Professors Jerry Flores and Weiguo Zhang received grants for new research projects from UTM

Congratulations to Professor Jerry Flores and Professor Weiguo Zhang who have recently received funding from the University of Toronto, Mississauga for their upcoming research projects. This funding is administered by UTM’s new initiative “Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Scholar/Research Grant Program“. The purpose of this program is to support research projects that address racial inequity, the ongoing effects of racism, and social justice.

Professor Flores’ research project is titled “Broadening access to the Kaxúmbekua (way of life): Saving P’urhépecha culture across English speaking countries.” In this project, Professor Flores will be collaborating with community elder and artist, Huíchu Kuákari, in translating two key books belonging to the P’urhépecha peoples, a group of Indigenous people located in central Mexico. These translations will be the first step in a larger community-based research agenda that investigates how members of the P’urhépecha community from across the world recover their culture and resist the larger Mexican state’s racial project and multiple attempts at erasing the P’urhépecha people.

Professor Jerry Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. 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. He also recently published his first book titled “Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration”.

Professor Zhang’s research project is titled “COVID-19 Racism against Chinese in Canada”. In this project, Professor Zhang will be conducting surveys, focus group discussions, and in-depth interviews to understand (1) the prevalence of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic (2) the Chinese perception of racial discrimination, and (3) the impact and coping strategies of Chinese people in Canada in response to racism. Professor Zhang hypothesizes that “those with different levels of acculturation will have a different perception of discrimination, a different attitude towards discrimination, and will adopt different means and strategies to deal or cope with discrimination”.

Professor Weiguo Zhang is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He specializes in the topics of social demography, sociology of families, and social policy. His research focuses primarily on rural areas of China, investigating the relationship between national population, economic policies, and individual livelihoods.

Congratulations, Professor Flores and Professor Zhang, for receiving these grants and we look forward to seeing the results of this important research!


Professor Jerry Flores’ personal story with education and academia featured in a new University of Toronto Magazine article

Professor Jerry Flores was recently featured in the University of Toronto Magazine. The article recounts Flores’ personal experiences in education as a young marginalized person, what redirected his path towards higher education, and some of the projects he has worked on to “participate in social justice” as an academic.

Professor 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, Latinx sociology and studies of race and ethnicity.

We’ve included an excerpt of the article below. Read the full post in the University of Toronto Magazine here.

A Path Out of Poverty
U of T Mississauga professor Jerry Flores says caring teachers inspired him to seek better opportunities in life. Now, he wants to do the same for others

By Cynthia Macdonald

As a sociologist, Jerry Flores wonders incessantly about “turning points” – those moments, for example, when a marginalized young person manages to break free from systemic oppression and poverty.

Flores has known such moments himself. As a youth, he lived in a low-income Latino neighbourhood in suburban Los Angeles, where he did poorly in school. Now, he’s an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, teaching others how the criminal justice system regularly ensnares poor, racialized teenagers and adults in a cycle of crime, surveillance and punishment that many find impossible to escape.

“Growing up, I had the feeling I just wasn’t wanted at school,” he remembers. “I started skipping class, doing all kinds of other stuff I shouldn’t have been doing. Eventually, I failed every single class in my first two years of high school.”

And yet, education, and caring educators, would ultimately prove to be Flores’s ticket out. The son of an autobody worker and hotel cleaner who had immigrated to escape Mexico’s collapsing economy in 1982, Flores initially found himself stuck in a crowded, under-resourced, very segregated public school where almost every student was working class and Latino or Black. The neighbourhood was heavily patrolled by police who would pull him over at gunpoint, “often for not doing much of anything.” He saw family members arrested and jailed. Unsurprisingly, he lost interest in school and dropped out.

Then came his first turning point. Flores registered in a supportive alternative school, the exact opposite of the one he had left. For the first time, teachers encouraged him to think about enrolling in university; within several years, he had graduated, earned three degrees, and was writing his first book.

