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  • Often decried, polygyny may have some advantages — Institute for Social Sciences
    anthropological accounts of marriage indicating that polygyny can be in a woman s strategic interest when women depend on men for resources If you have a choice of a guy who has 180 cows lots of land and other wives it might be better for you to marry him rather than a guy who has no wives three cows and one acre Borgerhoff Mulder said Consistent with prior research the study found that polygyny was associated with low food security and poor child health when looking at data across all villages However this pattern was accounted for by the tendency of polygyny to be most common in ecologically vulnerable and marginalized ethnic groups This error of interpretation is known as the ecological fallacy and flaws all previous analyses of large data sets like the Demographic and Health Surveys Our study suggests that highly polygynous predominantly Maasai villages do poorly not because of polygyny but because of vulnerability to drought low service provision and broader socio political disadvantages said David Lawson a population health lecturer at the London School of Hygiene Tropical Medicine and lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Tanzania faces a high burden of food insecurity and malnutrition 45 percent of children are of low height for their age indicating chronic malnutrition with long term impacts on physical and cognitive development Previous research by Lawson Borgerhoff Mulder and colleagues showed that nearly 60 percent of Tanzanian Maasai children experience stunting The United Nations states that polygyny contravenes a woman s right to equality with men and can have such serious emotional and financial consequences for her and her dependents that such marriages ought to be discouraged and prohibited However the researchers highlight the importance of local context in studying the

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/often-decried-polygyny-may-have-some-advantages (2016-01-26)
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  • Conference Showcases Statistical Social Science — Institute for Social Sciences
    and Policy gave a talk entitled Estimation of Network Tie Probability with Exponential Random Graph Models Levy s work which primarily explores how people think about and solve sustainability challenges uses statistical data to make sense of how social networks make connections How do wine industry experts for example disseminate information about sustainability How do different nodes in the social network growers producers etc pick up and use this information Two models Levy draws on two different network models to explore how information travels The first assumes that information is free flowing dependent on functional connections In this model a lack of information can be solved by building more connections to different nodes within the network The second model assumes that information is not free flowing and that blocks in the network mistrust misrepresentation of data etc prevent different nodes from receiving it The solution in this kind of network is to find ways to forge links around the blocks Important questions Levy s research raises important questions about information and networks and how the former travels through the latter For social scientists interested in disseminating what we learn about the world and how it works addressing those questions as well as those asked by the conference s other speakers is essential How should we share our findings By sending them to a node in a network to which we are already peripherally related in order to build trust Or by sending them to an entirely new network Levy suggested that it may be the first though his ongoing project may yet prove otherwise The conference featured the following presentations Siwei Liu Human Ecology Dynamical Correlation A New Method for Measuring Similarity with Multivariate Intensive Longitudinal Data Shu Shen Economics Distributional Tests for Regression Discontinuity Theory and Empirical Examples Xiaoling

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/conference-showcases-statistical-social-science (2016-01-26)
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  • CCWgH Celebrates 25 Years of Intellectual Adventures — Institute for Social Sciences
    it has forged and continues to forge Mann also attributed some of the CCWgH s early success to the way it drew together students from across the disciplines given the interdisciplinary nature of gender studies She added that historians don t usually read in anthropology and literature but they do when their students come from those fields Complex and challenging In the early 2000s gender was added to the program s title to reflect the fact that women were not an isolated constituency and that gender studies had made the field so much more complex and challenging than it had been in the 1990s Decker reflected on the ways in which the CCWgH has transformed how historians approach the field of women s and gender history since then It is not always easy to measure a change in the tone of gendered discourse she said But not long before the CCWgH research cluster was established women s history was considered a topic that only concerned women Cynthia Brantley for example was assigned to teach the first U S women s history course because she was one of the first women hired in the department Much has changed in the last quarter century Decker noted that today many faculty male and female integrate women s and gender history into their research and teaching in a variety of fields and male faculty and graduate students are active participants in the CCWgH Center for innovation From its earliest days the CCWgH has helped transform UC Davis into a national leader in the study of women s and gender history Lisa G Materson an associate professor in the Department of History who has served as core faculty for CCWgH since 2002 observed that the program has endured because it continues to serve as a center for innovation in the field of women s and gender history Its emphasis on transnational gender studies as well as its attention to women outside the United States has in turn sharpened her own scholarship Studying Kenyan women she noted makes her a better historian of American women Materson is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of American Women s and Gender History along with fellow CCWgH member Ellen Hartigan O Connor Interdisciplinary strength While the CCWgH has much to celebrate Corrie Decker said that she was particularly proud that the Department of History at UC Davis has consistently been a venue for meaningful discussions among historians specializing in East Asian African American Latin American and European history producing scholars who care deeply about foregrounding gender in their research and teaching and attracting top women s and gender historians in a variety of fields Decker also noted that CCWgH members have learned from the work of gender studies specialists in other disciplines including anthropologists sociologists economists and psychologists In addition to the social sciences Decker credited collaboration with the Gender Sexuality and Women s Studies Program in the Humanities Division for strengthening the interdisciplinary work of the CCWgH Notable leaders

