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UCI Social Sciences 

Welcome to the September 2011 issue of the Social Sciences

Upcoming Events

Fall Quarter Instruction Begins

Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide

"Main Street UCI" photo exhibit featuring the work of anthropologist Frank Cancian

SoundWalk 2011 featuring "The Whole World Blind" by UCI anthropologist Roxanne Varzi

Event Calendar

Social Sciences
in the Media

Obama nominee pulled back on minimum wage defense

Homegrown companies have huge economic impact

Krueger isn't just a pretty face, say his economic peers

For Texas 'miracle,' cut the cost of doing business

Obama halts deportations...300,000 to get amnesty

Why extraditing Mexico drug traffickers could strengthen U.S. gangs

Why the U.S. doesn't have Mexico-style drug cartels...yet

Americans are angry. Why aren't they protesting?

Good job guys! The economy tanks.

Panel finds flaws in high-speed-rail forecasts

Interview: Jeanette Baker, author of Catriona

Huge cuts could imperil recovery, economists say

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You be the expert

UCI cognitive scientists want your help forecasting the future

Do you know what the price of gas will be in six months? How about the stock price of Google at closing bell on September 8, or the extent of the expected U.S. troop strength drawdown in Afghanistan by year's end? As an individual, predicting the outcome of these events with any degree of confidence or accuracy may seem the stuff of science fiction, but UCI cognitive scientists say it's possible. "As a group, people are collectively more intelligent than you might think," says Mark Steyvers, cognitive sciences professor. "We all possess knowledge about different things; some more than others. If we pool these pieces of knowledge together, we can get a pretty accurate look at the big picture." It's called the wisdom of crowds effect, and Steyvers, along with cognitive scientists Michael Lee and Bill Batchelder, are hoping to get your help putting it to the test.

Read on to provide your input...

Embarking on a new adventure

Anthropology professor Bill Maurer takes the reins as associate dean in School of Social Sciences

He may have a bone to pick with the whip-wielding Indiana Jones, but Bill Maurer, UC Irvine anthropology professor and director of the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion, can't deny more than a few parallels between himself and the archaeology professor of cinematic fame. Both are teachers with a sense of adventure. Maurer, like Indy, is perfectly comfortable behind the scenes of international museums. (He's currently helping the British Museum construct its new money exhibit.) Both can carry off a fedora, and - like Dr. Jones in his latest big-screen appearance - Maurer also recently added the title of associate dean to his growing list of credentials.

Read on...

UCI-directed documentary on Bracero Program to air on PBS stations nationwide

Harvest of Loneliness, directed by Gilbert Gonzalez, Chicano/Latino studies, and Vivian Price, political science doctoral alumna

Since its premiere at UC Irvine in May 2010, "The Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program," has received positive reviews at film festivals and screenings worldwide, earning the Cinelatino Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival in 2010 and the Best Educational Film Award at the Amsterdam Film Festival in 2011. Directed by Gilbert Gonzalez, UCI Chicano/Latino studies professor emeritus, and Vivian Price, an alumna of UCI's political science doctoral program, the film explores historical accounts of migrant Mexican farm workers brought into the U.S. from 1942-1964 under the temporary contract worker program known as the Bracero Program. Check it out during the month of September as the documentary will be airing on PBS stations throughout the country.

Click here for a Q&A with the directors, a local OC schedule of air dates, and to view a trailer...

Boellstorff's Coming of Age in Second Life inspires virtual machinima

Video available on YouTube, courtesy of Spiral Silverstar

The writings of Tom Boellstorff, anthropologist and author of Coming of Age in Second Life, set the narrative for this digitally produced movie clip known as a machinima. Check it out, courtesy of Spiral Silverstar.

Click here for video...

Americans are angry. Why aren't they protesting?

An op-ed by David Meyer, sociology professor, as featured in the Washington Post August 12, 2011:

There's something exciting, sometimes terrifying, about people taking to the streets to get what they want. In Cairo's Tahrir Square, they gathered to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. In Athens, demonstrators set up a gallows in front of Parliament, threatening the socialist government, which was imposing austerity measures in the face of 15 percent unemployment. Most recently, in London and across England, young people have assembled at night, looting stores and burning cars to demand - well, that's not clear yet. Whether you're inspired or appalled depends on your politics. Demonstrators who play to our hopes are heroes; those who challenge our beliefs are at best misguided and at worst terrorists. Regardless, those in the streets carrying petrol or placards project their anger and aspirations to an audience as broad as possible. When they're successful, we talk about their concerns as well as their tactics. What about here in the United States?

