PhD Candidate Merin Oleshuk, in collaboration with Professors Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann, on “Maintaining Meat: Cultural Repertoires and the Meat Paradox in a Diverse Socio-Cultural Context”

PhD Candidate Merin Oleshuk, in collaboration with Professors Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann,  published an article in Sociological Forum, entitled “Maintaining Meat: Cultural Repertoires and the Meat Paradox in a Diverse Socio-Cultural Context.” This article examines Canadian meat eaters and vegetarians within the context of “cultural repertoires” regarding meat eating. The authors distinguish between two types of repertoires: identity repertoires and liberty repertoires and analyze how they function in different ways, arguing that “the meanings attributed to meat consumption are crucial for understanding its persistence in the face of strong reasons to change”.

Merin Oleschuk is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto studying the impact of social inequalities on food consumption. She believes that food is a material lens for considering how and why we use taste to create bonds and preserve boundaries among those around us. Her dissertation and current work examine the values and practices around home cooking and the meaning of cooking based on social positions.

Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and specializes in the sociological study of food. Her research interests lie at the intersection of culture, politics, gender and the environment. Her research and teaching areas include the sociology of food, consumer culture, gender, environmental sociology, political sociology, and critical theory.

Shyon Baumann is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and specializes in the sociological study of the media, culture, and the arts. His research centres on several key concepts, those of evaluation, legitimacy, status, cultural schemas, and inequality. He is currently engaged in a collaborative project with Josée Johnston on the political dimensions of food consumption and together they are beginning to investigate the ways that consumers think about buying and eating different kinds of meat.

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

Oleschuk, Merin, Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann. 2019. “Maintaining Meat: Cultural Repertoires and the Meat Paradox in a Diverse Socio-Cultural Context.” Sociological Forum 34(2): 337-360.

Despite rising concerns about the meat industry and animal slaughter, meat consumption in Europe and North America remains relatively high, what has been called the “meat paradox.” In this article, we examine a diverse sample of Canadian meat eaters and vegetarians to build on earlier work on the psychological strategies people employ to justify eating meat. We analyze the explanations people give for meat eating within the context of what sociologists term cultural repertoires—the taken‐for‐granted, unarticulated scripts that inform actions. We distinguish between two types of repertoires: identity repertoires that have a basis in personal, embodied group identities and regularly draw from vivid first‐person experiences; and liberty repertoires that are more abstractly conceptualized and signal peoples’ sense of their rights in social space. We find that these repertoires function in distinct ways, both in regard to how participants situated themselves within them, and in their capacity to facilitate active engagement with the ethical implications of conduct. Through these repertoires, we show how the meanings attributed to meat consumption are crucial for understanding its persistence in the face of strong reasons to change, while also advancing literature on cultural repertoires by highlighting their variability.

Ph.D. Candidate Taylor Price on “Posthumous Consecration in Rock’s Legitimating Discourse”

Taylor PricePh.D. candidate Taylor Price published an article in Poetics, entitled “Posthumous Consecration in Rock’s Legitimating Discourse.” The article advances the idea of posthumous consecration and analyzes lifetime and posthumous rock album reviews. His findings demonstrate that “death plays a critical role in how cultural fields achieve autonomy.” Price reveals that critics emphasize the coherence of a rock artist’s body of work more greatly in posthumous reviews compared to lifetime reviews, showing that coherence is greatly valued within rock’s legitimizing discourse and contributes to an artist’s symbolic value.

Taylor Price is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology, University of Toronto. His main research interests lie in the sociology of cultural production. He is the process of completing his dissertation research on songs and songwriters in the digital age of music.

We have included the citation and abstract below. The full text of the article can be accessed through the Poetics here.

Price, Taylor. 2020. “Posthumous Consecration in Rock’s Legitimating Discourse.” Poetics 101431.

