Dr. Shana L. Redmond, UCLA professor in the departments of African American Studies and Global Jazz Studies Musicology, has been elected President of the American Studies Association (ASA) from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. The association is made up of researchers, teachers, students, writers, activists, curators, community organizers, and activists from around the world who are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. culture and history in a global context.

When asked about this appointment, Dr. Redmond said, “I am humbled to have been selected by my colleagues to lead the American Studies Association, an organization composed of dynamic, paradigm-shifting scholars and creators within and beyond the academy. The labors of past presidents established the organization as one with commitments to global justice, and I look forward to continuing in the urgent work of envisioning and practicing new worlds.”

LA Social Science congratulates Dr. Shana L. Redmond!

As summer 2021 approaches, LA Social Science will be highlighting some of the summer courses being offered within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

UCLA Summer Courses are open to BOTH UCLA Students and NON-UCLA Students. All Summer 2021 courses will be offered online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enroll as long as you are 15 years of age or older by the first day of summer and you do NOT have to be enrolled in an academic institution in order to participate in UCLA Summer Sessions. For more information, click HERE.

UCLA Department of Communication is offering a wide array of amazing courses. Below we will highlight two of them. For more information about these courses, click HERE, and register/enroll HERE Today!

Summer Session A

Check out Dr. Michael Suman’s UCLA ONLINE summer course, “Communication in Intimate Relationships” (Communication 114).

Nothing is more important to us than our intimate relationships. What are the building blocks of successful relationships? What makes us attracted to other people? How important are first impressions? How and why do men and women approach relationships differently? What types of verbal and non-verbal communication are key for successful relationships? What is and how important is commitment? How can we stay committed and content? What types of communication are dysfunctional and how can we avoid them? What do we expect from our relationships and how can we get what we desire? What is the difference between friendship and love? What are the different types of love and attachment? Does romantic love last? How important is sex in relationships? Who gets jealous and why? What are the consequences of lying and betrayal? How can inevitable relationship conflict be effectively managed? How and why do relationships end? How can you effectively maintain good relationships and repair troubled ones? Learn all this, and much more. Having studied the modern science of close relationships, you should be better equipped to understand, create, and maintain happy, rewarding relationships that last.

Even though I took this class during the summer, the hardest time to focus, I was always interested and excited to go to class. The concepts that Suman teaches in CS 114 can be applied to your everyday life. Understanding relationships and how the female and male minds differ was eye-opening. Though it seems like a foreign concept to talk about personal relationships in a college course, it was incredibly helpful to my life, and interesting as well. The reading assigned in this class was very easy to get through since it was so relatable. I actually kept this book and refer back to it from time to time. Suman requires you to know the material from lecture and in the book very well, but this made me remember it today and use it to understand differences in my own relationships. Whether you are a communications major or not, I would highly recommend this class for the sake of your future relationships.

Communication Studies 114 is one of my favorite classes at UCLA. People always say, “What do you want to do with a Communication Studies major? Do you want to be a journalist or a news reporter?” But honestly, there are classes in the Comm department unlike any you’ll ever take, and CS 114 is one of them. CS114 is about Intimate Relationships – one of only two such courses on this campus. The readings are fantastic – interesting, applicable, and well written. And Professor Suman is a great lecturer, well-read and very knowledgeable. The topics covered in class are incredibly insightful and useful for everyday relationships as well as intimate ones. Even if you have never been in an intimate relationship (as was my case), the class is quite helpful for understanding the workings of relationships and how to be successful in them. You learn everything from common pitfalls in relationships (like trying to mind read) to how to remedy and mediate conflict with your partner. This class has had an incredible influence on how I communicate with my friends and co-workers, and all for the better! I’ve used things I’ve learned in CS114 in countless situations (and as recently as last week!). So, what can I do with a Communication Studies degree? Anything I want! Because I’ve learned how to effectively discuss feelings and desires with people in a vast array of settings, intimate or otherwise. Do not miss out on this class! It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about something that everyone wishes he/she understood better.

Summer Session C

Check out Dr. Michael Suman’s UCLA ONLINE summer course, “Persuasive Communication” (Communication 140).

What comes to mind when you think of persuasion? Presidential candidates trying to get you to vote for them? Websites shamelessly promoting products and companies? Charismatic political and religious leaders trying to get you to see things their way? Lawyers trying to get you to convict–or find their client innocent? Can you think of any time when the media or some attractive communicator changed your mind? Have you ever been convinced to buy something that you didn’t need or even want? Have you ever been talked into an unnecessary car repair? Have you ever been persuaded to loan money to a friend only to discover that she had no intention of paying you back? On the other hand, have you ever been helped by persuasive communication? Have you ever been talked into giving up some bad habit? Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that gave you a new and positive attitude? Have you ever been convinced by someone to look at the world in a new way? Have you ever been persuaded by a teacher that you had potential that you had not known you had? How and why are we persuaded in some instances, but not others? This class examines persuasion through media, interpersonal, psychological, and sociological lenses. It systematically explores the processes, complexities, and subtleties of persuasion in everyday life.

