an MA in Sociology at McMaster University, funded by the SSHRC CGS-M Award. On the recommendation of McMaster University based on Jillian’s scholarship on extremist groups, the Edmonton Police hired her as a research associate to prepare a report on countering violent extremism funded by Public Safety Canada. The report Turning the Tide on Online Violent Extremism: A Guide for Canadian Law Enforcement. Edmonton Police Service in partnership with REACH Edmonton was used for training purposes and to developed strategies counter violent extremism.

Also, during that time, Jillian volunteered for the McMaster research shop and developed a report published by the communications/public engagement office at McMaster University. This report, entitled A halfway house for Indigenous men: Moving towards individual healing and public safety, was done for the John Howard Society of Hamilton to petition Corrections Canada to create a culturally and spiritually sensitive halfway house for formerly incarcerated Indigenous men. This report was meant to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action. Given this, on completion of her MA Jillian was awarded Canadian Sociological Association outstanding graduate student award.

This award will fund Jillian’s current research that looks at the way gender and masculinities function in alt-right movements in the United States and Canada and how ideologies are shaped and contested in online spaces. For her second-year practicum program, she is investigating how masculinity/gender/feminist frames were used in discussions of the St. Michaels College sexual assault case that dominated Canadian headlines 2018.

Jillian’s supervisor is Prof. Judy Taylor. She is the Co-President at the GSSA as well as the Communications/Social Media Manager at the Race and Ethnicity Cluster at CSA.  She is a research assistant for Prof. Anna Korteweg on her SSHRC funded project exploring European women who joined ISIS and how race and gender intersect to shape citizenship rights/national responsibility.  Jillian’s areas of specialization are gender and masculinities, race and ethnicity, and feminist and sociological theory.

Ph.D. student Eduardo Gutierrez Cornelius receives the Faculty of Arts and Science Doctoral Excellence Scholarship

Congratulations to Ph.D. student Eduardo Gutierrez Cornelius, who recently received the Faculty of Arts and Science Doctoral Excellence ScholarshipThis award recognizes an academically excellent student who has a talent for research and knowledge mobilization and has demonstrated leadership potential.  Recipients of this award must show originality and significance in their body of work within their fields of research, have quality publications relative to the stage of their career, and demonstrate potential for leadership and societal contributions within and beyond the academic community.

Eduardo has just completed his second year of Ph.D. studies in Sociology at the University of Toronto and just recently was the recipient of the 2020 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He completed an LL.B at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, an MA in Sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, and an MA in socio-legal studies at York University. In 2019, Eduardo created a free mentorship program for Brazilian scholars in the humanities and social sciences who need help applying for graduate school in Canada (https://www.humanasnocanada.com).

For over five years, Eduardo worked in the legal defence of court-involved youth in Southern Brazil. Eduardo’s master’s thesis has won multiple awards and was published as a book in Brazil in 2018, titled The “Worst of Both Worlds”? The Legitimate Construction of Juvenile Justice by the Superior Court of Justice. He is currently working as a Research Assistant on a SSHRC project titled “Investigating Institutional Multiplicity in Brazil’s Anti-Corruption System,” led by Prof. Mariana Prado.

Eduardo’s supervisor is Prof. Ron Levi.  Eduardo’s research investigates how local dynamics mediate the adaptation of and resistance to global anti-corruption ideas into Brazilian law.

“Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in premature and avoidable mortality in Canada, 1991–2016”: Newly published journal article in the CMAJ co-authored by Sociology MA student Abtin Parnia

MA student Abtin Parnia recently co-authored a paper entitled, “Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in premature and avoidable mortality in Canada, 1991–2016” in the CMAJ. The authors find that mortality inequalities between the rich and poor is widening in Canada.  One of the reasons for this increasing inequality is likely the retrenchment of the welfare state, precarious employment situation, and other neoliberal policies of the last several decades.

Abtin Parnia is currently enrolled in the Sociology Masters program at the University of Toronto.  They have a Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology from Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto. Abtin previously worked at Cancer Care Ontario, MaRS Discovery District and since 2018 as a Research Data Analyst in Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi’s Social Epidemiology Research Group at University of Toronto.

Abtin’s current research examines how health inequalities change over time and what are the mechanisms that produce and maintain social inequalities, particularly looking at health inequities by race, migration, and socioeconomic status. Abtin’s current supervisor is Dr. Monica Alexander.

