sociology

For the Record: June 19, 2014

Faith Nibbs, Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, presented at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of a panel on “Achieving Self-Reliance: Paving the Way for Safe, Lawful and Sustainable Livelihoods.” She is director of SMU’s Forced Migration Innovation ProjectRead more at the SMU FMIP blog.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has published “Muscle as Fashion: Messages From the Bodybuilding Subculture.” The article appears in Volume 16, No. 7 (July 2014) of Virtual Mentor, a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.

For the Record: April 28, 2014

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, participated in the 2014 Pacific Sociological Association annual meetings in Portland, Oregon, serving as moderator and discussant for two sessions on the sociology of religion: “Secularization of Society” and “Research-in-Progress.”

 

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For the Record: Aug. 28, 2013

Alice Kendrick, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Meadows School of the Arts, has received an Outstanding Service Award from the Advertising Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), one of the largest communication associations in the United States. Kendrick received the honor along with her research partner Jami Fullerton, an advertising professor at Oklahoma State University, at the association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., in early August. The award is presented annually to a member of the AEJMC Advertising Division for dedication to the arts and sciences of advertising teaching, research and service. Kendrick and Fullerton were honored for their work as co-editors of the AEJMC’s Journal of Advertising Education and their “high-visibility research projects that benefit educators and students,” according to an AEJMC announcement.

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has published “The Tucson Massacre: Deconstructing Competing Claims,” Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, Volume 40, Number 2, Summer 2012, pp. 72-86. He also addressed the International Social Theory Association in Copenhagen, Denmark in June 2013 with a presentation entitled Domestic and International Trafficking of Women: Social Pathologies in Contemporary Civilization.

Sheri Kunovich, Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the 2012-13 Margareta Deschner Teaching Award from SMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Council. The honor recognizes excellence in teaching about women, gender and/or sexuality.

SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters, a liaison for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Southern Border Initiative, led a child abduction and trafficking training seminar July 9-10, 2013, at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. More than 70 national, regional and local law enforcement leaders participated in the event, which used exercises and discussions to improve investigation collaborations between Mexican and U.S. authorities.

Four named 2013-15 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

2013-15 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors Robert Krout, Luis Maldonado, Sheri Kunovich and Thomas Carr

Four SMU professors were honored with 2013-15 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professorships during the University’s May Board of Trustees meeting (left to right): Robert Krout, Luis Maldonado, Sheri Kunovich and Thomas Carr.

Four of SMU’s best teachers have been named 2013-15 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. This year’s honorees are Thomas Carr, Mathematics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Robert Krout, Music Therapy, Meadows School of the Arts; Sheri Kunovich, Sociology, Dedman College; and Luis Maldonado, World Languages (Spanish), Dedman College.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Carrie La Ferle, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts; Tom Mayo, Law, Dedman School of Law; and James Sullivan, Art, Meadows School of the Arts.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. “These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE website. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.” The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

More about this year’s honored professors under the link.

(more…)

For the Record: May 3, 2013

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, participated in an invited panel discussion, Outside the Silo: The Interdisciplinary Teacher-Scholar, at the annual meetings of the Southern Sociological Society, held March 23-27, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta. He also presented a paper, The Tucson and Norway Massacres: Deconstructing Competing Narratives, in a session on Types of Crime and Victims.

Ron Wetherington, Anthropology, Dedman College, has been selected as a panelist for the Texas Education Agency in the review of proposed new science textbooks for the state. He will assess high school biology texts for 2014 adoption by the state Board of Education. The review runs from May to July 2013.

Shannon Woodruff, a Ph.D. candidate in the research lab of Nicolay Tsarevsky, Chemistry, Dedman College, was one of four national recipients of the Ciba Travel Award in Green Chemistry awarded annually by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The annual award sponsors the participation of high school, undergraduate and graduate students in an ACS technical meeting, conference or training program to expand the students’ education in green chemistry. Woodruff used his award in April to attend the 245th National Meeting of the ACS in New Orleans, where he presented his research on “Well-defined functional epoxide-containing polymers by low-catalyst concentration atom transfer radical polymerization.” Tsarevsky’s lab focuses on the synthesis of polymers with controlled molecular weight and architecture, and precise placement of specific functionalities including biomedical applications such as controlled delivery and imaging.