This article advances the concept of posthumous consecration. I first draw on previous literature to demonstrate that posthumous reputations are important components of fields before conceptualizing a “posthumous” variant of cultural consecration and then adopting this concept in thematic and content analyses of rock album reviews. Through my analyses of 336 lifetime and posthumous album reviews, I find two salient discursive processes in the album review sections of rock magazines that follow in the wake of the death of a consecrated figure. First, critics revise the categorical boundaries spanned by rock artists after their deaths. I find striking patterns in how critics draw comparisons between rockers who made their recording debut either before or after 1975 that suggest the categorical membership(s) ascribed by critics to living and dead public figures in a cultural field are dependent on the degree of autonomy at the level of the field. I use this finding to develop the argument that death plays a critical role in how cultural fields achieve autonomy. Second, I find that irrespective of whether the field has a high or low degree of autonomy, critics ascribe coherence to an artist’s body of work to a much greater extent in reviews of posthumous offerings compared to reviews of lifetime offerings. I argue that coherence is highly valued within rock’s legitimating discourse and critics are more likely to attribute coherence to the works of deceased rock musicians which contributes to their symbolic advantage over their living counterparts.

 

Congratulations to Ann Mullen, recipient of JHI Six-Month Faculty Research Fellowship

Ann MullenCongratulations to Ann Mullen who was recently awarded a Jackman Humanities Institute Six-Month Faculty Research Fellowship for 2020/ 2021. Professor Mullen is an Associate Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTSC campus.

The Jackman Humanities Research Fellowship provides faculty with time away from their teaching to work on a specific project and participate in the activities of the community of scholars at the Jackman Humanities Institute.

Professor Mullen’s research project for the period of the fellowship is entitled, “Appreciation: How Artists, Dealers and Collectors Bring Contemporary Art to Life.” The following is a brief description of the project:

Drawing on ethnographic research and in-depth interviewing in the contemporary art community of San Francisco, Mullen’s project explores the social processes through which objects achieve meaning, value and the status of legitimate artwork.  She argues that art is a collective accomplishment that relies on the coordinated efforts of three key segments of the broader art community.  Yet, while achieving the status of art requires the interconnected participation of artists, dealers and collectors, the process is far from seamless. Social actors make sense of and engage with art objects in surprisingly diverse and often opposing or contradictory ways.

Empire’s Legacy: New Book by Professor Jack Veugelers

Professor John W.P. Veugelers’ newly published book, Empire’s Legacy: Roots of a Far-Right Affinity in Contemporary France, analyzes the local politics and historical context to explain the emergence of far-right support for the National Front in Toulon. Veugelers examines the extent of far-right power at the local level and how the government can pose barriers to extremist success. Veugelers innovatively explores contemporary politics through a subcultural approach that connects social networks to symbolic codes.

Jack Veugelers is an Associate Professor Sociology at the University of Toronto with teaching responsibilities at the St. George campus. His research interests include right-wing extremism and the politics of immigration in Canada and Europe (especially France and Italy).

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

Many argue that globalization and its discontents explain the strength of populism and nativism in contemporary Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In France, though, an older potential born of imperialism has propelled the far right of Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen.

To explain how the National Front gained a foothold in France, Empire’s Legacy connects local politics with historical developments that span nearly two centuries. Its analysis hinges on the idea of political potential: the possibility that a social group will support a movement, pressure group, political party, or other organized option. Starting from the French conquest of Algeria, John W.P Veugelers follows the career of a potential, showing how it erupted into support for the National Front in Toulon, the largest city under the far right of any postwar European democracy.

Relying on archival research, electoral surveys, and personal interviews, Veugelers shows that voluntary associations, interest-group politics, and patron-client relations knit together a far-right affinity bequeathed by French imperialism. Veugelers examines the possibilities and limits of far-right power at the local level, moreover, and the barriers that effective, scandal-free government pose to extremist success.

Exploring new terrain in the study of contemporary politics, Empire’s Legacy makes the case for a subcultural approach that connects social networks to symbolic codes.

