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Battelle-Tomkins, T-21
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chrs@american.edu

Spring 2014 CHRS Seminars

Wednesdays, 2:30-4 PM in Battelle T30

 

January 15

Andrew Deener, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut

“Feeding Cities: Urban Decline, Shifting Market Infrastructures, and the Rise of Food Access Inequalities”  


January 15

Jennifer P. Ruger, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

“Health and Global Governance: Why Justice Matters”

This is a special seminar co-sponsored by CHRS as part of SIS colloquium series.

 

January 31

Nicole Angotti, PhD, Hewlett Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, African Population Studies Research and Training Program, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado Boulder 

“The More You Learn the Less You Know? Interpretive Ambiguity across Three Modes of Qualitative Data on HIV/AIDS in Africa”

Dr. Angotti is giving this talk as one of the potential candidates for a position in the Department of Sociology at AU.

 

February 12 

Brian King, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University  

“HIV/AIDS as Socio-ecological Experience in South Africa" 

 

February 19  

Daniel E. Esser, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Development, School of International Service, American University  

“Gender, Faith and Victimization: Catalysts of Collective Action amid Violence in Ciudad Juárez”

In this talk, Professor Esser will discuss findings from survey research conducted in late 2012 on civic responses to violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico between 2008 and 2012. The data show that despite generally unfavorable conditions for collective action, residents of what used to be the world’s most murderous city engaged in a variety of collective coping mechanisms ranging from vigils and protests to patrols and barricades. The paper explores economic, psychosocial and institutional approaches to explaining what might have motivated the pattern of activities observed. A subsequent statistical analysis produces results that confirm some prominent theoretical propositions while challenging others. Although residents with a longer duration of tenure in Juárez as well as those living in smaller households were more likely to have partaken in faith-based groups, the strongest predictor for faith-based engagement was the personal experience of victimization. The latter was correlated further with participating in community watch groups. With regard to collective action aimed specifically at preventing and coping with victimization from crime, men were significantly more likely to engage in community initiatives to take back space, such as fencing off cul-de-sacs to create safe zones with restricted access or hiring security guards. Such actions were also significantly more likely to be taken by lower-income respondents as well as respondents who reported knowing victims of kidnapping and disappearances. Those participating in faith-based activities were, rather unsurprisingly, likely to conduct vigils. Similarly unsurprising, those reporting active membership in community watch groups were significantly more likely to engage in street monitoring, seeking arrangements with local police or cordoning off streets. Remarkably, the latter two activities were predicted almost equally well by active political party membership. Finally, residing in low-violence neighborhoods was associated significantly with active participation in street monitoring as well as reporting existence of community watch brigades and street closures in these areas. It seems plausible that residents of less violent neighborhoods were thus able to capitalize on relatively more conducive conditions for collective action than those faced by residents of neighborhoods with a high incidence of homicide during the reporting period.

 

February 26 

Eric Hershberg, PhD, Director, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, Professor, Department of Government and Kim Blankenship, PhD, Director, CHRS, AU will lead a seminar to get feedback on an in-progress NIH R21 proposal on Latino Deportation and Health.  

 

March 5 

Susan Newcomer, PhD, Program Officer, NICHD 

"Leaping the Hurdles and Navigating the Maze: Getting Research Funding from the NICHD"

Dr. Newcomer will talk about the NIH in general, about how to understand the research priorities of various NIH institutes, and share ideas about writing an NIH grant.

 

March 19  

Rita Jallali, PhD., Scholar-in-Residence, Affiliate Faculty, Sociology Department, AU. 

“Coping with Menstrual Hygiene in Rural India”

Almost three quarters of the extreme poor live in rural areas with the vast majority lacking access to clean water. With limited access to water, but also toilets, and money to buy commercial sanitary napkins, how do poor women in developing countries cope with menstruation or with postpartum bleeding? Menstrual hygiene impacts on health, education, livelihood and dignity of women and girls yet little is known about it. Based on field research in India, the seminar will present some findings on the hygiene practices of poor rural women during menstruation and postpartum period in a water scarce region.

 

April 2 

Maria De Jesus, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University  

“Sociocultural and Contextual Factors in HIV Risk of African American and East African Immigrant Women in Washington, DC." 