We have posted the abstract of the paper below. The full paper is available here.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Recent epidemiologic findings suggest that socioeconomic inequalities in health may be widening over time. We examined trends in socioeconomic inequalities in premature and avoidable mortality in Canada.

METHODS: We conducted a population-based repeated cohort study using the 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohorts. We linked individual-level Census records for adults aged 25–74 years to register-based mortality data. We defined premature mortality as death before age 75 years. For each census cohort, we estimated age-standardized rates, risk differences and risk ratios for premature and avoidable mortality by level of household income and education.

RESULTS: We identified 16 284 045 Census records. Between 1991 and 2016, premature mortality rates declined in all socioeconomic groups except for women without a high school diploma. Absolute income-related inequalities narrowed among men (from 2478 to 1915 deaths per 100 000) and widened among women (from 1008 to 1085 deaths per 100 000). Absolute education-related inequalities widened among men and women. Relative socioeconomic inequalities in premature mortality widened progressively over the study period. For example, the relative risk of premature mortality associated with the lowest income quintile increased from 2.10 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.02–2.17) to 2.79 (95% CI 2.66–2.91) among men and from 1.72 (95% CI 1.63– 1.81) to 2.50 (95% CI 2.36–2.64) among women. Similar overall trends were observed for avoidable mortality.

INTERPRETATION: Socioeconomically disadvantaged groups have not benefited equally from recent declines in premature and avoidable mortality in Canada. Efforts to reduce socioeconomic inequalities and associated patterns of disadvantage are necessary to prevent this pattern of widening health inequalities from persisting or worsening over time.

A decade after the release of the World Health Organization’s final report on the social determinants of health, governments around the world appear to have made relatively little progress toward the goal of reducing health inequalities. In fact, recent epidemiologic findings suggest that socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and related indicators of population health are widening over time. Such trends are well established in the United States and Europe, yet analogous trends in Canada remain poorly characterized. Efforts to monitor the evolution of socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in Canada have been hampered by the fact that official death records lack information on the socioeconomic status of deceased people. In the absence of this information, some investigators relied on area-based measures of socioeconomic deprivation to monitor change in mortality inequalities in Canada. More recently, however, researchers have overcome this methodologic barrier by linking vital statistics records to individual Census data that contain relevant indicators of socioeconomic status.

Notably, existing analyses of individual-level trends in the mortality gradient in Canada have focused on the adult population as a whole and, in so doing, have obscured from view an important source of survivorship bias. Prior research has shown that those who survive into older adulthood represent a highly selected group and that positive selection for the most robust people is particularly strong at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum. This pattern of selective survival leads to the gradual convergence of average health levels over time, which, in turn, attenuates the association between socioeconomic status and mortality in older age groups. A common approach to dealing with this form of downward selection bias involves excluding the “oldest old” and focusing attention on socioeconomic inequalities in premature and avoidable mortality among adults younger than age 75 years.

In the present study, we aimed to examine trends in socioeconomic inequalities in premature and avoidable mortality between 1991 and 2016 in Canada using linked Census and vital registration data.

“‘You Gotta Be Able to Pay Your Own Way’: Canadian News Media Discourse and Young Adults’ Subjectivities of Successful Adulting” – Rebecca Lennox co-authored article in the Canadian Journal of Sociology

Ph.D. student Rebecca Lennox recently co-authored an article entitled, “‘You Gotta Be Able to Pay Your Own Way: Canadian News Media Discourse and Young Adults’ Subjectivities of Successful Adulting” in the Canadian Journal of Sociology. In the article, the authors use Foucauldian Discourse Analysis to identify dominant ideals of successful adulthood as they circulate in Canadian news media and in the narratives of Canadian young adults.

Rebecca Lennox is currently in her 2nd year in the Sociology PhD program at the University of Toronto.  Her research interests included qualitative research methods; violence against women; feminist theory and epistemology; critical realism; and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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

Mitchell, Barbara, and Rebecca A. Lennox. 2020. “‘You Gotta Be Able to Pay Your Own Way’: Canadian News Media Discourse and Young Adults’ Subjectivities of ‘Successful’ Adulting.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 45(3):213–237.

