The University of Michigan has long been a leader in social science research on the many dimensions of social inequality. This bicentennial symposium will highlight these contributions by focusing on the work of distinguished social scientists who were trained at the University of Michigan.
0:00:00: Lunch. So we're going to move into our afternoon session and it's my honor to introduce our relatively new provost, Martin Philbert. He's Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs as of September 1. He was previously the Dean of the School of Public Health. He got his degrees in the UK at Cambridge and the London Royal Postgraduate Medical School. He's been here on the Michigan public health faculty since 1995. I had the pleasure working with him on our academic program group while he was dean and in my capacity as director and it's been great working with him as a provost. So welcome to Martin.
0:01:05: Thank you very much, David. I want to applaud you and Susan Collins for organizing this terrific symposium. I'm delighted to add my welcome to the several that you've already received. It is especially nice to have so many distinguished alumni visiting campus, particularly all at the same time. The university's bicentennial has provided us with multiple opportunities to reflect on our past and our contributions to society and to give thoughtful consideration to the future. I'd like to say a bit about each, particularly as they relate to research on inequality. The past has, of course, shaped our institution and what we are today. Examination of our past and that of similarly aged universities include study of the inequalities that formed us. They reflect the time of our founding. We work now to understand them, and in so doing, better understand inequalities in society today. More importantly, how we might address them.
0:02:16: Our inaugural bicentennial symposium this past January was entitled "The Political Economy of Plunder". Speaking there, Michael Witgen, a faculty member in History and American Culture examine the relationship between the universities founders and native Americans. It was the native Americans who, in fact, made the gift of land to what was then called the college with the understanding that their descendants would be educated without charge by the university. Like many of our peers, we have learned about policies and actions in our history that have supported racism and inequality and we're working now to address them. The symposium which has brought such an impressive array of Michigan-trained social scientists and practitioners to campus puts the focus on one of the important ways in which this university has contributed to society.
0:03:20: The 1970s rallying cry, quote, "If you want peace, work for justice," end quote, is attributed to Pope Paul VI. Perhaps it had an impact on Michigan researchers at precisely that time. True to scholarly form, faculty and students here in the 1970s, particularly graduate students, recognized the need to understand the root causes of inequality to address it effectively. One instance of this was the founding of the Program on Research on Black Americans at ISR. Launched in 1976 and led ever since by James Jackson, the program broke new ground in studying African Americans as African Americans, not in comparison with whites. The researchers gathered for the symposium have done analogous work. You have uncovered the history and contributions of previously unrecognized groups, explored barriers to their full participation in our society, and contributed to the development of the policies and programs that bring about change. And for that, we are grateful.
0:04:38: In many instances, what began as a topics course in a single discipline has become a research agenda that draws scholars together from several fields. This work has been path breaking and in many cases, it has grown out of Michigan's long standing support for interdisciplinary inquiry. When scholars with different kinds of expertise come together, they challenge each other's assumptions, probe biases and suggest alternate methodologies. This has many effects and I think one of the most important of them is that we come together and come up with better questions. We do a better job of defining a problem and develop more imaginative and nuanced approaches to the problems that we have defined in the past and that have defied answer in the present. I've wondered some about the ways in which early interdisciplinary collaborations come about. Many of you were graduate students here spending endless hours in ISR and at Knobs, which I learned was the north university building and it housed the universities early computer center.
0:05:57: And in the lounges in the Grad library. So we professors like to think that students learn from us. But I'm sure that it was those interactions in those common spaces were education truly occurred. In an era when it is as easy to E-collaborate with someone across the globe as with someone across the campus, I encourage you to support physical spaces on your campuses where today's young people can develop the relationships that support interdisciplinary research. I shouldn't bias it just to young people but to everyone who can engage in such collaborative research. The final phase of our bicentennial celebration has encouraged us to think about the future, particularly the university's responsibility to society. Michigan's 10th president Harold Shapiro has argued in his book, "A higher sense of purpose" That the mission of a democratic society is to "transform rather than undermine societies key institutions." And this is lovely language "A river of trust can run through them and wash us in a mighty stream carrying all of us to a better tomorrow."
0:07:22: This is certainly the work of universities and it is increasingly urgent. Research on inequality is a key contribution to this work. It enables us to understand and address forces that impede progress and undermine communities. Michigan is proud to have help train so many who contribute to the improvement of our society. You exemplify our mission to develop those who will "Who will challenge the present and enrich the future." You help us to move to a better tomorrow. Thank you. I'm now pleased to turn the podium over to David who will introduce the next panel.
0:08:10: Thank you, Martin. Thanks for coming. We know you have a big university to run, [chuckle] so we appreciate you coming by. And I'll turn things over to Liz Cole who was part of the great organizing committee that we had and she'll be running this afternoon session.
0:08:33: Thanks, David, and thanks to all for joining us after lunch. Try to rise to the occasion here. My name is Liz Cole and I'm a faculty member in Women's Studies and in Psychology. I'm also the Associate Sean for Social Science in LSA. And I am proud to be an alum of the University of Michigan. I graduated with my PhD in Personality Psychology in 1993. So this event is very special to me as well. I'm happy to be here to moderate the next panel which is on race, gender and empowerment. And as you probably know, the University of Michigan has long been a leader in research and scholarship related to racial inequality and to the experience of racial and ethnic minorities. And we've been a leader as well in the study of gender and women's lives. You can see this, if nowhere else, in the fact that we were among the first universities to have Departments of Women's Studies and Afro-American and African Studies. Our departments go way back to the late 60's and early 70's. Now since the 1980's, scholars have been increasingly interested, not only in race and gender and other kinds of social categories, but how those categories work together to shape life chances and outcomes. And often that's talked about in terms of intersectionality, which has become something of a controversial buzzword lately. Michigan counts many of the top scholars working in all these areas in the study of race and the study of gender and in their intersections among our faculty and alumni.
0:10:09: These leaders have worked both to transform their own disciplines and to create interdisciplinary spaces for scholarship in teaching. And we're very lucky to have four of these leaders here today to share their insights and tell us about their research. They will also be considering how these intersections can present opportunities for empowerment, advocacy and political mobilization. So the format that we're gonna have today is our college speaker to the front to give their remarks for 15 minutes and at the end we'll bring everybody back up to the front to have an opportunity both for them to speak with each other and to take questions from you. So I'll be briefly introducing each speaker. Their full bios are on our program but our first speaker will be Rosario, also known as Rosie Ceballo, who's a professor of Psychology and Women's Studies here at Michigan. She's also currently the chair of the woman studies department. And she received her PhD and I believed both Clinical and Developmental Psychology. With a certificate in women studies right? In 1996. So thank you, Rosie.
0:11:26: Thank you, Liz. I actually really wanna thank Liz because this brings back a lot of memories. When I was in graduate school, I used to come here to hear very important people give very important talks, and so it's a little strange to be up here. And I thought if I was ever up here, I would have to give a really big talk with a lot of data and a lot of numbers. And it's funny that with tenure, I decided I wasn't gonna do that. Anyway, let's have fun there with me.
0:11:55: And how do I go... How do I do my... Slides? So that's not me. That's me. Perfect. I'm gonna go like that? Awesome. Thank you. Can I use this? Yeah. Awesome. Okay.
0:12:27: I wanna talk about women's reproductive health and infertility, and I'm gonna begin with some definitions. Just so that we all know what we're talking about and it's the same thing. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 or more months of unprotected intercourse. Impaired for candida, refers to couples who have trouble conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. Around the world, there are infertility as thought to affect as many as 186 million people. In the United States, the CDC says that 12% of women ages 15 to 44, have impaired for candida, 7% of married women ages 15 to 44, meet the diagnostic criteria for infertility and 24% of currently married childless women, ages 15 to 44 have impaired for candida. A lot of work has been done on infertility around the world, but today for my talk I'm gonna focus on infertility and women in the United States.