Read the full article here…

Professor Jerry Flores calls for long overdue international investigations in the U.S. and Canada amidst forced sterilization of ICE detainees

Professor Jerry Flores recently published an article titled “ICE detainees’ alleged hysterectomies recall a long history of forced sterilizations” on Flores recounts the longstanding history of forced sterilizations in U.S. institutions to expose the ongoing harm on Latina, migrant, refugee, Black, Indigenous and at-risk women in the medical sphere.

Professor Flores traces stories of medical negligence and forced medical procedures from the 1950’s in Puerto Rico up until recent accusations against U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) facilities. The recurring scandals of coerced, non-consensual sterilizations in U.S. hospitals and prisons lead Professor Flores to call for international investigations in both the U.S. and Canada, as an effort to end “this type of genocide” against immigrants and people of colour.

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, Latinx sociology and studies of race and ethnicity.

We’ve included an excerpt of the article below. Read the full post on The Conversation here.

ICE detainees’ alleged hysterectomies recall a long history of forced sterilizations

By Jerry Flores, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto
Mon., Sep. 28, 2020


I am motivated by stories from women like my mother, Carmen, who gave birth to me in 1985 when she was 19 years old. When Carmen recounts the story of my birth, she always mentions how I was born on a sunny afternoon. But she spent multiple weeks with a high fever, likely due to a post-birth infection. She was surrounded by medical staff who did not speak Spanish.

My mother still doesn’t know why or how she became unwell.

After hearing many more stories of medical negligence and forced medical procedures in the course of my research, I am no longer surprised when I hear about the U.S. victimizing Indigenous Peoples like my grandparents or other members of my community.

The most at-risk women are usually the ones who experience the brunt of these forced sterilizations.

A tragic example comes from women who lived in Puerto Rico in the ’50s and ’60s. They were given an experimental drug by researchers interested in creating a birth control pill. Those women experienced serious side effects like blood clotting and infertility. They were not given information. These trials, also connected to a sterilization program, were in part eugenics and in part corporate pharmaceutical research. Approximately one-third of Puerto Rican women were sterilized — many involuntarily.

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.

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



Professor Jerry Flores op ed in speaks to the Cyntoia Brown sentencing and incarceration of disadvantaged women

Professor Jerry Flores recently updated his published article in The Conversation Canada, “Cyntoia Brown needs support, not 51 years in prison,” to address her recently granted clemency. It is now entitled “Clemency for Cyntoia Brown was long overdue,” where Professor Flores discusses the surprising and welcome development of the case of a teenager who was convicted of killing a man when she was just 16 years old, and forced into sex work. Despite acting out of self-defence against sexual violence, Brown was initially tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder. From her story, Professor Flores highlights the issues around treatment of young, poor girls and women living in unstable situations – many of which are regularly exposed to drugs, violence and multiple forms of trauma.

Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus. His areas of research include studies of race and ethnicity, gender and crime, prison studies and ethnographic research methods, among others. He recently published his first book titled Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration, and has published articles in top area journals such as Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society. He is currently conducting two projects – the first investigating how the use of videos can help prevent violence in police-citizen interactions; and the other regarding the continued disappearance of Indigenous women in Canada.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below (the full article can be found here).

Cyntoia Brown needs support, not 51 years in prison

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently confirmed that Cyntoia Brown must serve 51 years in prison for shooting and killing a man in 2004 when she was just 16.

News stories and social media have widely reported and shared Brown’s story. Many have compared her harsh sentence to lesser ones for white juveniles since the state of Tennessee first tried her case more than 10 years ago. The decision this week was the result of an appeal to her original sentence, submitted because it is now unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison…

…A cycle of incarceration

Brown’s story mirrors other marginalized young women of colour living in the United States. I have conducted fieldwork with 50 incarcerated Latinas, age 12-19, in Southern California and wrote a book about their lives: Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration.

