In the latest interview in the book series, Dr. Norma Mendoza-Denton, UCLA Anthropology Professor, discusses her highly anticipated, co-edited book Language in the Trump Era: Scandals and Emergencies that examines the power of language and how President Trump has used it to further his agenda.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

1:15 – What made you decide to do a book on language in the Trump era?

2:14 – What is the power of language?

5:44 – How has Trump’s language regarding women, Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQ+ impacted society?

10:04 – What is the impact of social media and 24-hour news cycle on spreading narratives?

12:40 – What do these narratives say about Trump and those who agree with him?

19:06 – Why is this an essential book to pick up right now?

To learn more, check out Dr. Mendoza-Denton’s book Language in the Trump Era: Scandals and Emergencies.

 

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.

Dr. H. Samy Alim, UCLA Professor of Anthropology and David O. Sears Presidential Endowed Chair in the Division of Social Sciences, and Dr. Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Emerita, recently released an opinion piece in The New York Times titled “Of Course Kamala Harris Is Articulate.” They challenge the often used description that high-achieving Black people are “articulate.” They assert that these types of descriptions are highly problematic and offensive, because the exceptional descriptions imply that the opposite is true of other Black people. As co-authors of the book Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S., Drs. Alim and Smitherman further explain why comments like these denigrate Black Americans, even if done unintentionally.

To read the full op-ed, please click HERE.

Left image: The inaugural public event hosted by the Black Feminism Initiative, held in February, featured a conversation between local reproductive justice advocate Kimberly Durdin, left, and UCLA graduate student Ariel Hart.
Top right image: Audience at the event.
Bottom right from left: Kali Tambree and Jaimie Crumley, student co-coordinators of the Black Feminism Initiative.

The UCLA Newsroom recently spotlighted the UCLA Black Feminism Initiative, which was launched by the Center for the Study of Women in 2019 under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Haley. Its mission is to support, develop and perpetuate Black feminist scholarship and ideas among the campus community. It also offers mutual aid for the interdisciplinary approach and community-engaged research of its graduate students. Dr. Haley believes this initiative will make higher education and UCLA more aware of the work of Black feminists of the past, present, and future.

“In the current cultural moment, Black feminism has a lot to teach us all about institutionalized modes of care, and institutionalized modes of harm,” Dr. Haley is quoted as saying about the Black Feminism Initiative. To read the fully story written by Jessica Wolf, click HERE.

 

Click HERE to learn more about the Black Feminism Initiative and click HERE to learn more about the Center for the Study of Women.

 

In the latest interview of the book series, we learn that one in four people went to debtors’ prison. The Poverty of Disaster is a historical account of financial insecurity in Eighteenth-Century England. Dr. Tawny Paul‘s approach to look at everyday economics and how it impacts the social and emotional lives of the English middle class leads to uncovering how incarceration and fear played a role in the precariousness of their status. This book also speaks to the economic crisis today and traces the continuities of a capitalist system. 
Interview Chapters:
0:00 – Intro
0:36 – Genesis of the Book
1:49 – Book summary
3:48 – Other major findings, including debtor’s prison
5:20 – The role of fear
7:55 – How findings connect to current events
10:59 – Who would benefit from reading this book?

To learn more, check out Dr. Paul’s book The Poverty of Disaster: Debt and Insecurity in Eighteenth-Century Britain.

 

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.

The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new Data Point focused on the “Lost Wages Assistance” program that started on September 7th in California. After Congress couldn’t come to an agreement about a second stimulus plan, the President put forth this program. CPL’s research team found that about 192,000 California workers will not qualify to receive the $300 benefit, because they do not already receive at least $100 in unemployment insurance benefits. The vast majority (82.5%) of people who will be ineligible to receive the $300 benefit are adults over the age of 20. Over 60% of ineligible claimants are female and over 57% have a high school degree or less.

UCLA Director of the California Policy Lab, Dr. Till von Wachter, told The Sacramento Bee, “While the program will be a temporary boost for unemployed Californians, it’s a 50% reduction from the $600 that unemployed Californians were previously receiving.”

 

 

To read the “Data Point,” click HERE.

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

In 2019, the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW) collected Policy Briefs on the theme “Confronting the Carceral State, Reimagining Justice.” The call for submissions was developed by CSW Director Grace Hong and the Black Feminism Initiative Director Sarah Haley. The review committee included Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law), Amy Ritterbusch (UCLA Department of Social Welfare, Luskin School of Public Affairs), Stephanie Davidson (UCLA School of Law), and Dylan Rodríguez (UC Riverside Department of Media and Cultural Studies).

Six briefs were collected from UC graduate students and system-impacted individuals:

Editor: Katja Antoine, Program and Research Developer, CSW

To download the complete set of policy briefs, click HERE.

To learn more about CSW’s policy briefs, click HERE.

By Sophia L. Ángeles, Graduate Student Researcher; Janna Shadduck-Hernández, Project Director, UCLA Labor Center; and Saba Waheed, Research Director, UCLA Labor Center

This past June, the UCLA Labor Center, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Community College District Dolores Huerta Labor Institute and California State University, Long Beach, published two studies examining workers and learners—college students who also work—and their unique educational and work experiences. We employed a methodology that was student-driven, engaging more than 450 undergraduate students to collect 869 surveys and conduct 75 interviews with UCLA, California Community College, and California State University workers and learners across Los Angeles County. Our hope is that these findings will provide information for colleges, employers, and policymakers to improve conditions for workers and learners.