0:13:42: Institutional policies about women's rights to reproduce and have children are highly unequal in our country. So in countless ways women in our society are valued for their reproductive abilities. Dominant social beliefs about women's roles still prioritize motherhood, and many scholars refer to that as the motherhood mandate. We also live in a pro-natalist society that reveres and privileges biological ties and family unions. So if we were to ask, who has access to medicalized interventions to assist with fertility and having children? If we were to solely prioritize gender, one answer should be, well, all women of course, right? But of course we know that that's not the answer. And in this current day where we see so much focus on health that focuses on individual willpower and individual choices, I'm gonna focus more on what feminist scholars do, which is to focus more on structural determinants of health and the structural determinants of health that create inequalities among women. Assisted reproductive technologies refer to procedures in which pregnancy is attempted through the use of external means. For example, eggs are fertilized outside the uterus.
0:15:03: An average cycle of In Vitro Fertilization, IVF, as you all probably have heard and known is approximately $12,000. It hasn't gone down. It's not like tv sets, it hasn't become more affordable. And many people ask, of course, what types of couples can afford to become parents through those means. Only 15 states have passed laws that require some coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment. And our great state of Michigan is not one of those. The Affordable Care Act does not mandate coverage for infertility either. Some scholars have described the current circumstances as evidence of stratified reproduction. So this is where medical and societal resources are used to enhance the fertility of married, high income, white couples, but not the reproduction of less valued, less desirable, brown and black babies. For decades, the majority of research on infertility in the social sciences has focused on European American, high-income couples seeking services at infertility clinics. And as a psychologist, I can completely understand this. You have this group of easily accessible sample, right? These participants just sitting there in waiting rooms who can take your surveys. So it makes a lot of sense, practically speaking as a scholar. And this earlier work did focus on gender, and gender differences. Among white couples, infertility experiences were experienced more negatively emotionally for women than for men.
0:16:57: In contrast, men described infertility as, quote, "Disappointing but not devastating." So I think that's a very good characteristic quote. Okay, but of course I was trained here at Michigan, like many of you and at Michigan and in Women's Studies, I was trained to ask who was left out of this research and in doing so I learnt that the women who were left out... The racial, ethnic and minority women and the women with less education, and less income are all equally, likely if not more likely to experience infertility in the United States. Moreover compared to White women, African American, Arab American, and Latina women are less likely to receive any type of infertility service medical treatment in this country. So only more recently have scholars began to address the experiences of infertility among low income women and among women of color.
0:17:57: For years in essence, the research marriage social depictions of infertility as an affluent white couple's concern. And societal depictions of bad mothering and undeserving mothers with too too many children were also often depicted by women of color. I'm gonna show you only two slides to visually illustrate that, and I think you can all relate to those. So here, the association of poor women and women of color with having too many children, I think some of you will remember the movie, "Precious," of teenage motherhood. We see so many black faces representing that. And then alternatively, when we look at what has typically represented and have been represented in our country as women who seek infertility services and who wanna have more children and produce beautiful, lovely triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, etcetera, etcetera, of beautiful white babies.
0:19:01: Invisibility is a potent form of erasure and disempowerment. And that's one of the main points that I wanna make today. The invisibility of certain marginalized groups occurs in our scholarship and who is represented in educational settings, and social policies, legal representation, political advocacy, the media, and so on and so on. And intersectionality, according to some, is the most important theoretical contribution made by feminist theorists. And of course, I have to talk about intersectionality because Liz is a former chair of Women's Studies. I could not let her down and not refer to intersectionality in my talk today. So as all of you know, intersectionality causes to attend to the ways in which various social identities are experienced simultaneously with some emerging as more prominent or privileged in certain contexts and in certain moments. And Purdie-Vaughns and Eibach coined a term called intersectional invisibility, which is an acute form of social invisibility experienced by people with multiple subordinate identities such as black women who are neither men and are neither white. So again, a key point, the incorporation of intersectionality into our research designs, questions, and theorizing, I'm gonna claim today is fundamentally empowering. It brings marginalized groups of people and research topics into the center of our attention, and it allows for greater complexity and greater contextualization by asking for whom and in what context.
0:20:46: Okay, I'm just checking on time. Okay. So now what I wanna do is turn to some of my own work in this area and my research on African American women's experiences with infertility. And to the best of my knowledge, the study that I did, which was a small qualitative study, was the first that focused exclusively on African American women's experiences with infertility. And one of my goals was to understand the links between race, gender, and socioeconomic status in African American women's experiences. I conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 50 African American women who met the criteria for infertility at some point in their lives. They had a mean age of 37 years. They spent an average of five years trying to become pregnant and they represented a range of socioeconomic status. My sample included doctors, as well as custodians. It included women who worked as flight attendants, teachers, and factory workers. Finding 50 African American women who are willing to talk to you about their reproductive difficulties was not easy. It took many, many, many years. That's probably another talk and a subject for another time. But one of the other amazing things about Michigan is that many of my mentors said, as I could see them thinking, "Oh, boy," they nonetheless said, "Go for it. Try it. Why not? Do a feasibility study. Maybe you can find that many black women who will talk to you about their difficulty conceiving."
0:22:25: So one of the main themes that I found was silence and isolation. Virtually all of the women in my sample described silence and isolation as a defining feature of their relationship with other people, both friends and family members. Some declared that they didn't think the experience was as difficult for their male partners. Of course, this is their perceptions, not their male partners'. And some women purposely imposed distance from their spouses and partners. I need to share some of their own words and describing their experiences.
0:22:57: Stephanie, who tried to get pregnant for six and a half years, said, "I didn't tell my close friends. I didn't even tell my mother. We were very close. Or my sister. My sister's a year younger than me. I didn't even tell her. I hid it for so long, keeping it as a shameful secret." There are many possibilities for explanations of silence, including that this is a very personal and private subject, including that in the African American community, maybe we're taught we shouldn't air our dirty laundry. This is a vulnerable topic. Patricia Hill Collins posits that negative cultural images of African American women have been replaced by exotic images of unusual strength, stamina, and perseverance. So strong black women don't need to talk about it or get any help from anybody else. We should just be able to handle it on our own. And then finally, what I call the black fertility mandate, which is women's internalization of the stereotypes that black women are hyper-fertile and have a propensity for reproducing.
0:24:00: An example of this is Samantha and she says, "I didn't think there were that many African American women out there that were having this problem. I mean, you know, because nobody talks about it and you know, there's nothing ever on the media about it. I mean, the media's represents us as popping out babies left and right. You know, we're welfare mother's, we're this and that, you know. So I didn't think there was a problem with us." Turning to race, gender and SES in medical settings, about a quarter of my sample describes some experience of discrimination in a medical setting, but what was incredibly surprising to me is that, there was no social class difference there. Even college professors described a loss of agency and a loss of feeling power in medical settings. I have more quotes, but I am gonna go through them because I'm running out... I've got two minutes, I'm running out of time, so here we go. A cornerstone of intersectionality in this theory posits that people's experiences are best captured and understood by the interactions of their multiple social identities. Yet a lot of the women in my sample tried to identify which one of their particular identities accounted for the discrimination that they experience.
