Congratulations to many of our sociology doctoral students who recently received awards, grants, and prestigious fellowships!
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award
The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.
Congratulations, Jacob Caponi!
"My research seeks to better understand how societies respond to atrocity. Using the case of Rwanda, I look at how cultural scripts of gender, violence, and human rights intersect for women previously incarcerated for genocide crimes as they naviagte the reentry and reintegration process. My hope is to add to the literature on what it means to maintain "peace" and to promote human rights at the subnational level where the state and individual interact."
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
Through its program of fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.
Congratulations, Luis Flores!
Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship *honorable mention
"Undoing Separate Spheres: Home and Market after the Family Wage, 1970-2008"
Luis' dissertation examines the rise of home-based money making, blurring the gendered, racialized, and regulatory division between home and work. Four case studies trace the ways households responded to increasingly precarious jobs by turning home and family into economic opportunities.
More Graduate Student Awards & Fellowships
Jeffrey Bilik is working on a research project that looks at the dynamic role that housing, once articulated as a right of Soviet citizens, now plays in governing the inclusion or exclusion of migrants in Russia. Despite enduring popular opinion that the state should support broad access to housing, private actors in Russia’s growing housing and rental market control much of the limited supply of quality housing. Evidence suggests that realtors, brokers, and landlords afford significant weight to race/ethnicity and citizenship in evaluating who is deserving of housing and who is not. This may work to lock out non-Russian migrants from former Soviet republics in the fourth most popular immigrant destination in the world. How do private actors in the housing and rental market deploy these deservingness frames? Who do these frames encompass or exclude? How do contemporary deservingness frames relate to the still-popular Soviet-era understanding of housing as a right? This study aims to interview private actors within Moscow’s housing and rental market to understand how they mediate issues of civic status and national belonging.
"As an ethnographer in NYC, I worked with activists in the food justice movement (FJM), which incorporates an anti-racist framework into its structure. Like previous scholars, I found that, through FJM practices, white activists can reproduce structural racism. I also discovered that the actions of a number of activists of color with high socioeconomic status did the same. Consequently, my project asks – How are the intentionally anti-racist movement practices of structurally powerful food justice activists reproducing structural racism? I found that FJM activists use different power mechanisms in their movement work. These mechanisms seem tied to how these activists see the social problem in question (diagnostic framing), derive solutions to it (prognostic framing), and are motivated to address it (motivational framing). Combining in-depth interviews of my ethnographic participants with my observations, I will analyze the relationship between structural power and framing to reveal how activists’ intersectional experience of race and class can impact the formation, dynamics, and outcomes of social movements."
“Who is taking care of mom? How families make sense of unequal divisions of caregiving in the U.S.”
Caring for an elder is expensive, requiring time, money, and forgone opportunities, and the responsibility typically falls on women. However, these costs differ by social class. This dissertation draws on interviews with southeast Michigan families during the onset of new caregiving responsibilities, or a caregiving transition. By capturing the perspectives of multiple family members, this dissertation will shed light on whether gendered notions of responsibility are used to make sense of unequal divisions of care between family members. By studying families with diverse class backgrounds, this research will help understand the meaning of economic trade offs across social class groups.
“Understanding the Work in Motherwork: Black Working Class Mothers' Educational Advocacy”
This project adds to motherwork literature a deeper understanding of the ways working class women combine caregiving responsibilities with formal labor. The data deepens understanding of the balancing work that Black women endured in a restrictive labor market attending to community and familial needs. Further it demonstrates how an emphasis on the black working class, adds to literature that regards certain phenomena like respectability is exclusively middle class. Ultimately this demonstrates that Black women's (across classes) awareness of racial discrimination compels them to employ material resources, and gendered performances to access rights to citizenship in public institutions like education.
Shoshana was selected based on her demonstration of exceptional scholarly achievement, a sense of social responsibility and an interest in the success of women in the academic community.
University of Michigan Rural Human Services Research Project
"The projects in this dissertation use national administrative data and interview data to understand how the access to the human services safety net in the United States varies at the county level, with a focus on rural and small counties, counties with elevated rates of poverty, and low human services density counties. This research is in support of the policy goal of ensuring that all Americans have access to critical social safety net services such as food banks, homelessness shelters, emergency cash assistance, transportation assistance, and high quality affordable housing, no matter where they live."
Adriana was selected based on her demonstration of exceptional scholarly achievement, a sense of social responsibility and an interest in the success of women in the academic community.
“Gender Inequality in Child Custody Arrangements: Caregiving, Power, and Money”
Parenting is an important site of gender inequality reproduction, as scholarship has demonstrated married mothers are overwhelmingly left to perform the childcare and housework. More parents are having to figure out how to share caregiving outside of marriage due to family demographics shifting towards divorce and remaining single. This qualitative study draws on 50 in-depth interviews to examine how parents (34 mothers, 16 fathers) with a child custody arrangement negotiate day-to-day caregiving. Ponce takes a multilevel approach and finds that parents' interactions--which are influenced by gender beliefs and the state's involvement (or lack of)--disadvantage mothers, nuanced by social class and race.
The Gupta Values Scholarship Fund was established by the Gupta Family Foundation in 2017 in order to recognize integrity, commitment to human dignity, and dedication to excellence among graduate students at U-M. As the founders of the Gupta Family Foundation, Rackham alumna Margaret Gupta (M.A., Political Science) and her husband, Shashikant, wish to encourage the next generation of scholars to be agents for positive social change.