I took Comm 140 the summer after my first year at UCLA.  I initially took this class to prove to myself that I was capable of getting an A in a Comm class, after I dropped the ball in the previous one I took. However, my motives quickly changed once I took my seat on the first day of Session C. The content of this class sparked my interest, and dare I say it, this was the first class to do so at UCLA. My favorite feature of this class was how it did not stop at presenting you with the information, but it took everything a step further by giving examples of the concepts’ implementations of real life. I believe Professor Suman did a remarkable job of not only teaching in a clear and organized manner, but also by choosing the perfect book for this course. “Yes!” by Robert Cialdini is the only book I bought during my four years of college that I actually kept after the course was over. Altogether the course holds a plethora of content that is applicable to life, whether you are an entrepreneur, looking to get a job in corporate America, or even presenting proposals for projects. I recommend this class to anyone who sees value in communication. This is a class that receives a 10/10 rating from me.

I took CS140 in the summer session C in 2017 and it was one of the best choices I have made. Doctor Suman is no doubt a good teacher who is patient, knowledgeable, and thoughtful. As a foreign student, I might have some difficulties understanding some concepts during the class. Doctor Suman always explained to me patiently. He made sure we could put those theories into practice and utilize them properly. The readings assigned in class were also relatable and instructive. I kept the two books for daily utilization. With all those theories, I can persuade people and make people say YES when I need to reach agreement with others, in moral ways. Also, I can prevent myself from being persuaded by merchants and advertisers if I don’t need to purchase their products. I even used some of the theories from the class in a graduate school paper which brought praise from my teacher. I believe CS140 is a course that can be highly recommended.

Dr. Justin Dunnavant, an incoming professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology, recently had his work with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) featured on WUSA9 news in Washington, DC. Dr. Dunnavant’s research seeks to share the whole truth about the experience of African Americans by unearthing artifacts from some of the highest and lowest places on earth. The Slave Wrecks Project is focused on salvaging artifacts from the wreckage of slave ships around the world. Dr. Dunnavant states that there is history, particularly underwater history, that hasn’t been uncovered. “Dunnavant has done work in Africatown, Alabama, a city that was formed by African Americans after the emancipation of enslaved people. Many of those in the town crossed the Atlantic on a ship named the Clotilda — the last known slave ship to reach the United States.”

To learn more about this important research, check out WUSA9’s print and video coverage HERE.

LA Social Science presents a new video abstract series that provides a summary or preview of current academic research that you can watch a UCLA scholar explain in a few minutes. Our inaugural episode features Dr. Laura C. Chávez-Moreno, Postdoctoral Scholar at the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, who will join the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o & Central American Studies Department as an Assistant Professor in July 2021.

Journal Abstract:

U.S. teacher education has largely overlooked a sociopolitical-historical context that affects both immigrants and nonimmigrants: American empire. To address the pressing need for teacher education to acknowledge U.S. imperialism, the author stages an argument in three parts. First, she argues that the field should account for empire and its impact on immigrants, and suggests conceptualizing immigrants within a nuanced framework of white supremacy. Next, she relates her own immigrant counternarrative to expose masternarratives that operate against immigrants. By sharing her journey toward understanding imperialism and her own positionality, she also contributes an immigrant perspective to the field. Third, the author introduces the concept of imperial privilege, inviting the field to recognize and challenge masternarratives. The author concludes by inviting readers to historicize U.S. imperialism in their research and practice, and thus embrace more humanizing narratives. While the argument focuses on the United States, it also applies broadly to other high-income imperialist countries.

To learn more, check out her article, “U.S. empire and an immigrant’s counternarrative: Conceptualizing imperial privilege,” that was recently published in Vol 72, Issue 2, 2021 of the Journal of Teacher Education, which is one of the top high-impact journals in the field of education.

 

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“The Micro-Level Determinants of White-Black Segregation: Beyond Spatial Assimilation and Place Stratification”

Presented by Amber Crowell

March 31st @ 1:00 pm ET, 10:00 am PT

Dr. Amber Crowell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fresno. Her research focuses on residential segregation, housing, and social inequality.

