Penn Arts and Sciences

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, February 27, 2015 - 12:00pm

    College Hall, Room 205

    See Ta-Nehisi Coate's column for the Washington Post's Wonkblog on a graph from Sharkey's "deeply troubling book, Stuck in Place."

    GROWING UP IN HIGH-POVERTY NEIGHBORHOODS has severe consequences for child development.  Sharkey argues that exposure to violent crime is a central reason for this, as indicated by several studies designed to identify the causal effect of exposure to specific incidents of violence on children’s cognitive functioning and academic performance.  In this light, what does the two-decade long drop in violent crime in the U.S. mean to those growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods? Sharkey examines evidence showing where violence has declined and where it has not, and seeks in ongoing research to determine whether the crime decline has reduced childhood inequality in America and whether it has changed the meaning of urban poverty.

  • Friday, March 27, 2015 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

    The ARCH, Room 108 (3601 Locust Walk)

    DRAWING ON HER RECENT EDITED VOLUME, Work and the Welfare State, Brodkin discusses two developments affecting contemporary welfare state politics: the advance of workfare-style policies in an increasing number of countries and a distinct, but related, transnational project of governance reform that targets street-level organizations (SLOs). Evidence from international studies shows how, together, these initiatives are pushing back against the welfare state’s equalizing capacities and intensifying the precariousness of life for those at the economic margins. Brodkin shows that SLOs are at the center of indirect political contests that often go unobserved, highlighting their crucial role in mediating inequality both as shapers of  policy and politics and as key points of interaction between the state and those who are disadvantaged, marginalized, or unemployed. 

  • Friday, April 17, 2015 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

    POVERTY IN EUROPEAN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES has long been widespread, and policies to combat it scarce. Given its embededness in family and community, however, it has also been less marginalized and stigmatized than in many other societies, making it what French sociologist Serge Paugam has termed “integrated poverty.” In this talk, Professor Saraceno argues that changing social and cultural conditions in Mediterranean Europe have transformed the experience of poverty. While it is still widespread, family-centered, and geographically concentrated, cultural reference groups and aspirations have become more de-localized, strengthening the perception of  injustice and misfortune, while family solidarity is increasingly under stress.  At the same time, income support measures have been implemented so that, in order to receive support, the poor must increasingly give up their rights as citizens and adults, agreeing to be told what their needs are and how they should behave. So, while Mediterreanean poverty remains distinctive, it increasingly involves the experiences of marginality and denigration typical of other areas.

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