American Sociological Association

Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline: Past Recipients

Most Recent FAD Awards


December 2018

Kathleen M. Fallon, Stony Brook University, $7,828, Gender, Development, and the State: The Case of the United States. This project bridges a gap in two distinct literatures addressing gender policy: 1) gender and the state, and 2) gender and international development. Studies on gender and the state tend to focus on gender policy application domestically, whereas studies addressing gender and development tend to focus on gender policy application internationally. Research in both areas overlook the fact that some countries, like the United States, address gender policy both domestically and abroad. These countries thus work to “develop” their own country AND developing countries. I seek to bridge this gap by comparing and contrasting the implementation of specific gender policies as they are applied locally within the U.S. (via departments of the U.S. Government) and applied internationally (via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)). Understanding how a government, like the United States, implements gender policy domestically versus internationally can shed light on how historical differences in institutional structures, in variations in policy application, and in diverse understandings of gender contribute to both state and gender development. Comparing different historical and institutional applications of gender policies domestically and internationally may also provide insight into how each approach may improve. Drawing on archival research, text analysis, and in-depth interviews, I propose to compare the implementation of two specific gender policies (Gender Based Violence and Maternal Mortality) as they are applied locally within the U.S. and applied internationally via the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The results will contribute to a better understanding of the development of the state and its policy applications at home and abroad.

Lorena Garcia, University of Illinois at Chicago, $7,500, Racial Wealth Disparities Among the Middle-Class in Chicago. Recent studies have shown that black and Latinx children from middle-class families in Chicago are less likely than white children from similar backgrounds to remain in the middle-class or attain a college degree. To understand these differences in social mobility, a growing body of literature has focused on differences in wealth between whites, blacks, and Latinxs who are otherwise equal in class indicators such as income, education, and occupational status. Some scholars argue that wealth is a more powerful predictor of life outcomes than social class indicators such as education, income, and occupation. A great deal of research in this area has focused intergenerational wealth transfers as a mechanism through which financial privilege is reproduced over time. Less attention has been directed towards examining the way wealth shapes the opportunities/constraints individuals experience in their daily lives, the role of intra-generational asset transfers (such as to siblings or spouses), or the challenges families face in transforming income into wealth. To examine these facets of racial wealth disparities and their relation to structures of racial inequality more broadly, we are conducting 150 interviews with middle-class black, Latinx, and white residents in Chicago to learn how they acquired wealth, barriers to wealth accumulation, and the (dis)advantages they experience by virtue of their wealth position. We focus specifically on the middle-class to understand how wealth may produce racial disparities between individuals who are otherwise equal in terms of education, occupational status, and income.

Joanne Golann, Vanderbilt University, $7,875, How Young Children Learn Self-Direction and Conformity. Families play a critical role in developing their children’s cognitive abilities, but also in shaping how they interact in and understand the world around them. The aim of this study is to examine how families teach young children conformity and self-direction. My research has three components: 1) to detail the practices by which families teach self-direction and conformity to their children; 2) to evaluate the extent to which these practices are shaped by social class; and 3) to explore why parenting practices may vary between families. Data for the study come from the New Jersey Families Study, an innovative and unprecedented collection of in-home video data of 21 families with a child between the ages of two and four. These families were video recorded continuously for a two-week period using still cameras positioned around their homes. This study updates and extends Lareau (2003) to examine how families across different social class backgrounds develop cultural skills in their young children. It also highlights the possibilities of video ethnographic approaches for sociological research.

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