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UCI Social Sciences 

Welcome to the August 2011 issue of the Social Sciences

Upcoming Events

Olive Tree Initiative to host annual send off for students leaving on Middle East learning trip

Event Calendar

Social Sciences
in the Media

Black America feeling heat over budget

Huge cuts could imperil recovery, economists say

Report casts doubt on forecasts for California high speed rail

Who's checking credentials for wage 'experts'?

Jerry Brown and Latinos

How cuts will change the Black middle class

Where's the beef?

Hispanic, white achievement gap hasn't narrowed

Immigrants who were celebrities in home countries face abrupt change in status

Hammond professor honored in Austria

Aging economics: China's population imbalance

Jobless rate rise cause for angst

Change the environments that make people sick

Hispanic achievement gap persists despite interventions

Illegal immigration from Mexico continues decline

ANCA summer internship kicks off 2011 session

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UCI sociologist provides a sobering rejoinder to China's red revival

New book by Yang Su details atrocities committed in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution

July 1 marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, an occasion which China celebrated with Mao-inspired pageantry as major cities staged musicals and rallies attended by thousands dressed in red. Amidst the fanfare, UCI sociologist Yang Su saw more than the seemingly joyful celebrations. He cautions that such commemoration glorifies the Chinese Communist Party history and glosses over its "hellish reality of violence." He is the author of Collective Killing in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution, a sobering reminder of the bloodshed that enveloped the country more than four decades ago under the rule of the communist country's first leader, Mao Zedong. Drawing upon local archives, personal interviews and witness accounts, the book provides detailed reports on extreme violence which pitted neighbors against one another as categorical executions of "class enemies" were carried out. Since its release in February, the book has received strong reviews in international publications. Here, the associate professor discusses the dark side of the Chinese celebration through stories he discovered during his research.

Read on...

How cuts will change the Black middle class

Op-ed by Katherine Tate, political science professor, as featured in the New York Times July 25, 2011:

As a political science professor, I teach skeptical students that politics matters. It matters which party is in control, and who we select as our leaders. I have to explain the same thing to cynical students in my black politics classes, too. While some students express doubts that the elections of blacks have improved conditions for blacks, they have. Shut out from voting and from government, they were shut out from their fair share of government jobs, too. As African-Americans became more influential politically through the Voting Rights Act, the black power movement and their electoral mobilization, they were able to enter into promising careers in government.

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Maurer addresses USAID on challenges for mobile money regulation in developing world

Catch the replay online

With nearly 80 percent of the world's population having access to mobile phone service, the functions these powerful handheld devices serve are constantly evolving and can sometimes escape industry or regulatory attention, says Bill Maurer, anthropology professor and Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion director. On July 25, he was the featured speaker at USAID's Mobile Financial Services Seminar in Washington, D.C., an event that brought together non-profits, government regulatory agencies and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about the developing mobile money industry. Focusing on his National Science Foundation-funded research and the work of his institute, Maurer discussed the unexpected things people do with cash, coin and cell-phones, ranging from ceremonial offerings to SIM-card swapping, various forms of cash pooling and airtime arbitrage. He also highlighted some potential problems these uses pose for regulation and consumer protection, as well as existing and proposed solutions.

Catch a replay online...

Surprising findings from minimum wage critic

Study by UCI economist finds merits behind higher minimum wage – when coupled with Earned Income Tax Credit

In a study published in the July issue of Industrial and Labor Relations Review, UCI economist David Neumark finds that a high minimum wage, when coupled with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), increases employment and earnings among single mothers, especially those with very low family incomes. The findings are surprising, says Neumark, given that most of his work has focused on the adverse effects of minimum wages on low-skilled workers. The study, co-authored with William Wascher, senior associate director of the Federal Reserve's Division of Research and Statistics, is based on Current Population Survey data from 1997-2007, with detailed information on state minimum wages and state EITCs.

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Sadiq is elected chair of ISA's Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section

Two-year chair-elect term begins in 2011 with full chair role beginning in 2013

Kamal Sadiq, political science assistant professor, has been elected as chair of the International Studies Association's Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section. He will serve as chair-elect from 2011-2013 and begin his two-year term as full section chair in 2013. Sadiq's research interests include comparative politics and immigration in developing countries, with a particular focus on India, Southeast Asia and Asian security. He is the author of Paper Citizens: How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries in which he takes an in-depth look at "documentary citizenship" - immigrants' use of forged documents or illegally obtained authentic passports to prove residency or citizenship. Etel Solingen, political science professor, is currently serving as president-elect of the International Studies Association. Her term as president of the 4,000+ member organization begins in 2012.

Read on...

Huffman receives 2011 Scott Award from American Sociological Association

Honor recognizes best published article on organizations, occupations and work

Matt Huffman, sociology associate professor, has been named as the 2011 recipient of the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship for his paper, "Engendering Change: Organizational Dynamics and Workplace Gender Desegregation, 1975-2005." Co-authored with Philip N. Cohen and Jessica Pearlman, both of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the paper appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Administrative Science Quarterly. The W. Richard Scott honor is awarded annually by the American Sociological Association's Organizations, Occupations and Work section for the best article in this sub discipline. The professors will receive their award at the association's annual meeting which will take place August 20-23, 2011 in Las Vegas.

Read on...

College-educated undocumented young adults face same narrow range of jobs as their parents

New study by sociology alumnus sheds light on life trajectories of undocumented young adults raised in America

Parents who move to the United States without legal status generally seek better opportunities for their young children. Their kids grow up Americanized: speaking English, attending public school, going to the prom and dreaming about what they want to do when they grow up. Many assume these youths will achieve more than their parents. But a survey of life trajectories of undocumented young adults raised and educated in America shows that they end up with the same labor jobs as their parents, working in construction, restaurants, cleaning and childcare services. The results appear in the August issue of American Sociological Review. Roberto G. Gonzales, assistant professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and a graduate of UCI's doctoral program in sociology, authored the survey and carried out the study while at UCI and the University of Washington.

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SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Olive Tree Initiative to host annual send off for students leaving on Middle East learning trip

Sunday, August 21, 2011, 12:00 p.m. @ UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom

UCI's Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) is hosting its annual Bon Voyage Celebration on August 21 to raise money for, and bid farewell to, its fourth group of student ambassadors who will be leaving for the Middle East on August 29. The afternoon celebration will include a Middle Eastern-themed luncheon, opportunity drawing and presentations by OTI students. Special performances by comedians Amir K. and Mike Batayeh of the Sultans of Satire: Middle East Comic Relief will kick-off the event.

Read on...

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