0:25:13: Was it due to their race, their social class, their marital status, their weight? Katrina says, "Well I mean, there's always the racial issues. You have health insurance and all, but I wonder about that, you know, race, and then, too, my being a large woman, because people are very biased about that." I saw that question as being a profoundly intersectional question. They weren't denying their multiple identities, they were actually trying to figure out which one of those was more salient at that particular moment in time. So in closing, with my one minute left, I wanna say, that bringing intersectional visibility to research can be empowering. Finding methodological approaches that capture intersectionality are critical, because we uncover who's been left out or rendered invisible. And we reveal unexpected findings about how people navigate these different identities in their worlds. Several of the women who I interviewed, I asked them, "Why did you decide to talk to me and participate in this study?" And many of them said, "Because I was so alone. I went through this all alone. And I wanted to help others." So in essence, they wanted visibility. Thank you.
0:26:42: Our next speaker is Aimee Meredith Cox, who is an associate professor of anthropology and African American studies at Yale. But before that, she earned her PhD here in Anthropology in 2006.
0:27:17: Hi, good afternoon. Hi, good afternoon. [chuckle] How y'all doing? It's after lunch, I know. I just wanna say it's so good to be here. I was so inspired by this morning's panel, and already by the beginning of our discussion on gender, race, and empowerment. Two weeks ago I was here on campus talking about diversity, broadly speaking, through the Anthropology Department and through a forum facilitated by Damani Partridge in anthropology. And it dawned on me, as I walked through the doors of this building, that I've probably spoken more on this campus in the past two months than I have in the 10 years that I was a graduate student and a postdoc here. I say that for the graduate students that I was just having lunch with, we were talking about what it means to do work, to be a research, and to own your research. And I say that because it is possible to shift spaces that are meant to transform you and to transform those spaces. So I very much see this as an opportunity to shift that energy.
0:28:22: In the time that I have here at the podium, I want to offer my reflections on the work that I've been involved in and I've had the good fortune to witness, both within and outside of academic institutions, work that is responsive to questions of race and gender, specifically within the life worlds of young black women living in the United States. I provide this somewhat specific frame knowing that the conversation with the other panelists will allow us to expand from this location and consider black girls and young black women as an important starting point for thinking about new spaces of empowerment and possibility. So I'm a cultural anthropologist, broadly, and admittedly, somewhat simplistically speaking, that means for me, that I'm interested in how we make the world, and how the world makes us. Along with the contradictory stories we often tell about this process. Sorry, I lost my place.
0:29:27: My work is also at the intersection of not just anthropology but black studies and women and gender studies. I have in my work to date been interested in how the unique perspective that comes from looking through the prism of the experiential realities of race, gender, age and social status impacts how folks residing at perhaps the most vulnerable reaches of these categories, young black women make sense of the world. This unique perspective may unlock, I believe, more productive ways for researchers, teachers, activists, and community members to explore and challenge the normative foundations of collective ideas around big messy ideas, such as family work, education, mobility, love, civic engagement and labor. Out of these initial interest that emerged from this looking at the outside, right? Looking from the outside of the periphery was my dissertation research on young black women who are residents of a homeless shelter in Detroit, Michigan. So, I conducted this research while I was a graduate student here at the university in the Anthropology department, and I came to know these women and their families over the course of a decade. And I came to know them not just as residents of a homeless shelter, but as mothers, as caregivers for people in their entire community, as laborers in the social in the low wage work industry, as activists and as educators.
0:31:00: And what was so profound to me is that these young women between the ages of, roughly speaking, 17 and 21, who are homeless, were often still very much at the center of their family dynamic, and very much at the center of making transformations in their community, even while they were living in the homeless shelter. And so part of what I found in talking to these young women, that all of them carried this... What they called or what I called with them, this community ethos of care, right? That no matter what... How they were resourced or under-resourced, it was their obligation to collectively care for people and their families, and their communities, even as they were the most vulnerable members in their families and communities.
0:31:47: So there was this commitment to not just providing a new definition of care, but thinking about the relationship to institutions, given this ethos of care. So, beyond the homeless shelter, a lot of these young women were in job corps. They were also a part of the public school system. Some of them were working, as I said before, in retail jobs, and some of them were even going to Wayne State at this time. And a part of what they thought was important to maintain their position, as leaders in their communities and caretakers in their communities, was to figure out how to transform these institutional spaces that were ostensibly meant to transform them into respectable citizens, into proper workers, into good ladies, right?
0:32:35: And so how do we come to this place? How do you come to a place when you are 18 years old and perhaps caring for two children? You have no family support, even as you continue to support your family. How do you come to the place that you not only see yourself as a leader in your community but you know that you have the ability to make change? To make change in the spaces that you occupy, and to make change in the greater social landscape. Patricia Hill Collins talks about this, and I think one thing, one important thing that was happening with these young women, and that we can continue to see through research on young black girls in the United States, is that there's this development of oppositional knowledge. An understanding of the world that allows you to see yourself, not as a problem, or not something that inherently always needs to be fixed, but perhaps as the source of transformation. An oppositional knowledge that is not just about thinking, not just having this cognitive understanding, but that can be translated into action. Can be translated into action and practice even as you yourself are a teenager, even as you yourself might be experiencing or are experiencing multiple levels of intersecting oppressions, as we think about intersectionality.
0:34:01: So these young women developed their own measures of success that spoke to their realities, and they named these interlocking systems of subjugation. So, even though we can think about intersectionality as a structural reality, there's a way that I'm also asking us to think about intersectionality as a space of possibility. If you think about intersecting systems as subjugation, we can also think about intersecting identities as an endless site for possible transformation, and this is what these young women did.
0:34:38: That's kinda dark. So these are some of the young women from Detroit, that's a mural on the background that says Detroit at the top. One visual that I wanna offer us as we think about what it means to look from a different perspective. And I hesitate to use the word periphery because these young women, in no way saw themselves as peripheral or marginal. They're very much saw themselves at the center of their lives, but I will offer this visual. So if we think about a concentric circle, where at that center, we have maleness heterosexuality, wealth, whiteness, and we go out from that circle and we think about the location, the social location of these young women who are non-white, non-wealthy, non-adult. We can think about all the ways that they get further and further outside of that inner circle and farther away from citizenship rights. But from that space, from that space on the outside is always the potential to see everything that's happening, not just on the center, but around the edges. So from that perspective, these young women had a vast visual capability to see our broad social landscape.
0:35:53: This book, my first book that draws on this decade of research with young black women in Detroit is called "Shape shifters, black girls in the choreography of citizenship." And although I'm trained as an anthropologist, this book is highly interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from historical family narratives, Black feminist theory and performance studies. So I mention my own ethnographic research as a way to introduce what I really want to discuss today, the larger emerging field of Black Girlhood Studies. Although this is my first book, and it may be my only fore-way into this field as my other writing, teaching, and research covers other topics, I raise up the work in this field because it does several things that are important for the future of gender, race and empowerment as academic inquiry and the larger political project. So that's just that street image of one of the young women's homes, our grandmother's homes in Detroit, and these are some of the works that I'd like to talk about.
0:37:00: So we have "Pushout" by Monique Morris, LaKisha Simmons, "Crescent City Girls." LaKisha Simmons is actually a historian here at the University of Michigan. And who's amazing. And "Hear Our Truths" by Ruth Nicole Brown. What I wanna say, part of why I'm raising up this work is this is profoundly a black feminist practice. So we often come to these talks and we hear the same names over and over again. The same sources cited. And I think it's important that we all know these names. So "Pushout," the work by Monique Morris, who is an advocate for young women across the country talks about what Dr Johnson spoke about earlier this morning, this exclusionary disciplinary practices that unequally impact students of color. In this case, young women are brought to the forefront.
