Assistant Professor Sharla Alegria on a NASA panel considering the next generation of astrophysics observatories

Sociology Assistant Professor Sharla Alegria presented in a panel discussion at NASA’s recent workshop entitled, Precursors to Pathways: Science Enabling NASA Astrophysics Future Great Observatories. Alegria was one of two outside panelists who participated along with three NASA community members in a conversation to guide NASA’s thinking about inclusivity in the development of future observatories and the science leading up to them. Alegria drew attention to a common tendency to understand the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences as the result of a deficit in skills or lack of interest rather than the history of institutional exclusion. She pointed to inconsistencies in the way underrepresentation is understood. For instance, math is often perceived as a barrier for women to participate in science but math, as an academic field, is more gender diverse than several other fields, including physics and computer science. This fact suggests a strategy that NASA and others wanting to increase diversity and inclusion could use to employ more underrepresented scientists. They could recruit scientists with similar or transferable skills from related disciplines that have more race and gender diversity. Alegria also commented on the additional challenges that women of colour navigate such as having less well-resourced networks and having to constantly struggle against doubts about their competence.

The NASA workshop was a three-day event aimed at soliciting interest in a new funding program from a broad scientific community, including early career researchers. The call for proposals, which will be released later in 2022, centres on the mission design of Future Great Observatories (FGOs) and seeks investigations in theoretical studies, laboratory astrophysics experiments, archival research, and observational investigations, among other possibilities. More information about the April workshop can be found here. A second NASA Precursor Science workshop is planned for July 2022.

U of T Sociologists at the 2020 ASA

This year, 52 faculty members and graduate students from Sociology at the University of Toronto are participating in the Annual Meeting of the American Sociology Association (ASA). In addition to the people presenting papers, some members are also participating as session organizers, discussants, or journal editorial panelists. This year, the meeting will take place online. The meetings will happen between August 8th and August 11th. Here is a list of the names of academic papers, and/or sections that will be presented below by the day of presentations. Student and recent graduate presenters are shown in italics. Please refer to the ASA Program for complete information.

Saturday, August 8th

Jennifer Peruniak, How Transracial Adoptees See and Negotiate Race

Cynthia J. Cranford and Patricia Roach (with Jennifer Nazareno of Brown University), Organizing Unlikely Subjects: The Constraints and Possibilities for Domestic Worker Organizing in California

David Nicholas Pettinicchio and Jordan Foster, ‘This is Real Beauty’: Defining the Boundaries of Aesthetic Citizenship

Mircea Gherghina, Start-Ups, Social Embeddedness, and Investment Networks

Catherine Tze Hsuan Yeh and Alicia Eads, The Language of Inequality: Inequality in Sociology and Economics, 1886-2015

Andrew Miles and Catherine Tze Hsuan Yeh, Social Locations, Contexts, and Value Development: Testing Whether Demographic Predictors of Personal Values Vary Cross-Nationally

Blair Wheaton, The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and Implications for Mental Health in Mid-Adulthood

Cynthia J. Cranford, Organizing Domestic and Care Workers: A Conversation Across University and Community

Scott Schieman (with Alex E. Bierman of University of Calgary and Marisa Christine Young of McMaster University), The Roots of Loneliness in Disadvantage and Exploitation: Implications for Health of the Working Population

Jonathan Horowitz (with Barbara Entwisle, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), One Event, Two Processes, and Migration in Young Adulthood

Hae Yeon Choo, A Global Urban Sociology of Evictions and Displacement

Sara Mizen (with Andy Walter Holmes of U of T, Anthropology), Ideas for Future Research Roundtable, Table 8: LGBT Families and Life Course

Yangsook Kim, Government Workers and Paid-Daughters: Immigrant Homecare Workers’ Worker Subjectivities in Publicly Funded Care Work

Mitra Mokhtari, An “Extra Target on Your Back”: Somali-Canadian Youth & Barriers in Edmonton’s Public School Board

Sunday, August 9th

William Michelson, Daniel Silver, Fernando A. Calderón Figueroa, and Olimpia Bidian, The Dilemmas of Spatializing Social Issues

