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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Department of Sociology

On The Market

Jessica Hausauer

My mixed methods dissertation, “Sanctioning the Poor: A Structural and Individual Analysis,” analyzes the distribution of welfare sanctions leading to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) case closures in the US, and the barriers women face in complying with TANF program rules. Findings show that sanctions are the primary driver of TANF case closures, and that race is a significant predictor of sanction status. Health, housing, and agency level barriers combine to make compliance with welfare rules difficult. A publication titled, “The Role of Unemployment, Politics, Policy Choice, and Race on TANF Case Closure Sanctions” is in progress. Co-authored publications include, “Long Term Care Policies and Challenges for the Elderly” with Madonna Harrington Meyer in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Social Policy, and “The Influence of Veteran Status, Psychiatric Diagnosis, and Traumatic Brain Injury on Men’s Alcohol Use,” with Andrew London, Janet Wilmoth, and Will Oliver in preparation for submission to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. I was awarded the 2014 Syracuse University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. I have completed a Certificate in University Teaching, and I have taught numerous courses included: Sociology of the Family, and Methods and Statistics for Social Research. I am also serving a three year term as student director for the Midwest Sociological Society.

Liz Mount

My research interests center around gender, sexuality, class tensions, social movements, and neoliberalism.  I am guided by a curiosity about new configurations of gender and sexuality as they are inflected by class and caste inequalities in neoliberal environments.  My dissertation project, entitled “We Are Here Because You Are There”: NGO-led Activism, Sexual Minority Communities and Reciprocal Need in South India, engages debates in gender and sexuality studies, global and transnational sociology, social movement research, and area studies.  Specifically, my research explores how NGO-led activism impacts the ways that sexual minorities form and organize their communities.  My analysis is based on an 18-month ethnographic study of interactions between NGOs and two disenfranchised groups in Bangalore, India:  preexisting communities of hijras (gender non-conforming people assigned male at birth) and a newly emerging community of working-class lesbians and female-to-male transgender people.  My analysis scrutinizes shifting self-identification among hijras and transformations in traditional hijra community relationships that are connected to NGO influence.  I also highlight the processes of re-marginalization that lesbians and female-to-male transgender people are subjected to in their efforts to create communities through NGOs.  Additionally, this research reveals the confluence of NGO workers’ interpersonal struggles for financial and social power, their collective efforts to abide by regulations set and enforced by transnational funding agencies, and individuals’ simultaneous struggles to move up the class hierarchy via NGO employment in a neoliberal setting.  My courses weave together a dynamic assortment of materials designed to stimulate students’ sociological imaginations on diverse topics such as:  how austerity measures impact contemporary social movements, exotic dancers’ performances of social class in strip clubs, and the strategies used by working-class parents to navigate their children’s needs within the healthcare system.  In the classroom, I teach not only a range of sociological concepts, I also encourage students to develop a situated, contextualized and sophisticated understanding of their own lives, to locate their experiences within a wider social setting, and to consider these exercises as exciting, liberating and transformative.  By examining the social world through a variety of topics from distinct perspectives and subject positions, I empower students to relate course material to their own diverse life experiences.