Current Colloquia


SPRING 2021 Colloquia

All Colloquia are held 3:30-5:00 pm. 

Schedule subject to change.
View more info on our Events page.


Thursday, January 21, 2021 3:30 PM

Title: Privilege and Punishment in an Era of Mass Criminalization​
Professor Matthew Clair

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

Abstract: The number of Americans arrested, brought to court, and incarcerated has skyrocketed in recent decades. Criminal defendants come from all races and economic walks of life, but they experience punishment in vastly different ways. How and why is the court process unequal? This talk draws on findings from my book Privilege and Punishment: How Race and Class Matter in Criminal Court (Princeton University Press, November 2020). Drawing on fieldwork and interviews in the Boston court system, I show that lawyers and judges often silence, coerce, and punish disadvantaged defendants when they try to learn their legal rights and advocate for themselves. These dynamics reveal how unwritten institutional norms devalue the exercise of legal rights among the disadvantaged, and that ensuring effective legal representation is no guarantee of justice. I discuss implications for cultural sociology, relational theory, and theories of institutional discrimination. Drawing on other research and activism on the courts as a tool of racialized social control, I conclude with reflections on the possibilities of criminal court abolition.

Via Zoom (Email for the link.)


Monday, January 25, 2021 3:30 PM

UVA Acts 

Program: Inclusive Teaching Toolkit: First Days

Performance Host: Katya Makarova

Via Zoom (Email for the link.)


Thursday, February 18, 2021 3:30 PM

Co-Sponsored with the Marriage Project

Title: Rising Tides Lift Which Boats? Understanding Economic and Family Inequalities Across Generations
Professor Deidre Bloome

Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Michigan

Via Zoom (Email for the link.)


In assessing the extent to which individuals escape childhood disadvantages (or maintain childhood advantages), researchers often study relative mobility across generations (individuals’ movements up or down the income rankings from their parents’ positions). I will explore the connections between absolute and relative mobility, combining formal analyses with empirical illustrations to address several questions: Are there trade-offs or complementarities between absolute and relative mobility? What family dynamics predict these mobility experiences? Results suggest that absolute mobility can be increased by reducing relative mobility and that mobility experiences are strongly associated with family structure. Policies that promote absolute mobility have the potential to enhance living standards across generations without increasing equality of opportunity.

Bio: Deirdre Bloome is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Faculty Associate of the Population Studies Center and the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. Her research uses demographic and statistical techniques to understand how patterns of social stratification are produced and reproduced in the United States. She holds a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy and an AM in Statistics from Harvard University. Her work has been published in outlets including the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and Demography, it has been supported by funders including the NIH, the NSF, and the Russell Sage Foundation, and it has been recognized by awards including the William Julius Wilson early career award from the American Sociological Association's section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility.



Thursday, March 18, 2021 3:30 PM

Professor Zine Magubane

Associate Professor
Boston College

Via Zoom (Email for the link.)




Thursday, April 22, 2021 3:30 PM

Title: TBA
Professor Jordanna Matlon

Via Zoom (Email for the link.)