In this work in progress seminar, Professor De Jesus will discuss her ongoing research that compares East African and African American women's perceptions, knowledge, and communication norms related to HIV and HIV testing as well as risk factors for HIV. 

 

April 9  

Michael Brody, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science, AU, Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Public health at the Kazakh National Medical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Alexander Golub, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Environment Science, AU

“Air Pollution and Health; with a case study in Kazakhstan"  

Gay Young, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, American University

“Structural Influences on the Capacity of Women Sex Workers in India to Practice Condom Use”

In this work in progress seminar, Professor Young will present an ongoing research that examines structural relations—of economic security, work conditions, access to education and health care, interpersonal violence, and household relations—in the context of a structural intervention—that enable women sex workers to enact safer sexual practices in encounters with clients and husbands. The analysis draws on cross-sectional survey data (from Project Parivartan) collected at three time points (between 2006-2009) from samples of women generated using respondent-driven sampling.

 

April 16  

Gay Young, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, American University

“Structural Influences on the Capacity of Women Sex Workers in India to Practice Condom Use”

In this work in progress seminar, Professor Young will present an ongoing research that examines structural relations—of economic security, work conditions, access to education and health care, interpersonal violence, and household relations—in the context of a structural intervention—that enable women sex workers to enact safer sexual practices in encounters with clients and husbands. The analysis draws on cross-sectional survey data (from Project Parivartan) collected at three time points (between 2006-2009) from samples of women generated using respondent-driven sampling.

 

April 23 

Emily Mendenhall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Global Health, Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STI) Program, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

“Conceptualizing ‘Health’ within Geographies of Health Transition: Distress and Diabetes in Emerging Economies"

In this work in progress seminar, Professor Mendenhall will present a book idea based on her multi-site research.

CHRS Methodological Seminar Series

CHRS organized a methodological seminar on November 13, 2013, featuring jimi adams, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Affiliate Faculty, CHRS. The seminar entitled, "What can Social Network Analysis do for me?"  

Over the next semesters, CHRS plans to organize a series of methodological sessions, in collaboration with the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Core of the DC D-CFAR. These seminars are intended as a resource for researchers to provide a general introduction to a particular research methodology or analytical approach and give an idea of what it involves, how it can be used to address questions related to health, and how it might be useful in their own research. Depending on the level of interest, certain methodological sessions may be followed by more in-depth workshops or presentations. 

If you are interested in suggesting a topic for a methodological session, or in volunteering to lead one, please contact Kim Blankenship (kim.blankenship@american.edu) or Nimesh Dhungana (dhungana@american.edu).

Fall 2013 CHRS Seminars

Wednesdays 2:30-4:00 in Battelle T30

The Fall 2013 CHRS Seminars, as in past semesters, will feature a combination of works in progress sessions and general talks by local and outside speakers. Some of the sessions will particularly aim at following up on the topic of community disruption and health that we started last year. Details are being worked out for other dates and will be made available soon. CHRS seminars meet every Wednesday from 2:30-4:00 at Battelle T30. Please check back for more information.

September 18

Monica Biradavolu, PhD, Assistant Director, Center on Health, Risk & Society

"Monitoring, Enumerating, Creating Sex Workers Through Community-based Monitoring"

It is argued that monitoring systems contribute to accountability, evidence-based learning and efficient program implementation. Further, the addition of “community-based” also purportedly improves the participation of target populations, enhances capacity for community leadership, and may help ensure that interventions are responsive to community needs. Studies have examined whether community-based monitoring improves desired program outcomes. However, the literature is scant on how communities perceive and utilize the monitoring systems and the social consequences that derive from the monitoring process. This in-progress paper draws on over 2 years of ethnographic data from Project Parivartan, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded, community mobilization-driven, HIV prevention program for female sex workers (FSWs) in Andhra Pradesh, India to reveal the intersecting social processes underlying the enumeration work. Drawing on theories of quantification, the paper shows that (a) the pressure to standardize and simplify reporting practices, particularly as the data moved upstream from the field staff to the donor office, resulted in the creation of categories of sex workers that was divorced from the reality of how sex work was organized on the ground; (b) the pressure to produce concrete data resulted in the need to transform a deeply social act (condom usage) into a rational, quantifiable metric, which led to a disregard of existing local practices and the falsifying of information; and, finally (c) rather than viewed as empowering, monitoring became an onerous task for the field staff and a means to discipline and judge the peer outreach workers. The paper concludes by arguing that monitoring systems are useful and necessary but should be designed by acknowledging that knowledge production is not neutral.

