Editor Spotlight: Seth Dobrin, Senior Editor for Sociology and Social Science Methods

photo-seth.dobrinIn this Q&A with Senior Editor Seth Dobrin, we learn about what brought him to publishing and his plans for Sociology and Social Science Methods. 

Why did you become an acquisitions editor? 

I’ve always liked how being an editor is half humanities and half problem solving. I think it’s a good fit for who I am. As an example, when I was a sophomore in college I decided to major in English and when I was a junior I became an EMT. It sounds naïve but I wanted to help people when they needed it. These days my authors and I aren’t riding an ambulance together – although sometimes hitting a deadline can feel that way – but we’re creating something that solves a real problem for real people. Being an editor means I get to work with authors and educators who improve their students’ lives by explaining something, or telling an important story. Hopefully, we make the world a little better.

What projects are you working on now to develop the Sociology and Social Science Methods list at UC Press? 

It’s been two years since I joined UC Press and I’m really excited about the books we’re producing. One that’s high on my list is Deviance: Social Constructions and Blurred Boundaries by Leon Anderson at Utah State University. We just finished our peer review and the manuscript is coming together nicely. I’m also thrilled to be publishing books that will help social scientists do research, like two books by John Hoffmann at Brigham Young UniversityPrinciples of Data Management and Presentation (publishing Fall 2017) and Regression Models for Categorical, Count, and Related Variables. These books strengthen data literacy, which fits well with the educational mission of the Press. And no, I have not been spending too much time in Utah. Great national parks!

You’re developing new textbooks and course books. Why is new content intended for use in courses important to you? 

Sociology is a hugely important discipline because it reveals things that we don’t always see or recognize about our society or ourselves. It does that through its unique perspective and rigorous research. Personally, I think that’s more important now than ever. Our world needs critical thinkers. We need people who can see, study, and critique social systems so that we can make progress.

Are there other particular courses where you’re looking to develop new content?

What’s exciting about the Press is that our Higher Education program allows us to help faculty in areas where big college publishers aren’t focused—on mid- and upper-level courses on social institutions and social change. I’m also looking to sign in courses like qualitative and quantitative methods—places where the rubber meets the road for would-be scholars. I want to find educators who teach these courses and who see the same needs and opportunities I do. It’s a new venture with a lot of support from the Press. We, alongside our authors and faculty, have the capacity to do something great with it.

Join Us 

Interested in publishing your work with Seth and UC Press? Contact Seth at sdobrin@ucpress.edu.

And learn more about Sociology and the Higher Education Program.


The Problem with Magic Potions

by Keith Guzik, author of Making Things Stick: Surveillance Technologies and Mexico’s War on Crime

This post is published after the American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans from November 16–19. #ASC2016 

From the creation of the first lock to keep valuables safe to the advent of DNA profiling to identify criminal suspects, technology has played a central role in crime control, and the ongoing information and communication technology (ICT) revolution carries with it the promise that social control agents will not only be able to fight crime more effectively, but do so in a procedurally fair manner. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the recent push to have police officers in the U.S. adopt body-worn cameras (BWCs). Through the combined capacity of highly mobile camera lenses, massive data servers, and nimble file sharing programs, a future can be imagined where the police are able to collect more reliable evidence to identify wrongdoers while building public trust through increased transparency.

Guzik.MakingThingsStickBut magic potions do not cure all by themselves. They require expertly-trained pharmacists to mix, knowledgeable doctors to prescribe, and appropriate delivery systems to dispense into the body. In other words, technological artifacts do not operate independently in the world, but instead require larger “networks of power” (Robert Hughes) or “actor networks” (Bruno Latour).

In my recent book, Making Things Stick, I examine the deployment of advanced surveillance technologies—mobile devices, RFID tags, and biometric identity cards—to combat organized crime in Mexico. The study illustrates how multiple elements of a socio-technical system can conspire against the best laid plans. In Mexico, ordinary citizens refused to comply with security programs they saw as invasive, companies balked at their financial costs, public officials pushed back against them to protect their domains of influence, and their technical designs often proved inadequate. All of this diminished their impact on crime, demonstrating the inherent uncertainty of technologies championed for their objectivity.