0:37:45: So when we often talk about criminalization or policing practices in a black community, young girls, black girls, often get erased in that conversation. And so what Monique Morris talks about is how the very bodies of black girls, brown and black girls, are seen differently. So they can be enacting the same behaviors, they can be engaged in the same activities, but because of how they are viewed, they are seen as criminal and as adult. And they receive different levels of punishment and discipline. And this punishment and discipline isn't benign. It's exclusionary so it essentially takes them out of the educational process. But then we have historical studies like LaKisha Simmons, who's looking at the broad history of how young girls figure in the making of black families as they migrate across the country.
0:38:36: And then of course, "Hear Our Truths," thinking about young black women as not just always passive consumers of popular culture who are dangerously influenced, but as producers of culture. Who are in many ways the foundation of hip hop, the foundation of R&B, through the games that they play on the streets and the ways that they use language, the foundation of our cultural production. Joyce Ladner and her sister Dottie, so Joyce Ladner some of you may know, wrote... Probably we could call her the fore-mother of Black Girlhood Studies. She wrote a study in 1971 called "Tomorrow's Tomorrow." And she was also an activist. So after the murder of Emmett Till, Joyce Ladner and her sister started to mobilize in Mississippi. So her activist practice was not separate from her scholarship. And this is very much a tradition that carries through the work of black feminist scholars who are interested in girlhood studies. "South Side Girls" by Marcia Chatelain talks about how young women were the leaders of labor movements during the Great Migration. "South Side Girls" also gives us the connection between education as a space of both protection and danger, and possibly the only site or only way to get out for black girls, that carries through the work of Monique Morris.
0:40:00: So we can talk about these strands of institutional vulnerability and institutional possibility from the Great Migration through to the present day. And so this work is tracing that history through the lens of black girlhood. So when you talk about intersectionality and we can include usually it's the two big ones, race and gender, sometimes we throw in social status or class. But to think about age, and how even depending on those other factors, you won't even be seen as a child. There's a whole age grade that you're not even included in. [chuckle] That's okay. So what I really wanna get to now, and I'll close with this, is the ways that scholars of Black Girlhood Studies are working with and interacting with activists and advocates across the country. So we can talk about the long history of young black women being at the center of political movements, prior to Black Lives Matter. Prior to #SayHerName. During the civil rights movement, teenage black girls who refuse to give up their seat long before Rosa Parks. Teenage black girls who were part of labor mobilizing as they were working to find their families in much the same ways that we see in the present day homeless shelter in Detroit.
0:41:19: So now we have this relatively more visible face of black girl leadership through Black Lives Matter started by three black women. Young, relatively young black women. And so what is really exciting to me about this moment among many things, is the possibility that has emerged as a reality. So scholars working in tandem with young black women, as they mobilize, not to study them, and this is really important, not to study them but to learn from them. And so this is another important flipping of what Black Girlhood Studies does. Instead of taking, for example, a critical race theory or black feminist theory and now fixing it onto black girls, it uses a theorizing from the space of black girlhood to transform traditional theory.
0:42:12: So sort of working in terms of the way that we think about theorizing and practice in opposition to our traditional ways of organizing around that. So taking theorizing out of only the contextual space of the academy and using the knowledge of young black girls to inform the way that we think about the possibilities for race studies, for Women's Studies, for performance studies. And I will just end by saying... So I'm putting this as a prompt for someone to ask me this question because I really wanna talk about this!
0:42:47: I really, really wanna talk about this. Participation and/or resistance. This is a constant theme in black life, I think, alright. Do we participate? Are we colluding? Are we selling out? Are we always resisting? How do we, until we completely dismantle capitalism and patriarchy and racism, how do we not participate? But then at the same time, how do we maintain these spaces of resistance?
0:43:12: Black girls give us a way to think about that. And in particular, I wanna talk about, one of perhaps the most fraught liberal spaces to think about this is philanthropy. And so there's a young woman right now who's working with the Novell Foundation, that's Warren Buffett's foundation. I don't know if you all know about this, Warren Buffett has bequeathed $90 million to do work with girls of color in the US. One of the most radical black activists, young women, is in charge of this pot of money. But she's... It's like this, because she's challenging the use of girls of color, she wants blackness to be named, she's challenging giving this money to traditional organizations. She wants people who are actually being named by black girls in the community, people who are doing the work, who might not necessarily be attached to 501c3s, to get the money.
0:44:12: What I will say is that there's tension around this, but she's pushing back, and this money is getting into the hands of grandmothers, of the single mother down the street who's hosting educational seminars in her apartment. That is a transformation. And so I want us to think in a more complicated way, in a tricky way, about how we both participate and resist in ways that are more than just working from the inside out. Is there a way to not just work from the inside out but to establish new spaces? And so I'll just end there, thank you.
0:45:01: Our next speaker is Lorraine Gutiérrez who is an Arthur F. Thurnau professor which we award for outstanding teachers in the school of social work and also in the department of psychology here at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in social work and psychology here at Michigan in 1989.
0:45:35: Good. Thank you, thank you very much for inviting me. It's an honor and a pleasure to be here and certainly when I was a doctoral student here, I probably never would have thought I would be standing in Rackham auditorium, talking to people and actually having them listen to me, which is fantastic. [chuckle] I'm glad that I'm the third on this panel because I think so much of what Rosie and Amy have covered relate quite well to some of the things I'm gonna be discussing. And I can maybe build on what they've been talking about and also provide some alternative ways of thinking about some of the themes. When I saw the title of the panel I started thinking around this concept of the intersectionality of race, gender and empowerment, and how that's informed... This has been a theme in my work both separately, individually and in different combinations as well. So I'm gonna say a little bit about who I am so you can understand my standpoint, where I'm coming from. I'm going to say a little bit about how I got into this topic and why it's kept my interest for at least 30 years. Talk a little about empowerment, an empowerment theory and practice which is how I've centered the work I've done.
0:47:00: And then talk about where this work is today and where it might be going in the future or where it could go. So I'm not gonna be sharing data or talking about a particular project but rather giving a broader overview of these topics and how they resonate for me and how I thought about them over the past, almost 30 years. So who am I? I know a lot of the people in this room and a lot of people in this room know me but you may not know very much about me and my background, so I thought I'd share that. My background is Mexican American, and in this very interesting, northern great lakes state part of our country, it's sometimes odd to be neither black nor white, to try to figure out what is my positionality in a part of the world that has a discourse around blackness or whiteness, but not about people who are neither or who are many of the above.
0:48:03: I identify as Mestizo, which is a Spanish term for somebody who's Native American and white, and in fact that is my background, that is my heritage and my lineage. My indigenous ancestors were living in the US-Mexican border, as long as there were people there, so who knows how long. And my European ancestors began coming to what was then New Spain and then Mexico, and then later conquered by the US in the US-Mexican border. They started coming in the 16th century, very, very early on, in part fleeing the Spanish inquisition because they were what were called Crypto-Jews: People who had been Jewish and got the choice of converting, dying, or sort of operating under the radar. And so actually, they now say about 40% of the original colonists coming from Spain were in fact Crypto-Jewish population who were trying to escape Europe.
0:49:06: So I have a long history in the US-Mexico border and I really still see that very much as my home land and feel a connection to that. So on the left side you see me, as a child, with my mother and my grandaunt and my granduncle, Ornelious, this was her last name. My tia tili was what we called her. And on the right side are my parents. On the day they got married they eloped, to Las Vegas, 'cause their parents didn't really approve of their relationship. And they were both public school teachers, they really struggled to get a college degree so that they could go into the public schools and teach. And really valued education and had a love of learning, and also sort of equated teaching... I grew up sort of equating teaching and learning with love. That makes sense because my parents were public school teachers in urban schools. And I sort of feel like I also pass it on to my students, it's my way of showing caring is by teaching.
