Abstracts and Bios

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Diasporas as Actors in Urban Diplomacy: The Case of Mexico City´s Diaspora in Chicago

Antonio Alejo

Cities are becoming critical in governing global challenges, and urban policies are not seen as purely local realities. From critical diplomatic studies, this paper states that the notion of urban diplomacy has the possibility to distinguish itself by avoiding being a mere imitation of state/traditional diplomacy, and it allows an analytical path to identify a more inclusive perspective to involve resident foreigners in the design and implementation of a city’s foreign policy. This paper discusses the role of global human mobility in urban diplomacy and the foreign policy of cities from a deterritorialised perspective.

Antonio Alejo is an Associate Researcher of the Research Group on Societies on the Move at the University of A Coruña, and an Associate Researcher at the Galician Institute of Analysis and International Documentation. His research agenda focuses on contemporary diplomacy’s transformations beyond state-centric perspectives with a transdisciplinary dialogue between global studies (sociology and urban governance), critical diplomatic studies and nomadic thinking. He has published in journals such as International Studies in Sociology of Education; Education, Citizenship and Social Justice; Migration Letters; Migraciones; Colombia Internacional; Latin America Policy; Politics and Policy; and CIDOB d’Afers Internacionais.

The Moral Education of a Sociology Professor: Mentoring for Inclusion and Social Transformation

Jacob Avery

I am a Sociology professor at a regional comprehensive university in the southwestern United States. I teach introductory, advanced, and graduate courses on a variety of sociological topics. In many ways, the students in my classrooms are manifestly different than me. Overall, they are younger and browner; I am a 40-year-old white man. Mostly, they grew up in the Mountain West; I grew up in the upper Midwest. Despite these differences in our social identities, my students and I share some important commonalities. Like many students I teach, I was the first in my family to attend college. And I, too, hail from the economic “bottom” of American Society. That fact influences how I mentor students and think about the Sociology professor’s role at a university that primarily serves working class, first-generation, and racially minoritized students. This paper retroactively and strategically draws upon my biographic experiences to formulate an analysis about the multiple ways social class shapes everyday academic work. To do so, I render thickly descriptive vignettes to highlight “the moral education” I received during my own impoverished upbringing in a small-town mobile home park. Furthermore, I subject these experiences to critical confrontation and articulate how they matter for my ongoing undergraduate mentoring practices in an American university. Specifically, I address two major questions that bear upon mentoring practices: (1) What does it mean to mentor inclusively at the contemporary university? (2) How can university faculty provide mentorship in ways that raise consciousness and influence students to engage in lifelong pursuits of social transformation? The overarching objective is to illuminate potentially generalizable sociocultural processes about mentoring future generations to awaken their sensibilities for pursuing social and transformative justice.

Dr. Jacob Avery is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at New Mexico Highlands University. After earning his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Before coming to NMHU, he served on the faculty at UC Irvine. Dr. Avery is an award-winning teacher and mentor, whose pedagogy focuses on designing and delivering relevant courses for students while simultaneously encouraging them to understand themselves and their worlds with heightened sociological sophistication. He sees himself as a teacher, mentor, and coach, who is deeply committed to helping students achieve their scholastic and life goals. Dr. Avery’s research examines urban and rural poverty in the United States. A key feature of his scholarly agenda is putting a humanistic face on people and populations subjugated by socioeconomic marginalization, political violence, and extreme forms of social suffering. Dr. Avery serves on the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) as well as the President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council at NMHU.

Communities Articulating Resistance, Hope, and Re-existence

Shrishtee Bajpai

Over the past two years, the Covid crisis has been well documented, highlighting the plight of the working class, small scale farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, urban migrants and many people living in the margins of our societies. Our access to basic needs such as food, shelter, water, housing and human contact have all been threatened, affecting millions, if not billions. It also shed light on our folly of depending on long distance exchanges and trade for meeting basic needs. It has shown the deep links between ecological devastation and socio-economic deprivation. Overall, the inequality and unsustainability of predominant models of ‘development’ have been clearly demonstrated. However desperate the current situation has been, communities across the world have responded to the crises with resilience, care, innovation, and adaptability. The resurgence of life that we see in innumerable actions of solidarity, cooperation, love, and care in these times are rooted in the aeons-old articulations of indigenous peoples and local communities who are directly dependent on the rest of nature for their well-being. This spirit circulates among many grassroots expressions of collectives and networks, as dignified rage against systems of oppression as well as the affirmation of their resolve to defend their dignity by articulating a pluriverse of alternatives. This presentation will highlight some of these examples of solidarity, care and resilience from across the world that are fighting multiple systemic cries and offering pathways to futures that are just, equitable, and ecologically regenerative lives.

Shrishtee Bajpai is a researcher-activist from India. She works with Kalpavriksh-environment action group on themes of environmental justice, social justice, systemic alternatives, direct/radical democracy, traditional governance systems, and rights of nature. She helps in coordinating the Vikalp Sangam process (Alternatives Confluences) in India and is a core team member of Global Tapestry of Alternatives. She serves on the executive committee of Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is a fellow at the Post-Growth Institute, US. Shrishtee loves birding, writing, reading, photography, and walking to unknown paths.

Invited Conversation 4: Crafting Global Feminist Autoethnographies: Reflections on Decolonizing Pathways

Josephine Beoku-Betts

Josephine Beoku-Betts was Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sociology at Florida Atlantic University. Her research focuses on the educational and employment experiences and perspectives of African women scientists and women’s political activism in Sierra Leone since the 1990s. She has published in refereed journals including Gender & Society, NWSA Journal, Current Sociology, Ghana Studies,JENdA, and Meridians, as well as several book chapters. Josephine Beoku-Betts is a former co-regional editor for Women’s Studies International Forum, and co-Book Review Editor for Gender & Society. She is a recipient of the Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award (2014), Fulbright Scholar, and Florida Commission on the Status of Women Florida Achievement Award. She served as co-President of Research Committee on Women, Gender, and Society (RC32) of the International Sociological Association (2014–2018), and President of Sociologists for Women in Society (2020–2021).

Interpreting the Biased Notion of Gender and Underlying Class Struggle through Single Mothers’ Lives in the Time of Pandemic

Shuvasree Bhaduri

Disparities among humans have always been a part of our society, regardless of time. Society, or we, as the part of our society, discriminate against each other based on gender, religion, race, class, sexual orientation and our choice of living. If it comes to any kind of crisis, the unequal distribution of capital becomes highly distinguishable. Pandemic, like COVID-19, has contributed to this inequality through various factors. The nature of it overwhelmed any kind of interpersonal relationship. During this time, the nature of living of every individual became very exhaustive. When it comes to parenting, every household has its own strategies for work-life balance. Married couples are less likely to suffer from discrimination than single parents all over the world since time immemorial. The denigrating opinion of society about single parents has always cornered them, and their struggles are not unprejudiced. Gender has its own dimension in it. I tried to examine how a pandemic has impacted a single mother’s economic security, and how it shook their stability so much that sustaining a healthy lifestyle became a fictitious concept. I used secondary data from the United States and Primary Data from India, compared it. Though in these troubled times, single fathers have suffered as well, lost their jobs as well, they don’t have to endure the same. Finding a job with a liability of children is more like a valorous deed for men. Whereas single mothers have always been told that in order to get rid of their stress and improve their mental health, they need to go back to their partners, precisely taking the unpaid work as their destiny. Whereas single mothers have always been told that in order to get rid of their stress and improve their mental health, they need to go back to their partners, precisely taking the unpaid work as their destiny. With this gendered angle, I have also found that though some of the upper-middle-class single mothers managed their lives, where single mothers, who were domestic workers, were absolutely pummeled by the pandemic, evidently showing the significant effect of class struggle.

My name is Shuvasree Bhaduri. I am from Kolkata, India. I am a final year sociology undergraduate student. I am studying at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. I love exploring and learning new things. I am interested in literature and movies.

Northern Superheroes – Southern Victims? Trade Union Alternatives for Solidarity Along Supply Chains

Dithhi Bhattacharya

The presentation explores the growing inequity between the trade unions in the global south and their northern support actors in the global garment supply chain, including northern and global trade unions. From NGOs to multistakeholder initiatives to northern unions, each play a distinct role in maintaining the status quo in power balance in the supply chain and between different actors. Most mainstream initiatives only aim to fix certain glitches in the supply chain that mar the face of capitalism. The presentation also looks at how different forms of northern interventions transform their ‘partner’ trade unions in the global south fundamentally both in terms of their organisational agenda and structure.

Dithhi Bhattacharya, trade union activist and researcher, has been involved with garment workers’ organising efforts in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for over a decade and a half. She is the director of Centre for Workers’ Management, a trade union resource centre based in Delhi.

Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Outcomes: The Role of Public Fear and Anxiety about COVID-19

Osaki Bilaye-Benibo

An oft overlooked aspect of the racial disparity in COVID-19 outcomes is the role of public fear and anxiety about COVID-19. Considering how often marginalized groups are blamed or suspected during infectious disease outbreaks, it is important to understand the relationship between bias against those groups and fears about the outbreak in question. This is especially true for those involved in direct care of outbreak patients. Using multiple regression and data from the 2020 Implicit Association Test, I evaluate the relationship between implicit racial bias in favor of white people and COVID-19 anxiety. I find that implicit racial bias is negatively associated with COVID anxiety, for both those who are healthcare professionals and those who are not. While healthcare workers’ racial bias has a less severe association with COVID anxiety than the rest of the population, the relationship between COVID anxiety and bias remains significant. This indicates that even for those who interact directly with COVID-19 patients, the association between their racial bias and their COVID anxiety is not neutralized or reversed. In the context of both international and intranational COVID response, the implication of these findings are concerning. That said they may help us understand the uneven response to COVID as an outcomes that correlates to biases for or against certain populations.

Trajectories of Belonging: Through the Greek Isles to Swedish Everyday Life

Alexandra Bousiou

Alexandra Bousiou is a senior researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s School of Global Studies. Her research lies at the intersection between law and politics in the area of migration and asylum, with a focus on governance. She has also engaged in explorations on the overlap between migration and health, and policy impacts in this area. Her doctoral work analysed the governance of the European asylum system at the Greek border islands.  Currently, she is working on the H2020 project MERGING, which aims to develop, implement, and test a participatory housing construction program dedicated to migrants and involving various actors. Prior to her academic career, she practiced as a human rights lawyer, and served as an administrative judge at the Greek Asylum Service.

Justice for Traditional Knowledge: From Legal Pluralism to Ecology of Knowledges

Wendy Marilú Sánchez Casanova

Traditional knowledge has characteristics that make its incorporation to conventional intellectual property schemes difficult, although in international law there is optimism for a sui generis system that integrates the subjects and specific mechanisms for the preservation of traditional knowledge in order to generate alternative forms for itsprotection. However, the inoperability of this positivist proposal is perceived because of its vertical hierarchy, focused on adaptation rather than co-presence. Therefore, this paper aims to discuss the inoperability of positivist laws for the protection of traditional knowledge, despite the proposal of a sui generis system to protect intellectual rights that are not identified within the conventional frameworks. Thus, the starting point is composed of definitions of intellectual property proposed by the legal positivism, that are manifesting in national legislation, and documents of international law, in which there is a priority distinction between copyrights and industrial property. Subsequently, the differences to be analyzed in the case of traditional knowledge are established based on bearer subjects, which leads to rethink the statements for the public domain, and the state of the art, besides the fact that it is more feasible to place them as collective rights, instead of individual rights. At this point, more equitable forms of approach are described, one of them is the ecology of knowledges, oriented to create a co-presence and not a simple mention of otherness, in order to arrange horizontal approaches among the actors involved, supporting an active legal pluralism rather than a discursive one, through strategies such as intercultural translation and co-research.

Single Mothers and Resistance to Welfare-to-Work: A Bourdieusian Account

Simone Casey

In this presentation, Dr Simone Casey will outline the Australian welfare to work requirements for single parents, and comment on how research she undertook for her PhD is relevant to the current context. In particular she will outline how she adapted Bourdieusian field theory to explain the forms of resistance exercised by single mothers exposed to the cultural and economic domination of Australian welfare-to-work policy. Bourdieusian field theory was applied to explain these resistances as a reaction to a social policy reclassification and to identity the enabling resources for it. This article observes the conditions that enabled single mothers to convert individual forms of resistance into collective action. In this respect, Husu’s adaptation of Bourdieusian field theory to social movement studies provided insight into how dominating fields like those of activation policy, generate resistances and social movement. After having outlined this Bourdieusian approach to understanding single parent’s resistances to welfare to work, Simone will return to the current context where new programs like ParentsNext caused a new wave of resistances by mothers reacting to the domination of welfare to work policy.

Dr Simone Casey is a Policy Advisor at the Australian Council of Social Service and a research associate at the RMIT Future Social Services Institute, Melbourne.

A Political Activist Ethnography of Tkaronto-Based Food Justice Responses to COVID-19

Jade Da Costa

In the weeks following the first provincial lockdown in Ontario, Kanata, dozens of mutual aid groups and community initiatives emerged in the city of Tkaronto, offering free food and other essential resources to those in need. Among them was The People’s Pantry (TPP): a mutual aid project that provides free homecooked meals and grocery care packages to those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in Tkaronto and surrounding areas. In mere months, food insecurity skyrocketed in the region and TPP has now served over 30,000 people across Southern Ontario, from the city of Tkaronto to those living in the Haldimand Tract. Most notable is that TPP is a volunteer-run, grassroots initiative that was founded by Black and Brown feminist, queer, and trans community organizers, I among them. Thus, adopting a Political Activist Ethnography framework, I examine my firsthand experiences with TPP to offer some insights into the ebb and flow of food justice responses to COVID-19. Specifically, I draw on my embodied knowledge to detail: 1) the pivotal role that Queer and Trans Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (QTBIPOC) in Tkaronto have played in addressing the surmounting food crisis via mutual aid; and 2) the simultaneous cooptation of mutual aid during the pandemic and the barriers that this now poses to present and future QTBIPOC/food justice activists. I conclude by offering a few best practices for those committed to food justice in the aftermath of COVID-19, highlighting the need to practice long-term resistance strategies rooted in community care.

Jade Crimson Rose Da Costa (they/them/she/her) is a gender nonbinary queer woman of colour PhD sociology candidate at York University and a community organizer in the Greater Tkaronto-Hamilton Area and the Haldimand Tract.

From Decriminalization to Cultural Legitimization: Narratives of Lived Experiences of LGBTQ Communities in India

Heeya Datta

Until recently in September 2018, non-heterosexual identity remained criminalized under the Indian social context. Although traditional Indian culture has shown tolerance and acceptance towards non-binary gender identities such as panthis, kothis, hijra, kinnar, over two centuries of colonial rule enforced Victorian moral values into the culture as ‘modern’ and ‘civilized’ tenets, while ostracizing the indigenous culture of homosexuality as ‘barbaric’. The enactment of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Right) Act in 2019 marked a revolutionary change by overturning the colonial rule of criminalizing homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Although legal recognition of gender and sexual identity is a necessary change, cultural transformation would take time. Globalization and Neoliberalism has enabled recognition of gender and sexual minority rights at a transnational scale; however, the Indian society remains underrepresented. With the help of in-depth interviews, this research focuses on three sub-topics: 1) How has the enactment of the law influenced the relationship formation among the LGBTQ+ individuals in India? 2) To what extent do people visualize change in the idea of family formation? And lastly, 3) How do the legal changes affect LGBTQ persons’ desire and intent on parenthood? While past research has focused on the LGBTQ+ experiences of homosexual practices especially in the Western societies, limited works have studied how homosexuality can vary according to multifaceted social categories such as gender assigned at birth, class, caste, religion, and regionality in India. Through this research I will address the gaps such as the influence of Indian history and mythology on shaping relation dynamics for same-sex couples, degree of acceptance towards homosociality, and challenges faced in family formations and parenthood among the LGBTQ+ individuals. This research will draw parallels with the rich Indian historical literature that crossroads with the Western theoretical understanding that shape behavior for non-heterosexual identities among Indian youth. Several historical movements in other parts of the world such as the Gay Rights Movements and the AIDS Bhedbave Virodhi Andolan in India in the 20th century have contributed to today’s legalization of non-heterosexuality. Exploring the historical turn of events and transnational experiences gathered by people, I will focus on the cultural acceptance of legitimizing sexually deviant behavior after the legal recognition of LGBTQ rights in India.

I am currently in my third year of Doctoral Program in Sociology at the Louisiana State University (LSU), where I also work as a Graduate Assistant. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sociology in 2017 and 2019 respectively, from Presidency University, Kolkata, India. My research interests include, but are not limited to, Gender, Sexuality, Law, and Criminology. My master’s thesis focused on the Maternity Benefit and its effects on Motherhood Identity in Bengal, India.

Introduction: From the Global to the Grassroots: Fostering Transnational and Intersectoral Exchange in Participatory Practices and Methodologies

Corey Dolgon

Dr. Corey Dolgon is Professor of Sociology at Stonehill College (MA, USA). He has written widely on various forms of public sociology and the politics of engaged research and teaching. In particular, Dr. Dolgon’s CV lists numerous institutions in the United States, Ireland, Austria and elsewhere which have sought his expertise in course design, methods workshops and training, various other aspects of public research and the integration of theory and practice. Dr. Dolgon is highly connected to relevant stakeholders in the area of participatory methods training and action research. In addition, he is past president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP, USA) and of the Association for Humanist Sociology (AHS, USA).

Invited Conversation 4: Crafting Global Feminist Autoethnographies: Reflections on Decolonizing Pathways

Deepali Aparajita Dungdung

Deepali Aparajita Dungdung is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Ranchi University, Ranchi. She has a Ph.D. from Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her areas of interest include women, migration, care work and ethnicity. She is one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology, an independent academic blog.

