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Fall 2013 Sociology for Millennials

Using Technology to Teach Introduction to Sociology SOC 100 is a prominent course at the University of Illinois, often a gateway to a degree in Sociology. Serving hundreds of students every semester, it introduces our majors and other students from across campus to a distinctive set of conceptual tools that help them understand the complexity of the social world. Last year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences introduced the Top Ten Innovation Initiative, designed to enhance quality and learning outcomes in the College’s largest enrollment undergraduate courses. The Initiative sought proposals to update these large courses to take advantage of technology to promote an interactive learning environment in spite of the large size of these classes.

– who developed and teaches a popular on-line version of SOC 100 – Sandefur and Marshall developed new assignments designed to engage students’ use of their Sociological Imagination. For example, SOC 100 students will be preparing photo essays illustrating sociological concepts and developing wiki projects conducting sociological analysis of films. By working with popular and accessible resources, the instructors hope that students will see the value of adopting a sociological perspective when asking questions about the world around them.

In conjunction with the Top Ten Initiative, several graduate students worked together this summer to assemble teaching resources in support of our team of TA’s who lead discussion sections. The teaching resources include classroom exercises, homework assignments, an image database, and illustrations of complicated concepts using everyday examples. TA’s can draw on these materials when leading their own discussion sections. The TA’s who led this project – Dan Hale, Courtney Cuthbertson, Sheri-Lynn Kurisu, Joanna Perez, and Rodrigo Pacheco-McEvoy – are hoping that future generations of TA’s will continue to update and revise these resources so that they will always be current.

The Top Ten Initiative was well-timed for the Sociology Department. SOC 100 will be taught this year by two of our faculty members with a strong record of teaching effectiveness, Rebecca Sandefur and AnnaMaria Marshall. Together with Dan Steward

In this Issue 1 TOP TEN INITIATIVE 2 DEPARTMENT spotlight 3 FACULTY SPOTLIGHT 4 graduate spotlight 5 alumni spotlight 6-7 UNDERGRADUATE Spotlight 8 stay in touch

Rebecca Sandefur, PhD

When you visit campus, please feel free to sit in SOC 100 and see the fruit of our efforts! We’re meeting in the newly renovated Lincoln Hall Auditorium! Sociology 100: Introduction to Sociology

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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Department of Sociology

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Department Spotlight Welcome from the Department Head

Faculty Publications Arab Spring and Its Surprises Development and Change, vol. 44, issue 2, April 2013 Asef Bayat

Post-Islamism: The Changing Faces of Political Islam Oxford University Press, 2013 Asef Bayat

Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East Stanford University Press, 2013; Second Edition, revised with three new chapters Asef Bayat

Revolution in Bad Times New Left Review, No. 80, March/April, 2013 Asef Bayat

It’s a real privilege to be able to lead Sociology as Interim Head this year. I’ve spent the first month of the fall semester getting to know faculty, staff and students in a variety of settings – in formal meetings, at social events like the annual welcome back reception, and in casual conversation the corridors of Lincoln Hall. I was chair of History at Illinois several years ago and it’s been interesting to shift from a humanities focus to a social science one. I’m discovering things I didn’t know about Sociology faculty every day and learning so much about the amazing research that goes on here. This is a vibrant, energetic department filled with talented scholars and teachers who have so much to offer students and the wider publics they touch through their pursuit of new knowledge -- both in the discipline and via very exciting interdisciplinary projects as well. Every day brings new opportunities for Sociology to make its mark at Illinois and beyond, and I feel lucky to be able to oversee the department at this particular moment in its distinguished history. We have a number of important tasks this year, prime among them hosting an external review team in November. Our visitors are leading scholars in the field who are coming to help us assess the strengths of and possibilities for Sociology at Illinois at this watershed moment. Meanwhile, we are busy with the daily operations of the department, which include making progress on the implementation some of the curricular changes that were begun last year at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We are also

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Brian Dill Publishes Fixing the African State Professor Brian Dill’s book, Fixing the African State: Recognition, Politics, and Community-Based Development in Tanzania, was published this year by Palgrave Macmillan. Over his career, Dr. Dill’s research has focused on the problems associated with the increasingly popular tool of community-based development in subSaharan Africa. Building on insights from political sociology, Dr. Dill has shown that working with and through communitybased organizations has actually preserved the power of the state.