PhD student Ferdouse Asefi on “Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority”

PhD student Ferdouse Asefi recently co-authored an op-ed published by The Star, entitled “Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority.” The article examines how the promises and commitments made to Indigenous peoples have often been unfulfilled and casts doubt on the Liberals’ likelihood of prioritizing reconciliation during its next term.

Ferdous Asefi is PhD student at the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He wrote the article in collaboration with Erick Laming who is a Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation PhD candidate in criminology, also at the University of Toronto.

The full article is available here. I have posted an excerpt below.

Indigenous peoples will continue to suffer under Liberal minority

During the 2015 federal election, Justin Trudeau promised Indigenous Canadians that once elected as Prime Minister, he would enact all the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), beginning with the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Once elected, Trudeau laid out the groundwork for a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples that would involve respecting and consulting them and their constitutional rights.

Yet, during Trudeau’s first term, the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) faced significant challenges. Additionally, the decision to purchase a $4.5-billion dollar pipeline without consultation with Indigenous communities, and challenging the landmark judicial ruling to compensate First Nations children impacted by the child welfare system, highlight the contradictions of this renewed and one-sided nation-to-nation relationship.

In October, Trudeau and his Liberals were re-elected with a minority government. In Trudeau’s re-election campaign, he claimed his Liberals will continue their path with reconciliation to end all long-term boil-water advisories by 2021, committing funding to the construction of a mercury treatment facility in Grassy Narrows, and reintroduce the implementation of UNDRIP.

But what will reconciliation look like under this Liberal minority government? The Liberals face steep challenges that range from Western alienation, tensions around Bill 21, the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, and a Conservative opposition that is keen on redemption after defeat.

Read the full article here.

PhD Candidate Merin Oleschuk’s research featured in Eater magazine

Ph.D. Candidate Merin Oleschuk research on “foodies” in Toronto was featured in an article by Eater, entitled, “What Does ‘Authenticity’ in Food Mean in 2019?” The article claims that ‘authenticity’ in food “still matters, but its definition isn’t as simple as it used to be” because of the rising awareness of racial inequalities in its definition.

Merin Oleschuk is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the impact of social inequalities on food consumption. Oleschuk studies food as a material lens for considering how and why we use taste to create bonds and preserve boundaries among those around us. Her dissertation and current works examine the values and practices around home cooking and the meaning of cooking based on social positions.

The full article is available here. We have posted an excerpt below.

A white person cooking impeccable Mexican cuisine may be seen as newsworthy, while a Mexican person doing the same is just business as usual, to the point that chef Gabriela Cámara told Eater that, before she started cooking in the U.S., she didn’t even think of herself as cooking Mexican food. In a survey of “foodies” in Toronto, researcher Merin Oleschuk found that chefs of color are often limited by what white and Western diners expect their food to look like, and punished when they don’t live up to those expectations. “These instances are problematic because they summon people to act as ‘representatives’ of their culture,” writes Oleschuk. “Doing so supports social distancing by asking people of color to occupy positions of bounded ethnicity whereby their role is to ‘enrich’ an otherwise normatively white, Anglo-Saxon society through ‘ethnic performances’ and ‘traditions.”’

Read the full article.

PhD candidate Anson Au on mental health in East Asia: K-pop deaths show East Asia must end stigma surrounding mental health

PhD candidate Anson Au recently wrote an op-ed published by South China Morning Post, entitled “K-pop deaths show East Asia must end the stigma, and the solitude, that surrounds mental health.” The op-ed discusses the deaths of Korean pop stars Goo Hara and Sulli and the stigma surrounding mental health in East Asia. He argues that “more community outreach and specialised resources for reaching specific groups” is necessary to combat the mental health crisis in East Asia.

Anson Au is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research interests include sociological methodology, culture, politics and theory.

The full article is available here. We have posted an excerpt below.

…A pang shot through me when headlines blared that Goo Hara had died from suspected suicide – just a month after her best friend Sulli’s death. 

“That’s the thing about pain,” goes a popular line in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. “It demands to be felt.”

