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Feb. 16: Sociology conference

Graduate students invited to network, discuss research

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice will host its 11th annual graduate student conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16, in Trabant University Center’s Multipurpose Room B.

With a theme of “Bridging the Gap: Social Science and the Communities We Study,” the conference is designed to provide an environment for students to cultivate professional skills, establish networking opportunities and receive feedback on ongoing research.

The event will feature two panel discussions, a student roundtable and the Brian Pitt Keynote Speaker. That talk will be given by John L. Jackson Jr., who is the University of Pennsylvania’s Richard Perry University Professor and dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice.

He will discuss the importance of participant-centered research, as well as his process for conceptualizing, conducting and representing this research.

Jackson’s work examines racial and class-based differences in contemporary urban environments, including a focus on how urbanites themselves theorize and deploy those differences in everyday interactions. His scholarship uses ethnographic research methods to extend and expand Critical Race Theory as an analytical and explanatory framework for understanding contemporary social conflicts.

In the first panel of the conference, Yasser Payne, associate professor of sociology and of Africana studies at UD, and his Street Participatory Action Research (PAR) team will discuss their work.

The Street PAR project trained 15 people from the community as researchers to empirically document the impact of violence in the Eastside and Southbridge neighborhoods of Wilmington. Payne’s latest report on the team’s research and policy work is titled “The People’s Report: The Link Between Structural Violence and Crime in Wilmington, Delaware.”

The second panel will feature four current sociology and criminal justice graduate students, who will highlight their research with an array of communities, including LGBTQ youth, urban youth of color, Muslim college students and community coalitions addressing youth non-medical use of prescription drugs.

A roundtable session of students from across the University will serve as a workshop opportunity for students, faculty and guests to share their work.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception at the Deer Park Tavern from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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