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Breaking Barriers, Building Community: 35 Years of Training Social Change Scholars

May 2, 9-4:30

What is the relevance of the academy to achieving social justice? What does it mean to be a social change scholar? How can the academy be (re-)made to reflect the diversity and complexity of society, where students and communities have active voices and roles in shaping the pedagogy, research approaches, and policy production of the research university?

2014 marks the 35th anniversary of graduate training at the Institute for the Study of Social Change (now the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues). In recognition of this anniversary, this one-day conference will feature presentations by alumni of the graduate training program, now distinguished academics, whose groundbreaking work on stratification and social change in US cities challenges the presumptions of power and the powerful. Panelists will draw on research that 1) examines the erasure of history and memory that occurs around race and gender; 2) explores the processes and contexts in which the definitions and enforcement of (il)legality are undergoing change in schools and community settings, on the streets and in workplaces, and around the use and design of the built environment; and 3) engages with the efforts of community organizations and activists to challenge the policies and control of dominant interests.

This conference is free and open to the public. To register or for more information, click here.


Former CRSC Fellow Alex Schafran Wins International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Award

Alex Schafran (PhD City and Regional Planning) has been honored as a recipient of the new IJURR Best Article Prize for 2013. IJURR is one of the top-ranked journals in urban studies, embracing a multidisciplinary and critical approach to urban and regional research. He won the award for his article "Origins of an Urban Crisis: The Restructuring of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Geography of Foreclosure;" an earlier version of this article was first published as his ISSI working paper.


Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies - Seth Holmes' New Book on Migrant Farmworkers Now Available

Seth Holmes, who is Martin Sisters Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health, and Chair of ISSI's newly formed Center for Social Medicine, has a new book out, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States (UC Press, 2013), which is based on five years of ethnographic research (including berry-picking and traveling with migrants back and forth from Oaxaca up the West Coast).  Holmes, an anthropologist and MD in the mold of Paul Farmer and Didier Fassin, uncovers how market forces, anti-immigrant sentiment, and racism undermine health and health care. Holmes' material is visceral and powerful. For instance, he trekked with his informants illegally through the desert border into Arizona, where they were apprehended and jailed by the Border Patrol. After he was released from jail (and his companions were deported back to Mexico), Holmes interviewed Border Patrol agents, local residents, and armed vigilantes in the borderlands. He lived with indigenous Mexican families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the United States, planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals, participated in healing rituals, and mourned at funerals for friends. The result is a "thick description" that conveys the full measure of struggle, suffering, and resilience of these farmworkers. Read more about Holmes' book here.

An article on this book is the cover story of the SF Bay Guardian (Dec. 11-17, 2013 issue).  See here for the article.


Children in Crisis: Ethnographic Studies in International Contexts - Now Available

A new collection of ethnographic studies about "Children in Crisis" is now available from Routledge. Edited by Manata Hashemi (PhD, Sociology, UC Berkeley) and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski (Professor of Sociology, ISSI Director, and Chair of the Center for Ethnographic Research at UC Berkeley), the volume brings together ethnographers conducting research on chidren living in crisis situations in both developing and developed regions of the world. The volume offers a cross-cultural approach that spans different cities in the global North and South to provide insight and analyses into the lifeworlds of their young, at-risk inhabitants.  Read more about the book and/or order a copy here.



Center for Latino Policy Research Releases Report on Online Voting and Nativity

ISSI's Center for Latino Policy Research recently completed a study of voters who registered online for the November 2012 election. The study's authors, CLPR Chair and Professor Lisa García Bedolla and Dr. Verónica Vélez, look at nativity differences across these voters, including whether U.S. born Latina/o and Asian American online registrants have different characteristics than those who are naturalized. García Bedolla and Vélez write, "Considering nativity is important because it sheds light on how the political socialization process can vary across generations and across different national origin groups."  To read more about their study and key findings, click here.


New Book on the tea Party edited by CRWS's Rosenthal and Trost now available

Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party (University of California Press), edited by Lawrence Rosenthal (Exec. Dir. of ISSI's Center for Right-Wing Studies) and Christine Trost (Assoc. Dir. of ISSI) is now available from UC Press.

In the Spring of 2009, the Tea Party emerged onto the American political scene. In the wake of Obama's election, as commentators proclaimed the "death of conservatism," Tax Day rallies and Tea Party showdowns at congressional town hall meetings marked a new and unexpected chapter in American conservatism. Accessible to students and general readers,Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party brings together leading scholars and experts on the American Right to examine a political movement that electrified American society. Topics addressed by the volume's contributors include the Tea Party's roots in earlier mass movements of the Right and in distinctive forms of American populism and conservatism, the significance of class, race and gender to the rise and successes of the Tea Party, the effect of the Tea Party on the Republican Party, the relationship between the Tea Party and the Religious Right, and the contradiction between the grass-roots nature of the Tea Party and the established political financing behind it. Throughout the volume, authors provide detailed and often surprising accounts of the movement's development at local and national levels. In an Epilogue, the Editors address the relationship between the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

To order a copy and/or read more about the book click here.


ISSI In the News

A story about the origins and activities of ISSI, "From cracks in the campus budget, a new research community blooms," is featured in the August 22, 2011, edition of The Berkeleyan.  

"Born of financial crisis, UC Berkeley's Institute for the Study of Societal Issues has cultivated a more collaborative, community-based approach to social-science research. In the process, a rickety old campus building has been transformed into a place where scholars can do more with less."

Read the full article here.


CRWS Collection of Conservative Political Ephemera and Broadcasting, 1980-2004, now available

In June of 2010, People for the American Way donated its vast and unique collection of materials on the American Right to ISSI's Center for Right-Wing Studies.  The archive of political ephemera has been processed and is now permanently housed at UC Berkeley's prestigious Bancroft Library, one of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and unique materials in the United States, which is open to students and scholars from around the world. Comprised of approximately 1,220 organizations, 300 individual files, and 80 rare right-wing magazines and newspapers, the collection charts the flourishing movements of American conservatism from the 1980s to the early twenty-first century.

A video archive of 2,200 DVDs with thousands of network and cable broadcasts from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s is also available for scholars to access at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. The video collection, which features televangelist broadcasts, speeches by important figures on the right, and coverage of important conservative events, widely documents year-to-year developments among major figures and organizations of the right.

The Center acquired the collection so that scholars from a range of fields might use it to illuminate our historical and social understanding of the American Right. To read more about these materials and how to access them, click here.