What’s at the Root of Our Children’s Mental Health Crisis: A Legal Comparative of Two Case Studies in the US and Switzerland and a Scottish Law Tool on How Family Law Can Create Social Injustice for Children and Single Parents 

Eliane Eggler

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead straight into the children’s mental health crisis, with parental substance use disorder and intimate partner violence being core problems of the crisis, financial concerns being a contributing stressor. According to researchers both of these core problems significantly rose during the pandemic. Studies show that substance use disorder and intimate partner violence have been rising for years prior to the white house recognizing it as key components to the children’s mental health crisis.

The three main hidden contributors leading to this situation are the lack of education of family law court systems about the effects of the severity of parental alcohol abuse on mental and behavioral disorders in children, how parental substance use disorder interplays with domestic violence and upholding the pro-contact ideology without restrictions. While the USA began to install drug courts for adults, this level of specialization is foreign to family law court systems.

Purpose: The purpose is to significantly reduce the long term impact of children’s mental health crisis identified by the white house, cultivating an understanding for multigenerational trauma, how it gets transferred through court orders and why supporting single parents is crucial for the ending of multigenerational trauma transfer. Illustrating how capitalism is shaping family law courts and how new law tools such as age-appropriate education for children, helps single parents financially and enables benevolent childhood experiences.

Methods, Literature review: Comparative law review of a US divorce law case, a Swiss child safeguarding procedure and a court-ordered programme for behavioral change for men in Scotland.

Conclusion: Family law reform is inevitable if we want to experience a future with mentally and physically healthy children and young adults. Family law needs to be brought in alignment with science. Education can prevent childhood trauma and social injustice.

Professionally. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and entrepreneur, and I specialize in protecting children’s rights in legal cases that involve parental alcoholism / SUD and child abuse. The core of my work is coaching co-addict/victim parents, preparing them for court and educating family law systems about the impact of parental addiction, domestic violence and coercive control on children. My experience as a certified life coach in the area of relationships and intimacy has given me unparalleled insight into how relationships do and don’t work. Specializing in working with partners or ex-partners to addicts has given me the ability to in depth comprehend the behavioral dynamics that typically mark “intoxicated” relationships and what’s required for exiting them and entering healthy and fulfilling relationships. As an activist for children’s rights, I’m dedicated to preventing trauma on the developing brains of children and to advancing family law reform that protects children from multigenerational trauma transfer. My mission is to make people aware that addiction, (sexual) abuse, and domestic violence are generationally transferred, and to facilitate changes to the current family law system to protect children from the long-term effects of growing up with an addict/abusive parent. Personally. Born in Zürich in 1985, growing up between Switzerland and the USA, I attained my Master’s Degree in law at the University of Zürich in 2012. While working at the family office during my studies, my own desire for a transformed family and family business propelled me into dedicating the past 11 years of my life in the healing of dysfunctional family systems, the unweaving of unhealthy relationship patterns and the system analysis of groups and enterprises. As I continued to work in real estate, with focus on construction law, it was a specific category of coaching clients, who propelled me into my purpose and specialization. Parallel to that my own experience of motherhood and increasing awareness on the significance of hereditary factors and multigenerational trauma, had me diving into science. As a coach I knew that any relationship could be changed if only one person transformed; and in abusive constellations transformation was often only possible after ending the relationship. As a lawyer I couldn’t comprehend how parents filing for divorce, in order to step out of an abusive marriage, weren’t supported and their children were not protected. Comparative law highlights that although a marriage for a parent can be ended by law, the relationship itself can not – to ensure children’s integrity the global implementation of a set of new law tools is required.

The Study of Single Parents in Iran

Farzaneh Ejazi

These days one of the problems in Iran is single parents and it is a significant and global issue. Single parenting particularly for women in Iran is extremely hard. In Iran due to the phenomenon of divorce single parents has happened. In the Covid- 19 era, all countries around the world faced a single parent and many difficulties. Therefore, due to the spreading of Covid-19, everything is going to change around the world including social, economic, political, lifestyle, cultural life, etc. Scholars, practitioners, researchers, professionals, and sociologists are trying to understand how single parents live and grow their children in Iran. A single parent is going to increase in Iran, especially in the Covid-19 era and the vast of children have lost their parents or one of them. The research question is how the single parents in Iran and what will happen to the children. The methodology is a case study and has used related articles, reports, and books then analyze the data. Finding show single parent in Iran has some effects on parents and children. Poverty, the situation of the economy in Iran, health, divorce, the Covid-19, and employment have an impact on single parents in Iran. In conclusion, in Iran welfare should use practical and effective policies for children who lose their parents in the Covid-19 era. The government must create solutions for single parents in the Covid-19 era because they are more under economic pressure. Practical premarital counseling should be increased in Iran to reduce the phenomenon of divorce.

Farzaneh Jazi received a Bachelor degree from Payame Noor University in 2012, and a Master in Sociology from Shahed University in 2017. She participated and presented a paper titled “Situation of Learning and Teaching during Covid-19 Pandemic in Iran” at the Society for the Study of Social Problems 2021 Annual Meeting. She is a member of The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) since February 2021. Her research interests concern Internet and new technology, sociology of mobile phone, virtual space, and sociology of education.

Emerging Global Solidarity Efforts to Address Racism, Xenophobia, Climate Injustice, and Authoritarianism

Joel Federman

This presentation will provide an overview of intersecting issues of racism, climate change, xenophobia, and authoritarian politics, and efforts to organize transnational solidarity toward a more just, sustainable, democratic and multicultural world. The presentation will review the ways in which the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 and climate change on people of color have exacerbated extant systemic racism and xenophobia, and the ways in which these factors have contributed to an overall decline in democratic norms in established democratic countries. The presentation will also explore historical and current efforts toward creating transnational solidarity across racial, cultural and religious divides, exemplified in part by the reclaiming or liberating of public space in various locations around the world, including the Maidan in Kyiv, Ukraine, Standing Rock, the Occupy movement, Tahrir Square, and the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Taking all of these movements together, one can begin to see emerging a kind of global archipelago of local liberated spaces, in which other worlds are being imagined and born. The presentation will also explore an increasing solidarity among these movements across race, and religion and national origin and gender and sexual identity–including an intersectional solidarity across these multicultural spaces, and a sense of shared identity and worldview. Building from a recognition of intersectionality, social change activists are able to bridge gaps among cultural groups that are often seen as distinct and divided. The advent of the Internet has created the capacity not only to understand this politics of solidarity conceptually, but also to manifest it in concrete political organization. As such, the emergence of truly global social movements for social justice, environmental sustainability, peace, and human rights, including gender and sexual orientation rights, are beginning to occur.

Joel Federman is Chair of the Department of Transformative Social Change at Saybrook University, USA.

Critical Autonomy, Social Capital and Mentoring Programmes for Children and Youth

Òscar Prieto Flores

In recent decades, the number of youth mentoring programmes has grown considerably in different countries around the world. The reasons that have favoured this increase depend on the context. In the case of Europe, for example, this increase is due to the need to provide a response to the new context of reception of immigrants and refugees, many of them unaccompa- nied minors or young people; while in the United States, the approach has been aimed more at reducing social inequality and preventing crime among minority youth (Preston, Prieto-Flores, & Rhodes, 2019). Regardless of the programmes’ approach, their increase in recent years has led to some debates on how mentoring organisations can improve the quality of their programmes and promote, more fully, the well-being and empowerment of the children and young people they serve. In this regard, it should be pointed out that their empowerment can only be understood if they are able to develop greater critical autonomy and access to networks of social capital. Doyal and Gough (1991) defined critical autonomy as “the capacity to com- pare cultural rules, to reflect upon the rules of one’s own culture, to work with others to change them and, in extremis, to move to another culture” (pp. 187–188), which requires the capacity for freedom of agency, political freedom, and freedom of action. And, as we know, even in the most demo- cratic countries, such freedoms are compromised by the existence of struc- tural forces that, explicitly or implicitly, constrain them, especially among young people from cultural minorities, migrant youth who lose their legal status as they turn 18 and become “adults”, as well as young people with low incomes. With regard to social capital, there are a number of definitions that will be addressed later, but one vague and initial definition would be the possibility of attaining certain social resources through occasional or recur- rent support from individuals or social institutions. Generally, the research that has been done on youth mentoring has been carried out in the field of psychology in the United States. It is not surprising, then, that the focus of the studies conducted thus far and the analysis of the effects of mentoring have taken into account elements of analysis characteristic of this field; for example, the effects that mentoring has on the emotional support of the child or young person, on their health and well-being, or on their academic engagement. These elements have been central in much of the research that has been done up to the present and are part of the main corpus of the most recent meta-analyses (DuBois et al., 2011; Raposa et al., 2019). Another element that has been taken into consideration is the duration of mentoring relationships and their quality, stressing that longer-lasting and quality mentoring relationships are those that tend to have greater effects on protégés (Deutsch & Spencer, 2009; Rhodes & DuBois, 2006). However, the theoretical contributions that highlight how mentoring programmes can facilitate access to networks of social capital have been very embryonic, with some exceptions (Keller & Blakeslee, 2014; Prieto-Flores & Feu, 2018; Stanton-Salazar, 2011). In this regard, more empirical studies that take this into consideration are beginning to emerge, like the work of Shier, Gouthro, and de Goias (2018), which highlights some existing interrelations between social capital and a mentoring programme with minority girls between ages 14 and 17. The authors conclude that the programme they analysed promotes access to the social capital of the protégés and enables their social networks to expand through the relationships they had with their mentors and other agents. Another example is the work of Raithelhuber (2019), who analyses the support that a mentoring programme can offer to unaccompanied refugee minors in Austria, highlighting how minors perceive the ethnic discrimi- nation they suffer and how their mentors can provide them with emotional and psychosocial support and enhancement of their social capital. It is necessary to study this area in depth in order to observe all the different types of relations that can arise between a mentor and his protégé, and how mentoring organisations may, or may not, play an important role in promoting these at micro, meso and macro-level.