Recent medical and social science literature have added to this picture, showing that pain also demands to be spread. Mental health is contagious in patterned ways. And these patterns tell a compelling story of a mental health epidemic on the rise in East Asia.

Mental health troubles, such as distress, depression and anxiety, can spread subconsciously through social interactions like a virus. This can be short term. People reflect observations of others’ moods and negative emotional states onto themselves. We see this most clearly in emergencies, when someone’s panic or anxiety triggers a chain reaction in others.

Read the full article.

Professor Sharla Alegria on women in the tech sector

The Faculty of Arts and Science recently profiled Professor Sharla Alegria’s research on the tech sector.  Focusing partly on Professor Alegria’s recently published in article in Gender & Society, the article also speaks broadly about Alegria’s passion for her research in the sociology of work.

Sharla Alegria is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on inequality in new economy, knowledge-based work studies women in the tech center.

We have posted an excerpt of the profile below. The full text is available here.

Researching rapidly changing tech sector ‘exciting and terrifying’: sociologist Sharla Alegria

December 5, 2019 by Jovana Jankovic – A&S News

Sharla Alegria is working on work.

“I care an awful lot about work in general,” says the sociologist who joined the Faculty of Arts & Science’s Department of Sociology as an assistant professor earlier this fall.

“Work is a huge part of our lives, of how we think about ourselves and compare ourselves to others. It’s also a driver of inequality because your job determines whether you can feed yourself and live a nice life.”

Alegria’s research delves primarily into racial and gender inequality. Her work attempts to evaluate how, why and in what form inequalities persist — and what the implications are for workers’ lives.

In particular, she’s taken an interest in the technology sector, studying the career trajectories of women in tech — a project detailed in a recent paper published in the journal Gender and Society.

Read the full article here.

Professor Jerry Flores on missing and murdered Indigenous women

Professor Jerry Flores recently discussed his investigation into murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada with the University of Toronto, Mississauga News. Professor Flores is working with local organizations to gather stories from Indigenous women on why they left home and the challenges they face in the city. His research contributes to the ongoing discussion surrounding murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada.

Jerry Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities at the Mississauga campus. His areas of interest include: studies of gender and crime, prison studies, alternative schools, ethnographic research methods, Latina/o sociology and studies of race and ethnicity.

The full article is available here. We have posted an excerpt below.

…Jerry Flores opens each of his interviews with a broad request: “Tell us your life story.”

The assistant professor of sociology at U of T Mississauga has been working closely with local organizations to gather stories from Indigenous women, asking them why they left home and what challenges they face in the city.

His aim is to tackle what he refers to as a “black eye” for Canada: missing and murdered Indigenous women and men.

Flores, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is of Mexican descent with Indigenous grandparents. He has found the stories of Indigenous women in Canada are eerily similar to those of young, incarcerated Latina women he previously spent three years talking with before publishing his first book.

The young Mexican women in Los Angeles, many of whom were of Indigenous descent, would often experience abuse in the home or start to fight with their family, they would run away, end up on the street and start engaging in high-risk behaviour or abusive relationships, Flores explains.

“In the US in general, they end up in the criminal justice system. Here they end up murdered or missing,” Flores says.

Read the full article here.

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.

PhD Candidate Jean-François Nault on French Ontario and Catholicism in the Schooling Context

Ph.D. Candidate Jean-François Nault has published an article in Études d’histoire religieuse, entitled “Le choix de l’école catholique de langue française en Ontario : mutations du rapport identitaire des Franco-Ontariens au catholicisme.” The article examines the cultural and identity ties Franco-Ontarians have with Catholicism in the schooling context.

Jean-François Nault is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Toronto. He has sucessfully defended his dissertation, entitled Culture and Private School Choice: Uncovering the Cultural Dimensions of School Choice as Action.

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

Nault, J. (2015). Le choix de l’école catholique de langue française en Ontario : mutations du rapport identitaire des Franco-Ontariens au catholicisme. Études d’histoire religieuse, 81(1-2), 81–102.