For the Record: April 11, 2012

Anthony Cortese, Sociology, Dedman College, has published an entry, “Advertising” (pp. 8-13) in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, edited by George Ritzer (New York: Blackwell, 2012). He participated in The Social Construction of Femininity and Self-Objectification at the Pacific Sociological Association in San Diego, California, and gave an invited presentation during the 2012 History of the Discipline and Association Plenary Session of the National Association for Ethnic Studies in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Megan Bond Hinrichsen, a graduate student in anthropology in Dedman College, has received a 2012 Fulbright Grant to study in Ecuador. She will conduct research there during the 2012-13 academic year.

Research Spotlight: Study shows scientists want more children

Stock photo of woman scientist with test tubesNearly half of all women scientists and one-quarter of male scientists at the nation’s top research universities said their career has kept them from having as many children as they had wanted, according to a new study by Rice University and SMU.

The study, “Scientists Want More Children,” was authored by sociologists Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice and Anne Lincoln of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The research appears in the current issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

For the past three years, Ecklund and Lincoln have been studying what junior and senior scientists in physics, astronomy and biology think about discrimination, family life and the state of their careers. They found that both men and women say having a science career means they will have fewer children than they wanted, “because of the long hours and the pressure of publishing and grant-getting needed to get tenure,” Ecklund said.

Survey data from more than 30 research universities and 2,500 scientists indicated that twice as many women (45.4 percent) as men (24.5 percent) reported that they had fewer children than they wanted as a result of having a career in science, Ecklund said. The researchers expected to find that women would be harder hit by this reality than men. However, when they did more analysis, they found that women were actually more satisfied with their lives than were men. And having fewer children than wanted has a more pronounced effect on life satisfaction for male scientists.

“The fact that having fewer children than desired has a greater impact on men’s life satisfaction is an important finding because most research on the relationship between family life and pursuing a career in science has focused almost exclusively on the lives of women,” Ecklund said.

The study also provides insight into the impact of family factors on the projected career track for those just entering the profession. Among junior scientists (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows), a greater proportion of women than men worry that a science career will prevent them from having a family. When surveying graduate students, the researchers found that 29 percent of women but only 7 percent of men worry that a science career will keep them from having a family.

“It is not surprising that by the time scientists reach the postdoctoral level, women are much less likely than men to report considering a tenure-track academic job at a research university,” Lincoln said.

Ecklund and Lincoln also confirmed earlier work done on family life and science careers. They found that in contrast to men (11.5 percent), a greater proportion of women (15 percent) were dissatisfied with their roles as faculty members. Both men and women with children work fewer hours than those without children. But Ecklund and Lincoln said they were surprised to find that women with children do not work fewer hours than men with children (54.5 hours for women vs. 53.9 hours for men).

Courtesy of Rice University

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

Research Spotlight: Study shows gender gap in scholarly awards

Stock photo of scientist in laboratoryWomen scientists must confront sexism when competing for scholarly awards, according to a new analysis.

Research funded by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the Association for Women in Science found that female scientists win service or teaching awards in proportion to the number of women in the Ph.D. pool for their discipline, says SMU sociologist Anne Lincoln.

However, that’s not the case for awards for their research, says Lincoln, one of three authors on the analysis, which was reported in Nature. The number of women who win scholarly awards is far fewer, the authors report.

“Using data in the public domain on 13 disciplinary societies, we found that the proportion of female prizewinners in 10 of these was much lower than the proportion of female full professors in each discipline,” the authors write.

Why the gap? Lincoln, an assistant professor in the Sociology Department of Dedman College, and her co-authors point to the award selection process.

An analysis found that selection committees carry out their duties with few guidelines, minimal oversight and little attention to conflict-of-interest issues, the authors write. The researchers’ investigation found that the chances a woman will win an award for her research improve if a woman is serving on the committee. But many committees have no female members, few have female chairs, and there are few female nominees, said the authors.

Nomination letters for women typically include personal details and contain stereotypically female adjectives, such as “cooperative” and “dependable,” the authors report in the article.