Abstract: In this study we undertake a quantitative analysis of the locational attainments of Black households in metropolitan areas of the United States using restricted-use microdata and new methods for segregation analysis. Using a superior reformulation of the separation index, a well-known measure of residential segregation, we disaggregate the index into individual locational outcomes and analyze the household-level characteristics that affect Black locational attainments and directly predict overall White-Black segregation in 25 of the largest metropolitan areas. The advantage of disaggregating the separation index is that we can not only micromodel segregation, but we can also perform regression standardization and decomposition analysis to test prevailing theoretical arguments on the microlevel determinants of segregation. We find that while some factors, such as education and income, affect Black locational attainments in ways that align with the spatial assimilation hypothesis, race group membership is a major primary contributor to overall levels of White-Black segregation, which lends support to the place stratification framework. Additionally, we find that contrary to traditional assimilation theory, U.S.-born Black householders experience more segregation from White householders than foreign-born Black householders. We argue that this finding could potentially be understood through segmented assimilation theory, which posits that there are multiple assimilation trajectories in a racially stratified society. For Black households, spatial assimilation can mean increased residential separation from White households.

The details about this lecture are listed below:

Login Details
Webinar link:
https://uscensus.webex.com/uscensus/onstage/g.phpMTID=ef6d2c40cd3604e4a2a008d021d95ea72
For Phone Audio
Dial-in number: 1-800-779-0641
Participant passcode: 5574602 #

For Computer Audio
For 1-way listen only computer audio, please click Audio Broadcast button in WebEx. If it does not connect, please use the telephone audio above.

Event number:  199 061 5244
Event password, if requested:  #Census1
*This password may be required when using certain mobile devices.

 

The UCLA Census Research Data Center is part of a growing network of Federal Statistical Research Data Center data centers across the United States that is hosting data from an increasing number of U.S. and state government agencies. To help build a network of users and inform potential users of ongoing research and new data developments, the new seminar series will bring together users and interested researchers from across the U.S.

The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new analysis of California unemployment insurance (UI) claims as part of a policy briefs series publishing research conducted in partnership with the Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department.

Overview
Historically, the share of unemployed workers receiving regular UI benefits (recipiency rate) in California has been relatively low (as has also been the case in other states). This Data Point combines administrative data from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) with monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data to construct an improved recipiency rate to measure the extent to which unemployed and underemployed Californians are receiving regular UI benefits.

Dr. Till von Wachter, a co-author of the analysis, UCLA economics professor and faculty director at the California Policy Lab, says about this new analysis, “The share of unemployed workers receiving UI benefits tends to rise during economic downturns, but even during the Great Recession, we didn’t approach the high rates that we’re seeing now.”

Three key findings from this new research:
1) The recipiency rate in California has increased dramatically over the course of the crisis, from about 50% in April to nearly 90% in December.  
The analysis found that over 2.5 million unemployed Californians were not receiving regular UI benefits in April and May 2020, and while some of these workers likely received benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, at least 500,000 workers did not. As the share of workers receiving regular UI benefits increased, the number of workers not receiving regular UI benefits decreased, hovering at around 250,000 in the last four months of 2020.
2) There are geographic disparities in the rates of UI benefit collection that correlate with income, race and ethnicity, access to technology, and other social and economic factors. In counties with higher median household incomes, a larger share of their unemployed workers tended to receive UI benefits, while a smaller share of unemployed workers received benefits in counties with higher poverty rates.
3) CPL’s Recovery Index highlights substantial county-level differences in the economic recovery. Higher-income counties have recovered more quickly than lower-income counties, while counties with a higher share of Black and Hispanic residents have seen slower recoveries than counties with more White residents.

To see the map which tracks the Labor Market Recovery, click HERE.

To see table code of County Level Measures of Economic Recovery and UI Recipient Rates, click HERE.

To read CPL’s latest policy brief on this issue, click HERE.

UCLA Big Data and Politics Seminar Series

Political Coalitions and Social Media: Evidence from Pakistan

 

Paul Staniland
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Chicago

 

 

Asfandyar Mir
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
CISAC, Stanford University

 

 

Tamar Mitts
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University

 

Friday, March 19, 12 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Zoom link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/95120128333?pwd=ZmE1L2QwYkFQQnlyb2xGZ0owVTRaQT09

Meeting ID: 951 2012 8333 / Passcode: 962226

(Users must sign in to Zoom to access the meeting.)

Abstract: We offer a new conceptualization of social media politics that emphasizes the importance of studying coalitions among political actors, especially in contexts where multiple state and non-state actors interact in murky ways and pursue a broad range of tactics for broadcasting their messages. We present new data on the politics of social media in the run-up to and aftermath of Pakistan’s 2018 general election. The campaign involved both intense, large-scale electoral mobilization and recurrent, credible allegations of influence by the country’s politically powerful army. We analyze millions of Twitter and Facebook posts in English and Urdu by major political actors and their followers before and after the 2018 election to identify patterns of normal mobilization and coordinated manipulation. In addition to descriptive patterns, we identify alignment of narratives between political actors, as well as coordinated activities used to push out particular messages across multiple types of clusters, from dissidents to the military to major political parties.

In Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability and Political Violence in Turkey, UCLA Anthropology Professor Salih Can Açiksöz examines the relationship between masculinity and disability with the stories of disabled veterans of Turkey’s Kurdish war. By chronicling the everyday lives of these veterans, Dr. Açiksöz captures the complexity of the state’s role in shaping how the veterans’ political activism unfolds.

Interview Chapters:

0:04 – Intro

0:52 – What is the main argument of the book?

3:43 – How does this book lead to a more nuanced account of the relationship between masculinity and disability?

7:47 – What do the disabled veterans’ lives tell us about their relationship to the state and their political activism?

10:51 – How is this book relevant to contemporary times? Why should it be read/assigned?

To learn more, check out Professor Açiksöz‘s book, Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability and Political Violence in Turkey.

 

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This Women’s History Month Take-Over features Dr. Safiya Noble, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, African American Studies, and Gender Studies, and Dr. Sarah Roberts, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and Labor Studies at UCLA. They are the co-founders and co-directors of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). They discuss the importance, now more than ever, of social science research at the intersection of technology and society. Follow the center on Twitter @C2i2_UCLA and visit www.c2i2.ucla.edu for more information about the center’s cutting-edge research on the effects of social media and internet platforms on vulnerable communities and tech workers.

Happy Women’s History Month!

 

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Conducting a focus group with Mixtec farmworkers in Madera, California, 2018. Photo by Leopoldo Peña.

by Sayil Camacho, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; and Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Project Director, UCLA Labor Center

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) contracted with the UCLA Labor Center to evaluate the LWDA’s educational resources on workplace rights and health and safety for California farmworkers. The goal was to ensure that those resources were accessible to Mexican immigrant and Indigenous populations who may have limited or no English or Spanish literacy.

Most California farmworkers are Mexican immigrants (68%), and a third of those are Indigenous. They are multi-ethnic and multilingual; Spanish is not their first language, and they are more likely to be fluent in Mixteco, Zapoteco, Triqui, or Mayan. The Labor Center developed an evaluation system that allowed us to assess the literacy levels, language barriers, and accessibility of LWDA educational resources to identify the communication barriers that made Mexican immigrants and Indigenous people more vulnerable at work. In addition, we presented LWDA with a series of recommendations guided by the lived experiences of Mexican immigrants and Indigenous people: (1) support workplace rights and access to health and safety information; (2) build coalition-based support within the workforce and in collaboration with community advocacy groups; and (3) translate educational resources into oral-based languages.

Our goal was to understand why Indigenous farmworkers experience higher levels of poverty and more discrimination within and outside of the workplace and how those experiences create communication barriers. More specifically, we sought to understand the ways that power functions to disenfranchise Indigenous people politically, socially, and economically and exacerbates linguistic and cultural barriers. The examination of power within communication is referred to as a “structural humility” approach, which obliges researchers to recognize and affirm the human dignity of immigrant and Indigenous people. Our research challenged standard cross-cultural competency methods by operationalizing Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and critical race theory.

Using a structural humility approach grounded in the lived experiences of Indigenous migrant workers, we were able to identify the forces that determine workplace vulnerabilities, the shift in attitude required by the LWDA to reduce the number of worker rights violations and on-the-job injuries and deaths, and the practices needed to make LWDA’s educational materials truly accessible.

The process of creating academic knowledge has historically failed to center the experiences and voices of Indigenous peoples or break down the hierarchy of knowledge production between researchers, organizations, stakeholders, and historically marginalized populations. Collaborative research must do the extra work to identify the structures that separate academics from community collaborators and research participants. As the Zapotec intellectual Odilia Romero explained, “Bene shtill shla gune ratgr gushalgshu disha chego concha bi gat disha checho da bguan bene gurase checho, le kate gat disha cha, ka na gat neda [White people have to open the path and talk to us so that our word will not die, because when my word dies, I will die too].”

 

Access the full article “Lost in Translation ‘en el Fil’: Actualizing Structural Humility for Indigenous Mexican Farmworkers in California” HERE.

Sayil Camacho (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles) is the inaugural director of the master’s in leading organizations program in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests aim to actualize transformative reform for oppressed and repressed populations.

Gaspar Rivera‑Salgado (PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz) is a project director at the UCLA Labor Center, where he teaches classes on work, labor, and social justice in the United States, and immigration issues.