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Faculty Research

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Sociological research is an integral component of the sociology curriculum. Testing theoretical knowledge in the field is the basis for proving new theories and trends. Students learn about quantitative research methods as well as how to conduct field studies. Department professors are active in many research projects. 

Mignon Duffy edited, with Amy Armenia (Rollins College) and Clare Stacey (Kent State University), a collection of original research exploring paid care work. The volume, entitled "Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work," published by Rutgers University Press in fall 2014. 

Levon Chorbajian gave talks at Roxbury Community College and Holy Cross College on the impact of neo-liberal policies on public higher education in Massachusetts. In fall 2014, he presented a paper on Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide at a World War I Centennial Conference at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J., co-sponsored by the Peace History Society. The paper is one part of a larger book length project on the Turkish denial.

Mitra Das is the lead author of the research article “Decades after Resettlement: Later Life Experiences of Aging Cambodian Refugees” published in Humanity and Society 37(4), November 2013. Her piece on “Cambodian Community in Lowell, Massachusetts” was published in "Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic and Political History," 1, 2014. She presented a paper, “An Immigrant’s Story: Bengali Family in the United States” at the International Narrative Conference at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. in March 2014. She is currently working on several writing projects including an auto-ethnography: her personal story as an immigrant traversing between two distinct cultures. She has been invited to be a reviewer for "Choice Magazine," to review academic sources for Asian American Studies.

Daniel Egan is working on a study of the role war and military theory play in social theory. His areas of expertise include social theory, social inequality, political sociology, war and peace and globalization.

Thomas Piñeros Shields presented at the Harvard University symposium on “Illegality, Youth and Belonging” in October 2013. He has been a member of the planning committee for URBAN and has organized a round table discussion “How Can DREAMers be Partners in Community Based Research?” at the American Sociology Association (ASA) in San Francisco in August 2014. 

Paula Rayman conducted research as a visiting scholar at Queens University in Belfast Ireland and at University of Haifa in Israel in fall 2014 on a project entitled, "Building Positive Peace and Gender Equity" that builds upon post-conflict case study material from both Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine and includes interviews with women leaders from nonviolent resistance movements in both regions. In addition Rayman will continue to be director of the Middle East Center for Peace, Development and Culture at UMass Lowell and work with the provost on deepening our partnerships in the region. She is working with the Chancellor's Office on the Women and Public Service Program (WPSP), based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C. 

Charlotte Ryan was visiting professor at CUNY School of Public Health, New York City, March 10-11, 2014. She presented a lecture, "Four Models of Strategic Communication in Public Health."  On June 25, 2014 Ryan was a visiting lecturer at Brown University’s IPROV program. She introduced IPROV fellows to Lukes’ concepts of Power and Change. She recently published an article, “Acting in Concert: Social Movements’ Contribution to Environmental Communication,” has been accepted for publication in the Handbook of Environmental Communication. It tracks the efforts of the national environmental organization, Green For All, to build networks that create green jobs while addressing climate change. 

Reflecting on her experiences in service learning, Charlotte Ryan also published  “A Bridge is not Just a Metaphor: Building Sustainable Community-university Partnerships through Service Learning Projects,”  In Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems, Treviño and McCormack, Eds. Burlington, Vt: Ashgate. The "Journal of Poverty" summer 2014 issue features Ryan’s article, “Building Public Will: The Battle for Affordable - and Supportive - Housing” co-authored with Rhode Island homeless rights advocates Jim Rcyzek and Karen Jeffreys. Janelle Diaz, UMass Lowell sociology graduate organized the literature review for the article and is co-author. Ryan has been committed to publishing research with community partners. She is a member of the Urban Publication team working to develop guidelines to facilitate the publication of community-based research now common in public health journals. She presented these guidelines for feedback at an URBAN roundtable in San Francisco in August.

Cheryl Najarian Souza published her article,"'I Play Golf With My Kids, Not My Colleagues:' Politicians, Parenting, and Unpaid Work as a Choice?" in the Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare in December 2017.  She presented her peer reviewed paper,"Narrative Constructions of Helen Keller:  Where are we now and where do we go from here?" in August 2017, at the Society for the Study of Social Problems 67th Annual Meetings in Montreal, Quebec Canada in a Thematic Session entitled,"Narratives of Interdependence." Her peer reviewed paper, "Reframing the Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan: Resisting (Dis)ability Stereotypes through an Analysis of Children's Literature," was accepted by The Society for the Study of Social Problems 68th Annual Meetings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a session entitled,"Institutional Social Controls of Health and Disability." She will present this paper at the Conference in August 2018.

Susan Thomson presented the paper, "The Concerto and the Peacock: Ethnographic Fieldwork and the Music of Seraikela Chhau Dance" at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in Chicago during November 2013, and also presented the paper "Musician, Researcher, Bohu: Gender and the Ethnographic Research Process" at the UMass Lowell Gender Studies Conference in February, 2014. During the fall semester, 2013, in partnership with the Tsongas Industrial History Center, she worked with service-learning students in her social anthropology course to update the museum exhibit "Mill Girls and Immigrants" at the Mogan Cultural Center. The exhibit, including profiles of refugees from Iraq, Bhutan, Congo and Burma, opened in Fall 2014. Susan gave a paper about the creation of this exhibit at the American Ethnological Society/Visual Anthropology meeting in Boston, April 2014.