This paper presents the results of a case study on French language Catholic school choice in Orleans, Ontario. Starting with the results of a series of semi-structured interviews conducted with parents who chose a French language Catholic school for their children, a typology of French language Catholic school choice is presented in order to contribute to the understanding of the cultural and identity ties Franco-Ontarian parents maintain with Catholicism. Following a brief historical overview of the relationship between identity and Catholicism in French Ontario, as well as an outline of the Franco-Ontarian schooling context and of school choice in a cultural perspective, the relationship Franco-Ontarians now hold with Catholicism as a cultural religion will be examined through the question of school choice.

PhD Graduate M. Omar Faruque on subaltern resistance and politics

Ph.D. Graduate M. Omar Faruque published an article in Asian Journal of Political Science, entitled “Mining and Subaltern Politics: Political Struggle against Neoliberal Development in Bangladesh.” The article examines  Bangladeshi resistance to a multinational coal mining company.

Omar Faruque received his Ph.D. in June 2019. He successfully defended his dissertation entitled, Mining Capitalism and Contentious Politics in Bangladesh.

The full text of the article can be accessed through the Asian Journal of Political Science here. We have included the citation and abstract below.

Faruque, M. O. (2017). Mining and Subaltern Politics: Political Struggle against Neoliberal Development in Bangladesh. Asian Journal of Political Science, 1–22.

Drawing on social movement scholarship, this paper analyses subaltern struggles against a multinational mining company. The Phulbari coal mine is the centre of contention between the mining company and local/national activists. Local concerns about the dispossession of lands and livelihoods and environmental destruction have been merged with a Leftist political agenda on the growing vulnerability of the state and national sovereignty in the Global South. A close examination of the movement’s discourses suggests that a broader political struggle against resource plunder and energy imperialism has been strengthened by local community resistance to an environmentally destructive coal mine. Based on in-depth qualitative interviews, I analyse how activists have created new meanings of the conflict to confront and delegitimize hegemonic discourses of capitalist development and modernity.

Read the full article here.

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron and Professor Monica Boyd on “Cross-Nativity Partnering and the Political Participation of Immigrant Generations”

Boyd, MonicaPhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron and Professor Monica Boyd have co-authored an article published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, entitled “Cross-Nativity Partnering and the Political Participation of Immigrant Generations.” The article explores cross-nativity intermarriage and its political implications.

Amanda Couture-Carron is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology and the University of Toronto studying pathways to deviance across immigrant generations.

Monica Boyd is a Canada Research Chair in Immigration, Inequality and Public Policy and Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto (St. George), which she joined in 2001. Her current research projects are on immigrant inequality in the labour force, the migration of high skilled labor, the socio-economic achievements of immigrant offspring and the migration and employment of care workers.

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

Boyd, M. & Couture-Carron, A. (2015). Cross-nativity partnering and the political participation of immigrant generations. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 662(1), 88-206.

This article defines cross-nativity intermarriage in four generations of Canadians and explores whether cross-nativity partnering is associated with political assimilation—in this case, similarity in voting and political activities between immigrants with native-born partners and third-plus-generation immigrants. We find that foreign-born residents with Canadian-born partners do not differ from third-plus-generation residents who have Canadian-born partners in their propensities to vote or in the number of political activities in which they participate. Conversely, the foreign-born with foreign-born partners are less likely than the third-plus generation to have voted in a previous federal election; if the foreign-born immigrated later in adolescence or in adulthood, they also are less likely to participate in other political activities. Differences in demographic and socioeconomic characteristics underlie the greater likelihood that second and third-plus generations will engage in political activities.

PhD Candidate Timothy Kang on “Suicide in South Korea”

Timothy KangPh.D. Timonthy Kang recently published an article in the Journal for Social Thought, entitled “Suicide in South Korea: Revisiting Durkheim’s Suicide.” The article approaches suicide trends and patterns through a Durkheimian lens and draws on Ben Park’s (2012) “cohort theory of collective cultural ambivalence” to examine suicide in Korea. The article also explores current research on suicide in Korea and uses data from the World Values Survey (2014). With consideration to Park’s attention to anomie, the author argues that egoism and social integration are different from social regulation and that this distinction is important for understanding the increasing rates of suicide in South Korea.