Moving back to the U.S., it is important to note that as BWCs have been promoted by the Obama Administration and state legislatures have been moving to pass laws restricting public access to body cameras videos. In the end, it will be difficult for people to believe in magic potions when those in power are the only ones allowed to see whether they had their effect.

Making Things Stick is a Luminos Open Access e-book and available for free download.


Keith Guzik is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver. Keith is also the author of Arresting Abuse and the co-editor of The Mangle in Practice.

Genocide: From Armenia to Darfur

This post is published in advance of the National Women’s Studies Association conference in Montreal, Quebec from November 10 – 13 and in advance of American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans from November 16 – 19. #NWSA2016 #ASC2016 #Election2016 

Joachim J. Savelsberg presented insights from Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur to affected groups on several occasions. After a speech in Yerevan, Armenia, on the occasion of the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Savelsberg more recently addressed and exchanged ideas with refugees from Darfur and other troubled regions in the Middle East.

Savelsberg-RepresentingMassViolenceOne opportunity was offered by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, participant in a movement among French universities that offer refugees a path back into higher education. In this context, Savelsberg lectured and discussed with a group of Sudanese, Syrian and Palestinian refugee-students. His lecture evoked much interest and intense discussions. Students primarily wanted to know what actions could put an end to the continuing and newly intensifying mass atrocities in Darfur. Why does the West not intervene with military force? Why does it not arm rebel groups who fight the Sudanese government? Why have peace negotiations not succeeded? Why have indictments by the International Criminal Court (ICC) not resulted in arrests? While not all answers could satisfy all members of the group, students took some comfort from the observation that UN and ICC interventions had advanced an international perception of the mass atrocities as a form of criminal violence. They shared the author’s hope that this trend will, in the long run, further delegitimize mass atrocities and challenge those political and military actors who bear responsibility. American institutions of higher education might, it seems, learn from French universities and their initiatives, which stand in sharp contrast to closed doors rhetoric (and policy) and to the rise of right-wing populist movements that enhance exclusion and risk advancing political-religious radicalization and criminalization.

Joachim Savelsberg at Darfur Women Action Group's Mobile, Engage, Empower to End Genocide Symposium.
Joachim Savelsberg at Darfur Women Action Group’s Mobile, Engage, Empower to End Genocide Symposium.

More recently, Savelsberg spoke to Citizens for Global Solutions in Minneapolis, MN and, in Washington, DC, at the 2016 Women and Genocide conference, organized by the Darfur Women Action Group (DAWG), with support from the Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University, and the Genocide Prevention Program, George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. His lecture followed reports in which women from Rwanda, Darfur, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Nigeria spoke to their experiences in the context of mass atrocities. Like in Paris, careful scholarly analysis of the effects of new international institutions encounter impatience among those who are directly affected. Some scholars reinforce that impatience also at the DAWG event, as they focus on the weaknesses of new institutions. Savelsberg instead highlighted the historical novelty of international criminal justice, and alternative transitional justice institutions, urging patience in the exploration of the degree to which – paraphrasing Justice Robert Jackson – reason and some degree of the rule of law may eventually supplement the pure use of power in international relations. The experiment began only in the 20th century. It is a novelty in human history, initial malfunctions are expected and no reasons for dismissal. Representing Mass Violence documents how it may advance cultural change and promote hope.

Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur by Joachim J. Savelsberg is available as a free Luminos Open Access e-book and available for free download.