Dr. Òscar Prieto-Flores is an Associate Professor at the University of Girona, Spain. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Girona in 2007 and was Visiting Scholar in 2006 of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University and in 2012 of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. He has also collaborated at the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at the University of Massachusetts since 2017 with his research. By 2021 Dr. Oscar Prieto Flores became a coordinator of the Master of Migration Movements at XXI century: Concepts, Realities and Evidences. He is currently studying what paths lead students of ethnic and immigrant background in Spain but also in Europe on a college track, where he is the main investigator. At the same time, he coordinates with his friend and colleague, Jordi Feu, the Nightingale project at the University of Girona, a mentoring project with children and youth of immigrant background and collaborating with Roma NGOs and social movements.

Neocolonial and Conflict in the Immigrant Family Kitchen: How Mothers Resist US Food Culture by Dishing Out Ethnicity

Jennifer Friedman and Laurel Graham

Immigrant family food consumption is situated at the nexus of two forms of conflict:  the struggle for families to retain a sense of their native culture and the struggle of growing children to become more independent from their parents.  In the US, middle-class family home, immigrant parents often strive to instill a love of the cuisine of their homeland in the identities of their growing children, while their children are torn between loyalty to parental preferences and the commercialized coolness of “American” foods.  Family eating stands at the center of multiple forms of micropolitics, with the survival of cultural traditions both within and outside the family home hanging in the balance.

Food is not only the stuff that human bodies are made of, it is also a key interpretive building block of family identity.  While affluent, white “foodies” are known to challenge the Americanization of eating habits, immigrants who may not identify with that label also pay incredible attention to detail as they hunt down the rare fruits, vegetables and other ingredients central to the recipes of their homeland.  Scholarship on food provisioning has yet to investigate how immigrant parents, usually mothers, mediate between their own food preferences and the competing voices of health care professionals, mass media messaging, children’s tastes, and the structural realities of the American food system.  Here we offer a preliminary sketch of how foodways are contested in the homes of immigrant families in the U.S..

We conducted unstructured interviews with 40 parents who are the main food provisioner in their family and have teen or tween children (27 of whom we also interviewed) in order to learn how families manage food provisioning and consumption.  Here we compare the non-immigrant respondents to the five adults and three child respondents whose families had come to the US mainland from elsewhere:  Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and India.  Despite their diverse nationalities, these respondents exhibited striking similarities in the ways they described their cooking and eating habits as forms of resistance to the US food system. 

Jennifer Friedman and Laurel Graham are both Associate Professors of Sociology at the University of South Florida.

The Moms of Magnolia Street: How Four Black Unhoused Mothers Reclaimed and Redefined the Right to Housing in Oakland

Erin Gaede

The effectiveness of the Moms 4 Housing movement has taken on new significance as the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent eviction crisis has exacerbated the emergency of homelessness in American cities. This paper explores how a group unhoused working mothers successfully reclaimed a vacant West Oakland home owned by a giant real estate investment firm and started a movement that led to rapid change in policy. Drawing on public and administrative data as well as content and media analysis, I argue that the framework of motherhood as a collective identity determined the success of this movement by effectively 1.) legitimizing the tactics and claims of the mothers; 2.) garnering support and political traction; and 3.) redefining public perception on the causes of homelessness.

Erin Gaede is a first year PhD student in the Sociology department at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on urban sociology, social movements, race and ethnicity, public policy, poverty and inequality.

Single Parenting: Challenging Traditional Familial Norms in Urban India

Jagriti Gangopadhyay

India is known for its traditional familial structures of joint and nuclear families. However, recent media reports suggest that contradicting these traditional familial structures, single parents are gradually on the rise in urban India. Though there is lack of statistical data available on the percentage of single parents in India, nonetheless, the rise of single parents in urban India has received considerable coverage by the Indian media. In particular, there has been substantive media writing on the increase of single mother led households in India. Against this backdrop, this study through ethnographic data collected among twenty five upper middle class single parents residing in different cities of India, intends to understand how these parents navigate stigma, caregiving responsibilities and solo parenting in their everyday lives. In the process, this study also seeks to examine the intersections between class, gender and parenting choices in urban India. Finally, this study intends to demonstrate how single parenting is steadily gaining prominence and acting as a source of resistance against normative family patterns of India.

Dr. Jagriti Gangopadhyay is currently an Assistant Professor and the faculty coordinator for the Center for Women’s Studies, at the Manipal Centre for Humanities, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). She did her PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar. For her research, she has received funding from the Indian Council of Social Science Research, India, National Commission for Women, India, Center for South East Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan, and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Recently she was also awarded the Shastri Publication Grant by the Shastri Indo Canadian Institute for her monograph titled: Culture, Context and Aging of Older Indians: Narratives from India and Beyond, published by Springer. This year she co-edited a book titled, “Eldercare Issues in China and India, published by Routledge: UK.

Invited Conversation 4: Crafting Global Feminist Autoethnographies: Reflections on Decolonizing Pathways

Melanie Heath

Melanie Heath is Associate Professor of Sociology at McMaster University. She studies the politics of family, sexuality, and gender. She is author of One Marriage Under God: The Campaign to Promote Marriage in America (2012, New York University Press) and The How to of Qualitative Research (with Janice Aurini and Stephanie Howells, second edition, 2022, SAGE). Her Forbidden Intimacies: Polygamies at the Limits of Western Tolerance, forthcoming with Stanford University Press. Her work appears in sociology and interdisciplinary journals, including Gender & Society, Signs, Socio- logical Perspectives, The Sociological Quarterly, Contexts, Qualitative Sociology, and PLOS ONE. She is the president of RC32: Women, Gender, and Society (2018–2023) of the International Sociological Association and is co-President Elect of Sociologists for Women in Society.

A Mentoring Program for Sexual Minority Men in Hong Kong: Does a Mentor’s Sexual Orientation Matter?

Yu-Te Huang, Leo Zephyrus Chow, and Chi-Chung Lau

Emerging studies have supported the psychosocial benefits mentoring relationships could provide for marginalized communities. While mentoring has been a common service model in Hong Kong, no systematic evaluation on how the design can respond to the needs of sexual minorities exist. Employing a community-based participatory research approach, the research team worked with community partners to co-create a mentoring program – Men2Ship – for sexual minority men in Hong Kong where the public policies and laws still disregard the betterment of social minorities, and evaluate the project outcome through a mixed-methods research design.

In the session, we will outline the theoretical underpinning, program design, and implementation of this program and demonstrate its potential to foster inner strength among this population particularly amidst the pandemic and heterosexist culture. This study has two distinctive features. First, adopting a randomized controlled trial method, we sought to examine the effectiveness of mentorship in fostering the mental health of young, self-identified non-heterosexual men in Hong Kong – aged between 18 and 26 (n=57). The sample is randomly assigned into an intervention group (n=32) and a control group (n=25). The former engaged in a mentorship program for 6 months while the latter only receive psychoeducation materials. Both groups are invited to complete pre-, mid-, and post-intervention surveys to assess their change in mental health status and self-acceptance. Second, drawing from the evidence regarding “gay-straight alliance,” this study seeks to discern the differential mentoring effects based on mentors’ sexual orientation. Within the intervention group, 22 and 10 mentees are assigned with sexual minority and heterosexual mentors respectively. Including straight men in mentoring gay men is a pioneering effort in strengthening the allies with sexual minorities and examining how this model can work. In addition, the research team will conduct interviews with 20 dyad – 10 from each sexual orientation group – to gain insights into their experiences and reflection to improve the research design. Marked by a collaborative process, this mentoring program has challenged the centralization of researchers’ power in knowledge production and can empower the sexual minority communities who are historically marginalized.