0:50:18: So I'm really dedicating these remarks to them and their love of learning which they manage to infuse in me. How did I get here? I think you recognize this place. How did I get to the topic of raising gender and empowerment? I began working on issues related to women of color, and when I say women of color I mean women who are not of predominantly European ancestry, so I'm really talking about Latinos and native American and African-American and Asian-American women, and women who are of all of those backgrounds, and many of those backgrounds mixed together. I began that work as a social worker and community activist in New York city, between getting my masters degree in social work and getting a PhD, coming here for my PhD program. I worked in Chicago and I worked in New York city with organizations as a activist and as a volunteer primarily. We were gonna end violence against women as quickly as possible. We were working really hard on that, in all of our spare time and not so spare time.
0:51:35: And then when I got out of school I worked on that in New York city with different coalitions and different groups and different organizations, got paid for some of it. And was really strongly influenced by what we now call second and third wave feminism, along the way. My scholarly career really came out of this activist work. I had been out in the world trying to change things and make the world a better place for women of color, and wanted time to think, and wanted time to work with ideas. And so I came back to school and came here to the U of M to study social work and psychology. I was in the Social Psychology program at that time, and I worked with some fantastic and really extraordinarily interesting and inspiring people including Libby Duvan, who was my first advisor. Barry Checkoway in the School of Social Work, and Tony Tripodi in the School of Social Work, who taught me a lot about applied research. Took a class with Bob Zions, who I found fascinating and a little bit intimidating and scary as well.
0:52:41: James Jackson, Pat Gurin, who turned out being my dissertation advisor and lifelong mentor, and who I still talk to today. And during that time I had a job at ISR, I worked with Rick Price on the Jobs Project, which became a very well-known intervention/prevention research project. So I worked with Rick and Amiram and Bob Caplan, and I also taught in Women's Studies, and learned a lot about feminist theory and about feminist approaches and what we called feminist pedagogy in those days, from Beth Reed and from Abby Stewart. And so my experiences in school and out of school were very formative for me in developing my ideas. And ISR was very important to me in learning how to do field research and how to bring ideas and theory into practice, into the real world. So it's really my work as a GSI in Women's Studies as well as my studies in social psychology, that helped me to develop and think deeply about how social identities and different social identities individually and in combination influence how we view our social world. To what degree do our social identities and the positionalities of those identities lead us to look at the world as being fair or equitable?
0:54:00: To think about who has power, and if I have power? And if I have power, what kind of power is it? And power over what? And power to do what? Do people like me, in many ways, have power? And what are the opportunities that are open to people like myself? And how might these certain ideas we might have and views of ourselves in the world contribute to our sense of agency, sense of efficacy, or sense of what social psychology would refer to as learned helplessness?
0:54:35: My work in social work in the program, as a social worker, activist, student, and researcher, introduced me to the ideas and concepts of empowerment as they were viewed in the late 20th century, and empowerment was a word that was being used mostly in popular culture and out in the world, and less in academia and less in scholarly settings. But I was really intrigued at that time, in the late 1980s to think about a word that was being used in feminist movements, around women's empowerment, that was used by Jesse Jackson in his campaign in 1984. I went and heard him speak at Willow Run and was empowered, felt very empowered, and he was talking a lot about empowering with the Rainbow Coalition. And then, Ronald Reagan in his campaign also spoke of empowerment, as did George H. W. Bush. So, I was really intrigued by a word that could be used by people who appeared to have so many different views, and yet, people were resonating to it.
0:55:39: So, I ventured on this path 30 years ago to really try to figure out what empowerment was or if we could figure out what it was. Did it actually mean anything, or was it simply this hollow word that people were using as a code to mean many different, but often contradictory things? In this early work, there were very few scholars working on empowerment, but there were others I found. There was no internet then, remember? I mean, there was internet, but there was no web, so it was really hard to find things. Still had to go to the library and look in those books of indices. Younger people won't... Have no idea of what I'm talking about. But I went to conferences, I did these things, I networked, I met others who were trying to figure this out. Mark Zimmerman, who's now in our School of Public Health, Julian Rappaport, who was at UIC at the time, Barbara Solomon and Lane [0:56:31] ____, two women of color who were very influential in social work theory and practice. And we were all on the same path, and so, even though we were in different fields, thinking of empowerment in different ways, I was in communication with them in those days, by email and by actual written letters and sending off manuscripts and envelopes to one another so we could communicate.
0:56:54: And this was fortunate, because at that time I encountered faculty members here on this campus, now retired and nameless, who said I could not study empowerment because it really wasn't a topic, and nobody had studied it before, so how could you study something that nobody had studied and nobody had measured?
0:57:14: So, what have we, and many, many, many, many others, across many, many, many, many fields, have learned about empowerment in the past 30 and a little bit, 30 plus years? One thing that we've done is work on defining empowerment and really talking about how the concept of empowerment is used to describe an outcome, a cognitive process, and also an intervention or method of change. It's described as a multilevel process that can incur on the individual, community, family, organization, on every type of social system level, if you wanna think about the ecological model and think about across social systems. And it's viewed as a multilevel process, so there can be levels within levels. And it's ecologically grounded, so there's no one kind of empowerment, there's different kinds of empowerment depending on the issues and the communities you're talking about.
0:58:12: What does empowerment mean when it's talked about as an outcome? People are really talking about power, so, the gaining of power, whether it's on an individual level, whether it's political power, people having a sense of their own power, or organizational kind of power, or the ability to influence others. I'm gonna start zipping.
0:58:38: What have we learned about empowerment as a cognitive process? This is, one of the many thinkers about empowerment, but Paulo Ferreri's work that he did in Latin America, which has been very influential for empowerment scholars, particularly myself. And so, he talks about empowerment as involving the process of praxis, of acting and reflecting on what's going on in society, and then staying in that cycle of action and reflection. Ferreri refers to action without reflection as sort of mindless activism, and reflection without action as verbalism. When I started reading his theory, I thought, "Well, I know a lot of people who have critical awareness and have had their consciousness raised, but they're not doing anything, in fact, they're sort of immobilized." So, how can having your consciousness raised lead to change? It has to be bigger than that, it has to be broader than that. It's simply not people becoming aware. And I liked your concept of oppositional knowledge, because I think when empowerment scholars are talking about what they call psychological empowerment or critical awareness, they're talking about this kind of oppositional knowledge, of seeing the world from a different standpoint and realizing that it's valid.
1:00:00: Empowerment interventions can also be a form of intervention which involves people in both developing critical awareness, but also perhaps developing the skills they might need to influence systems, the skills they might need to have more power in the situations they're in, it could involve music, dance, writing, theatre. Ferreri's model is very, very verbal in his orientation. It's talking circles. When you look at empowerment interventions, they go beyond that. So I've engaged in empowerment research over a long time... I have three seconds, so I will not go into great detail over any of them. But I do want to just finish up with my last couple of slides. My early research looked at the link between critical awareness and empowerment. And I used experimental methods and I was actually surprised to find out that there was a link, when I looked at my empowerment measures and my measures of critical awareness. This was with Latino students. I did research that then was qualitative research out in the field, talking to people engaged in empowerment work, to find out what they were doing, how they knew if something was empowering, and how their organizations were structured.