The girls I spoke with often experienced abuse in their homes. They ran away to escape the abuse. They spoke about being left no choice but to engage in high-risk behaviour, including shoplifting, hitchhiking or soliciting. They were vulnerable prey for older predators who began “relationships” with them, exchanging sex for access to clothes, food and shelter. Many like the ones I spoke with end up behind bars.

Tragically, the experience of marginalized girls in the U.S. and Canada are eerily similar. The tragic stories of Cyntoia Brown and Tina Fontaine, a young Indigenous girl whose body was found in the Red River on Aug. 17, 2014, have parallel issues despite the roughly 2,000 kilometres between Nashville and Winnipeg where they lived.

A recent study by the Vera Institute found that approximately 66 per cent of incarcerated women in the United States are women of colour — and 86 per cent of them have experienced sexual violence, often at the hands of an intimate partner or caretaker. Additionally, 79 per cent of these women care for children. Almost all incarcerated women included in the Vera Institute study lived in poverty.

These findings are confirmed by other classic and contemporary research done with incarcerated women. What is staggering is that 82 per cent of women are incarcerated for non-violent offenses like shoplifting or using drugs.

In short, inequality, a lack of essential services and supports geared toward women help contribute to tragedy for so many poor, young women.

Ironically, when girls fight back against abuse they are often punished by authorities or others in power. If they run away and are caught by the police they are arrested, incarcerated or often returned to the very home where they experienced abuse. They fight back against the abuse of friends, family or boyfriends they often face more mistreatment or end up behind bars…

Read the full story.

“Why does the migrant caravan exist?” – Professor Jerry Flores published on “The Conversation Canada”

Professor Jerry Flores recently published an article in The Conversation Canada about the migrant caravan heading from Central America toward the United States. The article looks at both the immediate causes of individuals and families leaving Guatemala and Honduras in a caravan for the north and the longer term role of U.S. interference in the affairs of these Central American countries.  From this “deadly history,” Professor Flores draws connections to how the migrant caravan is connected to larger issues and hemispheric politics played out over decades.

Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus. His areas of research include studies of race and ethnicity, gender and crime, prison studies and ethnographic research methods, among others. He recently published his first book titled Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration, and has published articles in a wide range of journals, including Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society. He is currently conducting two projects – the first investigating how the use of videos can help prevent violence in police-citizen interactions; and the other regarding the continued disappearance of Indigenous women in Canada.

An excerpt of the article is posted below (the full article can be found here).

On Oct. 19, thousands of Central American migrants tried to cross the bridge between Guatemala and Mexico, seeking safety up north. News outlets broadcast the painful moans of people being crushed one against the other and the screams of children. We saw the desperate looks of mothers as authorities in Mexico tried to push back the crowd with batons and pepper spray. The following day they were permitted to cross over.

The caravan of 7,000, mostly from Guatemala and Honduras, is heading for the United States.

Once news of the caravan was presented to U.S. President Donald Trump, he said the flow of people contained “dangerous criminals,” and he pressured the Mexican government to stop the “invasion.”

Trump also threatened to cut humanitarian aid to Central American countries. He also announced he was sending more than 5,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. As the caravan began to receive more attention, people asked: “Why are these people coming to the U.S.?”

Read the full story.

“Drugging detained children is like using a chemical straitjacket” – Professor Jerry Flores writes article for The Conversation Canada

Professor Jerry Flores has written a piece on the disturbing truth and effects of pharmaceutical violence imposed on migrant children by detention centres in the U.S. for The Conversation Canada.

He discusses the long-term effects of the Trump administration’s forced separation immigration policies, and how forcibly medicating migrant children for the purpose of submission often leads to mental health disorders and an increased risk of becoming chemically dependent. The article parallels his research interests, which include prison studies, studies of race and ethnicity, and Latina/o sociology.

Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus.

An excerpt of the article is posted below (the full article can be found here).

A chemical straightjacket

…While the Trump administration’s forced separation immigration policies have since been suspended, and some of the children returned to their families, the long-lasting impacts of such treatment remain troubling.

