December 2010 Issue • Volume 38 • Issue 9

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ASA Awards Grants for the
Advancement of Sociology

The American Sociological Association (ASA) announces seven awards from the June 2010 round of ASA’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD). This program, co-funded by ASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and administered by the ASA, provides seed money (up to $7,000) to PhD scholars for innovative research projects and for scientific conferences that advance the discipline through theoretical and methodological breakthroughs. Funding decisions are made by an advisory panel comprised of members of ASA’s Council and the ASA Director of Research and Development. Below is a list of the latest FAD Principal Investigators (PIs) and a brief description of their projects.

Elif Andac, University of Kansas, $7,000 for Reconciling Diversity Among Nation Building: A Comparative Study of Ethno-religious Conflict in Turkey. The purpose of this proposed study is to investigate the conditions that result in the ability of diverse religious and ethnic communities to live together in relative peace in the midst of conflict-torn regions of Turkey. The author hypothesizes that four conditions are necessary for the increase in diversity and the lack of conflict. They are: the need for a supra-identity that the ruling elite must agree on, the need for a functioning economy, and a stable population. Another condition appears to be the lack that of assimilation into the nation state. The PI will collect and analyze data from a diverse and relatively conflict-free community and two comparison groups. These data will be combined with fieldwork. The two comparison groups include a conflict-ridden, homogeneous urban area and a village that used to have a more diverse population.

E.J. Bjornstrom, University of Missouri, Columbia, $5,279 for Neighborhood Built Environment and Individual Sense of Control: A Fundamental Cause Approach to Improving Population Health. The purpose of the proposed study is to examine the relationship between residential built environments and individual sense of control, assuming that built environments are "fundamental causes of health." The PI expects to find that the characteristics of the built environment are positively correlated with an individual’s sense of control, which research shows is a precursor to good health and decreased mortality and morbidity. She proposes to use multilevel models and three data sets to examine characteristics of the built environment including the provision of resources to aid routine activities and the facilitating of social relationships and individual sense of control. These data sets include the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study, the Neighborhood Observations Database, and the LA Neighborhood Services and Characteristics Database.

Arina Gerstava, Washington State University, $3,193 for Developmental Links between Victimization and Offending. The PI asks whether there is co-development of victimization and offending over the life course. She proposes to compare inter-individual differences in order to empirically test three questions: (1) whether or not early victimization defines different trajectories of offending starting in childhood; (2) if there is co-development of offending and victimization over time; and (3) whether victimization that is experienced during adolescence can redirect criminal trajectories in either positive or negative directions. The PI uses data from the National Youth Survey, which ask respondents whether they have committed 1 out of 22 minor or serious offences and whether they have experienced at least one of a series of victimization offences such as sexual attacks. These data will be used to model trajectories of offending and victimization using two data-analytic techniques—latent growth modeling and auto-regressive cross-lagged panel models.

Melinda D. Kane, East Carolina University, $6,084.00 for Creating Safe Space: Predicting the Presence of GLBT Student Groups on College Campuses. The goal of this project is to explain the presence of university-recognized GLBT student groups on college and university campuses in six U.S. states, and why some campuses are more institutionally supportive than others. The PI will use hierarchical linear modeling to examine the importance of public opinion on campus, community resources, and institutional and political environments. She will start by examining university websites in five states (i.e., Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington) to determine if they have officially-sanctioned GLBT groups. Other measures include student enrollment and the economic resources of students; state level policy; indicators of religiosity, measures of citizens’ ideology; public or private status universities; and, the number and size of GLBT bars in the community. The PI will also examine how selective colleges are, arguing that greater selectivity makes for more open attitudes toward GLBT. Finally, she looks at the college’s history of activism and whether or not there are domestic partnership benefits.

Pamela Popielarz, University of Illinois-Chicago, $7,000 for Schools of Bureaucracy: Fraternal Orders in the Industrializing Midwest, 1890-1920. The PI proposes to ascertain the link between the popularity of fraternal orders and the growing bureaucratic organizational form in the industrializing Midwest. She proposes to investigate whether fraternal orders are "schools for bureaucracy" by incorporating such factors as a fixed division of labor, hierarchy of offices, formal rules, and permanent written files. She further suggests that these white male fraternal organizations helped perpetuate a dominant racial and gender social order. The PI proposes to gather and analyze data about four national fraternal lodges with branches in a small-size Indiana city that experienced especially strong growth in fraternal organizations as well as industrialization. The PI’s data collection effort will focus on the characteristics that she uses to define these fraternal orders as bureaucracies. The data to be analyzed will include lodge constitutions and by-laws, proceedings of state and national meetings, and written histories.

Pamela Quiroz, University of Illinois-Chicago, $3,800 for Marketing Diversity and the New Politics of Diversity: An Engaged Ethnography of Race, Space, and Place. The PI and her co-authors propose to collect a 4th year of data about a small cohort of African American male high school students selected by a highly-rated Chicago high school and a cohort of students not selected for the program. It is part of a larger ethnographic study of the race and class micro processes of the larger Chicago school reform effort in the "new politics of desegregation." The authors will provide an understanding of how the contradictory outcomes of gentrification, the privatization of education, and efforts at school reform affect racial identity, appropriation of space, the implications of power, and the significance of place. From the perspective of some of the stakeholders in the community, the result is the forced exit of original residents of the neighborhood and the creaming of African American students rather than an improvement in largely black schools. Once the data on the fourth year of the cohort is collected, these data will be entered into the ethnography and the entire data collection effort will be analyzed.

Laura Stark, Wesleyan University, $6,900 for How Have Research Participants Affected Biomedical Research? The PI hypothesizes that human subjects’ beliefs and the organizations that recruit them can affect biomedical research practices. The interaction between human subjects and the bureaucratic structures developed to protect them is the focus of the study. She proposes to use oral histories to create an initial data set of human subjects who lived at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health between 1953 and 1966. These years were chosen because they herald the beginning of the use of healthy individuals rather than indigents in research studies and the beginning of a period of change in medical ethics that culminated in human subjects’ protections. The PI suggests further that the model of the white male as a universal subject is an artifact of organizational recruitment. The author proposes to link the subjects’ beliefs with changing medical practices.

Donations

ASA members can provide FAD needed donations to keep the FAD program at current levels. Individuals interested in donating to FAD can send earmarked contributions to FAD, c/o Business Office, American Sociological Association, 1430 K St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005, or call Girma Efa at (202) 383-9005, ext. 306. Potential program applicants should speak with the program director, Roberta Spalter-Roth, at spalter-roth@asanet.org or (202) 383-9005, ext. 317, or the program co-director, Nicole Van Vooren, at vanvooren@asanet.org. For more information, visit www.asanet.org/funding/fad.cfm. logosmall

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