Daniel Silver and Fernando A. Calderón Figueroa, Cities and Big Data

Chris M. Smith, Urban Issues: Inequality, Institutions, and Place

Markus Schafer (with Laura Upenieks, University of Texas at San Antonio), Religious Attendance and Physical Health in Later Life: A Life Course Approach

Michelle Pannor Silver, Sociology of Aging

Catherine Tze Hsuan Yeh, Section on Political Sociology Refereed Roundtables

Ioana Sendroiu, ‘Probably Tomorrow I’ll Become a War Criminal’: Autocratic Legalism as Transnational Regime Change

Ronit Dinovitzer, Section of Sociology of Law Business Meeting

Patricia Louie, Mapping Multiracial vs. Monoracial Heath Disparities

Elliot Fonarev, Using Legal Cases as Ethnographic Objects to Assess Gender Identity Making in Human Rights Law

Kim Pernell (with Jiwook Jung of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Rethinking Moral Hazard: Competing Drivers of Bank Risk-Taking, 1993-2015

Steve G. Hoffman, Other Realities: Using Simulation in Disaster and Emergency Management to Create and Recreate Worlds

Jooyoung Kim Lee, Microsociologies: Methods & Perspectives on Interaction

Irene Boeckmann, Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving (Princeton University Press, 2019) by Caitlyn Colins

Ronit Dinovitzer and Andreea Mogosanu, Understanding the Motherhood Penalty Among Private Sector Lawyers: The Effects of Entrenched Masculinity

Ron Levi and Ioana Sendroiu, Partnership Patterns, Performances, and the Spread of Human Rights

Monday, August 10th

Chris M. Smith, Racializing Police Violence

Angelina Grigoryeva (with Nina Bandelj of University of California-Irvine), The Price of Parenting: Wealth, Race and Financial Activities for Children, 1998-2016

Jonathan Horowitz (with Jill Hamm and Kerrylin Lambert of UNC-Chapel Hill), The Price of Parenting: Wealth, Race and Financial Activities for Children, 1998-2016

Fedor A. Dokshin and Mircea Gherghina, Green in the Wallet: Political Identity, Financial Incentives, and the Diffusion of Residential Solar Photovoltaics

Joshua Harold, The Holocaust, Israel, and the Everyday Politics of Collective Memory Mobilization

David Nicholas Pettinicchio, Past, Present, and Future: 30 Years After the Americans with Disabilities Act

Kim de Laat, Valuations of Diversity: Exploring the Socio-Economic Role of Marquee Quotas in Creative Industries

Tuesday, August 11th

Kristin Plys, For a Rodneyan World Systems Analysis: Returning to the Dar es Salaam School

Kim de Laat, Barriers to Flexible Work Arrangements: New Evidence on the Role of Work Culture and Structure

Ali Greey, Preclusive Portals: The Spatial Stakes of “Determining Gender” in Binary-Gendered Restrooms and Locker Rooms

David Nicholas Pettinicchio (with Michelle Lee Maroto of University of Alberta), “Working in the Shadows of Society”: Disability Subminimum Wages and the Reproduction of Inequality

Ann L. Mullen, Beyond Classification, Decoding, and Meaning-Making: Contemporary Artists’ Perspectives on the Reception of Visual Art

Natalie Julia Adamyk, Governing Through Less Governance: Women’s Shelters and the Creation of the “Shelter-Citizen”

Carmen Lamothe, Reframing Public Health Problems: A Qualitative Examination of Public Health Apps in the United States

Michael Hammond, Section on Evolution, Biology, and Society Business Meeting

Kristin Plys, Political Economy of the World System Roundtables, Table 2: Core/Periphery Relations

Marion Blute, On Human Nature: New Approaches in the 21st Century

Sharla N. Alegria, Jobs, Occupations, and Professions

Franklynn Bartol, Sex/Gender in the Brain: Is Neuroplasticity the New Neurodeterminism?

