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.

Book Talk: Professor Fidan Elcioglu and Professor Tahseen Shams discuss their new books

Please join us on Wednesday, November 25 from 3-4PM, when Professors Fidan Elcioglu and Tahseen Shams will be in conversation to discuss their new works: Divided by the Wall (UCalifornia Press 2020) and Here, There and Elsewhere (Stanford UPress 2020).

The event will be hosted by Professors Neda Maghbouleh and Anna Korteweg.

The event will be held on Zoom, please register for the event here to receive a link.

‘Divided by the Wall’ – Prof Fidan Elcioglu

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 (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) shows how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans.

‘Here, There, and Elsewhere’ – Prof. Tahseen Shams

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 (Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto) posits a new concept for thinking about these places that are neither the immigrants’ homeland nor hostland—the “elsewhere.”

“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.

Congratulations to Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu on receiving the Connaught New Researcher Award

Congratulations to Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu, whose work has been recognized with the Connaught New Researcher Award. Professor Elcioglu is one of six sociology faculty members to receive this award in 2019. The annual award provides up to $20,000 to new tenure-stream faculty members, and is intended to help them establish a strong research program, and subsequently increase their competitiveness for external funding. “These researchers are doing exciting, innovative work across many different disciplines. It’s the University of Toronto’s hope that this funding will help set the stage for world-leading scholarship and important new discoveries,” stated Vivek Goel, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives.

Professor Elcioglu’s project is entitled, “The Political Effects of Taking in Strangers: An Interview-Based Study of the Motivations, Experiences, and Worldviews of Private Refugee Sponsors in Canada”, and aims to discover how people decide to become sponsors and how this decision is shaped by and affects their identities. She also seeks to learn how the experience of sponsorship affects their expectations about who ‘refugees’ are and what their resettlement should look like. And lastly, her research looks to determine whether and how the process of sponsorship reshapes sponsors’ views about the social world, including their own position of relative privilege in the global political economy. 

Immigration policy involves both exclusionary practices–the policing of borders and the deportation of unwanted immigrants–and integrative practices–resettlement programs facilitating the integration of immigrants and refugees accepted into a nation. Canada’s program of Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) offers a rare case study for exploring the political effects of devolving integrative immigration measures. This project will investigate the political effects of this program on the sponsors. Specifically, she will explore whether and how sponsorship reshapes citizens’ worldviews particularly in relation to the state, newcomers, and inequality. In so doing, this project also underlines questions about whether and in what ways participation in statecraft facilitates deeper political and civic engagement among citizens.

As a result, this project will extend and complicate existing theories about the political consequences of involving citizens and civil society in the statecraft of refugee admittance. At the same time, Professor Elcioglu hopes that the findings will also help inform policymakers and the general public about how to make private sponsorship a more sustainable and equitable method of refugee resettlement. 

U of T at the ASA

This year, 22 faculty members and 25 graduate students from Sociology at the University of Toronto are presenting papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociology Association in Montreal. 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 12th and August 15th. We have listed the papers we’re presenting below in the order of their occurrence, with student presenters shown in italics. Note that some of the papers have unlisted co-authors from other universities. Please refer to the ASA Program for complete information.

Saturday, August 12th

Bill Magee, Optimistic Positivity and Pessimistic Negativity Among American Adults: Effects of Birth-Cohort, Age, Gender, and Race

Jaime Nikolaou, Teen Pregnancy and Doula Care: A Space for Feminist Praxis?

Andrew Nevin, Technological Tethering, Cohort Effects, and the Work-Family Interface

Andreea Mogosanu, Historical Change in Gender Differences in Mastery: The Role of Education and Employment

Ioana Sendroiu and Laura Upenieks, Gender ‘In Practice’: Rethinking the Use of Male Practice Players in NCAA Women’s Basketball

Emine Fidan Elcioglu, The State Effect at the Border: Avoiding Totalizing Theories of Political Power in Migration Studies

Paul Pritchard, A Bifurcated Welcome? Examining the Willingness to Include Seasonal Agricultural Workers in the Host Community

Yukiko Tanaka, Managing Risk, Pursuing Opportunities: Immigration, Citizenship, and Security in Canada

Gordon Brett, Feminist Theory and Embodied Cognition: Bridging the Disciplinary Gap

Mitch McGivor, Inequality in Higher Education: Student Debt, Social Background, and Labour Market Outcomes

Sarah Cappeliez, Wine Nerds and Pleasure-seekers: Understanding Wine Taste Formation and Practice

Katelin Albert, Negotiating State Policy in the Improvised Classroom: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Sexual Health Classrooms

Marie-Lise Drappon-Bisson, Tactical Reproduction in the Pro-Choice Movement in Northern Ireland: Alliance for Choice’s Path Towards Successful Tactics

Milos Brocic, Cultivating Conviction or Negotiating Nuance? Assessing the Impact of Associations on Ideological Polarization

Omar Faruque, Neoliberal Development, Privatizing Nature, and Subaltern Resistance in Bangladesh

Sunday, August 13th

Dan Silver, The Political Order of the City: Neighborhoods and Voting in Toronto, 1997-2014

Andreea Mogosanu and Laura Upenieks, Social Change and the Evolution of Gender Differences in Depression: An Age-Cohort Consideration

Markus Schafer, Religious Attendance Heterogamy and Partnership Quality in Later Life

Atsushi Narisada, Buffering-Resource or Status-Disconfirmation? How Socioeconomic Status Shapes the Relationship between Perceived Under-Reward and Distress

Josee Johnston, On (not) Knowing Where Your Food Comes From: Children, Meat, and Ethical Eating

Ann Mullen, Labored Meanings: Contemporary Artists and the Process and Problems of Producing Artistic Meaning

Lawrence Williams, Dilemmas: Where No Schema Has Gone Before

Patricia Landolt, How Does Multicultural Canada’s Ethnicizing Imperative Shape Latin American Political Incorporation?

