Worcester State University

 

Sociology Abstracts


BETTER LINKAGES BETWEEN CHILD AND ADULT SERVICES: A SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS

Matthew Johnsen, Ph.D.

This presentation outlined a social network analysis conducted in Clark County Washington in order to describe changes in a social service system for youth who are transitioning from children’s mental health services into adulthood. Clark County received four years of funding to expand services available to youth with mental health disabilities as they transition to adulthood. Nancy Koroloff, Maryann Davis, and I presented an analysis of changes in the service system as this grant was undertaken.

 

DON’T CELEBRATE, ORGANIZE! A PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY TO FAN THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT

Corey Dolgon, Ph.D.

This was my 2008 presidential address to the Association for Humanist Sociology. In it, I comment on the recent election of President Barack Obama and offer my arguments as to why, despite the progressive nature of the coalition that brought him to power, his election neither symbolizes a “post racial America” nor guarantees a particularly progressive shift in U.S. politics. I conclude that a true public sociology must be engaged with social movements, who are always the force behind progressive social change, not presidential candidates.

 

IN SEARCH OF ONE BIG UNION: FOLKSONGS AND THE U.S. LABOR MOVEMENT

Corey Dolgon, Ph.D.

Focusing on the role that folksongs play in the U.S. labor movement, the words and music bring both history and theory to life. I am a long-time labor activist and community organizer and have used folk songs to build solidarity on the line and engage students in the classroom. This singing lecture covers labor history from a multicultural perspective and examines the function of folk songs in workers’ lives, labor, and organizing.

 

MAKING THE MOST OF COLLEGE

Matthew Johnsen, Ph.D.

This book review of Richard Light’s Making the Most of College appeared in the inaugural edition of Currents in Teaching and Learning, an electronic journal focusing on the scholarship of teaching and learning. I also serve as Book Review Co-editor for Currents in Teaching and Learning.

 

MUSIC AND SOCIAL CHANGE CULTURAL SERIES

Matthew Johnsen, Ph.D.

On five Monday evenings in March and April, the Sociology Department joined a number of campus organizations to host a series of concerts and movies devoted to the theme of music and social change. Performers included Jim Scott, Joe Jencks, Corey Dolgon, and the local choral group MSTG, which performed with Scott and Jencks. Movies included Pete Seeger: The Power of Song and the Worcester premiere of The Singing Revolution. This series served to enrich a course of the same name taught within the Sociology Department. The series was organized with the assistance of a WSC mini-grant to Matthew Johnsen.

A GLANCE AT WHAT SHAPES HUMAN HISTORY: GLOBALIZATION AND ITS IMPACT ON GIRLS’ HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN TANZANIA

Fortunata Songora Makene, Ph.D.

Theorists of globalization disagree about the precise sources of recent shifts in the spatial and temporal contours of human life. Nonetheless, they generally agree that alterations in humanity’s experiences of space and time are working to undermine the importance of local and even national boundaries in many areas of human endeavor. This necessarily suggests the need to rethink key questions on human rights issues. This paper engages in an analysis of power structures underlying the school system; how that analysis translates into practice in internal and external relationships; and if they have sought to create alliances across social differences.” [Paper presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Conference, Boston, Mass., August 1-5, 2008.]

 

GIRLS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS: GLOBALIZATION AND ITS IMPACT ON GIRLS’ EDUCATION IN TANZANIA

Fortunata Songora Makene, Ph.D.

Using in-depth interviews and archival research from Tanzania and international organizations, this paper analyzes what happens as international law discourses get translated into policy on the ground and its consequences to a ‘girl child’s access to education. The paper seeks to analyze power structures underlying the education system and how these translate into practice in internal and external relationships. The paper also addresses how the girl-child continues to be affected despite international treaties requirements to protect their status with regard to education right. [Forthcoming publication at CODESRIA. Initially presented at the 2008 Northeast Law and Society Association, Amherst, Mass., October 31-November 1, 2008]

 

NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW IN TANZANIA: CHILDREN AND ELDERLY RIGHTS

Fortunata Songora Makene, Ph.D.

This paper examines the tension that exists between the role of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) and how they are perceived by Tanzanian citizens addressing: What role do NGOs play in policy formulation and implementation? What forces, if any, will affect the operation of NGOs? Do they recognize contradictions between international law and local cultural practices? I address the relationship between NGOs, international actors, and the state; Specific actions taken by NGOs in Tanzania with regard to human rights to children and elders and analyze differences across regions and NGO sectors in Tanzania and shortcomings of NGOs’ work in Tanzania. [Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Humanist Sociology, November 5-8, 2008, Boston, Mass.]

 
 
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