September 25

As part of the Nevergiveups tour, members from the South African Grandmothers against Poverty and AIDS (GAPA) will share their stories of caring for family members and communities affected by the AIDS pandemic. They will also shed light on the South African context, post-apartheid societal transitions and how they see these linked to the AIDS pandemic.

Our special thanks to Dr. Bette J. Dickerson, Professor, Department of Sociology and members of the tour who helped make this event possible.

To learn more about the tour, please visit: thenevergiveups.org. Videos to Nevergiveups exhibit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDFP7fOFug4

October 2

Susan Newcomer, PhD, Program Officer, NICHD

"Leaping the Hurdles and Navigating the Maze: Getting Research Funding from the NICHD"

Dr. Newcomer will talk about the NIH in general, about how to understand the research priorities of various NIH institutes, and share ideas about writing an NIH grant.

October 9

Daniel E. Esser, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Development, School of International Service, American University

"Gender, Faith and Victimization: Catalysts of Collective Action Amid Violence in Ciudad Juárez"

This in-progress seminar presents findings from survey research conducted in late 2012 on civic responses to violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico between 2008 and 2012. The data show that despite generally unfavorable conditions for collective action, residents of what used to be the world’s most murderous city engaged in a variety of collective coping mechanisms ranging from vigils and protests to patrols and barricades. The paper explores economic, psychosocial and institutional approaches to explaining what might have motivated the pattern of activities observed. A subsequent statistical analysis produces results that confirm some prominent theoretical propositions while challenging others. Although residents with a longer duration of tenure in Juárez as well as those living in smaller households were more likely to have partaken in faith-based groups, the strongest predictor for faith-based engagement was the personal experience of victimization. The latter was correlated further with participating in community watch groups. With regard to collective action aimed specifically at preventing and coping with victimization from crime, men were significantly more likely to engage in community initiatives to take back space, such as fencing off cul-de-sacs to create safe zones with restricted access or hiring security guards. Such actions were also significantly more likely to be taken by lower-income respondents as well as respondents who reported knowing victims of kidnapping and disappearances. Those participating in faith-based activities were, rather unsurprisingly, likely to conduct vigils. Similarly unsurprising, those reporting active membership in community watch groups were significantly more likely to engage in street monitoring, seeking arrangements with local police or cordoning off streets. Remarkably, the latter two activities were predicted almost equally well by active political party membership. Finally, residing in low-violence neighborhoods was associated significantly with active participation in street monitoring as well as reporting existence of community watch brigades and street closures in these areas. It seems plausible that residents of less violent neighborhoods were thus able to capitalize on relatively more conducive conditions for collective action than those faced by residents of neighborhoods with a high incidence of homicide during the reporting period.

October 16

Jason Schnittker, PhD, Professor of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

“The Institutional Effects of Incarceration: Spillovers from Prison to Health Care”

Dr. Schnittker’s research interests center on medical sociology, with a particular focus on the cultural, institutional, and biological determinants of health and well-being. His recent work has focused on incarceration and health, as well as the relevance of gene-environment relationships for sociology, particularly in the context of depression.

October 23

No CHRS Seminar due to the CFAR SBSRN 7th National Scientific Meeting (October 23-24, 2013). CHRS will be co-sponsoring the conference. For more information about the conference, including the current agenda and registration information, please visit the conference website at http://sphhs.gwu.edu/sbsrn2013/

October 30

Michael Bader, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, AU will lead a work in progress seminar to get feedback on a grant proposal he is working on.

November 6

Kim Blankenship, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, Director, CHRS, and AU will lead a work in progress seminar to get a feedback on a grant proposal she is working on.

November 13

jimi adams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, AU will lead a session on Social Networks Analysis.

November 20

Jeremy Shiffman, PhD, Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, AU will lead a work in progress seminar on his new book project.

November 27

No seminar; Thanksgiving break.

December 4

TBD


For further information on seminars, contact chrs@american.edu

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