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Institute for the Study of Societal Issues e-News
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ISSI e-News
Winter 2017
From the Director Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
As 2017 begins, and the nation prepares for a change in leadership at the national level, I am reminded of the vital mission of ISSI to serve as an interdisciplinary social science institute dedicated to nurturing groundbreaking research on critical issues facing the state, nation and the world.
 
The research projects developed by ISSI affiliated scholars – some of which are highlighted below (on homelessness, race and health, juvenile justice, and the emergence of the “alt-right,” to name just a few) – bring new data, insights, and attention to pressing social problems in ways that shape scholarship, public discourse, and policy making.
 
This spring we have an especially full calendar of events featuring scholars engaged in research on important social issues, such as ISIS, worker and family health and wellbeing, crime and governance in Indian country, the housing choices of low-income residents, and the persistence of poverty. In addition to weekly colloquia, we will host two spring conferences – an international conference that explores the intersections between health and media (February 9-10) and a conference on the future of higher education in an era of state disinvestment (April 7). All of these events are free and open to the public.  See our calendar of events here
In the Public Sphere
ISSI scholars are committed to engaging in relevant research that informs public discourse and policy on pressing social issues.  Below are a few recent examples of ISSI affiliated faculty and graduate students bringing their work into the public sphere.

Christopher Herring, ISSI graduate student in residence and PhD Candidate in Sociology, has had his research on homeless tent cities featured in a series of public and policy forums. In San Francisco he co-organized and presented a three-night symposium (now available as podcasts) on interim solutions to homelessness featuring academics, policymakers, community organizers, and homeless residents at the Storefront Lab. He also presented three talks on homeless regulation at the West Coast Poverty Center in Seattle to the academic, legal, and policy community.

In an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle (December 16, 2016) Lawrence Rosenthal, Chair of ISSI's Center for Right-Wing Studies, provided analysis of the role played by the self-described "alt-right" in the 2016 Presidential election.

Barry Krisberg, ISSI Visiting Scholar, was interviewed by the youth policy website Youth Today. He shared his insights on likely juvenile justice policy and practices under the Trump administration.

Amani Nuru-Jeter, Associate Professor of Public Health and ISSI faculty affiliate, was interviewed by the news site Richmond Confidential about her research on chronic stress and racism. They featured her work in an in-depth article on racism and newborn health.  

The Center for Latino Policy Research is offering a new safe space for our undocumented students. The Marco Antonio Firebaugh Library is open from 11-3 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. 2547 Channing Way.
 
Center Spotlight

The election of U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump catapulted those who call themselves the "alt-right," and those who study them, onto the national and international stage. In the weeks following the election, ISSI’s Center for Right-Wing Studies’ (CRWS) Chair, Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, fielded dozens of calls from journalists at major domestic and foreign media outlets, and CRWS sponsored a standing-room only panel, which featured leading scholars of the Right who offered analyses of the election and its aftermath.

Founded in 2009, CRWS is the only institution (that we know of) on a U.S. campus devoted to the academic study of right-wing movements. Over the years, the Center has become a hub for scholars at Berkeley, across the U.S. and other parts of the world, who study the Right.  Its mission is to bring academic rigor and an interdisciplinary approach (including sociology, political science, history and area specialization) to scholarship on right-wing organizations, individuals and movements.  

The Center’s founding coincided with the founding of the Tea Party. Researchers at CRWS covered that development very closely, including convening the first academic conference devoted to understanding the movement. The conference yielded a major book on the subject, Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party (co-edited by Rosenthal and ISSI Associate Director Christine Trost).  

In the past year, two books written by authors who participated in CRWS’s faculty writing group were published: Arlie Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right and Corey Fields’ Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans

In addition to organizing conferences and colloquia, CRWS convenes working groups, awards mini-grants to UCB graduate and undergraduate researchers, and hosts U.S. and international visiting scholars. Many have come to work in the increasingly robust archives CRWS staff have developed, which include political ephemera of hundreds of right-wing organizations and individuals, hundreds of Freedom of Information Act files on the far right, and over 2,200 DVDs of right-wing broadcasting and films. 

A panel featuring analyses of President Trump’s first 100 days is being organized for the spring (April). Read more about CRWS, its programs and events, and other activities here.
Videos of Fall 2016 Events
ISSI and its research centers sponsored colloquia and conferences throughout the fall semester, and many of them are available for viewing here. If you would like to be notified as soon as we upload a new video, please subscribe to the ISSI YouTube channel!
Andrew Jolivette : "Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change and Societal Transformation "
Featured Video: "Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change and Societal Transformation"

Andrew Jolivette, Professor, American Indian Studies Department, San Francisco State University, examined how we can approach research from new ways that center collective responsibility and shared ownership over the research process. In particular Jolivette reviewed the thinking behind the development of his edited volume, Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change
International Scholars in Residence at ISSI
This fall ISSI welcomed several new visiting scholars and student researchers from Germany, Italy, and Belgium.  

