Penn Sociology News

April 4, 2016
Sociology Ph.D. student Alexander D. Hoppe was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship for 2016-17. The fellowship is jointly funded by the US and Indian governments and offers nine months of research support. His project takes an ethnographic approach to global value chains, focusing on the construction and negotiation of cultural products in the apparel industry. He will be affiliated with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) while in India.
The Fulbright Program, which is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, aims to increase mutual understanding and strong ties between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.


April 1, 2016

Rachel Ellis, Ph.D. candidate, has accepted the Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year. She was selected as one of 66 fellows from more than 1,000 applicants. The ACLS Fellowship supports writing and research in the final year of dissertation work.

April 1, 2016

Grace Kao will be participating in April's 60-Second Lectures series. She will present on April 13 on the topic of Interracial Romance and Friendship from Adolescence to Adulthood.

The 60-Second Lectures

March 31, 2016

Francis Prior, Ph.D. candidate, has accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Assumption College. His appointment will begin Fall 2016.

March 30, 2016

Tina Wu, Ph.D. Student, has been awarded a Critical Writing Teaching Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year through Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at Penn.

More information.

March 29, 2016

Aliya Rao, Ph.D. Candidate, has accepted a two-year postdoctoral position at Stanford's Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Her appointment will begin August 2016. 


March 25, 2016

Betsie Garner, Ph.D. student, will be attending the upcoming School of Arts and Sciences' annual Levin Family Dean's Forum. Betsie will be honored as a 2016 Dean's Scholar. The event will be March 30 at 4:30PM in the Zellerbach Theatre at the Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts.

More information can be found here.

March 25, 2016

Rachel Ellis, Ph.D. candidate, was awarded the SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year. SAS Dissertation Completion Fellowships are awarded to students who will have satisfied all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation by the starting date of the fellowship.

March 24, 2016

Annette Lareau and Aliya Rao, Ph.D. candidate, had an article published in Contexts looking at the significance and criticalness of qualitative research and data earlier this month.

Full Article

March 21, 2016

Penn Sociology Alumni Spotlight:

Jessica Calarco, Ph.D. (2012)

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Indiana University


Jessica Calarco, who will be our colloquium speaker on March 23, earned her doctorate from Penn Sociology in 2012. We had a chance to catch up with her to learn more about her current research and the next steps.


Tell us a bit about your current research, and what the next significant step is.

Jessica: I am currently finishing a book manuscript that looks at how social class matters in student-teacher interactions and at how those interactions contribute to inequalities in school. The book, tentatively titled Class in the Classroom, is under contract with Oxford University Press and will likely be published in 2017. I am also working on other projects looking at social class and technology issues in college, at how social class matters in children's friendships, and at how attitudes toward children and parenting have changed over time.  

What motivates you to do the research that you are doing?

Jessica: Despite popular beliefs about the equality of opportunity in American society, we know that children's lives and outcomes vary substantially along social class lines. My goal is to understand the processes that produce those inequalities. 

Talk a bit about your time in the Penn Sociology program.

Jessica: I am tremendously grateful for the mentoring that I received at Penn. Annette Lareau was always ready with thoughtful feedback and always pushed me to aim high and work harder to achieve my goals. Grace Kao's hard-hitting insights prepared me for the challenges of publishing, surviving the job market, and succeeding in an academic career. Melissa Wilde's careful approach to research, writing, and teaching inspire me to aim for clarity and impact in my own work, as well. Randall Collins taught me to connect data to theory and to always consider the broader impact of what I found.

Do you have any tips and/or advice for students who are seeking Ph.D.'s in Sociology?

Jessica: If you're going to reinvent the wheel, do it with your ideas and not your work process. Identify the scholars whose work inspires you, and use them as your guide. Read their work carefully. Learn from their process. Emulate their writing. Ask them what they did to succeed. But, at the same time, learn to read what others have written with a critical eye. Learn to identify not what they did wrong, but what gaps are still left to be filled. Then make those gaps your own.

March 18, 2016

Paul Allison and his work on gender and wage disparities, specifically for women, were highlighted in The New York Times today.

Full Article

March 18, 2016

Irma Elo has been named as a candidate for presidency of the Population Association of America (PAA) in the latest issue of PAA Quarterly. If elected her term will begin in 2017.

Hans-Peter Kohler has been nominated to the nominations committee for PAA as well.

Full Newsletter

March 16, 2016

Jerry Jacobs was quoted in The Chronicle about interdisciplinary work and cluster hiring earlier this week.

Full Article

March 16, 2016

Research Janice Madden did in 2012 for Gender and Society on about disaparities in the workplace was highlighted in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Full Article

March 11, 2016

Guobin Yang has been named as a co-editor of Communication and the Public journal. Communication and the Public is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes both theoretical and empirical research articles in the intersections of communication and the public broadly defined. It welcomes research in these areas from and about any parts of the world, especially the parts of the world where the experiences have been under-considered in the extant social and cultural theories or in communication studies. It publishes quality works in both social scientific and humanistic traditions.

Full Article

March 7, 2016

Camille Charles was quoted in The Atlantic on an article about ethnic studies classes in America. Charles highlghted the cruciality of representing underrepresented peoples in scholarship in all of academia.

Full Article

March 3, 2016

Dorothy Roberts has been named to Harvard Law's Women Inspiring Change list for 2016. The 3rd Annual Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit showcases the astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy. The honorees—each of whom were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff—are powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets.

Full Article


March 2, 2016

David Grazian, who released American Zoo last fall, spoke with SAS Frontiers about his ethnography on zoos in America. In the interview Grazian highlighted the integral part a zoo can play among environmental education and biodiversity.

Full Article

March 2, 2016

Dorothy Roberts has been selected to receive the Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award. She will be honored in November at the 2016 annual meeting, the North American Forum on Family Planning, in Denver. 

The Society of Family Planning, established in 2005, works to advance family planning research and education, providing evidence-based insight to improve clinical care in the areas of contraception and abortion. With nearly 650 members, we also seek to cultivate a collaborative and supportive environment to foster scholarly activity and leadership in the areas of reproductive health and family planning.  

The SFP Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2005 and is one of three awards that SFP grants yearly. Past recipients of the award are Drs. David Grimes, Leon Speroff, Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., Sheldon Segal, Jacqui Darroch, Carolyn Westhoff, Philip Darney, Carole Joffe, Horacio Croxatto, and Stanley Henshaw.


March 1, 2016

Hans-Peter Kohler has been doing research in Malawi for the last 18 years on the AIDS epidemic. Penn Current featured Kohler's work recently.

Full Article