Merin Oleschuk, Consuming the Family Meal: News Media Constructions of Home Cooking and Health

Sarah Shah, The Context of Birth Country Gender Inequality on Mental Health Outcomes of Intimate Partner Violence

Louise Birsell-Bauer, Precarious Professionals: Gender Relations in the Academic Profession and the Feminization of Employment Norms

Geoff Wodtke, Regression-based Adjustment for Time-varying Confounders

Monday, August 14th

Markus Schafer, The Role of Health in Late Life Social Inclusion and Exclusion

Kim Pernell, Institutionalized Meaning and Policymaking: Revisiting the Causes of American Financial Deregulation

Cynthia Guzman, Revisiting the Feminist Theory of the State

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Policing Race, Moral Panic and the Growth of Black Prisoners in Canada

David Pettinicchio, Beyond Employment Inequality: Wealth Disparities by Disability Status in Canada and the United States

Yangsook Kim, Good Care in the Elderly Care Sector of South Korea: Gendered Immigration and Ethnic Boundaries

Ioana Sendroiu and Ron Levi, Legality and Exclusion: Discrimination, Legal Cynicism and System Avoidance across the European Roma Experience

Lawrence Williams, Bounded Reflexivity: How Expectations Shape Careers

Irene Boeckmann, Contested Hegemony: Fatherhood Wage Effects across Two U.S. Birth Cohorts

Jennifer Chun and Cynthia Cranford, Becoming Homecare Workers: Chinese Immigrant Women in California’s Oakland Chinatown

Katelin Albert and Steve G. Hoffman, Undone Science and Canadian Health Research

Ronit Dinovitzer, The New Place of Corporate Law Firms in the Structuring of Elite Legal Careers

Melissa Milkie and Scott Schieman, Who Helps with the Homework? Inequity in Parenting Responsibilities and Relationship Quality among Employed Parents

Matthew Parbst, The Impact of Public Opinion on Policy in Cross-National Perspective

Tony Zhang, The Princelings in China: How Do They Benefit from their Red Parents?

Rania Salem, Structural Accommodations of Classic Patriarchy: Women and Workplace Gender Segregation in Qatar

Tuesday, August 15th

Patricia Louie and Blair Wheaton, Revisiting the Black-White Paradox in Mental Disorder in Three Cohorts of Black and White Americans

Jenna Valleriani, Breaking the law for the greater good? Core-stigmatized Organizations and Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Canada

Martin Lukk, What Kind of Writing is Sociology? Literary Form and Theoretical Integration in the Human Sciences

Jerry Flores, Gender on the Run: Wanted Latinas in a southern California Barrio

Jean-Francois Nault, Determinants of Linguistic Retention: The Case of Ontario’s Francophone Official-Language Minorities

Luisa Farah Schwartzmann, Color Violence, Deadly Geographies and the Meanings of “Race” in Brazil

Jonathan Koltai and Scott Schieman, Financial Strain, Mastery, and Psychological Distress: A Comment on Spuriousness in the Stress Process

 

 

 

Welcome New Faculty

This year the Department of Sociology welcomes ten new faculty members into our community of scholars. This is the largest cohort of new faculty members we have seen in decades. They cover research and teaching interests ranging from classical theory to criminology and immigration studies and will help shape the character of the department in the years to come. Though housed across the three campuses, all faculty join together in contributing to the tri-campus graduate department.

Professor Ellen Berrey joins the faculty at the University of Toronto, Mississauga teaching in the area of Law and Society. She graduated with a PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University in 2008 and has previously taught at the University at Buffalo, SUNY and at the University of Denver.

Professor Irene Boeckmann is a new faculty member in Family and Demography, teaching at the St. George campus. Professor Boeckmann completed her PhD at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2014 and spent 2015 as a post-doctoral fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany.

Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu brings her expertise in political sociology and immigration to the University of Toronto at Scarborough. Professor Elcioglu received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 2016.

Professor Steve G. Hoffman received his PhD at Northwestern University in 2009 and taught for several years at the University at Buffalo, SUNY before coming to the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Professor Hoffman teaches in the area of social theory and the sociology of disaster.

Professor Rachel La Touche comes to the University of Toronto at St George this year where she is teaching in the areas of research methods and inequality. She received her PhD from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2016 and has previously taught at the University of Mannheim-Germany and at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research(ICPSR) Summer Program at the University ofMichigan.

Professor Yoonkyung Lee joins the faculty at the University of Toronto, St. George. Professor Lee received her PhD at Duke University in 2006 and has previously taught at Binghamton University. Professor Lee is a political sociologist with a focus on Korean studies.

Professor Sida Liu is a new faculty member at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Professor Liu is a specialist in the sociology of law. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2009. Before coming to Toronto, Professor Liu taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also currently a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah received his doctorate in 2014 from the Centre for Criminology and Socio-legal Studies here at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Before coming back to Toronto, Professor Owusu-Bempah taught for a year at the Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Owusu-Bempah is a specialist in policing and race.

Professor Kim Pernell comes to the University of Toronto, St. George with expertise in economic sociology, organizational sociology and social policy. Professor Pernell received a PhD in Sociology from Harvard in 2016.

Professor Ashley Rubin joins the faculty at the University of Toronto, Mississauga bringing expertise in the sociology of punishment and prisons. Professor Rubin received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 and previously taught at Florida State University.