Antoinette Burton, PhD

turning our attention to enhancing our minority recruitment efforts for the PhD program, in conjunction with the Graduate College. Last but not least, we are exploring ways to capitalize on opportunities to align our work, as individuals and as a collective, with the aims and aspirations of the Campus Strategic Plan ( documents/StrategicPlan13-16.pdf ). There is much scope here for the kinds of work sociologists at Illinois are already deeply engaged in – in the domains of health and social equality, to name just two. We look forward to developing these synergies and to shaping the ways that the university thinks about such pressing social questions moving forward. Though I am a newcomer, faculty, staff and students have made me feel very welcome. I hope that if you are in the neighborhood, you will stop by Lincoln Hall to introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting you and to sharing with you the many accomplishments of Sociology at Illinois.

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In his book, Dr. Dill draws on his ethnographic fieldwork in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where he observed first hand the mechanisms for the provision of water and other basic services in urban neighborhoods. In those neighborhoods, he noted how the state relied on community volunteers to attract donor funding and to stand in the place of official water authorities. These volunteer activities had the ironic impact of extending state authority into places where the state had not yet reached. Based on these and other ethnographic observations, Dr. Dill has shown that states are not unified actors, pursuing a coherent set of policies. Rather, states are struggling to extend their power into

Faculty Publications Midwife for a Pregnant Egypt al-Ahram online July 11, 2013 Asef Bayat Brian Dill, PhD

varying segments of society. In his most recent research project, Dr. Dill has turned his attention to sustainable development, specifically the issue of energy development and access to energy, again in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has suffered from widespread inequality and energy poverty. The region has the lowest power generation capacity in the world and is home to the majority of the 1.2 billion people worldwide without access to electricity. Working with other faculty members across campus, Dr. Dill is hoping to develop comparative case studies that explain the domestic factors that enable a shift from non-renewable to renewable energy and to examine the global forces, such as flows of foreign investment and aid, that influence this transition.

Faculty News Briefs Ruby Mendenhall has been named a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies to develop a collaborative project entitled “Visualizing Topic Models about African American Women’s Everyday Experiences and Standpoints.” Monica McDermott has been elected to serve on the American Sociological Association’s Committee on Nominations, responsible for making nominations to major offices in the ASA. Cynthia Buckley contributed a chapter entitled “HIV, Male Labour Migration and Female Risk Environments in the Southern Caucasus” to a volume entitled The Fourth Wave: Violence, Culture & HIV in the 21st Century, edited by Jennifer F. Klot and Vinh-Kim Nguyen. Commissioned by UNESCO and the Social Science Research Council, this volume brings together leading scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to assess the policies and programs that have resulted in the feminization of the HIV / AIDS pandemic.

Characteristics of Joint Physical Custody Families in Flanders Demographic Research, 2013 Gray Swicegood

How to Find an Appropriate Clustering for Mixed Type Variables with Application to Socioeconomic Stratification Journal of Royal Statistical Society Series C: Applied Statistics Christian Henning `and Tim F. Liao

The Effects of Family Type, Family Relationships and Parental Role Models Journal of Child and Family Studies Gray Swicegood

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Graduate Student Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

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The Social Dilemma of Environmental Sacrifice by Jeremiah Bohr, PhD Candidate Environmental problems present something that researchers call a “social dilemma,” which is a situation where people must cooperate in order to secure a collective good even if cooperating is not in their self-interest. Yet, if everyone acts in their selfinterest, then everyone might suffer in the long-run. These types of situations are often plagued by “free riders,” where some individuals enjoy a collective good (such as a clean environment) without contributing toward its continuation. Past research has shown that when people recognize free riders, it makes them less likely to sacrifice their short-term interests for the greater good. I was interested in studying what leads people to sacrifice their individual interests for the good of everyone else, particularly if free rider fears discourage pro-environmental behavior. In order to understand what leads people to sacrifice for the environment (such as reducing their standard of living, paying higher taxes for environmental protection, or higher prices for environmentally friendly goods), I analyzed nationally-representative survey data from the U.S. to understand how free rider fears affect the willingness of an individual to sacrifice for the environment. We might expect that people with more education, more income, or more liberal ideological outlooks would be more willing, capable, or motivated to sacrifice for the environment. To start, I tested whether the suspicion of environmental free riders impacted individual’s willingness to sacrifice according to their level of education. As predicted, people who do not worry about free riders became increasingly willing to (continued on page 5)