Police Aggression and the Debasement of Black Citizen Experiences

By Andrea S. Boyles, author of Race, Place, and Suburban Policing: Too Close for Comfort

This guest post is published in advance of the American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on November 19th. #ASC2016 

9780520282391-boyles-race,place,suburbanpolicingAs ASC’s theme this year is “The Many Colors of Crime and Justice,” advocates in Ferguson/St. Louis and beyond continue to push for criminal justice reform. They fight for justice and against racialized policing, exploitive court proceedings, and mass incarceration. Accordingly, my work lends attention to areas where advancing social change may be strengthened, while underscoring areas where it could be weakened. Likewise, proponents of reform must remain reflective, judiciously disallowing ideologies, discourse, and/or narratives to do the following:

  • place lone focus of black citizen-police conflict on the killing of unarmed black citizens. It is through a single approach that black deaths by police become challenged—treated as if atypical or separate from other forms of police aggression—then dismissed. Consequently, black citizen-police analysis and discussions must be holistic. Although the ambiguous deaths of blacks at the hands of law enforcement are more egregious, they alone do not fully account for the broad range of perceivably bias experiences faced by people of color in everyday police interactions. In fact, aggressive forms of policing (e.g., shoving, slamming, macing) experienced by blacks often escalate in a continuum of encounters (e.g., surveillance, pedestrian/vehicular stops, question, frisk/searches) and progressively worsen with each additional interaction. Therefore, the focus should be experience/evidence-driven, lending itself to everyday contentious exchanges that seemingly normalizes decreased police restraint and increased susceptibility to police misconduct and/or death for black citizens. So true examination must start at the beginning of encounters: what did Eric Garner specifically mean by “Every time you see me you want to mess with me” or what exactly made possible Philando Castile’s 40+ traffic stops, thousands of dollars in misdemeanor fines and so forth.
  • ignore the re-codifying/renewing of ciphers/concepts regarding “black threat”, racialized behavioral expectations, and subsequent punishment. Blacks continue to be stereotypically perceived and treated as if inherently dangerous, and therefore, face differential behavioral expectations and sanctions. Correspondingly, statements/explanations about assumed police fear and the need to “eliminate or stop the threat” are spontaneously and routinely given, following violent or deadly acts against black citizens. It is then in this subjective space—whereby officers are granted the benefit of the doubt—that differential instructions retrospectively emerge regarding black behavior. That is, suggestions for how blacks should behave when in the presence of police/dominant populations (e.g., watch tone of voice, say yes sir/m’am, say no sir/m’am, keep hands visible). However, when accounting for historically racialized institutional mandates, these commands become analogous to slave codes, black codes, Jim Crow laws and aggressive state responses when blacks are suspected of violation.

Andrea S. BoylesBoyles.Andrea is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Lindenwood University-Belleville. She has also taught inmates and correctional officers within the Missouri prison system.

When Leaving is Not Enough

By Molly Dragiewicz, co-author of Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women

This guest post is published in advance of the National Women’s Studies Association conference in Montreal, Quebec from November 10 – 13 and in advance of American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans from November 16 – 19. #NWSA2016 #ASC2016 #Election2016 

Recent developments in the U.S. election have turned up the volume on public discussions of violence against women. We have observed the ugly backlash that attends women’s efforts to participate in public life, the coded language used to attack women who dare advocate for social justice, and the reversion to violence and threats when constant harassment and abuse fail to silence women. These public discussions mirror private violence. 

DeKeseredy-AbusiveEndingsDisparate cultural and political histories have shaped the contemporary re-emergence of movements to end violence against women across the globe, but there has been an undeniable shift in the visibility of violence against women. However, awareness is only the first step in ending violence and abuse. Research on gender and violence has developed at a remarkable pace since the 1970s. While the most egregious examples of victim blaming have receded in scholarly circles, and most people you stopped on the street would probably say they oppose domestic violence, many misunderstandings about its nature and dynamics persist.

One of the most pernicious misconceptions about woman abuse is that it ends when the couple breaks up. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, such as reported breaches of domestic violence orders by former partners, murders of women and children in the context of child custody exchange and visitation, and high profile stalking cases, far too many scholars, practitioners, and regular folks assume that separation and divorce can cure violence against women. Implicit in this belief are the stereotypes we thought we’d buried: it takes two to tango; she was asking for it; she made me do it. Structural failures to effectively respond to domestic violence post-separation stem in large part from the widespread failure to address the ugly truths of domestic violence: that is not an accident or miscommunication or one-off, but a pattern of intentional behavior designed to compel submission to domination. Violence often escalates at separation for just this reason: a partner who leaves is refusing to submit, and a new level of violence is required to bring her back under control. Kids often become just another weapon in this battle, and systems such as the family courts can make the situation more dangerous when they fail to account for histories of violence.