1:01:14: So their work could be a place where you could do empowerment work. And that led to a number of papers from that qualitative study that informed empowerment practice and where empowerment practitioners were informing our knowledge and our theories as well. I did a study around safer sex skills with African-American and white adolescents, both male and female. And found actually, the empowerment model was the best at predicting safer sex behaviors and interpersonal empowerment among African-American girls, among black girls, rather than the other three groups we had, which makes sense I think. Because empowerment models were developed to really address issues with very marginalized populations that don't have as much different kinds of power. And currently, I'm doing research on multicultural education in colleges and universities. And can they be mechanisms for empowering students to act against injustice? And so far, the findings I've had and my students have had has been pretty positive around that. So where are we now in terms of race and gender and empowerment? Is empowerment just a 20th century concept we should put in the shelf, and put away?
1:02:38: Does it still have integrity as it's grown because it hasn't gone away as a word? Has it been stretched beyond its breaking point? It's been used to justify policies that may not be really in it, coming from empowerment frameworks? So I think about Cameron's. They had the Cameron's big community program during the austerity era in the UK, where he used a big community empowerment strategy to justify budget cuts to communities and to take away essential social services by saying, "Communities will be empowered to replace them with volunteer programs." Many of the studies, many of the models, do not involve critical awareness, so I would argue that they're not really looking at empowerment as much as something else. And how have new and emerging technologies affected empowerment practice as it exists in the field? One thing that has changed is that empowerment is seen as now a much more reputable focus of study. My recent look at ArticlesPlus found over 100,000 articles since 2010 published in social science, and health science, and education, and policy journals, that are on the topic of empowerment. So even though I was told it was a fad, it seems to be sticking around.
1:04:00: What are the future directions for empowerment? I think we need to think about how we can develop theory that brings together what we know about popular social movements and empowerment theory in practice. We need to think about how newer understandings of the intersectionality contribute to a change model that's based on perceptions of different social locations and identities. And we also need to consider more and more how empowerment methods are... Need to be ecologically valid, valid for the communities in the context of which they exist. Because one size still does not fit all. So I'm gonna end with this photo of a basket of puppies. My late colleague Chris Peterson, who I worked with in the Psych Department who was a beloved colleague for many of us, told GSIs and assistant professors to always include a slide with pictures of puppies in it because you will get better course evaluations.
1:05:00: So I thought I would honor Chris and his memory and to also use this photo of puppies to cheer us as we explore these very challenging topics that we're talking about today. Thank you.
1:05:19: Well, it's hard to go on after the puppies. But we are going to go on, and we are gonna have our last speaker who is Virginia Sapiro, who's Professor of Political Science and Dean of Arts and Sciences Emerita at Boston University, which is my other alma mater. She received her PhD in Political Science here in 1976. So, Virginia, welcome.
1:05:52: I don't do slides of puppies, I bring my puppy to my class. Okay. Never got a print, so I'm gonna to have to do it this way. Good afternoon.
1:06:05: Good afternoon.
1:06:06: I'm very honored also to be invited to participate in this symposium to celebrate the bicentennial of the Catholepistemiad, as this little Detroit institution was known in 1817. My family has been associated with the university for over a century. My grandfather, born and raised on New York's lower east side, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, was graduated in 1908 from the Michigan Law School. While a student, he reportedly supported himself by playing the violin in a local Vaudeville theater. As far as I can tell, it was in the then newly built Majestic on Maynard Street, just a couple of blocks from where just 64 years later I would fiddle around at ISR for four years. My parents met in Ann Arbor, reportedly on the lawn of the Phi Sigma Delta house on Washtenaw Avenue, he an undergraduate returning from the war, she pursuing a master's degree, fulfilling a prediction apparently made in a photo of a three-month-old me in a Michigan sweatshirt, I arrived in Ann Arbor... I looked beautiful in it... I arrived in Ann Arbor to do a PhD in Political Science in 1972. My son earned an MPP at the Ford School in 2011. I've chosen to organize my talk around gender and empowerment and the social sciences.
1:07:44: It would be naïve and terribly 18th century to believe that knowledge alone or even a deep and systematic understanding of the social world alone can lead us to empowerment. But I also believe that only people who have been able to control knowledge, its production, and access, can dare be cynical enough to dismiss the critical importance of high-quality social science-based knowledge for empowerment. I'll reflect on the history of this field of gender and politics and empowerment by highlighting certain twists and turns in my own writing career during its first decade when I was still so very much showing the growth, the seeds, that I had planted in Ann Arbor. And I have to say that this now proves that I am truly prehistoric because the blurb about this panel talks about this research really beginning in the 1980s and I'm going to be talking mostly about the 1970s, so prehistoric. I promise to be selective and not read you my CV even for that particular decade. Social sciences had so little to teach us about gender and politics when I arrived in graduate school in 1972. We learned this quickly as we launched our interest in this field by doing what any good student would do. We began with literature reviews. Many of us wrote and published them in those early days.
1:09:19: We found very few studies of women in politics, most of the comments on women or gender and politics we could glean were little more than stereotype-based side observations or personal interpretations. Most of those observations relied on stereotypes about women's biology or personalities or roles without a shred of evidence or hypothesis testing. Too often the observations were not actually observations at all. They were untested assumptions. Even those critical literature reviews were so important because without them we had no knowledge, no basis on which to stand or certainly to take off to the future. The problem with a knowledge world based on stereotype and assumption is that most scholars thought the politics of gender was a: A settled subject and b: Trivial and not worth studying. So our generation set to work. The first major research task I set for myself was testing what I thought were previously untested assumptions. We turned assumptions into hypotheses. We all supposedly knew that women's political behavior and thinking was shaped by their "special condition as women, especially that they're mothers, wives and homemakers."
1:10:44: Men's behavior and thinking of course was the norm. We didn't have to explain anything about their special roles so thanks to the amazing data collected by my graduate mentor, M. Kent Jennings, not to mention his wise move in employing me on that project. I could take the 1965 wave of the student-parent socialization study with its national sample of high school seniors who were just a couple of years older than I was and the 1973 wave, when they were in their mid-20s meaning they had branched apart in their life-course paths. Some getting college education, some marrying, some having children, some entering the workforce. I studied only the female sub-sample to look at the impact of variation in women's roles, education and also gender ideology, on their political attitudes and behavior. Now of course, some people said I couldn't study women's gender roles and such without studying men. But I wasn't studying gender differences, I wanted to turn assumptions into hypotheses and study the impact of variations in women's lives and roles to see whether they made a difference.
1:12:00: The answer was, they didn't make much difference. And what difference they made depended on what we were talking about. In fact, when it's gender ideology was much more consistently related to their politics than their actual, quote, "roles in life situations." Now I thought that was pretty intriguing. That is, how we think about and understand gender seemed, quite possibly, very powerful. Perhaps even moderating the impact of what we then continued to call gender rules. Speaking of how we see and understand gender, the informal interdisciplinary training ahead at the lunch table at the Institute for Social Research, with folks from the Center for Group Dynamics including Bob Zions, led me to read and think about intergroup relations and especially the non-conscious elements of those that are part of the functioning of stereotypes. It made complete sense to me at that point that an important part of how gender operated in politics, especially to keep women out and down, was that gender stereotypes made men, and perhaps even women, see men and women and their characteristics and competencies differently in the ways they might not even have been aware of.
1:13:24: I was certainly ready to believe, perhaps from personal experience, that people could hold and act on biases of which they were blissfully unaware. But how could one rigorously test for the effects of non-conscious bias? You can't ask them about it. I was impressed with a very recent study by the social psychologist Philip Goldberg in which students were given pieces of writing to evaluate and told that the author's name was either John McKay or Joan McKay. It looked like students evaluated John's work as better, even though it was exactly the same. Now, this can't tell you at an individual level how biased people are but it could certainly tell us something about the existence of bias at a collective level, which I thought was a pretty damn good start. At the time there were no adaptations of that study that I know of, and I decided to try it myself to see whether it would work in the realm of politics. So I gave students a brief text I said was part of a campaign speech by a candidate for Congress named Leeds. It was actually a pretty empty speech because it couldn't have any partisan cues that might mess with the gender perceptions. I had taken a good Research Design course.