Yu-Te Huang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, the University of Hong Kong. Yu-Te Huang’s research interests cover adolescent mental health, sexual and gender minority youth, and immigrants’ cross-cultural experiences. In his research, Dr. Huang intends to highlight the importance of theoretical discussions and methodological plurality in the field and to promote social workers’ critical thinking and cross-cultural competency. His research has been published in social work journals that have local and global readerships and presented in international conferences. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Social Work, the University of Toronto, Yu-Te was trained and working as a psychiatric social worker at a medical center in Taiwan.

Leo Zephyrus CHOW, M.Phil., Department of Social Work and Social Administration, the University of Hong Kong. Dedicated to sexuality and interdisciplinary research, Leo is particularly interested in local and global queer issues, and the impact of digital and medical technology on the LGBTQ+ community. Valuing both theoretical and social contributions, he is motivated to translate his past and future studies into practical social impacts. Prior to working at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Leo received his academic training in sociology.

Chi-Chung LAU, MPH, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the University of Toronto. Chi-Chung has been working in gay men’s health promotion for over 20 years, first focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and later expanding to holistic well-being. Since 2017, he has been running an initiative aspiring to promote physical, mental, social and spiritual health among gay men and people of diverse sexual identities in Hong Kong. Chi-Chung takes a critical perspective in tackling health issues at different socio-ecological levels, from individual to structural.

From Mrs. to Ms. to Dr: Mothering Work and Talking Back

Rashmee Karnad-Jani

Dr. Rashmee Karnad-Jani will build on Griffith and Smith’s mothering work scholarship and trace her two decade long journey through immigration, credentialing practices, academic ambitions and unraveling of relationships. Rashmee will bring into view the translocal ruling relations through an institutional ethnographic mapping of her mothering work while working within The Problematic of Ontario’s K-12 publicly funded education. Rashmee will briefly highlight key aspects of her PhD research in which she examined how Ontario’s Parent Engagement Policy (2010) coordinates mothering work or invisibilized gendered work done in homes to support schooling and the ways this work intersects with the labour of teachers. She will also highlight her contribution to the field of IE -The Blended Standpoint – that invites teachers to stand beside mothers and caregivers to see the institution alongside them.

Dr. Rashmee Karnad-Jani is a decolonizing institutional ethnographer, social justice educator and multilingual poet. Her Master’s research focused on the mothering work done by South Asian women for the transition of their children from grade 8 to high school in publicly funded school boards of the Greater Toronto Area within the province of Ontario.

School Based Mentoring for Rural Youth Development in the Indian Context

Anuradha Kumar

This presentation aims to introduce a new approach to School Based Mentoring (SBM) where, premier Higher Education Institutions (HEI) are formally connected to rural schools that serve the underprivileged. Here, the UnderGrad/Graduate students from an HEI mentor adolescent school students from a rural school. This approach was designed by Teach To Learn, a mentoring initiative based in IIT Madras (South India). Useful insights and observations from their field implementations are also presented briefly.

So far, the largest number of formal youth mentoring programs have emerged from the United States of America (Gupta & Gowda, 2012; Pryce et al., 2011). Despite the fact that researchers and practitioners have focused on youth identity development, these areas remain to be investigated across different cultural contexts (Preston et al., 2018; Pryce et al., 2022). Especially in the context of countries in the global south where education is seen as a ticket to upward mobility, poor access to potential resources is a major obstacle. Rather than temporary support, targeted mentoring connection can enhance learning experiences, develop personalities and competencies of the rural youth (Christensen et al., 2020; Lyons & Mcquillin, 2021). A connection across disciplines and between universities has been long recognised (Cherwitz, 2005), but a rigorous collaboration that is responsive to the needs of the youth is the need of the hour. When students from socio-economically rural background receive training and mentoring from older peers who themselves study at an elite higher education institution with state-of-the-art facilities, the outcome can bring a new meaning to partnerships across institutions. A connection such as this can inspire school students to dream big. It can enable Graduate Students to become socially responsible and agents of inculcating the culture of mentoring. Engagements of this nature can strengthen the brotherhood among different levels of education and crucial to redefine the purpose of pedagogy.

It is in the hope that by sharing the approach, its benefits and potential, more evidence-based research and formulation of robust context-based School Based Mentoring programs will emerge.

Anuradha Kumar is a Senior Research Associate at a Mentoring Initiative called “Teach To Learn” out of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India. Besides a budding researcher, she is a Mentor and a Trainer, passionate about empowering youth. She is an advocate of positive youth development and in building social capital of the underprivileged. Together, in the last five years, Prof. Pijush Ghosh from IITM and Anuradha have created school-based mentoring models to systematically build the youth strength of India. The team is working to spread its wings, collaborate with colleagues across contexts and cultures, build robust programs that can change the lives of the rural youth. They find that there is deficient research and insufficient number of mentoring programs to meet the high demand of rural school going population in India. Teach To Learn aims to build a good research base and initiate dialogues to get India on the mentoring map soon.

Professors, Procrastination, Participation, But No Pandemic?: Current Students’ Advice to New Undergraduate Majors in a Sociology/Criminology Programer

Danielle Lavin-Loucks

This paper qualitatively examines advice that undergraduate students majoring in sociology and criminology offered to future incoming freshman. As part of a class assignment designed to encourage peer mentoring, students in an introductory professional development course were asked to provide guidance to new majors in the form of a letter. Although the students wrote their advice in the context of an emerging variant of COVID-19, amidst mandates for vaccination, and compulsory masking for in-person classes, the advice-giving strategies students adopted avoided any overt discussion of COVID-19, masks, nor the pandemic more generally. Instead, students focused on three forms of guidance, including: 1) generalized advice on how to adjust to college and what to do, 2) generalized advice on what not to do, and 3) specific strategies for success within sociology and criminology courses. The comprehensive ‘dos and don’ts of college’ that students provided, which ultimately applied to all majors, is contrasted with the major-specific forms of advice, and discussed in light of ethnographic work on advice giving, the pedagogy of peer mentoring and learning, the mental health crisis in higher education, and the literature on adapting to higher education. This discussion is likewise situated in a broader conversation of pandemic burnout and how students navigated this experience and insulated themselves from its effects by largely ignoring their presence.

Danielle Lavin-Loucks is an associate professor and the chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Valparaiso University. As the recipient of several teaching awards related to mentoring undergraduate students, her background in nonprofit college access work has contributed to a growing interest in the role of peer and faculty mentoring in higher education success among traditionally underrepresented student populations. Her research interests span from mentoring and pedagogy to how the criminal justice system relies on discourse to generate case outcomes. She is currently working on research related to safe spaces in the university classroom.

Transnational Solidarity Along Value Chains and Grassroots Worker Organizing – Challenges and Potentials: Experiences from the Orange Juice Network in Brazil

Mara Lira

During the session, we will talk about the experience of the Orange Juice Network. This is an international, horizontal, intersectoral and inter-union network. The network exists since 2016 and currently comprises 37 trade union organizations from 3 Brazilian states (São Paulo, Minas Gerias and Pará). The network was created with the objective of strengthening the unions for the defence of workers along the orange juice production chain. To this end, we collectively develop tools that are implemented together with workers. These tools build on workers’ knowledge as the basis for constructing concrete actions for workers to change their own reality. Among others, the network has developed an application to organise workers located in geographically remote places. Through the app, workers can talk directly to the unions about the problems they face in their workplaces. Another  extremely important tool are the so called ‘Health and Workplace Mappings’, which are implemented by the unions directly with the workers. These mappings have led to the implementation of significant changes in working conditions that have improved the health and life of the workers in the orange juice production chain. We will talk about these and other experiences that are being developed by the TIE union network along different production chains.

Mara Lira works together with two trade union networks in Brazil: the International Orange Juice Network, which currently involves rural and processing industry trade unions in Brazil and the Ver.di trade union in Germany, and the VidaViva Network, which involves trade unions from different sectors and articulates issues related to worker health.

Mapping out Australian Single-Mother Families’ Housing Insecurity Experiences and Coping Strategies through a Multidimensional Framework

Mengxing Ma

Housing has broader implications for families. Single mother families face many difficulties that make them more susceptible when encountering housing problems. By analysing the content of a single mother Facebook group, this article describes a variety of housing insecurity issues experienced by single mother families in Australia, including unaffordable housing, struggles in the private rental market, high mobility, and homelessness. We observed some risk factors (i.e. divorce and domestic violence, health conditions, barriers to securing a house in the private rental market, failure of social services) and protective factors (i.e. practical strategies, education, pets, strength of hearts, social support within single mother communities) at both individual level and structural level that intersect and mediate single mother families’ experiences of these housing insecurity issues. A multidimensional framework is applied to analyse the complexity and fluidity of these factors. Psychosocial and group-based interventions can help single mother families manage stress and improve their adaptation to some housing insecurity issues. However, mountain-moving efforts to tackle structural problems are central and urgent to address these issues and to support single mothers and their children.

Mengxing Ma is a PhD Student in Geography at University of St Andrews. She has a master’s of social work degree from the University of Melbourne and an MA in international development from the University of Sheffield. She has around 5 years of practical experience within the social development sector in different country contexts (i.e. China, Australia, UK). Her research has a broad focus on the health and social well-being of families, including topics like social determinants of health, intergenerational relationships, productive and active aging, etc.