Kari Cooke, a University of Illinois Sociology Alumni, is the Communications director for the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA). NBDA is the official advocacy organization for thousands of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans. For more than three decades, NBDA has been at the forefront of advocacy efforts for civil rights and equal access to education, employment, and social services on behalf of the Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States. NBDA was founded in 1982 and is a growing organization with more than 30 chapters across the country. As a non-profit organization, NBDA is supported by its members and other interested in furthering the mission, vision, and strategic objectives of this esteemed organization. Membership includes Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing; parents of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing children; professionals who work with Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth and adults; sign language interpreters; people of color; and other interested individuals and organizations. Jeremiah Bohr is finishing his dissertation: The Social Bases of Climate Skepticism: Risk Perception, Ideology, and the Creation of Carbon Publics

Soo-Yeon Yoon, PhD Candidate Presents Research at the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population Conference In August of 2013, Illinois Sociology Doctoral Candidate Soo Yeon Yoon presented a paper based on preliminary work from her dissertation on low fertility at the XXVII International Union for the Scientific Study of Population Conference in Busan Korea. Ms. Yoon’s paper was selected from over 4,000 submissions for inclusion within the 270 regular sessions of the conference. In addition to paper and poster presentations from a large group of international scholars, the conference also included special sessions on culture, family and fertility in Asia-Pacific region, plenary sessions on population and development, and a large number of special interest meetings. The IUSSP is the largest international organization devoted to the study of population. It hosts numerous workshops and training sessions each year, and an international conference every four years. More information can be found at

Illinois Sociology Alum Kari Cooke Speaks at UN Summit

Ms. Cooke is a known leader in the disability policy sector and has experience relative to community engagement with education and international disability rights. This year Ms. Cooke was selected by the International Young Leaders Assembly to speak at a recent summit hosted at the United Nations by the Mission of Paraguay. Ms. Cooke was one of several young leaders from all over the world that spoke about Global Service, specifically focusing on International Disability Policy.

Sociology Alum, Kari Cooke, BA 2006

(Bohr, continued from page 4) make individual sacrifices as they gained more education. But the exact opposite was true for people who do fear free riders—even though these people became more concerned about environmental problems as they became more educated, they were even less willing to make sacrifices. Previous research shows that people living in more affluent countries generally report higher levels of environmental concern and more able to make certain kinds of sacrifices for environmental protection. So at the individual level, it would make sense to assume that people with more disposable income would be more willing to make sacrifices because they could more easily afford such behavior. But this was not the case at all. A person’s income had almost no effect on whether or not they were willing to make sacrifices, regardless of whether they feared free riding behavior. The most interesting case looked at ideology. Conservatives were generally unwilling to sacrifice for environmental protection, while liberals who did not fear free riders were the most willing of any group to make sacrifices. Yet the effect of ideology for liberals depended upon whether or not they feared someone else might cancel out their behavior. Liberals who feared free riders were just as unwilling to make sacrifices as their conservative counterparts, and free rider fears were evenly distributed across the liberal-conservative ideological spectrum.

Soo-Yeon Yoon is currently conducting research for her dissertation.

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In settings where people work in small groups to confront local problems, free rider fears often encourage people to take action, because they are afraid nothing will get done unless they do it themselves. My research indicates that these fears have the opposite effect in larger-scale situations, where a more generalized problem like environmental protection can lead people to think that an individual action does not make a big difference either way. In these situations, free rider fears play a big role in determining whether someone is willing to make sacrifices for a collective good—even if they report that they are very concerned about the problem. This tells us that the right attitude is not enough to encourage behavior towards a problem that affects society in general. People must trust that others will also act in good faith before they are willing to make individual sacrifices for a collective good.

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Undergraduate Student Spotlight Sociology Beyond the Classroom

Integrating Theory and Practice--The Role of Internships in Sociology Internships have become increasingly important to undergraduates’ success as they transition from college to the world of work. A recent study commissioned by the Chronicle of Higher Education noted that employers rank students’ internship experience as important as where they went to school, what their major was, and how they fared in terms of grades (Chronicle 3/5/13). The Department of Sociology at University of Illinois has been proactive in supporting students’ internships. In Summer 2013, the Department introduced the Sociology Undergraduate Internship Award which provided a stipend of $1500 to three students with outstanding internship opportunities (their experiences are highlighted on this and opposite pages). Further, the Department of Sociology hosts an Internship Fair on an annual basis (see photos pages 6-7). The Internship Fair affords students an opportunity to connect with community partners in the Champaign-Urbana area and beyond who are interested in sponsoring Sociology undergraduates as interns. Does your organization or business have room for Sociology interns during the Summer or Academic year? Get in touch with Sociology Advising at to find out more about how you can reach our amazing students!