Sören Brandes, Ph.D. Candidate, History, Freie Universität Berlin
Marvin Menniken, PhD Candidate, Global History, Freie Universität Berlin
Elias Steinhilper, Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science and Sociology, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy
Mieke Vandenbroucke, Ph.D., Linguistics, Ghent University, Belgium 

When asked to reflect on his experiences at ISSI, Elias Steinhilper expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and support he has received since he arrived:

"Time has flown by so fast during these inspiring months - due to the series of talks and colloquia organized by the ISSI and the numerous discussions with ISSI staff and PhD students. The combination of professionalism, interdisciplinarity and a truly welcoming spirit at the ISSI made it a perfect environment to critically reflect upon and advance my own academic work on refugee protests in Europe. Thank you very much for this experience!"

Two more visiting scholars will join us this spring, and we will feature them in ISSI’s weekly update throughout the semester:

Galina Kallio, Ph.D. Candidate, Management Studies, Aalto University School of Business, Finland
Melike Köse, Ph.D., European Union Law, Kocaeli University, Turkey
Awards, Prizes and New Projects

Aileen Suzara
was awarded ISSI's 2016 FOUNDATIONS FOR CHANGE: Thomas I. Yamashita Prize. The award of $2,500 honors a person whose work transforms the existing social landscape and serves as a bridge between the academy and the community. Aileen works to promote food justice and youth leadership, especially in the Filipino American community
The Open Society Foundations awarded a large research grant to Seth Holmes for his new project, "Social Medicine Case Series: Bringing Structural Frameworks to Global Public Health and Health Care." Holmes, Co-Chair of the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Associate Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology, and co-PI Scott Stonington, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will commission and edit a series of case studies to communicate the macro structures affecting the health and well-being of patients in ways that will influence the programs, projects, and care provided by global health professionals. Each article will be co-authored by a clinician who will describe aspects of a clinical case and by a social medicine scholar who will analyze the case to bring out social structural insights vital to the understanding and practice of health care. Holmes also received grants from the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety and the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.  
Professor Holmes is also this year’s recipient of the Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology for his book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farm Workers in the United States. The Prize, awarded by the American Anthropological Association, acclaims his book as a “trenchant ethnography that offers new possibilities for an engaged, empathic anthropology.”

The California State Assembly passed a resolution honoring historian and sociologist David Montejano, Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies and History, for his groundbreaking scholarship and years of dedicated service to the University of California. Professor Montejano is author of the prizewinning book, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986 (U of Texas Press, 7th printing, 1999) and, most recently, Quixote's Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981 (U of Texas Press, 2010).
Laura McCreery, Oral History Project Director at ISSI, was awarded a new contract to expand her research on Bay Area public works projects to include the Zone 7 Water Agency. She will conduct oral histories and other historical research on the agency's unique role in East Bay water supply and flood control over the past 60 years in Alameda County's agriculturally rich Livermore-Amador Valley.
Charles Briggs, Co-Chair of Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and Professor of Anthropology, was awarded the Graduate Student Mentor Award from Medical Anthropology Students Association, Society for Medical Anthropology.
Alex DiBranco, Visiting Student Researcher at the Center for Right-Wing Studies, received a Yale FLAGS (Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies) grant for archival research on New Right foundations and their strategic grant making decisions.
Amani Nuru-Jeter received a fellowship to participate in UC Women's Initiative for Professional Development
Research Note
Map of ItalyWe have been fortunate to have Torsten Heinemann, Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg, as an ISSI Visiting Scholar since February of 2015. As a Marie Curie Fellow, Professor Heinemann has conducted an ambitious project investigating how neuroscientists frame violence and aggression in their research. This project stems from his earlier work on the popularity of neuroscience in the U.S. and Europe. While his 2012 book on that project, Populäre Wissenschaft: Hirnforschung zwischen Labor und Talkshow [Popular Science: Brain Research between Laboratory and Talk Show], is only available in German, some of the results are available in English in the article “‘Optimise your brain!’ – Popular science and its social implications,” which Professor Heinemann co-authored with his wife, psychologist Linda Heinemann, who has also joined us for briefer stays at ISSI. 

Professor Heinemann’s current project is focused on the way neuroscientists define violence and aggression as a social problem, rather than describing them as behaviors. He has used a combination of ethnography and document analysis to study the scientists throughout their research process: how they define the problem, operationalize it, construct their methods, analyze their data and write up their conclusions. He interviewed neuroscientists and conducted participant observation in their labs. The only phase he has not been able to observe so far is the interaction between researchers and human subjects regarding the informed consent to participate in experiments, but he is pursuing IRB approval to add this to his research project.