1:14:41: So I asked the students a number of questions about that speech. Was it effective? Did they agree with it? Despite the fact that the speech was on a broad economic policy area, I asked them how competent did they think Leeds would be at handling issues of crime, of healthcare, of business, foreign policy, education, honesty and integrity in government, war, and defense, so forth? The trick of course was that the students randomly evaluated a candidate named John or Joan Leeds. And I was not surprised to find that John would be more competent at issues involving crime, business, and defense, for example, and Joan would be better at healthcare, education, family issues, and honesty and integrity in government. And people judged John more likely to win. Think of it this way, in those early days, many of us began to study a thing that what we thought we saw and certainly experienced what most of the world around us, especially in leadership positions, could not see, because in fact it is invisible unless you use the lenses of good social science to see it: Non-conscious stereotypes that shape perceptions and behavior including among people who would be shocked to know that that's what they were doing. And we now know ever so much more about how that works.
1:16:10: These questions, how did women's so-called special role shape their political attitudes and behavior? How did gender stereotyping and ideology shape people's attitudes and behavior, especially with respect to women and politics, were both important. But there were bigger questions yet to study. There was that "so what" question: Why did gender politics matter? What difference did it really make that there were so few women in leadership positions in politics in those days? The year I left graduate school, women were 4.3% of the members of the House of Representatives and 0.0% of the members of the Senate. They are now 21% of the Senate and 19.3% of the House, big bloody deal. Advocates for women's inclusion argued that women needed representation, they needed to be at the table, they needed their interests to be represented, which couldn't happen if they weren't in office. But as I thought about this and formulated how I would teach about this, even in graduate school it soon became apparent to me that the question of women and representation, of the representation of women's interests, was much trickier to discuss, analyze, and justify than it seemed as first.
1:17:33: In brief, this question of descriptive representation, whether women must represent women, is extremely challenging. Because in brief, women do lead such very different lives under very different circumstances with different resources that any certainty over what is being represented by women crumbles under that kind of analysis.
1:17:58: And furthermore, it is not possible for all of us to be represented by somebody who looks exactly like us, but I probed the question and considered what were the circumstances around the world that seem to encourage or discourage women's presence in leadership to sort through the problem? At the time, the field did not gotten this far as it did much later to argue that not only did women lead different lives under different circumstances with different resources, but that gender itself is differently constituted by different circumstances and cultures and institutions and resources that was to come later. And yet, it remained clear that even if the core problem of representation of interest was complicated, there is something profoundly wrong with the supposedly democratic society if women could be half the population, but could be excluded from representational roles down to the tune of 4% or the current 10% for that matter.
1:19:06: Should I be content if there are no women in leadership, if I know that someone of my political party regardless of gender is more likely to represent my views than someone of my gender from a different political party? How do we understand democracy? In later work like many of my generation and certainly, the great later generations of scholars which we heard from here, we pushed our knowledge further in ways that opened up new doors and made a difference in the world of politics and policy. We learned that the ever-growing gender differences in partisanship that opened up in obvious ways just as I was leaving graduate school were attributable not to eternal biological differences between women and men, or even to women's difference, but actually to responses by men to the political world around them.
1:20:00: We learned that gender differences in public opinion and partisanship were not constants as though they were caused by natural differences between men and women, but were potentials that were stimulated differently in different electoral years depending on the circumstances and how people responded to them because of the conditions of their lives and the political appeals that reached them. We learned that not only were the fluctuating gender differences in political attitudes and behavior not due to the constants of their basis in gender, but that gender itself is not even a constant. It has been quite a ride these past 40-plus years. Starting out in an era in which there were very few women in my discipline, and no Women's Studies, and little scholarship on gender, I soon found that it was the culture of the people I happened to study with here, brilliant social scientists, to believe in well-formulated social science research and to judge by the quality of the data and the analysis.
1:21:07: As compared with the experience of most of my colleagues I met later and even in other corners of the University of Michigan, not a single one of my professors at the center for political studies at ISR ever questioned at least to my face, whether my subject was legitimate and not one dismissed me or my work on the basis of that subject, though they did so if I had too much missing data. The proof or should I say confirmation was in the data and the analysis, and much as being a graduate student and going on the market, not long after the 1974 recession was scary as hell, that was actually pretty empowering. Thank you.
1:22:03: So, we have a little bit of time left for question and answer. Would the talents come to the front, so we can have a conversation?
1:22:42: I think there's a question up there.
1:22:49: Thank you all very much for wonderful talks. My comment... I noticed through a lot of your comments that many of you have done qualitative research to gain rich insight into visibility issues, intersectionality. I work for an academic journal that's very quantitatively focused and I appreciate what qualitative research can accomplish, but I sense and maybe I just don't know, but I sense that there's this bias against qualitative research and I don't know if any of you might be able to comment if you sense that that's changing or if... Or maybe I'm way off base or if there are things that those of us that work in a quantitative capacity can do to encourage more qualitative research to come in or if you feel like the academic community in general is having discussions about the incredible value of qualitative research?
1:23:55: Great question.
1:24:08: Oh, hello. Yes. There are lots of different neighborhoods of academia and if you emphasize people who came out of the ISR, most of that work that came out of there was quantitative but certainly having been a dean of a college of arts and sciences and looking across all the disciplines. In most of the disciplines there's quantitative, there's qualitative increasingly. Social Scientists, I think are getting more like their colleagues in the natural sciences and working well across the disciplines and well across the methodologies so actually that quantitative vs qualitative thing, it was a big deal in political science for awhile. It feels almost a little old to me because I think Social Science is really in... Not everywhere but I think in many ways has gotten past it so I know lots of great research teams that combine people who do different things and also individuals who have learned multiple, different kinds of methods.
1:25:18: My response is sort of similar to what you're saying, is that it depends. So there are some fields that are much more open to qualitative methods. There are some fields that are almost totally or predominantly qualitative, and there is... I know, in the field of Psychology, much more... I feel much more open as to qualitative methods than there was when I was at school in the 1980s or even when I came and joined the faculty here in the 1990s. And also people who use what are called mixed methods, where you have a study that involves both quantitative and qualitative measures and perspectives.
1:26:00: Thank you for the question. I don't know if you can hear me now. When I started in the anthropology program in the late '90s this was an issue but it was starting to fade and I, at that point, was in the Culture and Cognition program. I don't know if it still exists but I'm very much a qualitative research but I was being trained in more Psychology and quantitative methods. And what I'm realizing now, I did feel that tension and I did feel a slight... Depending on the discipline. This is very discipline-dependent but depending on the discipline I did feel a slight dismissiveness related to qualitative research. So it's not as rigorous, it's not a real science, but I think that's shifting and I think that shift that we're noticing really has to do less with focusing on the disciplines and more focused on what is the question. What are you trying to get at and what are the best methods to get at that? And for the most part it's many methods, incorporating many methods. And correct me if I'm wrong... From just reading broadly I think we're getting better at being very specific about what we're trying to do, naming what were trying to do and why we're using those methods, and that's really critical. So I think some of that is less of an issue now because I think we're also getting better at being very clear about what our intention is and why we're using those methods to get at that intention.