These are just some of the reasons Walter S. DeKeseredy, Martin D. Schwartz and I wrote Abusive Endings: Separation and Divorce Violence against Women. We present the significant international research on what happens when women try to leave abusive relationships. We know quite a lot. We hope this book will help move popular and professional discourse to take the next step on from awareness, recognizing the complexity of woman abuse as well as how it changes across the span of relationships.

Molly DragiewiczDragiewicz.Molly-photo is Associate Professor in Crime and Justice Research Centre in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. She is the author of Equality With a Vengeance and editor of Global Human Trafficking: Critical Issues and Contexts. You can find her blog at https://mdragiew.wordpress.com/.

The Importance of the African American Vote

During this election cycle, one of the most pressing questions have been how the African American vote could sway the results of the presidency. Attempts at blocking early votingAfrican American women still expected to “show up” to vote, and why some African Americans are voting Republican show just how influential African Americans can be for the turnout of the presidential election.

Some have wondered why Black Republicans may vote for Donald Trump. “It’s completely legitimate to look at a Black Republican and say, ‘why are you doing this? How are you doing? I don’t understand how you can support this kind of policy.’ But you would have to ask those same questions of a white Republican,” says Corey D. Fields, sociologist and author of Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans, while in conversation with Tavis Smiley on October 19, 2016.

Corey D. Fields and Tavis Smiley discuss the impact of the African American vote this election season.
Corey D. Fields and Tavis Smiley discuss the impact of the African American vote this election season.

Many have tackled the question of whether a person can be black and Republican. Joshua Goodman for the New York Times writes that Fields “wants to understand how their sense of themselves as black people and their ideas about black people shape their politics and how their politics shape their identity and ideas. Fields … argue[s] that a majority of black Republicans are race-conscious, seeing their positions on social and economic issues in racial terms. If that seems surprising, it is because white Republicans prefer colorblind black conservatives.”

On the 125th Street subway platform in Harlem, April 2016. Credit Joseph Michael Lopez for The New York Times
On the 125th Street subway platform in Harlem, April 2016. Credit Joseph Michael Lopez for The New York Times

In his book, Fields illustrates this race-blind, color-conscious preference by white Republicans in relation to the Republican Party’s outreach efforts to black voters:

Fields-BlackElephantsRather than link Republican policies to the concrete concerns of black voters, outreach efforts have generally been grounded in vague, race-blind language. Betsy, another white Republican tasked with black outreach, chatted with me at a political event after Michael Steele, then making waves as a prominent African American Republican, spoke. Betsy praised Steele for being “articulate and well spoken” (words often recognized as a racially back-handed compliment) and was enthusiastic about him, though she was quick to note that she would like him whether he “was black, white, red, or orange.” She went on to say that the biggest barrier to getting more blacks involved in the Republican Party was education—stressing that, to her mind, when other groups like Jewish, Italian, and Polish immigrants had been underprivileged, education offered a “way out.” Even when these people were uneducated, Betsy said, they made sure that their children were educated.

I asked how education would increase black people’s Republicanism. She explained that once black people were educated, they would realize the affinity between their beliefs and the Republican Party. There was a palpable shift in the tone of our conversation, and Betsy became very serious, shaking her head and hitting the table to emphasize her points. She said that education would lead to more success and less “dependence on the government.” She paused. “Don’t you agree?” I tentatively responded that it was hard to argue against education. With her triumphant look, the tension in the conversation dissipated. Smiling, Betsy assured me that she was not going to give up on black voters just because it was hard to win them over.

What does this mean for the current presidential election? Fields writes that “a major shift in black support for the Republican Party this fall seems very unlikely. Based on my findings, the GOP has to reconsider how it incorporates black Republicans into the party if it has any real interest in appealing to black voters. It is not enough to incorporate blackness on terms that are comfortable to white leaders.”

