Penn Sociology News

September 18, 2014

Linda Aiken, the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, was recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Nursing Research for her study, "Panel Study of Effects of Changes in Nursing on Patient Outcomes." Herb Smith serves as one of the co-investigators. 

The study's overarching aim is "to determine points of comparatively low-cost organizational leverage of nursing inputs to improve patient outcomes."

September 16, 2014

Sociology at Penn Spotlight: Dr. Emilio Parrado, Professor and Chair of Sociology
By Faith Memmo (Class of '16), Penn Sociology Online Ambassador

Today's Sociology at Penn Spotlight is on Dr. Emilio Parrado, Professor and Chair of Sociology and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program (LALS) at Penn.


His research focuses on migration and how it is related with other aspects of society, with a specific interest in the Hispanic population in the U.S.  I caught up with Dr. Parrado to find out more about the motivation behind his studies, the importance of Sociology, and his current research.

Faith: Coming from Argentina, why did you decide to focus on migration specifically in the United States?
Emilio: I came to the U.S. with the idea of studying social change from the perspective of people actually doing it, and how social change expresses itself in the lives of individuals. Argentina has a long history of immigration, so I was familiar with the issue of immigration. When you talk to people in Argentina about immigration, they think about Europeans; I was interested in Bolivians and Paraguayans, so I brought that interest with me. Immigration is an action that produces social change, and for the individuals who are changing their lives it is very exciting and different. It connects with macro level problems, issues that have to do with regulating immigration, concerns with immigrants and problems of race and ethnicity, so there was a natural emerging of my concern with social change and immigration.

FM: Being the chair of the department, why do you think that Sociology is an important field of study?

EP: Sociology is good at connecting people with history, placing people in historical time, and understanding both individual decisions and how macro forces affect those decisions. [It is] very historical, very empirical. We learn a lot from experiences, and we understand what happens in these transitions. Not just individualistic and not just cultural, we connect particular periods with how people behave. Sociology is great for studying immigration because it is historical and provides a comprehensive account of what happens in transition. Sociology connects those transitions with other transitions. Sociological approaches are very insightful in explaining immigrant experiences.

FM: Recently you were given a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to research immigration and fertility. Why is this important?
EP: Every single developed society receives immigrants; declining fertility and lower mortality is affecting the age structure of these populations. Immigrants affect both the age structure of the population, fertility of the population, and the mortality of the population. We don’t quite understand demographically how that happens. Some of the models do not quite reflect how immigrants affect those things.

If we want to know the future of Social Security, we need to know what’s happening with the US population. If we want to know the size of our labor force, we need to understand how immigration affects these things. If we want to know how many children will go to school, we need to do these things. So the proposal is about that, trying to create better models that in a different way incorporate immigration into our demographic equation. 



For more on Dr. Emilio Parrado, visit his webpage.

September 15, 2014

Dorothy Roberts (with Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD.) recently published "Structural Competency Meets Structural Racism: Race, Politics, and the Structure of Medical Knowledge" in Virtual Mentor. The essay looks at three case studies "to illustrate how extraclinical stigma, socioeconomic factors, and politics can shape diagnostic and treatment disparities" in clinical settings.

Full Essay


September 12, 2014

The exciting Penn Sociology 2014-2015 Colloquium series begins next Wednesday, 9/17 at Noon in McNeil 103!

Get ready for the series by downloading our new app (on the Yapp platform for iOS and Android) for the weekly schedule, speaker bios, Twitter feeds, and more.

The new Sociology Colloquium Series App is now available!

September 12, 2014

Save the Date(s)
August 17-19, 2015
International Sociological Association
Research Committee 28 (Social Stratification and Mobility) Conference
University of Pennsylvania
Organized by Hyunjoon Park and Herbert L. Smith 

Mark your calendar for the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee 28 (Social Stratification and Mobility) Conference at the University of Pennsylvania. Hyunjoon Park and Herbert L. Smith are organizing this scholarly exchange with support from the Population Studies Center and other organizations at Penn.

The call for papers will be out this winter; for updates, visit the Population Studies Center website.
To receive information directly, please email to be added to their list. 

September 8, 2014

Sam Preston, Ph.D Alum Andrew Stokes ('14), and Demography Ph.D student Ezra Fishman recently posted a working paper for the Population Studies Center Working Paper Series titled, "Lifetime Probability of Developing Diabetes in the United States."  The paper uses values derived from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to estimate the lifetime probability of developing diabetes in the United States.

