The Sociology of Gender Brownbag (or FemSem) meets every Thursday from 12:30 to 2pm in Social Sciences 2435 (unless otherwise noted).

Spring 2017 Calendar

January 26th: Myra Marx Ferree, Nona Gronert, Madeleine Pape
February 2nd: Half-baked ideas
February 9th: No meeting (SWS)
February 16th: Chiara Clio Packard
February 23rd: Jason Nolen
March 2nd: Casey Stockstill
March 9th: Miriam Barcus and Leanne Tigges
March 16th: Silke Roth
March 23rd: No meeting (Spring Break)
March 30th: Pamela Neumann
April 6th: Morgan Matthews
April 13th: Hae Yun Choo
April 20th: Di Wang
April 27th: Ann Orloff
May 4th: End of semester potluck

April 26, 2018
  • Femsem: Miriam Barcus and Jungmyung Kim present “(Unequal?) Patterns of Parental Leave Use among City of Madison Employees”

    April 26, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
    2435 Social Science

    Abstract: Paid parental leave is touted as a workplace policy that is vitally important for gender and socioeconomic equality. However, less than 20 percent of workers have access to paid parental leave policies. After the birth or adoption of a child, those who do not have paid parental must rely on their paid sick and vacation days (if they have them), take unpaid leave, or forgo leave taking. The City of Madison provides employees relatively generous paid time off, however does have a specific parental leave policy. Based on a study of City of Madison employees, this study takes advantage of the diversity of the workforce at the City to identify how barriers to parental leave differentially effect employees based on their gender and educational attainment.

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May 3, 2018
  • Femsem: End of year celebration

    May 3, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
    2435 Social Science

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Event Information:

  • Mon

    Organized for Profit or the Public Good? Lessons from the Expansion of the For-Profit College Sector for the U.S. Higher Education Landscape

    12:00 pm3470 Social Sciences

    Tressie McMillan Cottom, Doctoral Student in Sociology at Emory, and visiting fellow at the UC-Davis Center for Poverty will present some of her work entitled, "Organized for Profit or the Public Good? Lessons from the Expansion of the For-Profit College Sector for the U.S. Higher Education Landscape."

    Sponsored by Femsem and the Race and Ethnicity Brownbag

    ABSTRACT: The for‐profit college sector has grown by over 200 percent in ten years and now enrolls over 1.5 million students. For­‐profits are marked by their high cost, contested labor outcomes, and struggles for legitimacy. While the U.S. has experienced previous periods of higher education expansion, never before has the most expensive of all college credentials been conferred not by the most elite schools but by the least prestigious. For‐profit students are disproportionately black, Hispanic, female, and poor. When the least of us is over‐enrolled in the most expensive and most contested sector of higher education there are important considerations for our contemporary understanding of mobility, occupational stratification, and the American ideology of the "education gospel". Why have so many chosen to enroll in for-­‐profit colleges? Answering that question has proven difficult. National data sets are not conducive to qualitative conclusions about motivation and decision-­‐making. For their part, for-­‐profit colleges have largely restricted access to individual level data and students. This project examined the organizational characteristics of admissions at nine for-­‐profit colleges that represent the vast diversity of the sector. Over 115 hours of participant observation, interviews with for-­‐profit students and for-­‐profit college representatives, and analysis of internal corporate documents reveal that assumptions about the low cultural capital, social enclosure, and economic insecurity of the likely for-­‐profit student are embedded in the sector's organizational structure. Those organizational characteristics provide empirical evidence of what motivates students to enroll. As the likely for-­‐profit student is the projected typical college student, the findings are salient for all of higher education. The high cost, both individually and collectively, of for‐profit college credentials largely benefits the short‐term profit margins of the private sector but does not adequately address the social and economic conditions that made so many millions of students opt-­‐in to the pricey college sector. Lessons from the analysis of the for‐profit college sector reveals challenges of both contraction and expansion for the U.S. higher education system. The promise and peril of technocratic solutionism, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and the President's College Affordability Act are also discussed.

Events older than 2010 are listed here.