Ann Swidler, Professor

Closed (1) Funding and Growth of LGBTQ NGOs

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

In 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gave $13.7 billion to the non-governmental organization (NGO) sector, which is now the 7th largest economy in the world. A graduate student, Tara Gonsalves, is interested in understanding the effect of large funding agencies on the growth of NGOs and whether national policies modify this relationship. To examine these phenomena, she is compiling an organization-level dataset that integrates information on LGBTQ NGOs and the contexts in which they operate. I will meet with her and her URAP research group several times during the semester to offer advice and to see the early results of the project.

We are looking for undergraduates to assist with building the dataset. Specifically, We are looking for students to gather information on NGO founding dates, mission statements, goals and activities, operating budgets, staff, and other organization-level data. Students will conduct online searches of organization names and extract data from their website. If students are proficient in STATA or R, we would also welcome student assistance with analyzing the data we collect.

Students will learn how to build their own datasets, how to manage data, and how to answer questions from the data they gather. Students will also be exposed to a few subfields of sociology, particularly the sociology of organizations, transnational sociology, and the sociology of social movements.

Finally, students will contribute to research on a topic that is of crucial importance to LGBTQ activists, NGO workers, and the LGBTQ individuals they intend to serve.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Tara Gonsalves, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Students should be familiar with conducting general searches online and meticulous in documenting sources and information that is relevant to the data they collect. Some familiarty with Excel is also required. While familiarity with STATA or R would be helpful, it is not necessary.

Weekly Hours: 3-6 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Students can work anywhere (on-campus or remotely) as long as they have internet connection. We will meet weekly on-campus

Closed (2) I Regret To Inform You That Your Private Information Has Been Compromised

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

Privacy is one of the central issues of our time. All things being equal, we assume that most people prefer privacy; it is a foundational right enshrined in the “penumbras” of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments of the U.S. constitution as well several state constitutions (including CA, MA, and WA) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite our appreciation of privacy, police officers wear body cameras, customer loyalty programs track purchases, and the Transportation Safety Administration performs full body scans. This paradox illuminates the deep ambivalence in modern American society about privacy, and a largely untapped area of research in Sociology. This research seeks to understand the deeper cultural logics inherent in shifting views on privacy in the modern world as well as the evolution of its meaning historically in the US context.

Day-to-day tasks: (1) data entry (2) transcribing audio files of interviews (3) database searches (4) reviewing articles to determine relevant materials (5) managing and organizing files, (6) extracting general information about articles and interviews, (7) attending privacy focused events and taking notes, and (8) assisting the supervisor with a bit of “public sociology” including information collection and dissemination on privacy, and planning and executing privacy focused event(s). Opportunities for different kinds of work will expand as the project progresses, and aspects of the project that the undergraduate is interested in will be prioritized when possible. Apprentices will meet as a group weekly on Friday and will do group work occasionally.

Learning outcomes: This is a valuable opportunity to get hands-on experience on the data collection process and insight into how data collection relates to the larger research agenda/goals (Still trying to figure out if graduate school is for you? Students can also expect to learn skills relevant and marketable outside of the research space. The faculty mentor, Professor Ann Swidler, will meet with students in the beginning and end of the semester to discuss the project and offer insights. Students will also have brief weekly meetings with the research supervisor in order to ask questions, workshop solutions, and discuss ongoing work and findings.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Naniette H. Coleman, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Qualifications: Students should be detail-oriented, organized, and excited by/interested in learning more about research. This project is open to undergraduates of all years and all majors, and there are no course prerequisites. You will be trained in anything you are required to do. A passion for the topic of study is preferred, but not required.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Unless meeting with the supervisor, faculty mentor, or research group (weekly on Friday) students may work anywhere they like.