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/ccwgh-celebrates-25-years-of-intellectual-adventures (2016-01-26)
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  • Gonzalez Traverses Human Terrain — Institute for Social Sciences
    though the program was shut down last year its legacy persists Designed in 2005 the multimillion dollar project had an intriguing premise the sociocultural insights of academics embedded into U S armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq could help commanders on the ground to defeat insurgents and cooperate with local communities Most importantly a better understanding of local cultures the human terrain could lead to more effective counterinsurgency efforts Criticism and debate HTS attracted criticism from anthropologists in particular inciting a report from the American Anthropological Association claiming that anthropology and military intelligence are fundamentally incompatible When ethnographic investigation is determined by military missions not subject to external review the report says where data collection occurs in the context of war it can no longer be considered a legitimate professional exercise of anthropology After a slew of critiques and nearly a decade of heated debate not to mention widespread reports of mismanagement and abuse HTS was quietly shut down last year Willing collaborators HTS is not exceptional however Programs like the U S Army s Global Cultural Knowledge Network and private contractors human terrain programs as well as predictive surveillance systems like DARPA continue to make use of social scientists The persistence of these programs Gonzalez suggested is troubling What is it about social science research that is so valuable to the U S Army Why are social scientists so willing to collaborate with military operations For Gonzalez HTS its spinoffs and recent efforts in sociocultural modeling and forecasting all raise questions about the social contexts that make so called computational counterinsurgency not only thinkable but desirable These social contexts he suggested resemble other systems of domination and manipulation healthcare finance energy food production and genetic engineering to name a few that also make use of social scientists Intervention Ultimately

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/human-terrain-by-any-other-name (2016-01-26)
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  • CPR Conference Looks at Low-Wage Labor — Institute for Social Sciences
    workforce particularly males can learn metalworking or automotive skills that translate into better paying jobs in their home country critical interpersonal and linguistic skills learned on the job do not lend themselves to economic mobility Hagan called for the US to develop new labor classification schemes that take these harder to measure skillsets into account and enable low wage workers to increase their earning potential Optimism at a cost Steven Lopez Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University discussed the effects of the Great Recession on the identity of American workers who faced downward economic mobility Laid off managers and middle wage workers both struggled with a diminished sense of self worth when forced to take on low skill low income work but expressed a sense of optimism that their condition would improve once the economy recovered By contrast the Great Recession had a calamitous impact on lower income workers In addition to competing with more skilled workers for fewer available jobs they also faced devastating economic hardship as a result of job loss Lopez concluded that these findings highlight one important way the impact of the Great Recession may have fallen most heavily on those already at the bottom Helping not hurting With the cities of Sacramento and Davis both set to debate raising their respective minimum wages this year Ken Jacobs presentation Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level was both timely and necessary Chair of UC Berkeley s Labor Center Jacobs presented a series of findings from cities across California including Los Angeles and San Francisco that recently passed new minimum wage laws In doing so he challenged the claim made often by economists that higher wages hurt rather than help the economy Who benefits In California the worker most likely to benefit from a higher minimum wage is an adult Latin probably their household s sole earner While the actual impact of a higher wage on this worker s quality of life depends on where they live evidence suggests that higher wages translate into higher household spending meaning food healthcare and education Worker performance According to Jacobs a worker paid a fair wage is more likely to strive to perform well Higher wages also appear to decrease employee turnover Firms that raise pay therefore stand to benefit from a happier more experienced workforce Operating costs A higher minimum wage increases operating costs by less than 1 percent with some variation across industries and locations Much of this increase can be absorbed in the decreased employee turnover Unemployment Despite frequent claims to the contrary the data shows little to no changes in employment even across different regions Prices A recent study in San Jose found that a 10 percent increase in wages will cause approximately a 0 6 percent increase in prices But while higher prices may impact demand higher wages also enable workers to spend more money locally Public spending California spends approximately 3 6 billion each year on public assistance for working families money

