Ph.D. student Dana Wray comments for The Toronto Star on existing inequalities in the federal parental benefit and EI system, exposed by the pandemic

Ph.D. student Dana Wray was recently in an article for The Toronto Star shedding light on the existing inequalities in the federal parental benefit and the EI system that has been further exposed by the pandemic.  You can read the article ‘The pandemic exposed huge gaps in EI — turns out the parental leave system has many of the same problems’ here.

Dana is in the fourth year of the Sociology Ph.D. program at the University of Toronto. Before this, she completed a B.A. and an M.A. with a specialization in Population Dynamics at McGill University. Broadly, Dana’s research uses time use data to explore the stratification of parent-child time with children and its consequences for gender and class inequalities as well as family well-being. Her dissertation research, supported by a SSHRC Doctoral Award, investigates how work-family policies – such as parental leave and flexible workplaces – shapes parents’ time with children in Canada, the U.S., and cross-nationally. One of her recent papers, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2020, finds that Quebec’s paternity leave policy led to an increase in fathers’ solo parenting or responsibility time with children.

In addition to her own research, Dana collaborates extensively with her supervisor Professor Melissa Millkie and her dissertation committee member Professor Irene Boeckmann, on a SSHRC-funded project entitled, “Time Together and Apart: Clarifying the Family Time Paradox in Canada and the United States.” Dana is also currently working to collect interview data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families through a project led by Professor Milkie and Professor Leah Ruppanner at the University of Melbourne, entitled, “Changing Times: Parents’ Re-Evaluations of Work-Family Boundaries andTime Allocations in a Pandemic Era.

You can learn more about Dana Wray on her website: www.danawray.com

Congratulations to PhD student Dana Wray, recipient of the 2021 Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award

Congratulations to PhD student Dana Wray, winner of the 2021 Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award. The award is awarded annually for a paper or dissertation of exceptional merit that deals with a sociological aspect of Canadian Society. Preference is given for work that deals with macro-sociological topics.  

Dana’s paper “Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Canada”, published in the April 2020 edition of Journal of Marriage and Family, provides new evidence on how parental leave policies impact fathers’ involvement with their children. By applying a rigorous natural experiment design to a topic of ongoing public debate, the paper makes an important contribution to the literature on parental leave policies and family life in the Canadian context. The paper is already being cited in leading journals. 

We would like to take this opportunity to share some details about the person behind this award. Dennis William Magill served for many years as a professor in the University of Toronto Department of Sociology. During his time at the university, Professor Magill directed the sociology undergraduate program as well as University College’s health studies program. Professor Magill was an active public sociologist, serving on the boards of many Toronto organizations, including Toronto Historical Board, Sherbourne Health Centre, Rekai Centre for Long Term Care, Centre for Urban Health Initiatives, Community Campus Partnerships for Health, and Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. He was also a founding member of the Wellesley Institute. 

Congratulations, Dana, on this excellent achievement and best wishes for continued success. 

P2P: Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada

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.

Wray, Dana. 2020. “Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Canada.” Journal of Marriage and Family. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12661

Dana Wray has published an article in the Journal of Marriage and Family, entitled “Paternity Leave and Fathers’ Responsibility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Canada.” This study uses the natural experiment of the province of Quebec – which introduced reserved paternity leave in 2006, compared to the rest of Canada – to examine whether paternity leave policy can increase fathers’ involvement with their children. The study finds that the reserved paternity leave policy led to a direct increase of 2.2 hours per week in fathers’ solo parenting or responsibility time.

Under the supervision of Melissa Milkie, Dana enrolled in the Research Practicum with an interest in studying how family policy could impact parental time with children in Canada. Dana presented progressive versions of the paper at the 2019 American Sociological Association (ASA) and the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) annual meetings. The comments at these conferences helped to refine the paper. In addition, the paper also won the 2019 CSA Best Graduate Student Paper award.

Dana greatly appreciates the invaluable feedback from her supervisor, Melissa Milkie; practicum supervisors, Josée Johnston, Ron Levi, and Phil Goodman; her discussant and committee member, Irene Boeckmann; as well as the students in her cohort. The paper also received funding from a Program Level Summer Fellowship from the Sociology department that helped her submit the manuscript for publication in the summer after practicum.

Dana continues to explore the impact of parental leave policy on parents, with a paper on how paternity leave policy can potentially shift mothers’ time with children and perceptions of time pressures accepted for upcoming presentation at the Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) conference in New York City in June 2020. In her own work and her collaborative work with Melissa Milkie, Irene Boeckmann, and Julia Ingenfeld, Dana explores the patterning of parental time in Canada, the U.S., and cross-nationally using a range of quantitative approaches to study large-scale surveys of time use data. Her research is supported by a SSHRC CGS Doctoral Award.