“Notices soliciting nominations, by contrast, tend to use language that fosters male images, such as ‘decisive’ or ‘confident,'” they say.

Co-authors were Stephanie H. Pincus, founder of the RAISE Project, sponsored by the Society for Women’s Health Research; and biochemist Phoebe S. Leboy at the University of Pennsylvania and past president of the Association for Women in Science.

Seven U.S. science societies are working now with the Association for Women in Science and using the findings to change selection committee practices, say the authors.

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read more from the SMU Research blog

Research Spotlight: Why women now dominate the veterinary field

Woman vet with horseWomen now dominate the field of veterinary medicine – the result of a nearly 40-year trend that is likely to repeat itself in the fields of medicine and law.

That’s the conclusion of a new study that found three factors that appear to be driving the change: the 1972 federal amendment that outlaws discrimination against female students; male applicants to graduate schools who may be deterred by a growing number of women enrolling; and the increasing number of women earning Bachelor’s degrees in numbers that far exceed those of male graduates, says sociologist Anne Lincoln.

SMU sociologist Anne LincolnAn assistant professor of sociology in SMU’s Dedman College, Lincoln (right) is an expert on how occupations transition from being either male- or female-dominated. Her study is the first of its kind to analyze the feminization of veterinary medicine from the perspective of examining the pool of applicant data to U.S. veterinary medical colleges from 1975 to 1995, Lincoln said.

As of 2010, the veterinary profession is about 50 percent men and 50 percent women, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, while enrollment in veterinary medical colleges is about 80 percent women.

Conventional occupational research identifies a flip in the gender make-up of a profession by looking at the number of men and women who get hired into that profession, Lincoln said. The current study broke with that convention and instead measured the number of male and female applicants to veterinary medical colleges.

By quantifying the number of men and women attempting to enter veterinary medical colleges the study could determine whether feminization is caused by gender bias in the acceptance process. Lincoln found no evidence of acceptance bias.

“There was really only one variable where I found an effect, and that was the proportion of women already enrolled in vet med schools,” Lincoln said. “So perhaps a young male student says he’s going to visit a veterinary medical school, and when he sees a classroom with a lot of women he changes his choice of graduate school. That’s what the findings indicate.”

The study puts to rest the long-held notion that men are more concerned than women about the cost of tuition and salaries when choosing a professional field, according to Lincoln.

“There’s always been this notion for any field that feminizes that women don’t care about salaries because they have a husband’s earnings to fall back on,” Lincoln said. “But this study found that men and women are equally affected by tuition and salaries, and that what’s really driving feminization of the field is what I call ‘preemptive flight’ – men not applying because of women’s increasing enrollment. Also, fewer men than women are graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, so they aren’t applying because they don’t have the prerequisites.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reports that for the academic year 1980-81, the number of men and women earning Bachelor’s degrees was about the same, around 460,000. From that year on, however, the number of women earning a Bachelor’s increased much faster than the number of men. For 2009-10, 811,000 women earned Bachelor’s degrees, compared to 562,000 men.

In addition, veterinary medicine began to shift after the 1972 passage of Title IX, the federal amendment that prohibits discrimination against female students. The amendment forever altered the way vet med colleges responded to female applicants, Lincoln said.

“I found that after 1972, when the barriers to entry were dropped, women began enrolling in larger numbers,” Lincoln said. “Male applicants dropped sharply after 1976, the first year that applicant statistics were collected.

“That’s why this study is really pushing the boundaries,” Lincoln added. “This is an occupation that is changing even as I analyze it, so I can watch it as it’s changing. Indications are that it will continue to shift even further toward women, beyond the current 50-50.”

The same phenomenon likely will be seen in coming years in the male-dominated fields of medicine and law, given the increasing numbers of women now entering those fields.

“We can use veterinary medicine as a predictor of what is going to happen in medicine and law,” Lincoln said. “It may take 27 years for medicine and law to become gender-integrated. The pharmacist profession earlier experienced this ‘occupational jostling.’ It takes decades for a profession to feminize because an occupation that is mostly male is going to have generational turnover as the more senior practitioners retire.”

Written by Margaret Allen

> Read the full article and find more links at the SMU Research blog