How do you think the African American vote will influence today’s election? Share your comments below. #GetOutandVote #Election2016

Trump and Homosexuality: Differences in Public Opinion

By Amy Adamczyk, author of Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes across the Globe

This guest post is published in advance of the American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on November 19th. #ASC2016 #Election2016

Like many academics, I was surprised at how well Donald Trump did early in the presidential election, securing the Republican nomination and at times rivaling Hillary Clinton in the polls. Part of the reason I was so surprised is because almost everyone I know and spend time with is a staunch democrat, socialist, or even communist. For many academics most of our friends are very liberal left-leaning highly educated people. For me it is even more extreme because I am childless and live in Manhattan. So the thought of millions of Trump enthusiasts has been hard to fathom.

Adamczyk-CrossNationalThat a social scientist like myself, trained to avoid generalizing from personal experience, is nonetheless taken aback by the Trump phenomenon is a testament to the power of context. Simply put, those with whom we interact have a powerful role in shaping our views. And our friendship groups tend not to be very diverse, so it’s easy to find ourselves in an echo chamber soundproofed from the voices of the outside world. This is especially true for people at opposite ends of the educational spectrum, whose friendship networks tend to be particularly homogeneous.

The media coverage of the presidential election provides repeated reminders of the deep cultural divides within our country. When we regularly see our fellow citizens cheering on a candidate who we find outrageous or worse, it is easy to forget all the subjects on which most of us agree, and how this agreement is fostered by the cultural and structural context we share as residents of the United States. For example, the issue of gay rights, a wedge issue in past elections, has faded from view in the current election. Opposition to same-sex marriage has narrowed over the last two decades and this year Republicans nominated someone who appears only now to oppose same-sex marriage out of political expediency. Meanwhile, there are nations where a person can be put to death for being gay. As great as the cultural differences among our fellow citizens, the differences between nations are vaster still, especially on key issues like gay rights.

In my forthcoming book, Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes across the Globe, I show just how vast the differences are across nations on this important issue. What accounts for such dramatic differences across nations? The book shows that much of the variation in attitudes about homosexuality can be traced back to differences in the degree of economic development, democratic governance and religious fervor. The book also shows how these factors interact in complex ways with a nation’s unique history and geographic location to produce divergent cultural and structural climates.

The interesting thing about contextual forces, whether they are operating within friendship groups, regions, or nations, is that we often do not know they are there. It takes something like a divisive national election or stories about the denial of civil rights to remind us of the different worlds in which we live.

Adamczyk.Amy-PhotoAmy Adamczyk is Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Homeless Families Invisible in Election Rhetoric

More than 2.5 million children are homeless in the United States every year and yet most of us don’t see them. Temporarily housed in hotels or living out of their cars, these families are rendered invisible, even to the presidential candidates who neglect to address this level of poverty and our lack of affordable housing. Richard Schweid, author of Invisible Nation: Homeless Families in America, offers his insights based on his in-depth reporting from five major cities.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have expended a lot of breath talking about what can be done for those families that have fallen out of the middle class, but no attention whatsoever has been paid to the multitude of families that have fallen out of the lower class, and have slipped from poverty into extreme poverty and homelessness, carrying their children with them. Despite the fact that the number of homeless families has grown exponentially over the past decade, they are off the political radar.

We have a pair of presidential candidates who tout themselves as firm believers in “family values”, while every year more than 2.5 million American children are experiencing homelessness. The only chance many of these kids might have to hear the presidential debates is on the radio in the car where they are living with their families. An additional 200,000 people in families are in bare-bones emergency shelters every night. Hundreds of thousands more kids are packed into the homes of relatives or friends, or in cheap motel rooms—rooms that Hillary or Donald would not even consider fit for habitation, but where working mothers must try to raise their kids, night after night, month after month. It might seem that such a national shame would be high on the agendas of our presidential aspirants, yet during this long campaign season no mention has been made of these millions of children who year after year, through no fault of their own, are growing up in miserable conditions.