Decent Work for Domestic Workers: ILO Convention 189 and the Brazilian Window of Opportunity

Cyntia Machado

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed to the world how essential domestic work is for the progress of economic activities. Without someone to take care of the home, children, the elderly and the sick, the population cannot participate in the workforce. A major victory for the class was ILO Convention 189 in 2011, an achievement celebrated after decades of struggle to establish minimum rights and guarantees for maids. ILO Convention 189 was the result of international mobilization not only of domestic workers’ unions but also of NGOs and some governments that were sympathetic to the cause. The struggle also took place internally, organizing a category that for years was considered unorganized due to the very way of performing the work, usually in isolation, within other people’s homes. Brazil is a country that currently has a contingent of almost five million domestic workers, mostly black women, with a low level of education. However, they were able to organize themselves not only to make beautiful participation during the preparation of the convention but also after it, when they were able to make effective these rights within national legislation. In this sense, the Brazilian case is a good example of how the internal mobilization of Brazilian domestic workers paved the way for the participation in the drafting of Convention 189, as well as the connections made, the campaign and international support for the ratification of the Convention created a Window of Opportunity for an expansion of the rights of this normally devalued class. Thus, we can see that the engagement and political mobilizations at the national and transnational levels are able to back feed by improving internal conjunctures and strengthening the external relations of the mobilized group.

My name is Cyntia and I am a history teacher from Brazil’s Public Education System. I have a degree in History and a degree in Law and also have a specialization in Public Security Policies. In 2014 I finished my Master’s Degree in Labour Policies and Globalisation from Global Labour University (GLU – Kassel and Berlin), where I studied the organization of Brazilian domestic workers to participate in the preparation of Convention 189 of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Recently, I started my doctorate in Osnabrück at IMIS (Institut für Migrationsforschung und Interkulturelle Studien). My main object of study is domestic work in Colombia. Different from other countries in Latin America that had left-wing governments and a strong trade union when they ratified the convention, this country had a right-wing government and is the country where more trade unionists are killed. That makes the communication and mobilization of the workers even more crucial and challenging, but they managed to succeed, and that is why I think is so important to study this whole process.

Earth is in the Midst of Abrupt, Irreversible Climate Change

Guy McPherson

Earth is in the midst of abrupt, irreversible climate change, as indicated by the scientifically conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s 8 August 2019, “Climate Change and Land,” concluded that Earth is in the midst of the most rapid change in planetary history, citing the peer-reviewed literature in reaching this conclusion: “These global-level rates of human-driven change far exceed the rates of change driven by geophysical or biosphere forces that have altered the Earth System trajectory in the past; even abrupt geophysical events do not approach current rates of human-driven change.” The IPCC admitted to the irreversibility of climate change due to an overheated ocean in its 24 September 2019, “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.” Thus, 2019 was a banner year for the IPCC as it correctly and finally concluded climate change is abrupt and also irreversible. How conservative is the IPCC? Even the conservative and renowned peer-reviewed journal BioScience includes a paper in its March 2019 issue titled, “Statistical Language Backs Conservatism in Climate-Change Assessments.” This paper by Herrando-Pérez and colleagues includes the following information: “We found that the tone of the IPCC’s probabilistic language is remarkably conservative …, and emanates from the IPCC recommendations themselves, complexity of climate research, and exposure to politically motivated debates. Leveraging communication of uncertainty with overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change should be one element of a wider reform, whereby the creation of an IPCC outreach working group could enhance the transmission of climate science to the panel’s audiences.” Contrary to the conclusion from Herrando-Pérez and colleagues, I cannot imagine the IPCC is interested in transmitting climate science to the panel’s audiences. After all, as professor Michael Oppenheimer wrote via essay titled, “How the IPCC Got Started” on the Environmental Defense Fund website on 1 November 2007, the United States government during the Reagan administration “saw the creation of the IPCC as a way to prevent the activism stimulated by my colleagues and me from controlling the policy agenda.” In other words, the IPCC was designed to fail. This mission has been accomplished.

Guy R. McPherson is professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. Dr. Guy McPherson is an internationally recognized speaker, award-winning scientist, and the world’s leading authority on abrupt climate change leading to near-term human extinction. He is professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. His published works include more than a dozen books and hundreds of scholarly articles. Dr. McPherson has been featured on television and radio and in several documentary films. He is a blogger and cultural critic who speaks to general audiences around the globe, and to scientists, students, educators, and not-for-profit and business leaders who seek their best available options when confronting Earth’s cataclysmic changes.

Agenda for Feminist Research for Contesting Neoliberal Regimes

Ligaya McGovern

Neoliberalism has caused immeasurable misery in the lives of women, especially those in the Global South. Based on my decades of research on working class women of the Global South, the paper offers some insights for a feminist research agenda that can contribute to contesting neoliberal regimes.  The focus is on working class women because their experiences show inequalities based on class, gender and/or race, ethnicity, or national origin within the context of global capitalism, the economic project of neoliberalism.  Such experiences have implications for building global women’s movements for contesting neoliberal regimes.  

Ligaya Lindio McGovern is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and was co-founder of the Office of Sustainability at Indiana University Kokomo. She is a 2017 US Fulbright Scholar Awardee that gave her the opportunity to conduct fieldwork research in the Philippines on the impact of transnational corporate mining on the Indigenous communities there and is in the process of getting published her book manuscript out of this research. Inspired by this Award, she is in the process of setting up an Institute for Philippine Studies, Human Rights and Sustainability. A recipient of the 2011 IUK’s Excellence in Research Award, she has published various articles and book chapters, and authored two books—Globalization, Labor Export and Resistance and Filipino Peasant Women: Exploitation and Resistanc. She also co-edited two volumes—the Globalization and Third World Women: Exploitation and Resistance, and Gender and Globalization: Patterns of Women’s Resistance. Her scholar-activist engagement centers on advocating for human rights, social justice, women’s rights, and Indigenous People’s rights and the struggle against neoliberalism and for social change in the Philippines.

Racial Residential Segregation and Covid-19 Mortality 

Suresh N Neupane

Studies have shown that residential segregation is a strong predictor of the health of the urban population in the United States. Residential segregation is also associated with a broader system of inequality that has impacted racial-ethnic minorities, who have been affected by a slow decrease in the health gap. This study investigates the impact of racial residential segregation on the health outcome of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this, I use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s dataset from January 1, 2020, to April 15, 2021. The observation includes a record of 7,353,597 individuals. I developed a hierarchical logistic regression model with death due to COVID-19 as the response variable. Predictor variables include residential segregation, population density, and income inequality at the county level and, race, gender, and age at the individual level. Results showed that people living in segregated counties were more likely to die of COVID-19 than people living in less segregated areas. Furthermore, people from Black and Asian ethnic communities were also more likely to die than Whites, controlling for other variables. On the other hand, the model also revealed that Hispanics were less likely to die of COVID-19, compared to Whites. Interaction terms between race and segregation showed that Asians living in segregated counties were less likely to die of COVID-19 than less segregated counties.

I am a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Urban Studies Institute, Georgia State University (GSU). My academic backgrounds include an MS in Geosciences, at GSU (expected in May 2022), and a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of West Georgia. At present, I am working on a project that involves examining the impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities to measure the broader health disparities using quantitative models.

Invited Conversation 4: Crafting Global Feminist Autoethnographies: Reflections on Decolonizing Pathways

Rituparna Patgiri

Rituparna Patgiri teaches Sociology in Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), University of Delhi. She has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology – an academic blog dedicated to promoting sociological consciousness amongst young students and scholars. Additionally, she is a host with New Books Network – a podcast that connects academic scholarship with public readership. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, gender, media and public life.

Network for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rio de Janeiro: Community Engagement and Intersectoral Collaboration in Disaster Risk Management

Camila Macedo Ponte and Patrícia Ferreira de Souza Lima

The Mountain Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro has geographic characteristics that place it as one of the most susceptible regions to landslides in Brazil. Added to its geography, a dynamic of irregular land use and occupation generates direct and serious impacts for the local population. Tragedies such as those of 2022 and 2011 show that extreme climatic events are increasingly frequent and that disaster risk management is still a challenge for governments, civil society organizations, and communities. The Civil Defense Agency has been working on the concept of prevention within communities for over twenty years. However, they do not always account for the social, economic, political, and cultural forces of communities affected by disasters. This work presents an initiative of citizens engaged in disaster risk reduction and community resilience in three municipalities of the State of Rio de Janeiro: Petrópolis, Teresópolis, and Nova Friburgo. The initiative culminated in the creation of the Network for Disaster Risk Reduction in Rio de Janeiro. The Network aims to integrate citizens, academia, civil society organizations, and public authorities in actions to reduce the risk of disasters from the perspective of human security. The Network provides for the transversal action of professionals, researchers, and communities in education projects and facilitation workshops for intersectoral collaboration and integration. In addition, it discusses unfolding developments in an inter-municipal consortium and in the creation of Community Civil Defense Councils that would aim to strengthen social control and community participation in disaster preparedness and management.