Link to Article

September 8, 2014

Hyunjoon Park recently posted a working paper (w/ Jae Kyung Lee) for the Population Studies Center Working Paper Series titled:  "Growing Educational Differentials in the Retreat from Marriage among Korean Men." The paper explores "how men’s education affects their transition to first marriage, and how the relationship between education and marriage has changed across three 10-year birth cohorts of Korean men born from 1946 to 1975."  

Link to Working Paper

September 5, 2014

Meet our new Penn Sociology Online Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 academic year!

Sociology majors Faith Memmo (Class of '16) & Larry Liu (Class of '15)

The Online Ambassadors will blog throughtout the year on our website about their experiences as Sociology majors and the opportunities available to Sociology students.

Visit our previous student blogs

August 29, 2014

Emilio A. Parrado has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the interaction between immigration and fertility. The project is in collaboration with Sam Preston (Penn) and Phil Morgan (UNC-Chapel Hill).

August 28, 2014

The Chinese and German translations of Randall Collins' book, Does Capitalism Have a Future? have just been published.


Does Capitalism Have a Future? was co-written with Immanuel Wallerstein, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, and Craig Calhoun, and was originally published in English in late 2013 by Oxford University Press. Besides Chinese and German, it is also appearing in Spanish, Russian, Korean, Turkish, Farsi, Slovenian, Czech, Polish, Portuguese, French, and Arabic. 

August 27, 2014

Penn Sociology has an exciting lineup set for our 2014-2015 Colloquium Series!  Download our new Sociology Colloquium Series App (courtesy of the Yapp platform) for iOS or Android to check out speaker bios, schedule, Twitter feeds, and more! Downdload Instructions are below:



1. Go to the App Store or Google Play and download Yapp (it's free):
Yapp Photo
Yapp for iOS
Yapp for Android 

2. Click the green plus (+) sign in the top right-hand corner
3. Select "I've been invited to a Yapp"
4. Put any username in the name box
5. Put the following 6-letter code in the box that says "":  GJGFTC

The app "Colloquium Series 2014-2015" will download.  Enjoy!


August 21, 2014

Sociology Ph.D. alumna (2013) Julia E. Szymczak was recently awarded the sole honorable mention for the 2014 Roberta G. Simmons Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Julia’s dissertation is titled “The Complexity of Simple Things: An Ethnographic Study of the Challenge of Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections.” The selection committee “agreed unanimously that her research is outstanding and deserving of recognition.” The chair of Julia’s dissertation was Professor Charles L. Bosk.

August 20, 2014

Grace Kao & Hyunjoon Park have been appointed as Series Editors of Research in the Sociology of Education. Research in the Sociology of Education highlights "new and engaging work on various educational issues facing schools, families, and their communities." The first volume to be published with them as the editors is scheduled for early 2015.

Full Article

August 18, 2014

Jerry A. Jacobs was quoted in an August 11 story in Time Magazine that critically assessed popular advice on work-family issues.

Full article:

August 13, 2014

Dorothy Roberts was recently awarded a grant from the Brocher Foundation to support a workshop, "Quantifying Race: How Politics, Economics, and Medical Myopia Drive Color-Coded Data." She's co-organizing the workshop with author Harriet Washington, and it will be held in June at the Brocher Centre in Hermance, Switzerland. The Brocher Foundation hosts scientists and experts in the ethical, legal, and social implications of the development of medical research and biotechnologies. 

Also, in case you missed it, Professor Roberts has recently been featured on a host of media outlets discussing the social implications of the arrests of mothers for maltreating their children (stories that have been recently covered in the news).  Her apprearances include All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY, the Boston Globe (as previously reported), US News & World Report, and Slate. Check out the coverage below.

Interview on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC (video)
Interview on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on WHYY (audio)
Boston Globe Article
US News & World Report Article 
Slate Article

August 12, 2014

Sociology faculty have long participated in Penn's exciting 60-Second Lectures series, sharing words of wisdom and scholarship in a minute or less. Check out the videos of Sociology faculty taking on the challenge at the link below:

60 Second Lectures by Penn Sociology Faculty

The 60-Second Lectures main website

July 29, 2014

Dorothy Roberts was quoted in a Boston Globe article discussing the role of race in a recent child neglect accusation.
Full Article

July 28, 2014

An article by Melissa Wilde and recent Sociology Ph.D. recipient Sabrina Danielsen was published in the American Journal of Sociology.  The article is titled, "Fewer and Better Children: Race, Class, Religion, and Birth Control Reform in America."

Link to Article

July 24, 2014

Emilio A. Parrado has been selected as a member of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council of the National Academies Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (2014-2017).

July 24, 2014

Jerry A. Jacobs received the Worklife Legacy Award at the June meetings of the Work and Family Researchers Network in New York. The award recognized Jacobs’ scholarly and organizational contributions to the work-family field.