Fifty years ago, the word “homeless” signified dysfunctional individuals—mostly men–who drank heavily and slept rough. Now, it is more likely to mean a young single mother with small children and a minimum-wage job, working full-time with no benefits, or child care. In 1980, families with children made up only one percent of the nation’s homeless, and by 2015 that number was thirty-eight percent of the total and rising. Children experiencing homelessness are at greater risk of physical and mental illnesses than their housed peers, and live their daily lives with levels of toxic stress that should not be borne by kids.

The chronically homeless individuals we see on the streets are there for a number of reasons, but almost all homeless families are without shelter for one reason: money. They simply cannot afford to pay for housing in today’s rental markets. The fix for this is well known: a sufficient number of affordable rentals and a brief spell of rental assistance will house these families, and when the rent subsidy ends, studies show that most of them will keep themselves housed.

Schweid_Invisible Nation - jacket image

One potential remedy for family homelessness came on line this year: the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) to create affordable housing, which receives funding from a tiny fraction of the mortgage loans financed by federal lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The funds are allotted to the states, which in turn provide the money to communities for affordable housing. Congressional Republicans attempted to eliminate the NHTF this year, but were unsuccessful.

As politicians, bureaucrats, social service workers, and policymakers spend years, and decades, debating about whether and how to help homeless families, the children in them grow up to adulthood, and are incorporated into our world. They move among us, many of them in poor health, scarred, scared, and emotionally stunted for life, growing into parents who will raise yet another generation of extremely poor children. Some few of these children, through hard work, focus, and good luck, will grow up to pull themselves out of poverty, while most will never have an opportunity to do so.

The number of children passing through homelessness will only shrink when communities decide to do everything in their power to eliminate family homelessness within their precincts. Some places like Fairfax, Virginia or Trenton, New Jersey are already doing so, putting “best practice” programs in place to prevent families from becoming homeless, and rapidly rehousing them if they do, but in most of our cities and towns the standard set by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—total silence on the subject—remains in place.

Schweid_Invisible Nation - Author Photo 1


Richard Schweid is a journalist and documentary reporter. He is the author of nine nonfiction books, including Che’s Chevrolet, Fidel’s Oldsmobile: On the Road in CubaHot Peppers: The Story of Cajuns and CapsicumConsider the Eel: A Natural and Gastronomic History, and The Cockroach Papers: A Compendium of History and Lore. He has also produced or reported more than two dozen documentaries for Catalonian public television, including the Oscar-nominated Balseros.

How Donald Trump’s “Locker-Room Talk” Perpetuates Sexual Violence Against Women

By Jerry Flores, author of Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wraparound Incarceration

This guest post is published in advance of the American Society of Criminology conference in New Orleans. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on November 19th. #ASC2016 #Election2016

Recently, a video of presidential candidate Donald Trump making sexist, lewd, and offensive comments about women flooded media coverage. In the video, Trump can be heard saying, “I just start kissing them [women]. Just kiss—I don’t even wait. And when you are a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the pussy. Whatever you want.” A reporter laughed aloud at these statements.

“Locker-Room Talk”

After the release of this video a slew of women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Mr. Trump. Even more problematic is that videos and quotes have also emerged. With this new information the resounding theme of the hyper-sexualization of women, the use of sexist language and the objectification of women’s bodies are exceedingly clear. In response, Trump apologized and referred to this type of language as “locker-room talk.” He also affirmed that he holds the utmost respect for women. Despite these statements, Mr. Trump’s discussion of women reflects the larger hyper-sexualization of women in a patriarchal society that largely ignores this type of sexual misconduct. There is no place where this is more painfully apparent than in the narratives of marginalized young women (especially women of color) featured in my book Caught Up.