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

 

 

Sociology students win SSHRC funding for their research

SSHRC logoThis year, three of our PhD students received fellowships 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.

2018-19 SSHRC Fellowship Recipients


Phil Badawy
The Paradox of Control: Investigating the Nature and Implications of Time and Task Control with a Mixed-Methods Longitudinal Design
Taylor Price
Professional Songwriters in the Digital Age and their Audiences
Dana Wray
Reshaping Fatherhood through Policy: The Consequences of Parental Leave for Fathering Definitions and Practices

Recipients from previous years among our current students

Amny Athamny, 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, 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 and Lawrence Williams.

Congratulations to PhD students Dana Wray and Laila Omar on receiving Best Student Paper Award and Honourable Mention from the Canadian Sociological Association

The Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) has awarded their Best Student Paper prize to PhD student Dana Wray, with an Honourable Mention going to another of our graduate students, Laila Omar. Both of the papers were originally papers written for the Second Year PhD Research Practicum course. Dana’s paper was titled,”Can Paternity Leave Policy Change Father Involvement? Evidence from the Natural Experiment of Quebec.” According to the review committee, this paper “stood out as being a particularly well designed analysis, with sophisticated methods and a critically important contribution to the sociological literature on gender, parenting and social policy.” Dana wrote the paper as part of the practicum course under the supervision of Professor Melissa Milkie and with the benefit of feedback from her peers and the instructors of the course, Professors Josee Johnston, Ron Levi and Phil Goodman.   She is also grateful for feedback from Professor Irene Boeckmann. Dana intends to submit the paper for publication this summer and was awarded a Program Summer Level Fellowship for that purpose. She will be presenting different parts of this project at CSA in June and at meetings of the American Sociological Association in August.

Abstract

A growing body of research suggests that parental leave-taking is positively associated with increased father involvement. Yet, it remains unclear how particular leave policies impact different dimensions of father involvement, as well as the causality of this relationship. This study extends previous research with a causal test of whether reserved paternity leave policy shifts father involvement across three dimensions: engagement (routine or interactive caring for children), accessibility (time in children’s presence), and responsibility (solo parenting; time engaged with or accessible to children when the mother is not present). These dimensions are operationalized using time use data from the 2005 and 2010 Canadian General Social Survey. Exploiting the ‘natural experiment’ of the reserved paternity leave policy introduced in the province of Quebec in 2006 compared to the shared parental leave entitlement offered in the rest of Canada, this research uses difference-in-differences methods to estimate the causal effect of the paternity leave policy on father-child time. The reserved paternity leave policy led to a direct increase in fathers’ responsibility for children through solo parenting, but there is no evidence of a direct effect of the policy on fathers’ engagement or accessibility. Implications of the effects of family policies on family well-being and gender inequality are discussed.

In addition to Dana Wray, Laila Omar was also honoured by the CSA with an honourable mention for her paper, “‘I Just Dream of Things Being Stable’: Exploring How Physical Displacement Affects Syrian Refugee Mothers’ Perception of Time.” The committee wrote that it wanted to recognize this paper “as a particularly valuable work in sociology, one that stood apart in the crowd” and that “contributes to sociology’s understanding of the social construction of time, while offering important lessons on the relationship between trauma and motherhood.” This was the only honourable mention awarded in the 2019 competition.

Laila’s paper was also completed as a research practicum project in the course led by Professors Johnston, Levi and Goodman. Hers was under the supervision of Professor Neda Maghbouleh and benefited from feedback from Professor Rania Salem. Laila will be presenting different parts of her project at CSA in June and ASA in August, and already presented it at the U of T Anthropology Medusa Graduate Conference in March 2019. She also intends to submit the paper for publication this summer.

Abstract

Scholars have focused significant attention on the geographical aspect of forced migration, and the consequences of refugees’ movement across space. However, they have not addressed the idea of the “future” for refugee populations who are forced to settle and to build a new life in a new country. In this article, I connect scholarship on forced migration and cultural concepts of the future in order to examine the temporal dimensions of forced migration. Using semi-structured interviews with 41 Syrian mothers who have recently arrived in Canada, this article investigates refugee mothers’ conceptualization of their and their children’s futures in Canada. I argue that forced migration and the status of “refugeeness” heavily shape newcomers’ perception of time in general, and of the future in particular. Mothers’ perceptions of the future are heavily shaped by cultural and religious orientations. Moreover, mothers deliberately “foreclose” their own timeline in order to focus on their children’s future in Canada. Finally, a sense of “scrambled timeline” is emergent: mothers cannot separate their future projections from the present nor from the past. These findings are significant for revealing how experiences of forced displacement and resettlement interact with culture to influence refugees’ perceptions of time and the future.