Youth transitions to adulthood and traditional markers of adulthood are becoming more fluid, uncertain, and extended in contemporary societies. Despite these shifts, public discourses surrounding young adult transitional trajectories are dominantly informed by a linear benchmark perspective. This framework positions establishing financial autonomy with the goal of permanently leaving the parental home as central to successful adulthood. In this paper, we integrate textual news media and interview data to critically interrogate contemporary public discourses of adulting in tandem with Canadian young adults’ subjective understandings of adulthood. We conduct Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) using two complementary data sources: (1) a selection of Canadian news media addressing youth transitions to adulthood (n = 44), and (2) interviews with Canadian young adults, assessing their perceptions and experiences of adulthood (n = 20). Our findings reveal that media and personalized constructions of successful adulthood are synonymous with financial independence and responsibility. These social norms reflect and shape young adults’ subjective meanings of adulthood and inform the ways of being that young people imagine as ideal.

The distracted worker is the greatest perceived threat to employers despite all the benefits of working from home

Professor Scott Schieman wrote an article in The Toronto Star, with University of Toronto undergraduate student Ryu Won Kang. The article The distracted worker is the greatest perceived threat to employers despite all the benefits of working from home looks at employers’ concerns of increased distractions experienced by employees while working from home.  To some employers, this concern can outweigh the perceived benefits of at home work including increased productivity, improved quality of work, and elevated satisfaction.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees continuing to work from home and the debate continues on what may change the workplace my face in a post-pandemic world.

Professor Schieman is the Canada Research Chair in the Social Contexts of Health, a Full Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, and Chair of the Department of Sociology, St. George Campus. His research focuses on work/stratification, the work-family interface, stress, and health.

We have posted an except of the story below. The full story is available on the Toronto Star website here.

The distracted worker is the greatest perceived threat to employers despite all the benefits of working from home

Read the full article…

How the pandemic is reordering society

Image of Scott Schieman

Professor Scott Schieman recently spoke with Piya Chattopadhyay on her new show The Sunday Magazine on CBC Radio about how the covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives and society as a whole.

Professor Schieman outlines an array of challenges Canadians face with regards to parenthood, gender disparities, the socio-economic divide, and the effects of loneliness on mental health.

Professor Schieman’s recent project tracks the changing work/employment, economic experiences, and family role arrangements in the lives of Canadians.  Given the timing of the pandemic, his research has adapted to include the physical and mental health effects that people are experiencing in their work context amid the pandemic.

Professor Schieman is the Canada Research Chair in the Social Contexts of Health, a Full Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, and Chair of the Department of Sociology, St. George Campus. His research focuses on work/stratification, the work-family interface, stress, and health.

The radio interview is available on the CBC Radio website here.

 

Consume This! Fashion Influencers and COVID “Chic”

Jordan Foster’s new blog looks at how the pandemic has affected fashion influencers and the fashion industry more broadly. At present, influencers and the brands they work with face a number of challenges related to the pandemic  including obstacles related to travel and limitations surrounding advertising budgets. But influencers are responding to these challenges with significant success, capturing new followers and opportunities amidst a surge in fashion influencer viewership. Jordan’s blog can be found here.

 Jordan Foster is going into his third year in the Sociology PhD program at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on culture, consumption and class politics with a look toward how taken-for-granted trends and social media platforms comment on and reproduce existing inequalities in the consumer landscape. 

We’ve included an excerpt from the blog below.

In this month’s blog post Jordan Foster uses his research on fashion influencers to discuss how conditions under the COVID-19 pandemic have shaped their work lives, and reflect on what issues and questions they as well as brands and consumers in the fashion world face in our current moment and going forward.

— Richard E. Ocejo (Section Chair)

Consume This! Fashion Influencers and COVID “Chic”

By Jordan Foster, University of Toronto

Fashion influencers—bloggers, digital content creators and social media aficionados—have generated much attention in mainstream news media throughout the COVID19 pandemic. These news media suggest that influencers, owing to the precarity of their work aside shrinking advertising budgets and brands at the edge of bankruptcy, are losing their edge. For example, Cristina Criddle (2020), a journalist for the BBC News, explained that influencers’ contracts, press trips, and brand deals have all been “cancelled.” Amanda Perelli and Dan Whateley (2020) at Business Insider similarly reported that influencers’ collaborations and revenue streams have receded rapidly.