Camila Macedo Ponte is a PhD student at the Institute of Demography and Socio-Economic Studies of the University of Geneva (IDESO), Switzerland, researching youth and community participation in rural development initiatives in Brazil. Patrícia Ferreira de Souza Lima, Professor at the Federal Center for Technological Education of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Cefet/RJ), collaborator of the Graduate Program in Basic Education Teaching of the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (CAp Uerj) since 2014. PhD in Social History from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro UFRJ (2006). Researches the History of Petrópolis associated with the Historical Institute of Petrópolis since 2007.

Creating a Commons in the 21st century: The Experience of an Urban Food Forest in California

Elisa Privitera, Noa Cykman, and Tony Barbero

A context of social and ecological breakdown demands organized collective action to envision and build a livable world for humans and among all beings. The focus of our presentation will be the implementation of urban food forests, a community-nature-based practice that seeks to tackle problems such as ecological destruction, food insecurity, and the loss of community bonds, aiming at ecological regeneration, food justice, and sense of community. This practice is becoming progressively popular in many countries, including a case in Santa Barbara, CA, United States, where both authors have been active in the construction of the Isla Vista Food Forest since 2021, when it started to be implemented. The project is a collaboration of the Eco Vista collective, and the IVRPD (Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District), the public institution responsible for the management of local parks. Based on the empirical experience, on reports by other projects, and on theories regarding the commons, the common, and self-organization, we will discuss objectives, potential gains, and challenges of managing an urban food forest. We will look at Indigenous origins of such a kind of collective sustenance of common goods, and at the collaborations and/or tensions established between autonomous initiatives and public powers. Moreover, we consider the multispecies collaborations that are typical of such spaces. We believe nature-based solutions are of the utmost importance to promote the transition we need out of socio-ecological collapse, and we hope to contribute to the understanding of how such solutions are conducted by collectives in practice.

Elisa Privitera is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Catania (Italy). Currently, she is a Fulbright visiting student researcher at the Department of Environmental Studies at UCSB. Architect and urban planner by training, her Ph.D. research explores the hybrid field between engaged-community planning, environmental justice studies, and political ecology. Since July 2021 she collaborates with Eco Vista Project and in particular with the Eco Vista Planning thematic working group. She had years of experience with the LabPEAT- an action-research community eco-design lab in Catania. She is also a co-founder member of the social cooperative “Trame di Quartiere”.

Noa Cykman is a graduate student in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), supported by a Fulbright fellowship. She holds an M.A. in Political Sociology and a B.A. in Social Sciences from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, where she founded and coordinates the Utopia Lab (Laboratório da Utopia–Luta). Her research is currently focused on agroecology and urban food forests as ecological utopian experiences. She is one of the core members of the Eco Vista Food Forest, in Santa Barbara.

Tony Barbero is an agroecologist and community activist originally from San Francisco, California. He graduated in Sociology from UCSB, and has since specialized in drought tolerant regenerative agriculture.

Invited Conversation 4: Crafting Global Feminist Autoethnographies: Reflections on Decolonizing Pathways

Bandana Purkayastha

Bandana Purkayastha is a Professor of Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut.  Her research is on human rights, intersectionality, transnationalism, migrants, violence, and peace. She has won several awards for research and teaching excellence and for service and leadership, including two career awards: the Contribution to the field award by the Asia and Asian American research section of American Sociological Association (ASA), and. ASA’s Jessie Bernard award, which “which recognizes significant contributions to improving the lives of women” as well as SWS’s mentoring award.  She was President of Sociologists for Women in Society in 2013.  She currently serves on the elected 16 member executive committee of International Sociological Association, an organization with memberships from over 120 countries.

Not Asking to Be Their Step Wife: Patriarchy and Within Gender Struggles of Women Street Vendors in Urban Nepal

Vijaya Tamla Rai

Based on a case study of nine women street food vendors selling ‘panipuri’ in the streets of urban Nepal, this article aims to elucidate the women’s differential gendered experiences. Drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation, I examine the narratives of these women categorically diverse in terms of their ethnicity or caste and the strategies they use to negotiate with patriarchy as well as within gender stereotypes to be successful subsistence entrepreneurs in their everyday context. This case study found that the poor working-class women of high-caste Hindu and non-Hindu Janajati ethnic minority groups have differential strategies of navigating patriarchy while departing from their domestic territories into the urban public space. The distinct gender relations between the women street food vendors and the double bind patriarchy (i.e., family patriarchy and “state” patriarchy) expanded the existing dualism perspectives of women versus hegemonic masculinity as well as women versus the exclusionary city policies. The study illuminates the everyday life of different categories of women street food vendors and builds on the broader feminist debates about feminization of informal economy in the Global South. Evidence from this research offers a vivid example of how socio-economically disadvantaged women in patriarchal societies and emerging economies of the Global South navigate and secure their positions in private space of family and public space of society as valuable income generators and promising subsistence entrepreneurs.

Vijaya Tamla Rai is a PhD student and Teaching Assistant – Lecturer at Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This paper is based on Vijaya’s M.Phil. dissertation research in Nepal. He earned his M.Phil. in Development Studies and M.Ed. in Environment Education and Sustainable Development from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Vijaya is a lifelong learner and teacher. He currently facilitates Social Inequality course at UW-Milwaukee.

Setting the Scene: A Critical View on Mentoring Programs for Social Inclusion From a European, and Therefore Too Narrow Perspective

Eberhard Raithelhuber

Mentoring has spread enormously, in particular in schemes that rely on volunteers. Studies show that “personal relationships” can become a key asset for negotiating belonging and achieving social protection, especially for vulnerable groups. In recent years, multi-actor coalitions promote mentoring as an effective tool of intervention. Political decision makers provide funds for programs and use them as flaking measures, e.g. in the pandemic. This happens amid cutbacks in public spending and growing social inequality.

Dr. Eberhard Raithelhuber is a social scientist based in social pedagogy and social work. He has published on child and youth care, social support and intervention, disadvantaged social groups and social exclusion, youth and young adults, transitions in the life course, regional development and networks, mobilities, refugees, social policy, citizenship and democracy, transnationalism and migration, and agency. In September 2021, he joined the Bertha von Suttner Private University St. Pölten, Austria, as Professor for Social Intervention and Transformation. Prior to this he was Assistant Professor at the Department of Educational Science of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria (2014–21). There, he was awarded the “venia docendi” (highest authorisation to teach) for the subject “educational science” in 2019, based on his postdoctoral Habilitation dissertation “Youth Mentoring for ‘Unaccompanied Refugee Minors’ as Social Problems Work ‘in Limbo’. A Case Study at the Intersections of Personal Life, Social Support for Marginalized People, and Popular Engagement.”

Being and Becoming in Exile and the (Im)possibilities of Belonging

Mayssa Rekhis

Mayssa Rekhis is a medical doctor, anthropologist, educator, writer, and activist. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences: EHESS-Paris and a lecturer at the University of Gothenburg’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.  Her doctoral research is situated in between psychological and medical anthropology, exploring the experiences, discourses, and practices related to trauma and trauma-therapies in relation to forced migration and exile, in the Swedish context.

Racial Capitalism and Automation: The Impacts of Technological Change on Race

Fernando Augustin Renteria

There has been more discussion about racial capitalism among scholars in recent years. Racial capitalism is the thesis that capitalism involves institutionalization of racism and discrimination against people on the basis of race. Under capitalism we also see constant technological innovation since this is an important way in which capitalists generate profit. How then does technological innovation impact racial inequality under capitalism? For example, the introduction of automation will reduce the number of low-skilled workers. This means that if there is a disproportional representation of workers of color in this category, then this will lead to greater racial inequality as technology advances. But, if there is higher college attendance among students of color as technology progresses, and these students are able to secure jobs in the high technology sector such as coding, then technological innovation may not increase racial inequality. COVID-19 has brought us closer to a world of automation and many people may be out of work. Humans have always known work for several millennia. One solution is the need for universal income, or people may end up homeless. How will this impact African American, Latino and other workers of color in particular? To address this question, I will first review the current debate about racial capitalism in order to explain racial inequality under capitalism. After that, I will draw on the writings of scholars’ such as Ricarda Hammera and Tina M. Park, Christian Fuchs, and Larry Liu and Alejandro Portes to show how they approach the relationship between technological innovation under capitalism and race.

I am currently a graduate student in Sociology at California State University, Los Angeles. I earned my bachelor’s degree in 2020 in Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles.

