Collaboration between SPPS and URBAN

URBAN Networking Roundtables to be included in Sociological Practice and Public Sociology Section roundtable session at 2013 ASA Meeting.

The roundtables will explore potential collaborations and ongoing work both among those attending and the larger URBAN network. Each roundtable will have a coordinator who will give a three to four minute overview of the topic and purpose of the roundtable. This will be followed by:

  1. discussion of research and other community-based work being done this this area;
  2. common interests and potential coordination among those attending;
  3. activities that could take place after the meeting to build regional and national connections;
  4. identification of volunteers to work on this work (and potential other participants – within sociology, within other disciplines, and among community partners in our local areas; and
  5. distribution of notes on discussion/outcomes and later distribution to participants and the broader URBAN network (notes to be taken by volunteer note taker).

Roundtable Topics

Immigration policy, undocumented immigrants, and local/national action: Documenting the Undocumented

Thomas Pineros Shields, Brandeis University

tshields at

This discussion will bring together undocumented immigrant students who have been active in the political activism for the DREAM Act and immigrant rights with sociologists interested in engaging in research partnerships with them. Although undocumented immigrant students have been historically invisible to larger community, they often play the dual role of participating in political action and attending colleges and universities as students. The feasibility of developing scholarly projects among undocumented immigrant students and sociologists will be discussed in this round table working session.

Cities and the Environment

Daina Cheyenne Harvey, College of the Holy Cross

dharvey at

As many universities and colleges are located in urban areas, and as a large portion of urban ills contribute to environmental issues, the relationship between cities and the environment and public sociology is becoming increasingly important. This roundtable would focus on environmental activism and environmental issues in cities that public sociologists are working on. Participants addressing community based partnerships with environmental groups/organizations, pedagogical lessons from urban-environmental activism, or the critical assessment of activist research at the nexus of cities and the environment are welcomed.

Educational Leadership, Research, Policy, and Change

John Diamond, Harvard University

diamonjo at

Educational inequality in U.S. schools is central issue in current policy debates and a major problem in city schools. Too often, however, there is a disconnection between the worlds of research, educational policy and practice, and activism. This roundtable invites those who seek to break down these barriers to discuss their current efforts and explore potential collaborations designed to create more just and equitable educational opportunities and outcomes. Such efforts may include (but are not limited to) partnerships between universities and urban school systems, collaborations across institutions (e.g. university, government, non-profit organizations), and connections that build community-based leadership for educational change.

Community Based Research as a Teaching Tool

Susan Ambler, Maryville College

susan.ambler at

Those who teach sociology using community based research (CBR) as an assignment or project in courses are invited to participate in this roundtable. Important items to discuss include the structure of the assignments and the learning goals set in using CBR and the context of the project: what is the nature and characteristics of the community in which the project takes place? In addition, the roundtable will discuss the kinds of relationships one has with the community organizations in order to offer the CBR assignment and answer the question, what kind of issues or problems have emerged in collaborating with the organizations?


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