Dr. Scot Brown, a UCLA professor and musician, talks with LA Social Science about his published books, current music project, and future research projects.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

1:21 – Is there a book or an album that has help you to get through this pandemic?

3:19 – Tell us about your book “Fighting for Us”

9:36 – Tell us about your upcoming research which focuses on Dayton?

14:58 – How do you balance academia and music?

19:23 – In this moment, how does music create a foundation for the current movement?

23:00 – Talk about the intention behind the video for “Last Man

26:17 – Closing

To learn more, check out Dr. Brown’s book, Fighting For Us.

Also read Dr. Brown’s quote in The New York Times about Ankara Print and it’s significance for the African American community if it goes mainstream.

In the first interview of the book series, Heredity Under the Microscope author Dr. Soraya de Chadarevian, Professor in the Department of History and the Institute for Society and Genetics, speaks with LA Social Science about her new book that examines the history of research into chromosomes and heredity.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

1:04 – Why study the history of chromosomes?

2:12 – What is the main argument of the book?

2:48 – Key findings

5:32 – Conversations around studying the genome

9:06 – How does understanding history of chromosomes help us understand contemporary debates?

12:16 – How did an interdisciplinary approach help with this book?

14:22 – Why would this be a great book to assign in class?

15:35 – Closing

 

Subscribe to L.A. Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA’s Division of Social Science experts and other faculty about upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.

UCLA Professor Stephen Acabado recently co-authored an essay for INQUIRER.net that discusses how monuments in the Philippines “glorify both our fight for self-determination and the contributions of our colonial overlords.” The authors credit the #BlackLivesMatter movement for this renewed investigation into monuments and the histories they represent, as they urge the reader to see monuments as elevations of history.

A pre-war photo of the Plaza Quince Martires in Naga City. The monument honors the 15 martyrs of Bicol who were executed by the Spanish in 1897 for rebellion. (Photo: Savage Mind: Arts, Books, Cinema)

To read this essay, click HERE.

Leading expert and pioneer in his field, UCLA distinguished Professor Otto Santa Ana takes us through a historical and contemporary account of how stereotypes of Latinos in the media have led to anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policy. He also discusses his latest research that was cited in the recent Supreme Court decision that upheld Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:46 – How do media narratives affect Latino stereotypes?

6:04 – Analysis of Trump’s language about Latinos and the Supreme Court fight for DACA

11:13 – What do you say to new scholars who want to have an impact?

15:50 – Final thoughts

18:37 – Closing

To learn more, check out Dr. Santa Ana’s book, Brown Tide Rising.

 

Subscribe to L.A. Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA’s Division of Social Science experts and other faculty about upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.

UCLA Political Scientist and Race, Ethnicity, and Politics expert Dr. Natalie Masuoka discusses how changing demographics have affected the last elections. She describes how Asian American and Latino voters are advocating for their communities and are involved at the local, state and national levels. She also gives us some insight into how these voters may impact the presidential election this November.

00:00 – Intro

00:55 – How are the growing demographics of Latino & Asian Americans affecting elections?

01:38 – What are some specific issues Latinos and Asian Americans are advocating for?

03:10 – Barriers to voting

04:18 – What are political parties doing to incorporate Latino & Asian American voters?

06:00 – Data on how these communities are affecting state, local, and national elections

08:23 – Projections on how these voters will make a difference in the 2020 presidential election

09:33 – Closing

To learn more about Dr. Masuoka‘s research, check out a recent report by the Latino Policy & Politics Initiative (LPPI) and the Asian American Studies Center titled “Democratic Primary 2020: Analysis of Latino and Asian American Voting in 10 States” (June 2020). This ten state analysis of high density Latino and Asian American voting precincts offer valuable insights into the preferences and participation of these electorates going into the November election. Among those states in which we have data, the Latino and Asian American electorates did not grow significantly when comparing ballots cast between the 2016 and 2020 primary elections. The exception to this pattern was among high density Asian American precincts in Texas where the growth of new voters was strong. While the COVID-19 pandemic may partially explain the slow growth of voters, it does suggest that the Democratic party can do more to mobilize Latino and Asian American voters for the general election. Given the fact that Vice President Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee when Latino and Asian American voters had offered strong support for Sanders in state primaries, Democrats will need to make solid efforts to encourage Latino and Asian American voters to turn out in November. To read the full report, click HERE.

 

Subscribe to LA Social Science and be the first to learn more insight and knowledge from UCLA social science experts in upcoming video/audio sessions and posts about current issues.