Youngrong Lee, “It is Not Meant to Be Work”: How Do Workers Become Consumers in the Gig Economy?

Jordan Foster, “My Money and My Heart”: Buying a Birkin and Class Boundaries Online

Scott Schieman and Philip James Badawy, Control and the Health Effects of Work-Family Conflict: A Longitudinal Test of Generalized versus Specific Stress-Buffering

Michelle Pannor Silver, Section on Sociology of Consumers and Consumption Roundtables, Table 2: Body and Health

Merin Oleschuk, Expanding the Joys of Cooking: How Class Shapes the Emotional Work of Preparing Family Meals

David Nicholas Pettinicchio, Living on the Poverty Line: Low Wage Work, Precarity, and the New Economy

Noam Keren, A Radical State of Mind: When Radical Social-Movements and States Collide, The Case of 269Life

Angelina Grigoryeva, Theory Section Refereed Roundtables, Table 1: Theorizing Polity and Society-1, Table 2: Theorizing Polity and Society-2, Table 3: Theorizing Violence and Conflict, Table 4: Toward a Theory of Economic Action, Table 5: Theorizing Social Interaction and Self-Presentation, Table 6: Revisting Sociology of Classical Theory, Table 7: Theoretical Foundations of Social Justice and Inequality, Table 8: Novel Theoretical Approaches to Social Life

Christos Orfanidis, Theory Section Refereed Roundtables, Table 5: Theorizing Social Interaction and Self-Presentation

Tahseen Shams, International Migration Roundtables, Table 1: Critical Refugee Studies I, Table 2: Critical Refugee Studies II, Table 3: Citizenship, Multiculturalism, and Nationalism, Table 4: Educational Trajectories and Evolving Demographics, Table 5: Health, Wellness, and Migration, Table 6: Immigration Lawmaking and Political Activism, Table 7: Undocumented Immigration, Table 8: Refugee Resettlement and Community Formation, Table 9: Gendered Approaches to Migration I, Table 10: Gendered Approaches to Migration II, Table 11: Immigrant Workers and the Labor Market I, Table 12: Immigrant Workers and the Labor Market II, Table 13: Comparative Migration Studies, Table 14: Global Migration I, Table 15: Global Migration II

Congratulations to Professor Sharla Alegria for receiving the Outstanding Article Award in the Sociology of Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility section of the ASA

Congratulations to Professor Sharla Alegria who recently received the Outstanding Article Award in her co-authored scholarly article titled “Gender Pay Gaps in US Federal Science Agencies: An Organizational Approach” in the American Journal of Sociology. This award honours scholarly articles with excellence of writing and discussion in a sociological topic. Professor Alegria, alongside co-authors received the award in the section of Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility of the American Sociological Association (ASA).

Professor Alegria is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities on the St. George campus. Professor Alegria’s research focuses on work, race, class, gender, science, and technology.

We have posted the abstract and the citation of the article below. The article can be accessed through U of T Libraries:

Laurel Smith-Doerr, Sharla AlegriaKaye Husbands FealingDebra Fitzpatrick, and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, “Gender Pay Gaps in U.S. Federal Science Agencies: An Organizational Approach,” American Journal of Sociology 125, no. 2 (September 2019): 534-576.

This study advances understanding of gender pay gaps by examining organizational variation. The gender pay gap literature supplies mechanisms but does not attend to organizational variation; the gender and science literature provides insights on the role of masculinist culture in disciplines but misses pay gap mechanisms. A data set of federal workers allows comparison of men and women in the same jobs and workplaces. Agencies associated with traditionally masculine (engineering, physical sciences) and gender-neutral (biological, interdisciplinary sciences) fields differ. Pay-gap mechanisms vary: human capital differences explain a larger share in gender-neutral agencies, while at male-typed agencies men are frequently paid more than women within the same job. Although beyond the federal workers’ standardized pay scale, some interdisciplinary agencies more often pay men off grade, leading to higher earnings for men. Our theory of organizational variation helps explain local agency variation and how pay practices matter in specific organizational contexts.

Read the full article here…

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.