Two-thirds of workers and learners work every single term of their undergraduate careers—the new normal for many students pursuing higher education. A majority work in low-wage jobs in the service industry. Forced to work as many hours as possible to make ends meet, two-thirds miss at least one educational opportunity because of work duties. Juggling work and school leads many to forgo internship and work-study opportunities in their fields of study that could improve opportunities in their future careers. Their situation is so stressful and overwhelming that 40% of workers and learners have considered withdrawing from school.

Graphic: Eunice Ho

Iris López, a recent UCLA Labor Studies graduate, explains the predicaments workers and learners face in their struggle to attend school and keep up with living expenses:

“My biggest concern has always been my ability to finance my education. My mother is a single parent who works in the fields. I feel guilty asking for help because I know she is struggling herself. Education should not cost us our ability to eat or cause concern over how we’re going to pay the next few units.”

 

Graphic: Eunice Ho

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for workers and learners, as half were laid off, terminated, or furloughed in April and May. As schools moved to minimize the spread of COVID-19, one quarter of workers and learners were forced to make housing changes, such as moving back in with family or vacating student housing. The housing situation has further impacted learners who must attend classes remotely while managing home responsibilities, like caring for younger siblings or family members who have fallen ill.

Graphic: Eunice Ho

What can be done?

Current trends point to increasing tuition and living expenses for college students, making it likely that more will have to work to offset those financial burdens.

Addressing the needs of workers and learners requires investing in California’s education system to achieve the following:

  • Support learners as workers by ensuring a living wage, accommodating work schedules, and supporting students’ workplace organizing efforts.
  • Strengthen career and educational pathways by making career resources more accessible, supporting paid internships that advance career goals, and increasing opportunities for networking and mentorship.
  • Support workers as learners by making college affordable or free and expanding work-study opportunities.
  • Provide holistic support by increasing access to mental health services and addressing food and housing insecurity.

 

Report: Unseen Costs: The Experiences of Workers and Learners in Los Angeles County (click to download)

Brief: A Survey of Los Angeles Workers and Learners During COVID-19 (click to download)

 

Sophia L. Ángeles is a graduate student researcher with the UCLA Labor Center’s Worker and Learner project and a UCLA PhD candidate. Her research focuses on the intersection of immigration and language to examine newcomer youths’ educational experiences and their K–16 trajectories.

Janna Shadduck-Hernández, Ed.D., is a project director at the UCLA Labor Center and teaches for UCLA Labor Studies and the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research and teaching focus on developing culturally relevant, participatory educational models with first- and second-generation university students, community members, and youth, with a focus on the organizing efforts of low-wage workers to combat labor and workplace violations.

Saba Waheed is research director at the UCLA Labor Center. She has over fifteen years of research experience developing projects with strong community participation. With her team at the Labor Center, she coordinated the first ever study of domestic work employers, launched a study of young people in the service economy, and conducted research on the taxi, garment, nail salon, construction, and restaurant industries.

UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (LPPI) and the Alianza for Youth Justice have released a new “Call to Action” report titled “The Latinx DATA GAP in the Youth Justice System.” This report shows that inconsistent data collection methods complicate race and ethnicity tracking across different stages in the youth justice system.

“As our country undertakes a long overdue reckoning on race and justice, it is critical that Latinos be included in the conversation,” said Sonja Diaz, Founding Director of the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative and one of the report’s co-authors. “Far too often we are overlooked, but to effectively address inequities in the justice system, especially the egregious disparities facing Black Americans, policymakers and advocates need accurate data on Latinx youth. This new report details the challenges of collecting data on system-impacted youth and offers a way forward so that leaders can craft viable solutions based on facts as we reopen our economy and transform failed systems.”

Findings:

1. Today, Latinx youth represent 25%, or about 8.3 million, of the total U.S. youth population between ages 10-17.

2. State agencies involved in the criminal justice system collect data that identifies Latinx youth inconsistently if at all, creating an incomplete picture of Latinx ethnic data.

3. States report racial/ethnic data inconsistently across the 3 points of contact: arrests, detention, and probation.

  • 42% of states did not report racial or ethnic data for arrests
  • 30% of states did not report racial and ethnic data for detention
  • 52% of states did not have racial or ethnic data for probation

To read the full report, click HERE.

To learn more about UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, visit: https://latino.ucla.edu/

In the latest session of the book series, Come Out, Come Out Whoever You Are author and UCLA Professor and Chair of Sociology, Dr. Abigail Saguy talks with LA Social Science about her new book. Come Out… examines how rhetoric is borrowed by different social movements in order to gain public attention and policies that can help groups beyond the LGBTQ Community, such as undocumented immigrants. Her book also examines the importance of intersectionality within these movements.

Interview Chapters:

0:00 – Intro

0:55 – What brought you to this topic?

6:05 – What is the main argument of the book?

10:34 – How does the rhetoric of coming out allow groups to gain recognition and social change?

14:33 – How does this relate to current events?

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

17:18 – Final thoughts, why pick up this book?

To learn more, check out Dr. Saguy’s book Come Out, Come Out Whoever You Are.

 

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.

 

The historic selection of Senator Kamala Harris, as the first Black woman and Asian American woman to be a major party’s vice presidential nominee, has sent ripples throughout the American landscape. UCLA’s Newsroom, recently asked UCLA Faculty to share their insights on this historic selection.

The following faculty members and center directors from the UCLA Division of Social Sciences were quoted:

Natalie Masuoka, Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian American Studies;

Grace Kyungwon Hong, Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and Professor of Asian American Studies;

Sonja Diaz, Founding Executive Director of The Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs;

Juliette Williams, Professor of Gender Studies; and

Ellen DuBois, Professor Emerita of History.

To read the UCLA Newsroom article written by Jessica Wolf, click HERE.