Scholarships, Research Opportunities & Internships
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The Office of Scholarships
Current Research Opportunities with Sociology Faculty for Sociology Majors and Minors
Framing Youth Who Trade Sex: Fables, Expertise, and Children’s Rights
October 30, 2018
Dr. Laurie Schaffner, Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies
Project title: Framing Youth Who Trade Sex: Fables, Expertise, and Children’s Rights
Mainstream U.S. research and popular stereotypes surrounding youth involved in the street sex trade rehearses a narrative about commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) as comprised of underage vulnerable (white) girls violently coerced into juvenile prostitution by controlling male adult (African American) pimps and/or (Eastern European) traffickers. According to this dominant narrative, the trafficked girls are in dire need of rescue. However, listening to a range of accounts from 146 interviews with young people involved in the sex economy in Chicago challenges such fables and produces counter narratives that offer a more nuanced and complex picture.
Positioning young people as experts of their own lives alters our view of and contextualizes their plight. Youth-positive framings locate these youth as resourceful actors dealing with an onslaught of brutal injustice such as childhood homelessness, family violence, racist messages, poverty, sexual assault, and more. This critical framing of youth is rare and not usually available to them—or the public—because the young people have been denied their own expertise over their lived experiences. Thus they are represented, and therefore have seen themselves, in the derogative as prostitutes, victims, or delinquents.
While there is no defensible pro-CSEC position, children do have rights to sexual and social justice. This work is dedicated to contributing to social theory and public policy that addresses this crisis.
Research tasks might include going over interview data including coding and selecting relevant quotes; researching popular and academic literature focused on a range of youth concerns; handling a bibliography of references; and other research-related office tasks.
I will carefully train you on all tasks.
Between the Binary
Research Opportunities for “Between the Binary” Interview Project
Prof. Barbara Risman (Sociology) firstname.lastname@example.org
We have an on-going research team beginning a project on interviewing people who identify as between the binary/ nonbinary/ genderqueer.
This is a qualitative research project which involves literature reviews, participating in research meetings, transcribing interviews, and once trained, opportunities for interviewing as well.
Currently, we have the capability of accepting two more research assistants, preferably those that have taken either Sociology of Gender or Sociology of Sexualities courses and their required methods course as well. Familiarity with the research population is a plus as is past research experience doing in-depth
Skin Tone Inequalities Project
Seeking: Undergraduate raters to assist in coding visual data in support of projects exploring methodological approaches to studying perceptions of racial-ethnic appearance, racial-ethnic identity, and racial-ethnic inequalities.
Broad opportunity: Dr. Rachel Gordon, Dr. Amelia Branigan, and UIC Sociology graduate student Mariya Khan are collaborating on new studies of racial-ethnic inequality using multiple, contrasting measures of race-ethnicity. This study explores methodological approaches to studying racial-ethnic appearance. Students have the opportunity to gain research credit through
training and hands on experience in coding visual data.
Overall topics of interest:
• Probing multiple, contrasting conceptions of race-ethnicity.
• Exploring innovative methodological strategies for measuring these conceptions.
• Supervised research credit (Soc 296).
• 2 credit hours (6 hour/week commitment).
• Weekly assignments.
• Monthly in-person meeting.
• Learning about past strategies to measure visual appearance.
• Reflecting on such strategies, in contemporary society.
• Training in coding visual data.
• Hands-on coding experience.
• Open-ended reflections on coding.
• Learning about scientific proposal and manuscript writing.
• Mentorship in job/grad school applications.
• Recommendations for job/grad school applications.
• Summer SROP.
• AY19-20 CURA.
• AY19-20 Senior Thesis/Capstone.
To get involved, please provide your contact information availability
in person, or contact Mariya Khan ASAP at email@example.com.
Application requires brief statement of interest, resume, and unofficial
transcript. Slots will be filled in the near future.