For readers less familiar with influencers and fashion influencers specifically, we might think of these content creators as cultural intermediaries and arbiters of taste (Bourdieu 1984; Childress 2017). They are located between producers and consumers and they play an important role in framing purchases and establishing value. Fashion influencers, for example, tout their latest apparel purchases online, sharing with viewers their thoughts on the seasons’ most important staples, as well as secrets around how to style them and, of course, where to buy them.

Given the role that influencers play in framing purchases, they are sometimes critiqued for promoting (over) consumption or else (Hund and McGuigan 2019), tied to the reproduction of broader, largely class-based, inequalities in the consumer landscape. What with [some] influencers marketing the purchase of a new product every day, it isn’t hard to see why.

‘How to live in a pandemic’ is the type of university class we need – Jessica Fields and Nicholas Spence co-author a piece in the Conversation

‘How to live in a pandemic’ is the type of university class we need during Covid-19

By Andrea Charise, Ghazal Fazli, Jessica Fields, Laura Bisaillon and Nicholas D. Spence

 

Newly published piece in the Conversation, co-written by departmental members Professor Jessica Fields and Professor Nicholas Spence looks at how health is taught and communicated at the post-secondary level. Given that health research is interdisciplinary, post secondary education needs to provide students with the tools to critically analyse the methods and assumptions used to investigate the topic of Covid-19. To get a better understanding of Covid-19 a multidisciplinary approach is needed.

Professor Jessica Fields is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society and a Professor of Health Studies and Sociology at University of Toronto Scarborough.

Professor Jessica Fields biography

Professor Nicholas Spence is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Center for Health and Society at the University of Toronto.

Professor Nicholas Spence biography

We’ve included an excerpt of the article below. The article can be found here.

‘How to live in a pandemic’ is the type of university class we need during COVID-19

Currently, we are all bombarded with headlines on the latest research related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that health is a deeply interdisciplinary issue, demanding expert responses from a cross-section of fields: the artspublic healthsocial work and K-12 education among them.

As an interdisciplinary collective of academics trained in a range of fields from the arts to social science to clinical sciences, we have witnessed first-hand a crucial problem in how health is taught and communicated at the post-secondary level. What is often missed, but is critical to contextualizing scientific findings, are examinations of the assumptions and methods used to conduct health-related research.

This omission reflects a problem in Canadian colleges and universities, which generally deliver post-secondary curriculum using a single-discipline approach. A single-discipline approach to health education does not engage the full picture nor provides the groundwork for innovative, equitable solutions in the future.

Multidisciplinary approaches

At the post-secondary level, for example, a microbiology course might focus on lab-based methods used to diagnose whether someone has developed antibodies to a disease like COVID-19, while a typical public health course might focus on the mechanics of contact tracing.

Deeper understandings of health require a co-operative investigation of the various frameworks, techniques and assumptions that guide research practices and how they are communicated.

Read the entire article here…

 

“Brewing Resistance”: New book by Professor Kristin Plys

Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2020) uncovers the little known story of the movement against the Emergency as seen through New Delhi’s Indian Coffee House based on new archival evidence and oral histories with the men who led the movement against the Emergency. Created by British plantation owners to weather the Empire-wide export commodity surplus crisis of the 1930s, Indian Coffee House was occupied by its workers in 1946 and eventually transformed into a cooperative as part of an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist workers movement. By the 1970s, Indian Coffee House became more than an economic intervention into the processes of capitalism and empire— it was transformed into a radical space where politically and artistically minded intellectuals of various persuasions and viewpoints gathered to resist the Emergency.

Professor Plys is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her areas of expertise include political economy, postcolonial theory, sociology of development, labour and labour movements, historical sociology, and global area studies.

The book’s publisher, Cambridge University Press, includes the following book description on their website:

In 1947, decolonization promised a better life for India’s peasants, workers, students, Dalits, and religious minorities. By the 1970s, however, this promise had not yet been realized. Various groups fought for the social justice but in response, Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi suspended the constitution, and with it, civil liberties. The hope of decolonization that had turned to disillusion in the postcolonial period quickly descended into a nightmare. In this book, Kristin Plys recounts the little known story of the movement against the Emergency as seen through New Delhi’s Indian Coffee House based on newly uncovered evidence and oral histories with the men who led the movement against the Emergency.

“Home Care Fault Lines”: New Book by Dr. Cynthia Cranford

Dr.Cynthia Cranford is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Professor Cynthia Cranford studies inequalities of gender, work and migration, and collective efforts to resist them..