Sexual Abuse at the Hands of Those We Trust

In this book, I address how the schools and detention centers in Southern California are collectively punishing young Latina girls in new and dynamic ways. For this project, I interviewed over 30 young women and included twenty more via group interviews or ethnographic fieldwork. The ubiquitous sexual abuse of young women was the largest and most pervasive theme I heard during my two years of research. Interview after interview, I heard young women recount instances of this type of abuse at the hands of immediate and distant family, neighbors, students at school, current and ex-romantic partners, institutional actors, priests, human traffickers or by complete strangers.

Another major theme in my research was the relative impunity with which these men continually victimized the young people in my study. From stories of gang sexual assault at the hands of boys told by “Feliz” or stories of being molested by multiple neighbors over the course of various years like “Ray,” sexual violence was ubiquitous in the lives of young women.


Additionally, while local, state and federal governments always seemed to have the resources to punish young women, they often lacked the ability to provide resources to help youth cope with their prior and current sexual assault. As a person who is concerned with the well being of these young women, my wife, mother, cousins, and all women, I wonder how Trump’s type of “locker-room talk” emboldens and perpetuates the ongoing assault and abuse of young women, and rape culture as a whole. I also wonder what message it sends to men of all ages when they hear how Mr. Trump has allegedly victimized so many women and gotten away with it. This is even more shocking since Donald Trump is a presidential candidate that has the support of large segments of the U.S. population.

As an academic, feminist and victim of childhood sexual assault, I hope that we as a society can find a way to stop the continued attack on women and more broadly on all marginalized and oppressed groups. I also hope that we come to our senses and realize that a person who preys on the weak and exploits their privilege to do so is not someone we want as our president.

Flores.author.photo-croppedJerry Flores is a Ford Foundation Fellow, University of California President’s Postdoc, and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Social Work and Criminal Justice Program at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Open Access Week 2016: Why Publish OA? An author’s view

by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, authors of Equity Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas

Last year, UC Press launched Luminos, our open access publishing program for monographs. In celebration of International Open Access Week, we’ve asked Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor, co-authors of the newly published Luminos title, Equity Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, to talk about their experiences publishing an open access book. From initial trepidation to OA advocacy, Benner and Pastor offer an authorial view of the benefits of open access publishing.

Probably like many academic authors, we were initially concerned that open access might be viewed by others as meaning low quality—after all, if it was really good, why would it be “free”?  Of course, we knew the standards that we had applied to ensure rigor, as well the reviews from which our manuscript benefited, and the exacting process that UC Press and Luminos have put in place to ensure a high quality series. But would others glean all that background?

It was the thinking about others that actually made it clear. We realized that we have long valued our role as public intellectuals who are willing and indeed, eager, to bring ideas into the messy real world and participate in the debates that change lives—and this open access model is perfectly suited to that sort of effort.

More specifically, the open access model UC Press and Luminos are helping to pioneer totally fit the central messages of our book—that equity and opportunity are key for sustainable growth, that cross-sector conversations can bring new common ground, and that data deliberations in knowledge communities can forge productive solutions. We quickly became committed to this effort to democratize access to scholarship of consequence.

And here is what we’ve learned since publishing. First, that free access doesn’t seem to shrink the market for hard copies but rather it helps to build it. People still want the “feel” of a book but they get more convinced that a volume should be on their shelf when they get a downloaded taste.

Second, you can’t assume the market is there for your work. We have gotten out and spoken about the book in multiple settings, particularly to non-academic audiences, and we also created a website with some of the key messages and data, helping to drive interested readers to the Luminos download.

Finally, this really is the wave of the future. Your work can get out more quickly and touch infinitely more people. It is easier for others to assign significant portions of a book in a class without worrying about running afoul of copyright laws. Open access is where publishing is headed—and we’ve been proud to be working with the first-movers in this new learning space.

Benner_ChrisChris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, including regional labor markets and restructuring of work and employment. His most recent book, coauthored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. Other books include This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America, and Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley.

Prof_Manuel_PastorManuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as Director of USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Codirector of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). His most recent book, coauthored with Chris Benner, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Region. He is also the coauthor of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America.

Click here to download Equity, Growth, and Community

Stay tuned all week for more special content from UC Press Open Access initiatives.