Timothy Kang is currently in the process of obtaining his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto. His research interests are primarily within socio-legal studies focusing on the intersections between crime, gender, and age.

The full text of the article can be accessed through the Journal for Social Thought here. We have included the citation and abstract below.

Kang, Timothy. 2017. Suicide in South Korea: Revisiting Durkheim’s Suicide. Journal for Social Thought, 2(1): 3-14.
The suicide rate in South Korea has been steadily increasing for the past twenty years and has become a major societal issue. Accordingly, the phenomenon has drawn the attention of researchers from many different perspectives that have looked to a variety of causes. Efforts to understand the trends from a sociological perspective, however, are scarce. One notable exception is Ben Park’s (2012) cohort theory of “collective cultural ambivalence”. Drawing from Durkheim’s concept of anomie, Park argues that in Korea the simultaneous and competing existence of traditional Confucianism and Western Individualism is causing pathological cultural ambivalence, a state of anomie, and increasing rates of suicide. The theory of cultural ambivalence, however, conflates Durkheim’s conceptual distinctions between social regulation/integration and anomic/egoistic suicides. By revisiting the original formulations in Suicide, this essay offers a Durkheimian interpretation and explanation for suicide trends and patterns by drawing from Park’s cohort theory of cultural ambivalence, examining current research on suicide in Korea, and using data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey (2014). Along with Park’s emphasis on anomie, I argue that egoism and social integration are important considerations distinct from social regulation for understanding the increasing rates of suicide in South Korea
Read the full article here.

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron co-authors article on South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron, in collaboration with Professors Arshia Zaidi and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, has published an article in International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, entitled “‘Should I or should I not?’: An exploration of South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy.” The article investigates how South Asian youth navigate dating and sexuality with regards to competing cultural value systems that exist between their heritage country and host country.

Amanda Couture-Carron is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto studying pathways to deviance across immigrant generations.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below.

Zaidi, A., Couture-Carron, A. & Maticka-Tyndale, E. (2013). “Should I or should I not?”: An exploration of South Asian youth’s resistance to cultural deviancy. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 4(2), 232-251.

Being and belonging to a South Asian family in Canada does not come without struggles. One theme that has consistently dominated the literature on South Asian immigrant families is the competing cultural value systems that exist between the East (heritage country) and the West (host country). The two cultural scripts adhere to contradictory lifestyle scripts, especially with respect to social and sexual aspects of life. In an individualistic host country, like Canada, things such as dating and sexuality are much more accepted and normalised. These same social endeavours in collectivistic South Asian cultures, where social controls such as family, culture, religion and community dominate decision-making, are stigmatised. In South Asian cultures, these activities are considered culturally deviant because they pose a direct threat to the honour of the family. Using semi-structured interviews, the goal of this study is twofold: first, to uncover the intimate relationship realities of South Asian youth; and second, to understand why some South Asian youth resist cultural deviancy by applying Travis Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data revealed four themes that help explain why some participants avoided dating relationships and/or sexual activities, which include attachment to others/affection, commitment to conventional lines of action, involvement in conventional activities, belief system and lack of opportunity.

PhD Candidate Patricia Louie and Professor Blair Wheaton on “Prevalence and Patterning of Mental Disorders Through Adolescence in Three Cohorts of Black and White Americans”

Blair WheatonPhD Candidate Patricia Louie and Professor Blair Wheaton have co-authored an article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, entitled “Prevalence and Patterning of Mental Disorders Through Adolescence in Three Cohorts of Black and White Americans.” This article examines the black-white disparities in mental disorders across three cohorts of blacks and whites in the United States. The findings suggest that the mental disorder patterns of black and white Americans have changed across cohorts.