In a recent Washington Post (Monkey Cage) essay, Dr. Efrén Pérez, UCLA Professor of Political Science and Psychology, discusses how all racial minorities have been in solidarity with one another during the current anti-racism protests. His research suggests that rather than participating as individuals of separate racial identities, they are probably acting as politically engaged members of a shared group and identifying as “people of color.” He writes:

“My research reveals that the label “people of color” was created by — and for — African Americans and has evolved into an identity that politically mobilizes many nonwhites toward common goals — unless “people of color” feel that others in the coalition are ignoring their own racial group’s unique challenges.”

To read the full article, “‘People of color’ are protesting. Here’s what you need to know about this new identity,” and to learn more about the research into this new identity, click HERE.

Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA Professor of Graduate Studies of Education and Information Sciences and Bedari Kindness Institute Faculty Advisory Committee member, recently co-authored a hybrid academic/journalistic piece in Salon discussing how tech elites have captured our fascination, while pushing pathways that likely disenfranchise almost everyone except themselves. Dr. Srinivasan and Mr. Peter Bloom write:

“Our blind trust in digital technology has not only had a huge impact on economic and political realities, but also our beliefs and aspirations; from what we consider to be progress, to the stories we tell ourselves around who an innovator is. Perniciously, these stories even appear to be fodder for those hoping to escape a supposedly unredeemable society and unsaveable planet. Whether due to global pandemics, climate crises, nuclear proliferation, or gross economic and political inequalities, collapse seems always right around the corner, if not here already, and the wealthiest and most powerful in our world are planning for it and profiting from it while the rest of us are left to accept our fate.”

To read the full article, “Tech Barons Dream of a Better World — Without the Rest of Us,” click HERE.

 

Photographer: Madelene Cronjé

Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley, UCLA Professor of African American Studies and Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, was recently interviewed for Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill. In the podcast episode, Dr. Kelley provides historical context for the current abolitionist movement by discussing numerous key moments and issues, including the Tulsa race massacre, criminalization of community, racial capitalism, a third Reconstruction era, and social justice movements. To listen to the full interview and to read the transcript, click HERE.

MicroOne/Adobe Stock

UCLA Professors Akihiro Nishi and Michael Irwin and colleagues co-authored a paper that was published in Nature‘s Scientific Reports titled, “Mindfulness Meditation Activates Altruism,” on April 16, 2020. Dr. Nishi and Dr. Irwin are affiliated with the Bedari Kindness Institute within the UCLA Division of Social Sciences. The paper finds that mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, and improves emotion regulation due to modulation of activity in neural substrates linked to the regulation of emotions and social preferences. The abstract is included below and the full paper can be found HERE.

Abstract

Clinical evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, and improves emotion regulation due to modulation of activity in neural substrates linked to the regulation of emotions and social preferences. However, less was known about whether mindfulness meditation might alter pro-social behavior. Here we examined whether mindfulness meditation activates human altruism, a component of social cooperation. Using a simple donation game, which is a real-world version of the Dictator’s Game, we randomly assigned 326 subjects to a mindfulness meditation online session or control and measured their willingness to donate a portion of their payment for participation as a charitable donation. Subjects who underwent the meditation treatment donated at a 2.61 times higher rate than the control (p = 0.005), after controlling for socio-demographics. We also found a larger treatment effect of meditation among those who did not go to college (p < 0.001) and those who were under 25 years of age (p < 0.001), with both subject groups contributing virtually nothing in the control condition. Our results imply high context modularity of human altruism and the development of intervention approaches including mindfulness meditation to increase social cooperation, especially among subjects with low baseline willingness to contribute.

grandriver/Getty Images

“Indigenous Peoples across the country continue to be disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. As of May 18, 2020, the Navajo Nation has the highest Covid-19 case rates surpassing New York, the pandemic’s epicenter in the United States. As the virus spreads, Indigenous Peoples and nations in the United States face stark disparities in accessing resources to protect their communities—not the least of which relate to data.”

In this recent Items article, Dr. Randall Akee, UCLA Associate Professor of Public Policy and American Indian Studies, and Dr. Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, UCLA Assistant Professor in Sociology and American Indian Studies, along with Dr. Stephanie Russo Carroll, Annita Lucchesi, and Dr. Jennifer Rai Richards come to the conclusion that Indigenous communities need more data that advance Indigenous rights and interests, and they need action to hold the federal government accountable to its treaty obligations and advance systemic change that dismantles racism.

To read the complete article titled, “Indigenous Data in the Covid-19 Pandemic: Straddling Erasure, Terrorism, and Sovereignty,” click HERE.