Judge Gee’s recent decision mandates that the government must obtain consent or a court order in order to administer psychotropic medications to children, barring an emergency. She also ruled that officials must tell children in writing why they are in a secure facility.

Her ruling was in response to a lawsuit launched by the Centre for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. According to the lawsuit, the medications serve as a “chemical straitjacket.” In other words, officials were sedating children who had no existing psychological conditions.

According to several reports, children at Shiloh Treatment Facility in Texas have been given up to 15 different pills a day. Those who refused were threatened with further time in confinement. Moreover, children in other locations who complained about missing their parents, begged to leave or who staff deemed to be a “problem,” were sent to Shiloh to be medicated.

Detention drugs lead to street drugs

Sadly, we’ve seen this dynamic in the past. Detention centres are infamous for overly medicating incarcerated individuals in order to obtain their cooperation.

Ethnographic studies of American prisons, from the 1940s up until the present day, reveal the misuse of medications by detention staff as a common problem.

In a milestone case, Walter Harper sued the Washington State government arguing that they could not medicate him without his consent. This led to the Washington v Harper Supreme Court ruling in 1990 that allows detention centres to medicate incarcerated individuals.

While conducting fieldwork with incarcerated young women in southern California recently, we discovered a similar pattern. Officials in detention centres were dosing women in their care.

These young women were diagnosed with mental health disorders and compelled to take drugs while in detention. They became chemically dependent. Upon leaving prison, they were barred from access to the medications they had in custody, leading them to take street drugs, drink and engage in other high-risk behaviours.

Most young women reported feelings that prison staff prescribed psychotropic medication to regulate their actions, behaviours and personal freedom. In other words, these detainees, many of whom were Latina, were fitted with the same “chemical straitjackets” used on migrant children today.

Continue reading…

“Why I left Donald Trump’s America” – Professor Jerry Flores authors Op-Ed in the Toronto Star

Sociology Professor Jerry Flores recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Toronto Star, titled “Why I left Donald Trump’s America.” In the piece he discusses his experiences as a Latino growing up and living in the USA and how the election of Donald Trump to presidency in 2016 influenced his decision to move to Canada. Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus. His research interests include gender and crime, prison studies, Latina/o sociology, and studies of race and ethnicity.

We have posted an excerpt below.

Why I left Donald Trump’s America

By  Dec. 22, 2017

…I believed that the U.S. gives everyone a fair chance. And it seemed I was proof: In 2011, I won a prestigious Ford Foundation Fellowship – a full academic ride for my doctoral work. I focused my research on the lives of 50 incarcerated Latina young women in southern California. Three years later, I had earned a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in sociology. I was lucky enough to be offered a job teaching at the University of Washington. I turned my dissertation into a book, Caught UP: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration. I bought a house, and we had our first child before I was 30. I had arrived.

My happiness, however, proved short-lived.

On June 16, 2015, Donald Trump announced he would run to become president of the United States and launched a campaign filled with anti-immigrant rhetoric and divisive policies. Pledges to build a wall along the southern border to prevent Mexicans from “illegally” crossing into the U.S. dominated the news cycle. He vowed to deport millions of undocumented people and ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Civil rights groups reported higher incidents of hate crimes, including against Latinos in southern California. Alt-right rallies took place across the nation. White supremacist fliers, swastikas and other propaganda littered my campus.

On election night, Nov. 9, 2016, I watched anxiously with my wife, as results rolled in. When Wisconsin went red for Republicans, we knew Trump would win. We sat in shock reading our Facebook feeds and lamenting for the futures of our two-year-old and our new-born twins.

Though I had been offered two academic positions at prestigious research universities in the U.S., I knew I would take the third offer: the University of Toronto. Part of me desperately wanted to stay in L.A., surrounded by my family, history and culture.

But I couldn’t bear the idea of having to listen to the President denigrate my parents’ homeland for four long years.

I knew it was time to say good bye to the American dream.

Read the full piece here.