Patricia Louie is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She explores 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. Blair Wheaton is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto (St. George). He specializes in quantitative methods and the sociology of mental health. Professor Wheaton’s current research examines the role of neighbourhood effects on mental health outcomes. He is particularly interested in effects over time. Professor Wheaton is currently funded, along with co-investigators in Sociology and St. Michael’s Hospital, to conduct a major Toronto survey on the effects of neighbourhood on mental health. These projects are: Neighbourhood Contexts, the Individual, and Mental Health: A Multilevel Study and Investigating Neighbourhood Effects on Mental Health. This major project is supported by SSHRC, CIHR and the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives.

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

Patricia Louie, Blair Wheaton, Prevalence and Patterning of Mental Disorders Through Adolescence in 3 Cohorts of Black and White Americans, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 187, Issue 11, November 2018, Pages 2332–2338, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy144

The tendency for US blacks to report similar or lower rates of mental disorder than whites is well-established. However, whether these disparities are stable across cohorts of black and white Americans is not well understood. In the current study, we examined black-white differences in the lifetime prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, mood, anxiety, impulse control, and substance use disorders and any mental disorders across 3 cohorts of blacks and whites aged 4–18 years. Using merged data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (2001–2003) and the National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement (2001–2004), we observed a change in the black-white patterning of mental disorder between 1957 and 2004. Blacks born during 1957–1969 reported lower rates of anxiety disorders than their white counterparts (odds ratio (OR) = 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.52, 0.91); blacks born during 1970–1982 reported no difference in the rates of anxiety disorders relative to whites (OR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.76, 1.25); and blacks born during 1983–1991 reported higher rates of anxiety disorders than whites (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.43). Similar but less distinct trends were observed for mood disorders, impulse control disorders, and any disorders. Our results suggest that the black-white patterning of mental disorder in the United States has changed across cohorts, to the disadvantage of black Americans.

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron co-authors article on the experiences of cross-gender relationships amongst South Asian youth in Canada

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron, in collaboration with Mehek Arif and Professors Ali Zaidi and Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, has published an article in the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, entitled “Ethnic identity, religion and gender: An exploration of intersecting identities creating diverse perceptions & experiences with intimate cross-gender relationships amongst South Asian youth in Canada.” The article analyzes whether the intersections of gender, ethnicity and religion influence the levels of acceptance of and experiences with intimate cross-gender relationships among South-Asian youth in Canada.

Amanda Couture-Carron is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto studying pathways to deviance across immigrant generations.

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

Zaidi, A., Couture, A., Maticka-Tyndale, E. & Arif, M. (2014). Ethnic identity, religion and gender: An exploration of intersecting identities creating diverse perceptions & experiences with intimate cross-gender relationships amongst South Asian youth in Canada. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 46(2), 27-54.

The migration of South Asians from one country to another is becoming increasingly common. This movement comes with post migratory challenges that extend to second-generation South Asians who have to negotiate socialization into two often conflicting sets of values, beliefs, attitudes, and practices: those within and those outside the home. One such challenge faced by secondgeneration South Asians is the negotiation and formation of cross-gender heterosexual relationships. Using qualitative data, specifically in-depth interviews with second-generation South Asian Christians, Muslims, and Hindus in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), this paper examines how intersections of gender, ethnicity, and religion shape participants’ perceptions of and experiences with intimate cross-gender relationships. The results indicate that there are variations within each source of identity, and acceptance of and experiences with intimate cross-gender relationships differ depending on how these identities intersect and interact.

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron on Dating Abuse Against Women in a Cultural Context

PhD Candidate Amanda Couture-Carron published an article in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, entitled “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Dating Abuse Against Women From the Perspective of South Asian Muslim Youth in Canada.” The article explores dating abuse against women among South Asian Muslim women. The article finds sociocultural variation in the meanings of dating behaviour and demonstrates the value of intersectional analysis.

