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2018 American Sociological Association Meetings

2018 American Sociological Association Meetings

The American Sociological Association’s 2018 Annual Meetings were a fantastic opportunity to network and share ideas with other scholars. The meetings took place in Philadelphia in early August. I was able to attend several sessions focusing on topics such as indigenous environmental issues, environmental justice, and public environmental sociology. I also attended a workshop on becoming a policy advocate as a sociologist, which included some really useful exercises and tips on how to use our positions as scholars to inform…

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With Wildlife Under Attack, What Can We Learn From Values?

With Wildlife Under Attack, What Can We Learn From Values?

Values influence all things. Values motivate behaviors directly and through possession of value-identities as people attempt to align their behavior with their perceived goals and identities. However, values can also serve as boundary-markers through which people can assert differences between themselves and members of other groups. For example, Lamont’s research on working class men highlights how her participants draw racial boundaries by defining the other group as deficient in characteristics that they value (Lamont 2009). For example, white participants defined…

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Emotions, Identity, and Social Movements

Emotions, Identity, and Social Movements

While working this summer, I have been thinking about how scholars can continue to apply social psychology to understand individual behavior, including participation in social movements. In my recent comprehensive exam, I argue that identity and emotion can help to explain differences in movement participation from initial involvement to variations in movement-related behaviors. The history and framing of particular social movements can interact with individuals’ social and personal identities and emotions to influence movement behavior. The environmental and environmental justice…

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Candidacy and Summer

Candidacy and Summer

In the last week I have finished my final course of graduate school and passed my second and final comprehensive exam. I will officially have advanced to PhD candidacy on June 1st! It’s hard to believe three years of graduate school have come and gone. At times I haven’t been able to see the progress (forest for the trees, etc.), but I think that my skills in writing, collecting data, and logic of inquiry have improved since I entered graduate…

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SSS Meetings in New Orleans!

SSS Meetings in New Orleans!

Last week I was able to attend the Southern Sociological Society’s annual meetings in New Orleans. This was my second opportunity to enjoy this conference, and getting to visit New Orleans for the first time was a major perk! I presented my work on childhood pathways to environmentalism on a panel on the environment and social justice. Other presenters in my panel discussed predictors of environmental justice campaign success and farmworkers’ responses to environmental justice issues in Florida. There was…

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Transparency in research using qualitative data

Transparency in research using qualitative data

I am just back from a trip to New York City to participate in a workshop as a member of the Qualitative Data Repository’s Annotation for Transparent Inquiry working group. The initiative aims to meet increased calls across the sciences for increased transparency, focusing on the particular challenges associated with qualitative data. Transparency in research using qualitative data often has challenges that are different from those faced by quantitative researchers. Scientific transparency in research using quantitative data can often be…

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Reflections on Online Teaching

Reflections on Online Teaching

I recently wrapped up my first online course as instructor of record. I navigated designing and teaching my own course while learning about the nuts and bolts of online teaching. The experience was invaluable. However, I have been reflecting on the benefits and challenges of online teaching, which is in increasingly high demand at the University of Maryland and, I’m sure, elsewhere. I have had the opportunity to lead classrooms and organize my own lectures for discussion sections in the…

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Moderating the Relationship Between Power, Class, and Unethical Behavior

Moderating the Relationship Between Power, Class, and Unethical Behavior

Happy New Year! I am excited about a year of new challenges and opportunities. I’ve recently explored some of the literature in social psychology and group processes attempting to understand altruistic and prosocial, as well as unethical, behavior. Does contact with those bearing the costs of unethical behavior moderate the relationship between power and unethical behavior? Many structures and social processes depend on people not behaving selfishly when presented with a social dilemma, leading to social consequences for widespread behavior…

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Childhood Experiences and Environmental Identities

Childhood Experiences and Environmental Identities

In a recently completed manuscript draft, I argue that childhood experiences are central for understanding why and how some people come to be involved in the environmental movement. My work centers on identity theory and its central idea that when a person incorporates an identity into their self-concept, and the identity becomes salient, it motivates their behavior (Stryker and Burke 2000). Therefore, I use the framework of environmentalist identities to think about how we can predict and understand which individuals…

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Moving Forward

Moving Forward

It’s good to be a graduate student, but life is busy. I struggle to balance research, teaching, professional development, volunteer commitments, and friends & family, just like everyone else I know. The graduate school grind can be challenging. It can feel like I’m pulled in multiple directions without enough time for any of my individual responsibilities. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m also trying to really establish goals for my graduate career. What kind of scholar do I…

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