Professor Jerry Flores calls for action for missing and murdered Indigenous women in University of California Press blog post

Professor Jerry Flores recently published a blog post for the University of California Press, entitled “Young and at Risk: Canada’s First Nation Women and California’s Latinas.” Professor Flores is an Assistant Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities on the Mississauga campus. He joined our faculty in 2017 and teaches in the areas of gender and crime, race and ethnicity. In the blog post, Professor Flores draws connections between First Nations women’s disappearances and the California Latina women he studied for his book, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration. He also provides policy suggestions to help ensure that these young women are no longer vulnerable.  We have included an excerpt of the blog post below.

Young and At Risk: Canada’s First Nation Women and California’s Latinas

Across Canada there has been tens of thousands of missing first nations women like Tamara Lynn Chipman. A similar pattern has occurred near American reservations as well as places like Juarez, Mexico where scores of women as young as 14 years old have been kidnapped, raped, murdered and never returned to their families. Most of these women have received little media coverage, scant support from criminal justice institutions and are seldom found alive, if at all.

As an incoming faculty member in the sociology department at the University of Toronto, a new resident to Canada, and a Chicano feminist I was stunned by these stories. During the last ten years, there have been an increase in documentaries on this issue, scores of independent efforts to find these people, but there has been little government support to successfully find these women or to curtail these disappearances. As I began to read about this issue I was baffled by how similar the stories of these youth compare to the experiences of justice involved Latinas that I interviewed in Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance and Wraparound Incarceration. In this book, I address the multiple home factors that contribute to Latinas in Southern California ending up behind bars and the challenges they face when attempting to return to a “normal life.” I interviewed over 30 young women and included twenty more via group interviews or ethnographic fieldwork.

Read the full post here.

Welcome to our New Faculty

In 2017, we welcomed six new faculty members into the Department of Sociology. They cover a wide range of research and teaching areas that will both strengthen and broaden our department’s profile. Though housed across the three campuses, we welcome all of these new faculty members to join in our tri-campus intellectual community.

Dokshin, FedorProfessor Fedor Dokshin studies social movements and political behaviour with a focus on the role of organizations and social networks. He uses primarily quantitative and computational approaches. Recent research examines how emerging energy industries become politically contested and how this contestation might influence regulation and policymaking, the emergence of new industries, and the distribution of health and environmental risks.


Flores, JerryProfessor Jerry Flores  is an ethnographer who does research in the areas of intersectionality and crime, prison studies, Latina/o sociology and work on the school to prison pipeline. As a whole, his work investigates how race, class, gender, sexuality and other identities influence people’s trajectories through the educational and penal institutions. His new work will investigate issues related to mental health and policing, and the use of video ethnography.


Jasmine RaultProfessor Jasmine Rault’s research focuses on sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity as axes of power, social change and aesthetic potentiality. Her work takes queer feminist approaches to architecture and design (both material and digital), online research ethics and economies, and questions of sexuality in transnational arts and social movements. She is currently working on the techno-social history of ‘openness’ since the late nineteenth century, and a collaborative project to reimagine online research, publishing and archiving protocols that prioritize decolonizing, trans- feminist, queer, Indigenous and Black methodologies.

Silver, MichelleProfessor Michelle Silver studies how cumulative life experiences influence health, well-being, and adaptation to later life course transitions. Her current work focuses on the relationship between work identity and retirement; perceptions about aging; embodiment, aging and resilience; and health information seeking behaviors. She is also interested in later life gender disparities in life expectancy and pensions.


Professor Gail Super’s research focuses on punishment, prisons, penal policy-making, popular punitivism, and penality. She is currently engaged in two projects which both explore aspects of crime prevention and punishment in marginalized informal (shack) settlements in Cape Town, South Africa – the one involves a court case where a community leader from an informal settlement is charged with committing a vigilante murder and, the other, an analysis of closed police dockets concerning violent forms of crime prevention and/or punishment in one of South Africa’s most densely populated poor black townships.


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