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/cpr-conference-looks-at-low-wage-labor (2016-01-26)
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  • In Memoriam: Professor Aldo Antonelli — Institute for Social Sciences
    Extramural Funding Opportunities Grants Calendar Center for International Data ISS Journal News Features Videos Press Coverage About ISS Contact ISS Mission Staff Executive Committee ISS Fellows Affiliated Centers and Programs Research Affiliates You are here Home ISS Journal News Info In Memoriam Professor Aldo Antonelli The Institute for Social Sciences was deeply saddened to learn of Aldo Antonelli s sudden passing on October 11 2015 Aldo served on the ISS Executive Committee for the 2014 15 academic year and was set to do so again in 2015 16 He played an essential role in the success of our inaugural Conference Series particularly on the day devoted to Social Networks in Decision Making when he moderated one of the series highlights a talk given by Brian Skyrms of UC Irvine We wish to acknowledge Aldo s invaluable service for which we are extremely grateful We will miss his positive energy and his friendship and offer our sincere condolences to his family friends and colleagues Read more about Aldo Antonelli at the Department of Philosophy website Filed under News ISS Journal News More Upcoming Social Science Events Modern Iranian Women Writers Shaping the Cultural Imaginary More News Smith Reveals the Blood Inside

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/in-memoriam-aldo-antonelli (2016-01-26)
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  • Center for Poverty Research Releases New Video Series — Institute for Social Sciences
    ISS Mission Staff Executive Committee ISS Fellows Affiliated Centers and Programs Research Affiliates You are here Home ISS Journal News Info Center for Poverty Research Releases New Video Series The UC Davis Center for Poverty Research has released a series of videos entitled A Brief Guide to Poverty in the U S These short videos provide a basic foundation for understanding the causes and consequences of this complex problem as well as possible solutions suggested by research today In the U S we have made very little measured progress over the past several decades said Ann Stevens a professor of economics at UC Davis and the center s director This video series is another way the center provides a framework for making a bigger impact by taking these pieces and putting them all together In each video Faculty Affiliates address important issues about poverty in the U S such as how we can think about it what works to reduce it and how it affects us all According to the featured faculty poverty research is the first step toward solutions Read the full story and watch the video series at the Center s website Filed under News ISS Journal News

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/center-for-poverty-research-releases-new-video-series (2016-01-26)
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  • Muehlegger Talks Fuel Tax for ITS — Institute for Social Sciences
    two thirds of California s ongoing construction projects Its revenues depend on federal fuel taxes 18 4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24 4 cents per gallon on diesel Since President Bill Clinton oversaw the last fuel tax hike in 1993 politicians of all stripes have been reluctant to increase the federal tax relying since 2008 on stopgap measures to keep the fund solvent As congressional leaders have largely exhausted short term fixes to this perennial problem policymakers must now consider raising fuel taxes or finding alternative sources to keep the fund afloat Erich Muehlegger Assistant Professor of Economics and ISS Executive Committee member is an expert in fuel tax Muehlegger s recent talk at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies ITS Fuel Tax Incidence and Policy covered the findings of his three most recent papers in an interdisciplinary forum bringing together community stakeholders faculty and students While the federal government has not adjusted gas tax rates in more than twenty years each state has its own fuel tax policy For an economist like Muehlegger each state is its own laboratory Drawing on data reflecting changes in state rates Muehlegger showed how fuel taxes reliably reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions Because fuel tax fluctuations are reflected in prices at the pump rate hikes incentivize conservation and the purchase of hybrid vehicles While consumers may not respond to a short term price increase caused for example by a foreign conflict a rational or predicable rise like a fuel tax influences consumer choices over the long term Muehlegger cautioned however that fuel taxes are regressive Consumers bear the entire burden regardless of their income And while environmental groups and the construction trades tend to support fuel taxes policymakers must also consider that working families in rural areas will

    Original URL path: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/iss/iss-journal/news/muehlegger-talks-fuel-tax-for-its (2016-01-26)
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