Dr. Cranford includes a brief description of the book in the biography listed on her contact page:

 

Dr. Cranford’s book, Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances (2020, Cornell University Press)  analyzes the dynamics that exacerbate, and alleviate, tensions between elderly and disabled people’s quest for flexible services and workers’ pursuit of security. Cranford compares four programs providing support to adults with physical disabilities and elderly people across and within class and racial lines, inside and outside of families, and provided to, and by, both women and men in Toronto and Los Angeles. This qualiative analysis is based on interviews with over three hundred people, including the elderly and disabled people who use home care services, the workers that directly provide them and key informants from government, employers, disability advocates, and labor organizers. To support both flexible care and secure work, Cranford argues we need deeply democratic alliances to advocate for universal state funding, design culturally sensitive, labour market intermediaries to assist in finding workers and jobs, and to address everyday tensions in home-workplaces. Two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada grants supported this book project.

The book’s publisher, University of California Press, includes the following synopsis on their website:

In this revealing look at home care, Cynthia J. Cranford illustrates how elderly and disabled people and the immigrant women workers who assist them in daily activities develop meaningful relationships even when their different ages, abilities, races, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds generate tension. As Cranford shows, workers can experience devaluation within racialized and gendered class hierarchies, which shapes their pursuit of security.

Cranford analyzes the tensions, alliances, and compromises between security for workers and flexibility for elderly and disabled people, and she argues that workers and recipients negotiate flexibility and security within intersecting inequalities in varying ways depending on multiple interacting dynamics.

What comes through from Cranford’s analysis is the need for deeply democratic alliances across multiple axes of inequality. To support both flexible care and secure work, she argues for an intimate community unionism that advocates for universal state funding, designs culturally sensitive labor market intermediaries run by workers and recipients to help people find jobs or workers, and addresses everyday tensions in home workplaces.

Sociology students win SSHRC Doctoral Scholarships for their research 2020

This year, five of our PhD students received funding from SSHRC. This funding will provide them with support for one to four years. Although all students in the University of Toronto graduate programs have a guaranteed funding package, receiving a SSHRC fellowship provides additional funding and allows them reduce the number of hours devoted to teaching and research assistantships so that they can focus on their dissertation research. All of our PhD students apply for external funding and receive training in developing proposals.

2020 SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship Recipients


 

Anson Au
Social Structural Transformations in Markets of Human Goods: An Economic Sociological Study of Cosmetic Surgery Consumption in South Korea
Eugene Dim
Political Institutions and the Gender Gaps in Political Participation in Africa
Soli Dubash
The Intergenerational Transmission of Mastery Beliefs Between Mother and Child
Kayla Preston
Right-wing extremist deradicalization: steps toward rethinking racial identity for those who have left extremist groups in a North American deradicalization program
Jillian Sunderland
Extremist Men: An Analysis of Masculinities in the White Supremacist Movements

Recipients from previous years among our current students

Amny Athamny, Phil Badawy, Tyler Bateman, James Braun, Milos Brocic, Amanda Couton-Couture, Meghan Dawe, Miranda Doff, Marie-Lise Drappon-Bisson, Athena Engman, Melissa Godbout,  Cinthya Guzman, James Jeong, Timothy Kang, Hammand Khan,  Patricia Louie, Gabe Menard, Andreea Mogoanu, Jean-Francois Nault, Andrew Nevin, Jaime Nikolaou, Merin Oleschuk, Laila Omar, Sebastien Parker, Shawn Perron, Taylor Price, Paul Pritchard, Kate Rozad, Kerri Scheer, Rachel Schumann, Ioana Sendroiu, Jason Settels, Sarah Shah, Anna Slavina, Yukiko Tanaka, Samia Tecle, S.W. Underwood, Laura Upenieks, Anelyse Weiler, Lawrence Williams and Dana Wray.

Congratulations to PhD student Eduardo Gutierrez Cornelius, recipient of Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

Congratulations to Phd student Eduardo Gutierrez Cornelius, who recently learned that he was awarded one of the 2020 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships!

Vanier Canada Scholarships are among the most prestigious scholarships available to graduate students studying in Canadian institutions. Vanier scholars are chosen based on their academic excellence, research potential and leadership potential and demonstrated ability. The program seeks and recognizes scholars who “demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.”