When asked about the most surprising finding so far, he answered, “Neuroscientists try to erase race and make it invisible, but it always pops up.” He said that as an outsider, he would not have been able to grasp the dimensions of race in the U.S. without ISSI, and in particular his faculty sponsor, Chancellor’s Professor and ISSI faculty affiliate Troy Duster. Although neuroscientists see their work as universal, which would mean the specific cultural context doesn’t matter, Professor Heinemann’s research so far shows that it has a strong impact on the supposedly objective results. He is eager to follow up on his U.S. work by conducting a comparative project in Europe. In addition, Professor Heinemann is planning to expand his research to understand how the life sciences change the way we understand social problems. He explains, “The whole political spectrum is trying to use science to justify various interventions.”

Professor Heinemann’s focus on the public policy implications and uses of science has been a thread throughout his research career.  He was a principal investigator in an international research project on the use of DNA testing for family reunification in Europe (this work is available in his 2015 co-edited book Suspect Families: DNA Analysis, Family Reunification and Immigration Policies). In his current project, his emphasis on the sociology of social problems was honed in response to a question by Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, ISSI Director, who asked him, “What kind of discussions do you want to contribute to?” Heinemann appreciates the physical space of ISSI, which gives him the opportunity to run into people and talk about his work: “Sometimes very short conversations can provide a solution.” While his stay was originally scheduled to end in February of 2017, he has found the environment so productive that he requested to stay another year. We were able to extend his appointment, and we look forward to having him around for additional fruitful conversations and another research presentation as he revises his book manuscript. 
Recent Publications
Several ISSI affiliated faculty have new books out:

John Douglass. The New Flagship University: Changing the Paradigm from Global Ranking to National Relevancy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
 
Shari Dworkin, Monica Gandhi, and Paige Passano, Eds. Women's Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-First-Century Agenda (University of California Press).

Arlie Hochschild. Strangers in Their Own Land Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press, 2016)

Aihwa Ong. Fungible Life: Experiment in the Asian City of Life (Duke University Press). 
 

Other publications by ISSI affiliated faculty, researchers and graduate students include:

Yang Lor.  Narratives of Interdependence and Independence: The Role of Social Class and Family Relationships in Where High-Achieving Students Apply to College. ISSI Graduate Fellows Working Paper Series.

Jaren Haber. Institutionalized Involvement: Teams and Stress in 1990s U.S. Steel. Industrial Relations (October 2016).

Jovan Scott Lewis. “Putting Able Hands to Work: Skill, Organization, and the Cooperative Market in Jamaica.” Anthropology of Work Review 37 (2): 91–100. 

Gershon R, Elena Portacolone, Nwankwo E, Zhi Q, Qureshi K, Raveis V. “Psychosocial Influences on Disaster Preparedness in San Francisco Recipients of Home Care.” Journal of Urban Health (2016).  

Jacqueline Adams. “Why Do Women Want Children? The Case of Hong Kong, China: A Lowest-Low Fertility Context." Marriage & Family Review (October-November, 2016).  

Lawrence Rosenthal. “Trump, the Tea Party, the Republicans and the Other.” Belonging and Othering, The Haas Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Vol. 1:1 (July 6, 2016).

John Torok. “Oakland’s Decolonize/Occupy moment 2011-2013.” Interface: A journal by and for social movements 8, 2 (November 2016): 433-43.

Cassondra Marshall, Amani Nuru-Jeter, Sylvia Guendelman, Jane Mauldon, Tina Raine-Bennett. "Patient perceptions of a decision support tool to assist with young women's contraceptive choice.Patient Education & Counseling. [in press]

Cassondra Marshall, Amani Nuru-Jeter, Sylvia Guendelman, Jane Mauldon, "Young women’s contraceptive decision making: Do preferences for contraceptive attributes align with method choice?Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 48, 3 (September 2016).

Alex DiBranco. “Whole Woman’s Health’s Unexpected Win for Science.” The Public Eye (October 28, 2016). 

Jesse Scarborough. "Modern American Conservatisms: Science, Activism and Political Identity in an Age of Fracture." Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies Working Paper Series.
Save the Date
On Friday, April 7, ISSI and the Institute of Governmental Studies will host an all-day conference: “The Future of Higher Education: Creating Opportunity, Assessing Value” (Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall).

Over the past two decades, despite increases in student demand for public higher education and steady demand from employers for higher-skilled workers, state funding has declined, forcing public universities to respond with tuition hikes and new funding mechanisms. 

What role should universities play in meeting society’s need for expertise and the individual’s need for socioeconomic security in the 21st century?  What value does a higher education degree hold for the individual and for society?  Should states increase funding for public universities to accommodate the increasing student demand?  If not states, who will – and who should – bear the costs of public higher education, and how can a return on this investment be measured and demonstrated to students, policy makers, and taxpayers? 

This conference will feature leading scholars who will examine these questions and the implications of recent developments in higher education for the future of American universities, students and society.  

Please plan to join us!
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