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Grad Student Profiles

Matthew A. Andersson

Matthew A. AnderssonUniversity of Iowa
Dissertation title: "Approach-Avoidance Sociology: Motivational Systems and Social Stratification"
Co-chairs: Jennifer Glanville and Steven Hitlin
Areas: Social Stratification, Social Psychology, Health, Emotions
Website: http://clas.uiowa.edu/sociology/people/matthew-andersson
Email: matthew-andersson@uiowa.edu

Dissertation abstract:
The main chapter of the dissertation demonstrates that capital usage or activation is a stage of social stratification which rivals the importance of possessing capital in the first place. It details how people with greater well-being demonstrate flexibility, support and persistence during activation efforts. Using a panel sample of middle-aged adults, as well as an auxiliary sample of identical twins, I find that emotional well-being serves to activate education (a prime indicator of human capital), leading to especially favorable gains in health, sense of control and voluntary social involvement.

Daniel Herda

Daniel HerdaUniversity of California - Davis

Dissertation title: "Hostile Contact: Self-Reports of Interpersonal Discrimination among Blacks, Whites and Latinos in Chicago"

Chair: Mary Jackman

Areas: Race and Ethnicity, Quantitative Methods, Immigration, Social Psychology, Attitudes, Public Opinion

Website: http://sociology.ucdavis.edu/people/deherda

Email: deherda@ucdavis.edu

Dissertation abstract:
My dissertation examines reported racial discrimination experiences among adults and adolescents. The contact hypothesis focuses primarily on the types of interactions that reduce racial prejudice. Discriminatory interactions represent an alternative form of contact that may increase prejudice among victims. My research focuses on hostile interactions in an effort to promote a more complete understanding of real world interracial contact. The work also provides insight into the future of race relations in the U.S. I examine the attitudinal consequences of discrimination among adults, the neighborhood correlates of discrimination among adolescents, and the extent and consequences of discrimination fears among adolescents.

Kimberly B. Rogers

Kimberly B. Rogers Duke University

Dissertation title: Mapping the Social Ecology of Culture: Social Position, Connectedness, and Influence as Predictors of Systematic Variation in Affective Meaning

Chair: Lynn Smith-Lovin

Areas: Social Psychology, Culture, Emotions, Social Networks, Quantitative Methods, Economic Sociology

Website: http://www.kimberlybrogers.com

Email: krogers@duke.edu

Dissertation abstract:
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Kimberly’s research tests the proposition that cultural sentiments are dynamic and structurally contingent, being fundamental to social networks rather than societies. Primary survey data indicate that variation in affective meaning is importantly related to social position and patterns of social connectedness (e.g., diversity in the prestige of social ties, variation in the total number and maximum prestige of social ties). Experimental data suggest that social influence processes can operate on both explicit and implicit social meanings. Influential members of a group deliberation not only shape others’ opinions but also their sentiments for relevant social identities.

Monica M. Whitham

Monica M. Whitham University of Arizona

Dissertation title: Symbolic Social Network Ties: Motivating Cooperative Collective Action

Chair: Linda Molm and Joseph Galaskiewicz (co-chairs)

Areas: Group Processes, Social Networks, Community and Urban Sociology, Organizations, Collective Behavior and Social Movements

Website: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~mwhitham/

Email: mwhitham@email.arizona.edu

Dissertation abstract:
Bridging the study of social identity with the study of social networks, I propose a collective-level understanding of social identity as it manifests in groups. I conceptualize social identity as a network tie binding members of a social entity into a symbolic social network. My dissertation comprises two studies assessing the impact of symbolic social network ties on cooperative collective action: 1) an experimental test of the effects of symbolic social network ties, and social identity more broadly, on cooperation in generalized exchange, and 2) a survey study of small town life assessing the relationship between symbolic social network ties and community involvement.