Hubert M. Blalock Memorial Lecture Series Continues

Blalock Lectures

On August 4, in Angell Hall Auditorium D, a favorite part of the ICPSR Summer Program continues. The Hubert M. Blalock Memorial Lecture Series is held in honor of renowned sociologist and methodologist Hubert “Tad” M. Blalock, Jr., who died in 1991 from complications of abdominal cancer.

The first lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. The presenter is Jan Box Steffensmeier from The Ohio State University (Co-authors: Benjamin Campbell, The Ohio State University; Dino Christenson, Boston University; and Zachary Navabi, The Ohio State University) and is titled “Role Analysis and Environmental Interest Group Coalitions.”

Role analysis of environmental interest group coalitions can shed light on the conditions that lead actors to form interest group coalitions, as well as the structures that may make some interest groups coalitions more successful than others. Data on amicus curiae coauthoriships in environmental cases between 2000 and 2009 is supplemented with data on the number of interest group members, their staffs, and their budgets. The ego-ERGM method is used to derive a set of meaningful structural network roles in the environmental interest group coalitions. This research shows how that the ego-ERGM approach offers great promise for explaining interest group activity in the environmental arena, as well as across a wide variety of other important areas of social science research.

The second lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. and will have two presentations. The first is by Bernard Fraga, entitled, “Using Big Data to Measure, Map, and Explain Racial Differences in Voter Turnout”

When, where, and why do some racial/ethnic groups turn out to vote at different rates than others? In this talk, Bernard Fraga discusses how comprehensive, national voter file data can be used to help us make informed inferences regarding the correlates and causes of American electoral participation. He begins by describing the geocoded, individual-level structure of the data, demonstrating various advantages over traditional survey-based estimates. Then, he highlights a recent study in which he leverages the redistricting process to extract causal estimates of the effect of ethnoracial context on White, Black, Latino, and Asian American turnout. He concludes with a brief discussion of how our research designs may bias our understanding of who votes, with substantial legal and political consequences.

The second presentation is “‘Alien Citizens,’ Immigrants, and Perceived Discrimination among Latinos,” by Brad Jones of University of California-Davis

Given the historical marginalization of Latinos in the United States, the question of Latino citizenship has garnered renewed attention. The prevailing view is Latino citizenship has been historically contested, so much so that Rocco (2014) has referred to it as a “fundamental problematic” (p. 16). The “bright line” between citizenship and the canonical immigrant has been persistently blurred, leading Ngai (2005) in Impossible Subjects to introduce the concept of the “alien citizen,” the idea Mexican American citizens are inextricably connected to the negative stereotypes of immigrants and immigration. Taking this line of reasoning further, Chavez (2013) has postulated the “Latino Threat Narrative.” Under this narrative, media and elite portrayals of Latinos have effectively stigmatized Latinos, connecting them to negative stereotypes. In this sense, Latinos have the characteristics of what social psychologists refer to as a “stigmatized outgroup.” The concepts of stigmatization and the “alien citizen” makes it natural to ask the following two questions: first, to what extent do Latinos perceive and experience discrimination? Second, to what extent does Latino citizenship and other group attributes mitigate beliefs about external discrimination? Using Pew Latino National Surveys, we find Latino perceptions of discrimination is a decreasing function of “proximity” to the “canonical immigrant;” however, we also demonstrate the “gap” between citizens and immigrants for many Latinos is nonexistent.

The lectures are free and open to the public.

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