January 2008 Issue • Volume 36 • Issue 1

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ASA Awards Small Grants in Sociology

The American Sociological Association is pleased to announce nine new grants from the June 2007 review cycle of ASA’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (FAD), a competitive small grants program co-funded by ASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and administered by the ASA. FAD awards provide 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. In this round, the Advisory Panel decided to fund a higher number of proposals at smaller amounts. Below is a list of the latest FAD Principal Investigators (PIs) and a brief description of their projects.

Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Brown University, for Civic Participation, City Governance, and Transitions to Democracy in Brazil, Spain, and Mexico. This project focuses on the decline in the power and autonomy of national states, and the growth of power and autonomy of local governments due to an expanded global economy and the growth of supranational organizations. The purpose of this project, the first step in a larger project, is to understand how local participatory democracy emerges and how it affects the quality of civic participation and the effectiveness of governance in three new democracies: Brazil, Spain, and Mexico. The grant will fund a workshop with lead investigators from each country who will discuss the state of the field, provide an overview of existing data sources, and suggest potential research sites. The outcome of the first stage of this project is the production of a full-scale research proposal to be submitted in 2008.

Kerry B. Burchfield, Northern Illinois University, for Not in My Neighborhood: Assessing Registered Sex Offenders’ Experiences with Local Social Capital and Social Control. Prior research suggests that community registration laws for sex offenders have little effect on offender’s recidivism or resident’s safety and might have negative consequences due to the shame, fear, and stigma they produce. This project will survey offenders residing in IL, a state in which intensive monitoring and house arrest prevent interaction with members of the local community, to analyze whether they were able to gain social capital, become involved in community networks, and their experiences with residential mobilization while on parole. The PI hypothesizes that the limitations on social capital formation will result in recidivism.

Mary E. Campbell, University of Iowa, for Stress and Ethnic Misclassification by Observers. The purpose of this project is to lay a foundation to study the effects of misclassification or mismatch between others “observed” ethnic identities and individual’s own perceived ethnic identities. Specifically, the project examines the stress white and Latina subjects experience when others perceive their race or ethnicity differently than they do. Individuals report stress and their physiological stress (that is, the level of cortisol present in the individual’s saliva) is measured when an interaction partner correctly or incorrectly classifies a subject’s identity. The PI hypothesizes that stress will be greater when ethnic identity is central to subjects’ identity and when misclassification results in status loss.

William V. D’Antonio, Catholic University of America, and Steven A. Tuch, George Washington University, for Religion, Culture Wars, and Polarization in the U.S. Congress, 1971-2006. The purpose of this project is to investigate whether religion heightened polarization among members of Congress over the past four decades around issues such as gay rights, abortion, and separation of church and state. To determine whether an issue, such as abortion, is so divisive that polarization in Congress results, the PIs will track all roll-call votes on abortion-related legislation considered in the 92nd through the 109th congressional sessions by party and by religion to assess the relative importance of each. They hypothesize that over time the strength of religion has declined and that of party has increased.

Stephen Lippmann, Miami University, for The Social and Cultural Origins of the Radio Broadcasting Industry in the United States. The purpose of this project is to examine the social and cultural dynamics that contributed to the emergence and evolution of the radio broadcasting industry in the United States from 1900-1934. The PI proposes to synthesize neo-institutional theory and social movement theory in his effort to explain the importance of factors such as social network connections, competing organizational master frames, and the alignment of these frames with those of industry leaders and policymakers. He will examine the importance of human agency in the processes of socio-cultural framing and organizational development. The PI will use historical sources to examine all of these dynamics.

Andrew London, Syracuse University, for Military Service, Social (Dis)Advantage, and the Life Course. According to the PI, there are numerous unanswered questions concerning how military service directly and indirectly affects life-course trajectories including marriage, divorce, health, fertility, mortality, and socio-economic status. For example, does military service reshape early childhood disadvantage? There are numerous longitudinal data sets that can be used to answer these questions. The purpose of this project is to hold a conference to create new collaborative networks that will stimulate new empirical and methodological studies concerning this understudied but significant social institution.

Leah Schmalzbauer, Montana State University, for Off the Migratory Map: Uncovering Unknown Family Survival Strategies. The purpose of this project is to study Latino incorporation and family survival in southwestern Montana, a non-gateway immigrant settlement area. Among the major questions to be addressed are how immigrant families survive without the benefit of ethnic enclaves, what is the role of women in survival strategies, and how the reception of these immigrants affects assimilation. According to the PI, the answers to these questions should lead to a new theoretical framework of immigrant incorporation in non-gateway areas.

Jane Sell, Texas A&M University, and Carla Goar, Northern Illinois University, for Expanding Experimental Investigations of Race/Ethnicity in Sociology. According to the PIs, experimental sociologists have not made a major contribution to the theoretical literature on race and ethnicity, especially in the study of groups rather than individuals. In order to increase the contribution of experimental research, the PIs propose a conference where participants will identify incentives and barriers to experimental research in this area, map out topics that can be studied experimentally, and foster collaborations among established and new experimenters.

Steve Zavestoski, University of San Francisco, for Embodied Health Movements and Transnational Social Movements: Linking the Local and Transnational through the Spread of Environmental Hazards. According to the PI, because many embodied health movements organize around contestations over the discovery, definition, cause, treatment, and prevention of environmental causes of illness, the research contributes to environmental sociology. Research on transnational social movement organizations makes important contributions to the understanding of new global institutions and their domination by NGOs in the North. The PI proposes to bridge these two areas by focusing on social movement organizations in the global South, their formation, strategizing, and outcomes.

ASA needs to increase member contributions to the FAD program to carry on at its current level. This ASA-NSF program rewards scholars at all levels and all types of institutions for cutting-edge research and conferences. Send contributions to FAD, c/o Business Office, American Sociological Association, 1307 New York Ave., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005- 4701, or call Girma Efa at (202) 383- 9005, ext. 306. Additional information is available on the ASA homepage at www.asanet.org (click on "Funding"). The program director, Roberta Spalter-Roth, can be reached at spalter-roth@asanet.org.small_green

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