1:27:23: In my discipline in political science at one point qualitative methods was the lack of quantitative methods. We train people in quantitative methods but we didn't have any methodology courses otherwise. And so for example my former department where I spent most of my academic career at the University of Wisconsin, we developed two different courses that were required of all our students. They needed to be trained in quantitative methods and they need to be trained in qualitative and that made qualitative research very different than it was and just sort of wandering around asking questions willy-nilly. Learning from the Anthropologist, for example, there is a lot of craft and science to figuring out how to do that.
1:28:08: Can you hear me? In Psychology now for example part of the changes there's a journal for qualitative methods, there's a division that focuses, an APA, an American Psychological Association division that focuses on qualitative methodology. So I do think things have changed and I completely agree that the critical issue is knowledge can't just be produced by one way or by one method. It's not that one is better and the other is worse it's that depending on the question that you're asking you need different tools.
1:28:43: I really enjoyed your presentations. My name is Ketra Armstrong, I'm a professor of Sport Management, the Associate Dean in the School of Kinesiology, and I have affiliate appointment in Women's Studies in Afro-American and African studies. My question is for you, Dr. Cox: What can black girlhood teach us about the ability to balance the resistance and the participation in spaces that are transforming us yet while they're also trying to simultaneously transform those spaces. What can it teach us?
1:29:15: Thank you for that question.
1:29:16: Of course.
1:29:19: Thank you. In some ways I'd asked you to ask that question and then I feel as if my answer is somewhat depressing. Because what I do believe based on my engagement with black girls across the country is that it's almost an imperative. There's almost no choice. And I think some of us, given our age, I would even say that I have definitely more of a choice. My age, my occupation, my social standing. We can kind of choose how we participate or not and that's sort of a luxury we can dip our toe or step out or we can pick the spaces that we're gonna decide that we're gonna be active in or that we're gonna try to make some change and where we're gonna kind of fall back.
1:30:00: But for the most part, the young women that I've spoken with and been engaged with in lots of different research projects, both in the shelter and in activist movements. The way they talk about how they understand their engagement with community, their specific neighborhoods and sort of larger black community as they define it, is that they have to always be working at all angles. Within the school system, that they define as... Doesn't see them and is criminalizing them, but they still have... There's work that needs to be done there. And also creating alternative spaces, for example, to use the school system specifically, outside of that.
1:30:37: To have spaces where they're meeting outside of school, where they're educating one another. What I think is... What we can learn from that is that it's not... I do think that there's a potential for those spaces that we currently name as "alternative", or as outside of, to be the model for how we move forward. I'm thinking specifically of Cathy Cohen, the political scientist, deviants as resistance. What we name as "deviant", or what we name as "abnormal" or "outside of" is really where we should be looking to define new models of citizenship, new models of community building. And I think we can really learn that when we not just look at the way that Cathy Cohen defines, for example, poor, single black mothers, but younger women who are the most vulnerable, and who are finding ways to not just survive in untenable spaces, but create new ways of being that we can learn from.
1:31:34: And Cathy's also an alum.
1:31:38: Cathy Cohen.
1:31:43: My question is somewhat of a follow-up, but also interested in this concept of empowerment, and especially as it relates to youth. And we've thought about empowerment also meaning being able to self-advocate. Especially making these spaces for ourselves, it's kind of pre-requisite that you're able to do that. But we also recognize that that also increases risk, especially for youth who are being looked at as criminals. Black and brown bodies that are thought to be anything but normative in their behavior. So I am just interested in the applied part, or the applied question, of the whole notion of empowerment within the current climate, in the current context, where we actually see self-advocating as a threat.
1:32:45: Coming from the empowerment model that talks about the importance of critical awareness, that would be a piece of any kind of intervention, would be critically analyzing the degree to which... What the risks are, are these risks too great? Are there other actions that may not be as risky, but could be impactful? So I think a lot of what I get out of Ferreri is his idea that you have to have both reflection and action. So when you immediately act without thinking strategically about what you're doing, you can be less effective than if you actually have planning, thinking, strategizing, critical awareness about what is my power. Some of the methods talk about engaging in a power analysis of the situation you're in, and who has power and what kind of power and where the levers are and things like that. So yes, there's always risk for lower power people to speak up. And resistance always carries risk with it. So it's really trying to figure out where my sources of support, where are the sources where I can sort of increase my potential power, but also, is this risk too great? Is there something else, perhaps, that I could be thinking about doing strategically? So that's sort of my immediate thought around empowerment in the real world, and the practice realm. You probably have some thoughts.
1:34:26: Can I just add, my second white mother would say, "You have to pick your battles." And so I wanna add that to this discussion, in the sense that we can think of empowerment of whole groups of people, but we can also think of empowerment at the individual level, and a lot of interesting work on individual level analyses is being done. But if you think on the individual level, what's empowering to one person could be a really small step. What's empowering to someone in a homeless shelter could look completely different, and be a very different size step. And yet even within an individual, what the risk that you're willing to take for power at one particular moment in time is gonna change and look different with more experience or in a different setting. So I love the question, it's a great, really wonderful question. And I think the answer is equally as complex and as variant by person and context. Age, location.
1:35:30: It's such an important question. Thank you, I knew you would do this. It's such an important question. And I think that... I agree with everything that has been said, and I also... And this is some self-critique, 'cause I think about a lot of the work that I've done with young people, and even in educating in an elite space right now at Yale, and the way that we're reading some of the work that you all talked about on this panel. And it's easy to critique something as not revolutionary. That's not resistive! That's not a resistive act! That's not a revolutionary act, they should have done a, b and c or d and not looking at those acts within context. And then on another side of that, I think about all of the funding over the past, and you know this, as an educator over the past decade that has gone to work that's called social justice now. Social Justice Work and Programing. These Social Justice programs are usually for brown and black kids. They're never in elite white spaces, funding to rise up again... [chuckle] Rise up so we can voyeuristically monitor your rising up. There's all these ways that empowerment as you so beautifully expressed have been co-opted and then become meaningless. But I do think there's a way that...
1:36:43: And I'm thinking as I'm talking, a way that we can think about empowerment that speaks to what you're saying, Rosie, but is also not always about resisting Them, right? The Man. That is about how do we think about creating something within here that is a building up, that is not always reacting to. And I know that we're inherently political beings and we're always in relationship to power, I get that, but I'm just thinking about how we could more specifically define empowerment, context specific, and also thinking about, especially with young people, how we think about that coming from... Not the individual level, but also creating community that is about that community and not necessarily always about that community reacting to something else. And I think that does speak in some ways to the idea of protection and to the idea of what it means to have sort of interior life that's not always pushing up against. But it's a hard question, thank you for for that. Did you have thoughts?
1:37:44: Think a little bit about not just the resistance, but of finding value in yourself. And sometimes that comes through resistance, but sometimes it comes through something else entirely that changes the assessment of risk. I was just thinking as you were all talking about a changed assumption we must have now. I actually, although I work in Boston, I live a lot in New Hampshire. I'm in the middle of opioid territory. Rural area where I look around this village and the surrounding rural villages and I watch the kids trashing themselves. And trying to figure out how there, how in the settings you're talking about, do you help people find power in themselves, find value, and find worth, and it has to be something about that community. It has to be something that's inward as well as resistance. It's partly resistance against what they've learned about about themselves.
1:39:06: So I wanna thank our panelists again.
1:39:08: Thank you.
1:39:08: This was wonderful.
1:39:09: Thank you all.
1:39:18: And thank you. We'll reconvene here in about 20 minutes?
1:39:21: Yes. Thank you, Liz. Thanks for the panelists. It was a great session. I do wanna mention we are live-streaming and we have a good audience out there and I'm getting messages and things. So, hello, people out there in the live-stream and come back at 3:30. And yeah, we'll take a break. There's coffee back across in the assembly hall, back across the hall. So, thank you.