Eduardo has just completed his second year of Ph.D. studies in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Prior to this, he completed an LL.B at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, an MA in Sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, and an MA in socio-legal studies at York University. For over five years, Eduardo worked in the legal defence of court-involved youth in Southern Brazil. Eduardo’s master’s thesis has won multiple awards and was published as a book in Brazil in 2018, titled The “Worst of Both Worlds”? The Legitimate Construction of Juvenile Justice by the Superior Court of Justice. He is currently working as a Research Assistant on a SSHRC project titled “Investigating Institutional Multiplicity in Brazil’s Anti-Corruption System,” led by Prof. Mariana Prado.

Eduardo received the award based on his proposed dissertation project The Fight Against Corruption Translated: Brazilian Lawyers and the Struggle over Global Anti-corruption Ideas (tentative).  His supervisor is Prof. Ron Levi.  Eduardo’s research investigates how local dynamics mediate the adaptation of and resistance to global anti-corruption ideas into Brazilian law.

“Divided by the Wall”: New Book by Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu

Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu’s newly published book, Divided by the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (University of California Press) tells the story of why ordinary Americans join volunteer organizations to either help undocumented immigrants or aid immigration enforcement. Based on twenty months of immersive ethnography, Divided by the Wall mines the divergent meanings that immigration and border policies holds for activists on opposite sides of the debate. In doing so, Dr. Elcioglu demonstrates how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans.

Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her areas of expertise include political sociology, immigration, work and labor, social theory, and qualitative methods.

The book’s publisher, University of California Press, includes the following synopsis on their website:

The construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border—whether to build it or not—has become a hot-button issue in contemporary America. A recent impasse over funding a wall caused the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, sharpening partisan divisions across the nation. In the Arizona borderlands, groups of predominantly white American citizens have been mobilizing for decades—some help undocumented immigrants bypass governmental detection, while others help law enforcement agents to apprehend immigrants. Activists on both the left and the right mobilize without an immediate personal connection to the issue at hand, many doubting that their actions can bring about the long-term change they desire. Why, then, do they engage in immigration and border politics so passionately?

Divided by the Wall offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of progressive pro-immigrant activists and their conservative immigration-restrictionist opponents. Using twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations, Emine Fidan Elcioglu shows how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. She demonstrates how activists mobilized not only to change the rules of immigration but also to experience a change in themselves. Elcioglu finds that the variation in social class and intersectional identity across the two sides mapped onto disparate concerns about state power. As activists strategized ways to transform the scope of the state’s power, they also tried to carve out self-transformative roles for themselves. Provocative and even-handed, Divided by the Wall challenges our understanding of immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity.

“Here, There, and Elsewhere”: New Book by Professor Tahseen Shams

Professor Tahseen Shams’ newly published book, “Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World,” looks at how immigrants’ lives are both influenced and influence the societies of their origin, their destination, as well as societies elsewhere in an interconnected global community.  The book draws from the South Asian Muslim American experience, tracing how the homeland, hostland, and elsewhere combine to affect the ways in which immigrants and their descendants understand themselves and are understood by others.

Professor Tahseen Shams is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.  Her research interests are in the areas of international migration, globalization, race/ethnicity, nationalism, and religion.

The book’s publisher, Stanford University Press, includes the following synopsis on their website:

Challenging the commonly held perception that immigrants’ lives are shaped exclusively by their sending and receiving countries, Here, There, and Elsewhere breaks new ground by showing how immigrants are vectors of globalization who both produce and experience the interconnectedness of societies—not only the societies of origin and destination, but also, the societies in places beyond. Tahseen Shams posits a new concept for thinking about these places that are neither the immigrants’ homeland nor hostland—the “elsewhere.” Drawing on rich ethnographic data, interviews, and analysis of the social media activities of South Asian Muslim Americans, Shams uncovers how different dimensions of the immigrants’ ethnic and religious identities connect them to different elsewheres in places as far-ranging as the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Yet not all places in the world are elsewheres. How a faraway foreign land becomes salient to the immigrant’s sense of self depends on an interplay of global hierarchies, homeland politics, and hostland dynamics. Referencing today’s 24-hour news cycle and the ways that social media connects diverse places and peoples at the touch of a screen, Shams traces how the homeland, hostland, and elsewhere combine to affect the ways in which immigrants and their descendants understand themselves and are understood by others.

Read more about the book and Professor Shams’ research on her website.