Building Networks Along Global Value Chains: The IG Metal l Network Initiative

Hendrik Simon

While companies operate across national borders in global value networks, trade union strategies of organizing transnationally are often still in their early stages of development. In view of the asymmetry between global production beyond borders and trade unions operating (for the most part) within national borders, this finding may not come as a surprise. Nevertheless, more recently it has been possible to identify innovative transnational trade union approaches to organizing global value networks. This talk will focus on such an approach: the International Network Initiative (Netz werkinitiative, NWI) of IG Metall, launched in 2012 with the aim of contributing to more intensive cooperation between trade unionists of an international company across national borders. The talk will discus s the challenges facing and opportunities given to the NWI and refers to a scientifically documented practice case in the global automotive value networks: starting with the transnational trade union organizing in Lear Corporation, a Tier 1 supplier, and continuing at the moment in t he context of Mexico. The contribution is also to be understood as a status report on ongoing research, and as an invitation to discourse.

Hendrik Simon is lecturer at Goethe University Frankfurt and Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. Furthermore, he is freelance researcher at the IG Metall HQ in Frankfurt.

Fostering Systemic Change with Mentoring : A European Approach

Fiona Soler

Mentoring has been a part of the development of European civil society for more than 20 years. In the past decade, more and more mentoring programs emerge. As practice and evidence show, mentoring is a unique instrument that can be connected to a diversity of European, national and regional challenges and priorities. It works – under the right conditions – for different topics, target groups, goals and organizations. In the past years during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have witnessed the undoubted need and the power of mentoring. There have been numerous examples that mentoring services are needed now more than ever. In these hard times of social distancing across Europe, mentoring organizations have made great efforts to keep their programs alive and to expand their work.

Governments have taken a step forward and have selected mentoring as a powerful tool to address increasing social inequalities. As a result, France and Spain have both build a public policy upon mentoring with two very different approaches who have initiated transforming outcomes for the mentoring field. 

Fiona Soler strongly believes in mentoring as a powerful tool to promote diversity, social inclusion and moreover human social change. That is why she made social mentoring her field of expertise. Since 2015, she has worked to promote and develop mentoring programs in Europe, fostering long-lasting mentoring relationships for a larger audience. She is currently working as an international consultant, supporting the public, the private and the non-profit sector in implementing and improving mentoring programs and policies. She is a fearless advocate for mentoring who implements effective solutions in periods of change.

Addressing Inequalities Post-Covid through PM-GKAY: Analyzing the World’s Largest Free Food Distribution System of India

Sanjay Tewari

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), or the Prime Minister Modi’s Free Food Distribution Scheme to the Poor provides for 5 kg of rice or wheat per person per month to be distributed free of cost to the 800 million beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act, in addition to the subsidized grains already distributed under that law. This scheme was initiated at PM Modi’s call to address the continuing economic stress caused by the pandemic. Given the fact that inefficiency in delivery and corruption marked the public distribution system since Independence, depriving the poor of free ration in the country, this scheme has turned to be a big relief for the vulnerable class, who otherwise would have been subjected to more ugly faces of inequalities. At a time when there is economic slowdown all over, and with the given fact that food grains are high in prices, this scheme has shown poor the light of the day. With a system of no loopholes in the distribution strategies, this has come as a great relief to the poor class. Inequality in the form of non provision of the basic necessities of life, i.e .food, and in particular during and after this pandemic, would have added fuel to fire. The food activists, as of now, have started campaigning that the current scheme be extended for another six months, given the fact that it is already in place for more than twelve months. The Government feels that as the economic situation is now reviving, thus there is no need now for further extension of this scheme. The politics through food activists is now in the process of influencing the patterns of participation, as these food activists may seem legitimate in their demands, but more illegitimate when it comes to visualizing the perspective of the Government. This contribution is a genuine attempt to visualize & capture those inequalities which might have risen to unendurable heights but for this Scheme. It will also try to investigate the paradigm shift in change of patterns of the political parties who in their aim of achieving political mileage, go to an extent of advocating the concept of freebies & crippling this lower or lower middle class.

Institutionalism at Work: Gendered Perceptions of the Work-Life Conflict in Single Parenthood

Dries Van Gasse and Nina Van Eekert

Combining work and family is one of the core challenges for contemporary families. Expectations regarding social roles in work and family are increasing parents’ perceived stress after transitioning to parenthood (Hennekam et al., 2019). There is an intersectional inequality in how this struggle is experienced by parents across family constellations and gender. Regarding family constellations, single parents are regarded to be more prone to work–life conflict than their married, cohabiting, and childless counterparts (van den Eynde et al., 2019). In terms of gender, women have been identified as more vulnerable in terms of work–life conflict given their sociocultural role as caretakers and related motherhood penalties in the workplace (Benard & Correll, 2010). This intersectional relationship has spurred a vast amount of research on the work–life conflict mainly discussing empirical differences in perceived work-life conflict amongst men and women (Gordon et al., 2011; Stephens, 2017; van den Eynde et al., 2019). Despite this attention, there remains a theoretical gap in the literature on knowledge describing how perceived gender role expectations change the perception of this work-life balance (Grönlund & Öun, 2018; Van den Eynde, Vercruyssen, & Mortelmans, 2019). After all, the work-life problems faced by men and women are similar, but they are also intrinsically different. This can be explained by the historical mirror of gender norms, which is also known under the term household specialization. Whereas household specialization can be functional in families, it becomes problematic in times of union dissolution. Families have to keep up both with increasing norms regarding involved parenting while maintaining the high expectations workplaces can have (Hari, 2017; Whiley et al., 2021). Since the division of paid and unpaid labour is gendered in the pre-divorce families, it can be assumed that the work-life conflict that comes after is gendered as well. Therefore, this contribution focuses on the research question: “How do men and women cope differently with changing their organization of work and life after divorce or separation?”.

Dries Van Gasse is a Postdoc Researcher and visiting professor at the centre for Population, Family and Health (CPFH) at the University of Antwerp. His main research interests are single parenthood, work-life balance, ageing, family solidarity and co-housing at a later age. He currently coordinates the research project: Family Solidarity. Nina Van Eekert (social worker & doctor in sociology and health sciences) obtained her PhD in November 2020, having written her thesis on the medicalization of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Egypt and Kenya. As a post-doctoral researcher she continues her research on FGM/C, and expands her expertise to the broader field of sexual and reproductive health & rights and gender studies. Moreover, she coordinates a qualitative research project on student wellbeing in higher education during the Covid-19 pandemic. She strongly values the nexus between academic research and the field.

Migration, Sex Work, and the Conditional Belonging of the Nordic Model

Niina Vuolajärvi

Niina Vuolajärvi is an assistant professor at the London School of Economics’ European Institute. Her interdisciplinary research is situated in the fields of migration, feminist and socio-legal studies. Her past projects have investigated migrant sex work, prostitution and migration policies, post-deportation experiences, and race and colonial legacies in Europe. Her doctoral work presented a vast three-country ethnographic study on the intersection between migration, sex work, and the Nordic Model.

The Druze in Israel — The Nation-State of the Jewish People

Gay Young, Doran Eldar, and Aizenose Akhabau

In 2018, the Israeli Knesset enacted the so-called Nation-State [of the Jewish people] Law. The law was met with large-scale protests – notably by Druze, who were joined by Jewish Israelis from the political Left. We explore the questions:  How do varyingly located Druze community members articulate the community’s reactions to the Nation-State Law; and what do their reactions suggest about actions to shape and secure the place of the Druze in the Israeli state?  This ethnic-religious Arab minority of about 115,000 people is distinctive partly because the state conscripts young Druze men to serve in the Israeli military and the state has established an education system for the Druze separate from the system for Palestinian citizens of Israel. We analyze 18 interviews conducted from late 2019 through summer 2021. Among the interviewees are eight women and ten men, ranging in age from 30s to over 60; they are academics, community leaders, former military officers, politicians and professionals. We draw on Yuval-Davis’s (2006) ideas about the politics of belonging related to: political values, such as loyalty; social-political processes of identification; and positioning of social groups. We also draw on Al-Halabi’s (2018) categories for reading the law: breech of a covenant; loss of Israeliness; revelatory of Druze actual status in the state. Among the findings are: the diminished significance of the historical covenant between the Druze and the Jews; the fitness of making the normative claim that citizenship forms the basis for Druze/minority rights in the state; discrimination, deliberate fracturing and complexity of identity affect what struggle/s Druze engage; an inward turn for rethinking/transforming the place of Druze in the state is ongoing. We conceptualize Druze-ness as a “condition” (Salih et al. 2021) in which political struggle requires an intersectional space of appearance; [that is,] “an affective multi-sited political space that makes visible the continuum of systems of subjugation and expropriation across liberal democracies and settler-colonial regimes” (1137).

Doron Eldar is a doctoral student in Cultural Geography at Uppsala University in Sweden. She is a Jewish Israeli from the Galilee. 

Gay Young is Professor and Chair of Sociology at American University in Washington, DC.  She is a WASP American married to a Jerusalem Palestinian. 

Aize Akhabau is a Political Science major at Exeter University in the UK.  She is Black British from London.  We were brought together through Gay’s seminar on Intersectionality: Theory and Practice in which Doron and Aize were students during the time were studying Abroad @ AU.