Racial Wealth Disparities among the Middle-Class in Chicago
Principal Investigator: Amanda Lewis, Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at UIC, Director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy
By the time they reach adulthood, black and Latinx children born to middle income families in Chicago are far less likely than white children from families with the same income to remain in the middle-class or attain a college degree (Chetty, Friedman, and Hendren 2018). There is growing evidence to suggest that differences in wealth between middle earning families may explain racial differences in educational attainment and mobility. Wealth is the total value of
assets minus debt. Studies have found that racial wealth gaps are extremely high in the U.S., with whites’ net worth estimated to be over 20 times that of blacks and 18 times the net worth of Latinxs (Taylor et al. 2011). Unlike income, one of the primary ways wealth is accumulated is through intergenerational transfers such as inheritance or financial gifts (Pfeffer and Killewald 2015). As a result, racial wealth gaps may persist even among individuals with similar education, income, and occupational standing. Research has shown that intergenerational wealth transfers provide significant opportunities for those from privileged backgrounds. For example, the
financial support provided by wealth, over and above income, allows families to send their children to better schools, live in well-resourced neighborhoods, pay for college educations, and provide the connections for entry into chosen career paths (Conley 1999; Johnson 2006; Keister 2000; Killewald, Pfeffer, and Schachner 2017; Shapiro 2004).
In this project, we seek to explore the role of wealth in racial inequality among middle-class Chicagoans. Specifically, we ask:
Research Question: How does wealth influence the lives of middle-class families across race/ethnicity?
To examine this question, we use two methods. First, we will be conducting 150 interviews with black, Latinx, and white middle-class residents of Chicago to learn about aspects of wealth attainment and the consequences of wealth/debt status. Second, we are partnering with Morningstar Inc. to enroll respondents in a tech application that will collect information on financial transactions, investments, and expenses to examine the relationships between financial behavior, social context, and wealth status.
Students’ participating in this project will assist with administrative duties such as scheduling interviews, preparing study materials, and transcribing interviews. Students will work closely with the project’s Principal Investigator and will learn how large-scale studies are designed and implemented to investigate social problems.
Because wealth is transferred across generations, it constitutes one mechanism by which historical racism reinforces contemporary patterns of inequality. Information gained from this study will inform social policy aimed at improving wealth equity and addressing intergenerational cycles of racial inequality both in Chicago and across the U.S.
2019-2020 Academic Year Scholarships
UIC Student Affairs is accepting applications for more than 30 competitive scholarships open to students across all colleges and academic disciplines. Students are currently receiving over $277,000 in financial support from these opportunities. To be considered for the 2019-2020 academic year, students are highly encouraged to log in to UIC SnAP. A general application must be submitted before addressing criteria specific to each scholarship. The deadline for each of these applications is Tuesday, January 1, 2019. It is recommended that students visit UIC SnAP to participate in this scholarship process soon.
The scholarship opportunities include, but are not limited to the:
Dr. Thomas Beckham Memorial Scholarship
Gordon J. Flesch Memorial Scholarship
Graduate – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current graduate level students)
La Verne Noyes Scholarship
Lorilyn Espique Aquino Fund
Noveline Delk Kennedy Scholarship
Officer Brian T. Strouse Memorial Scholarship
Professional – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current professional level students)
Rundgren Foundation Scholarship
Supporting Excellence Endowment (S.E.E.) Scholarship
UIC Conrad and Grace Kroll Scholarship Fund
UIC Donald and Patricia Langenberg Award
UIC Eileen and Michael Tanner Award Fund
UIC Eleanor Daley Scholarship
UIC Ethel Bohlen Scholarships
UIC Fred Garcia Endowed Award
UIC Hassan Mustafa Abdallah Memorial Scholarship Fund
UIC Hearst Foundation Scholarship Fund
UIC Jim’s Original Scholarship
UIC Michael J Lewis Scholarship Fund
UIC Navy Pier Scholarship Fund
UIC Salinas-Chapa Family Memorial Fund
Undergraduate – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current undergraduate level students)
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Scholarship
Wensel Morava Scholarship
If you have questions about the scholarships or the application process, contact the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships office at (312) 413-1066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For sociology students
UIC Sociology regularly updates our list of scholarships, research opportunities, and internships for Sociology undergraduates at UIC and beyond:
Network with Sociology Alumni
The alumni of UIC Sociology are an excellent resource as you begin to think about career paths and job opportunities after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Visit our Alumni page to learn more about the Sociology Alumni Advisors Network and how you can benefit from connecting with our alumni!
Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Journal
UIC is home to an open-access Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Journal (IURJ), which aims to disseminate the work of UIC’s undergraduate researchers in order to further scientific discovery and scholarly dialogue. It is co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Honors College, the Graduate College, and the University Library and work is underway to publish the next issue in Winter 2019.
Undergraduates, please submit a scholarly or scientific article for publication. The deadline is June 1st. Be sure to work with a faculty member on preparing your manuscript for review, since a faculty member’s endorsement is required as part of the process.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email UICUndergradResearchJournal@gmail.com and a member of the advisory board will get back to you soon.