Amanda Couture-Carron is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto studying pathways to deviance across immigrant generations.

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

Couture-Carron, A. (2016). One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Dating Abuse Against Women From the Perspective of South Asian Muslim Youth in Canada. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(23), 3626–3647.

Despite the growing recognition of intersectionality in the field of domestic abuse, scholarship on dating abuse is still limited by its lack of attention to cultural context. To begin to address this gap, this article presents findings from an exploratory qualitative study of 11 South Asian Muslims’ perceptions of behaviors/actions in dating relationships that they identify as being potentially experienced and/or understood differently by South Asian Muslim women. In particular, the participants identify (a) exposure to parents/ community, (b) behaviors of a sexual nature, (c) controlling behaviors, and (d) psychological, emotional, and/or verbal behaviors/abuse as being experienced and understood in unique ways by South Asian Muslim women. By connecting these perceptions to the cultural context of South Asian Muslims, these findings support an intersectionality perspective by suggesting sociocultural variations in the meanings assigned to behaviors and/or actions.

Read the full article here.

PhD Candidate Patricia Louie and Professor William Magee on the differences between Black and White Americans in Anger-Out

Ph.D. Candidate Patricia Louie and Professor William Magee have co-authored an article published in Race and Social Problems, entitled “Did the Difference Between Black and White Americans in Anger-Out Decrease During the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century?” This article examines the black–white difference in anger-in and anger-out in a sample representative of Americans aged 40 and older. The authors also discuss current trends in political anger expression and how they may be related to the patterns observed.

Patricia Louie is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She explores the racial patterning of mental health in her work. Currently, her research examines racial disparities in mental and physical health using multiple dimensions of race, including skin tone. She also examines the counterbalancing role of social stressors and coping resources in explaining race and skin tone inequalities in health.

 

 

William MageeWilliam Magee is an Associate Professor and the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He is interested in the moral and emotional aspects of social and personal problems. He teaches courses on the sociology of health and illness, quality of life, and emotions.

 

 

 

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

Magee, William and Patricia Louie. “Did the Difference Between Black and White Americans in Anger-Out Decrease During the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century?” Race and Social Problems 8(3): 256–70.

Studies have found blacks in the USA report lower levels of anger-out and higher levels of anger-in than whites. However, most of the research on anger expression has been based on data from limited samples. The current study investigates the black–white difference in anger-in and anger-out in a sample representative of Americans aged 40 and older. Data are from the two most recent waves of the Americans’ Changing Lives (ACL) surveys. In 2001, the ACL assessed both outcomes, with anger-out re-assessed in 2011. Thus, individual-level change in anger-out can be investigated. Drawing on literature on “anger privilege,” civility, the politicization of anger, and related topics, we develop and evaluate hypotheses about: (1) the race difference in anger-out over time, (2) race as a moderator of the gender difference in both forms of anger expression, and (3) the impact of controlling for perceived discrimination on anger expression. We find blacks to report greater expressive reticence with regard to their anger (i.e., anger-in) than whites in 2001. That race difference became nonsignificant when discrimination was controlled. The race difference in anger-out was of borderline significance in 2001 and became significant after discrimination was controlled. Longitudinal analyses show that the race difference in anger-out decreased over time. The rate that anger-out decreased by did not significantly differ by race. We discuss processes that that could contribute to our results. We also speculate about how current trends in political anger expression might be related to the patterns we observe.

PhD Candidate Gabriel Menard on Intellectual Property

Gabe MenardPhD Candidate Gabriel Menard has published an article in Information, Communication & Society, entitled “Copyright, digital sharing, and the liberal order: Sociolegal constructions of intellectual property in the era of mass digitization.” The paper explores intellectual property policy in the context of Canada in the age of mass digitalization.

Gabriel Menard is a Doctoral 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.

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

Menard, G. (2016). Copyright, digital sharing, and the liberal order: Sociolegal constructions of intellectual property in the era of mass digitization. Information, Communication & Society, 19(8), 1061-1076.

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.