Read on...

Why the U.S. doesn't have Mexico-style drug cartels...yet

An article by Nathan Jones, political science graduate students, as featured on Insightcrime.org August 16:

Why are there no large drug cartels in the U.S.? The short answer is because it has lots of small ones. A longer answer might be that there are large drug cartels: they are called prison gangs. These organizations maintain a tight grip on street gangs, which are the primary retail distributors of drugs in the United States. Prison gangs provide crucial protection for jailed members of these groups, and recruit from their ranks. They also negotiate the relationship between major Mexican drug cartels and street gangs.

Read on...

UCI sociology makes strong showing at annual American Sociological Association meeting

Faculty and graduate students earn awards and key positions on section councils

Between their book, paper and career awards, elections to committee council positions, and numerous research presentations, UCI sociologists made a strong showing at the August annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas. In addition to previously announced awards, Chancellor's Professor Frank D. Bean earned the section on International Migration's Distinguished Career Award, while department chair David John Frank earned the Best Scholarly Article Award from the section on Global and Transnational Sociology for his paper, "Worldwide Trends in the Criminal Regulation of Sex, 1945 to 2005." David John Frank and Judith Stepan-Norris were elected chairs-elect of the sections on Sociology of Law and Political Sociology, respectively, and the following UCI faculty were elected to section council positions: Nina Bandelj, Global and Transnational Sociology; Susan Brown, International Migration; and Cynthia Feliciano, Latino/Latina Sociology. Graduate student Emma Spiro was elected as a council member of the section on Mathematical Sociology.

Read on for a full rundown on award winners and council member elections...

UCI named among 'Best in the West' by Princeton Review

One of 121 institutions recommended in the rankings

UCI is one of the best colleges in the West, according to The Princeton Review, a nationally known education services company. It's among 121 institutions recommended in the "Best in the West" section of "2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region," posted online Aug. 1. The Princeton Review calls UCI "a serious public school in sunny Orange County and a good fit for studious undergrads looking to benefit from the University of California's famous faculty and ample research opportunities." It adds: "Because the campus attracts the best and the brightest, students at UC Irvine can say hello to a Nobel laureate on the way to class and then see an Olympic gold medalist practicing with the women's volleyball team in the same afternoon."


SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide

Book talk with Joshua S. Goldstein, American University, Washington, D.C.

Read the newspapers, and war seems worse than ever. In reality, says author and American University professor Joshua S. Goldstein, the decade since 9/11 has been the most peaceful worldwide in the past century. In his up-coming UCI book talk, find out why he says evidence supports this claim, why people don't believe it, and why he credits the United Nations for much of this progress.

Monday, September 26, 2011
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Social Science Plaza A, Room 2112

Goldstein will be available for book signings following his talk.

Learn more...

SPOTLIGHT EVENT: Main Street UCI Photo Exhibit

Photos captured by UCI anthropologist emeritus Frank Cancian detail life on UCI's Ring Road

The plaza is the center of public life at UCI. On some days, it can be fairly quiet, whereas on others, it becomes "Main Street," lined with the canopies and tables of itinerant merchants, advocates of diverse causes and religions, and dozens of student clubs, extending for three-hundred yards along the pedestrian road that passes through it. Frank Cancian, anthropology professor emeritus and documentary photographer, has spent the last year capturing photos of these activities and will be showcasing them in an up-coming exhibit at the Irvine Fine Arts Center.

Public Opening and Reception
September 30, 2011
5:00-8:00 p.m.
Irvine Fine Arts Center
(14321 Yale Ave, Irvine, Calif - located in Heritage Park)

The exhibit will remain on display through October 29 in Gallery 1.

Learn more...


Sound installation includes war image exhibit by UCI anthropologist Roxanne Varzi

Head to Long Beach October 1 for the annual sound installation event which this year includes the work of Roxanne Varzi, UCI anthropologist, in which she depicts images of war.

October 1, 2011
5:00-10:00 p.m.
4th St, Linden Ave, 1st St and Elm Ave in Long Beach, Calif.

Admission is free, parking is metered.

Learn more...

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