Sarah Olles Internship at Bulls Sox Academy My internship this summer was with the Bulls Sox Academy. The Academy is an instructional sports facility for children from ages 5-18. The Academy sponsors summer camp programming that includes basketball, baseball, and fast pitch softball camps. These summer camps have nearly 5,000 kids attending in the three months of summer in 47 different locations throughout the Chicago land area. I chose this internship because I am interested in researching how sport based summer camps can affect the youth of America. It was found that sport based summer camps can positively impact a child if the resources for camp are used correctly. The Bulls Sox Academy uses some of their resources to send kids from low-income families to summer camp and positively affect their lives. The Bulls Sox Academy works directly with the Chicago Park District as well as with the Joan Kroc Center to sponsor children to go to summer camp who could not afford to attend camp otherwise. The Bulls Sox Academy gave me a behind the scenes look at the operations of a successful youth driven sports organization while also providing insight into how summer camps can positively affect society and the children who are part of it through further research in the field.

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Undergraduate Student Spotlight Lindsay Miner Internship at Center for Women in Transition This summer I was fortunate enough to spend my time interning at the Center for Women in Transition. The Center runs a homeless shelter in Champaign, and a domestic violence shelter in Urbana. My time as an intern was spent in the domestic violence shelter (A Woman’s Place), working closely with the Children’s Program manager. Initially, I was expecting to be working solely with the children in the shelter; however, I quickly came to understand that although each employee had a specific job title, we all played many different roles. In addition to running children’s groups, I was able to experience taking on my own caseload, planning field trips, working the emergency hotline, and filling out paperwork. This experience gave me confidence that using my Sociology degree to go into community non-profit work will be a good fit for me. In addition to learning how to effectively perform many different roles in the shelter, my experience interning at A Woman’s Place helped me understand the importance of how societal problems are framed. Going through training and interacting with clients provided me with an understanding of the ways in which domestic violence is often framed in society. Domestic violence is consistently framed as a victim’s issue or a private/family issue; therefore, domestic violence is easily hidden in communities. This framework is damaging to victims of domestic violence because it contributes to a victim blaming mentality, and turns domestic violence into a private problem as opposed to a social problem. In order to fully address domestic violence and provide necessary support and resources to victims, the framework of responsibility must shift.

Brian Fernandez Internship at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Popovich P.C. My internship with the law office was beneficial and afforded me new learning experiences. I was able see the process of the legal system and the importance of building social networks. I observed professional relationships in the courtroom and saw how these relationships created material resources. I feel fortunate I was able to develop similar professional relationships in the short amount of time I was there. My duties consisted of preliminary research through conducting follow-up interviews with the clients to go over the details of the case. I also collected various types of data relevant to specific cases. One of the most memorable moments was when I was able to attend a mediation between our client and a major company for an accident where our client received monetary damages for the accident. The skills I have acquired while pursuing my sociology degree prepared me for this position within the law office.

Interested in hosting a sociology student in your organization? See back cover for details!

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Stay In Touch 8 Do you have internship opportunities for Sociology undergraduates? Sociology students possess several skills your organization may be looking for in an intern: written and oral communication skills, computer/ technical skills, leadership, teamwork, global competency, diversity awareness, and research/statistics. If your business or organization has potential internship opportunities, please let us know. If you cannot attend our Internship Fair, we can promote your opportunity on our website. Please email: with your opportunity or any questions you may have about the program.

Support Illinois Sociology! The Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois welcomes donations and contributions to the Sociology Department Annual Fund. These funds are earmarked for helping the department carry out its mission of enhancing undergraduate and graduate education; granting awards and scholarships to students; facilitating the recruitment of outstanding scholars; putting on conferences of note; and extending the breadth and reach of our outreach programs and projects. If you or someone you know are interested in contributing to our broad range of activities, please contact us at (217) 333-1950 or at Or, donate online at: where you can also download a printable PDF form to mail in your donation if you prefer.

We want to hear from you! Mail us your contact information, or enter it online at Please mail to: Department of Sociology, 3120 Lincoln Hall MC454, 702 S. Wright St, MC 454, Urbana, Il 61801 Name_______________________________________ Year graduated________ Degree granted ___________ Email address ______________________________ Phone number___________________________________ Physical address_____________________________________________________________________________ Current position______________________________ Organization/institution__________________________ Milestones/accomplishments__________________________________________________________________ Comments________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________


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Fall 2013