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Sociology Department Welcomes Two New Professors

The Department of Sociology will be welcoming two new professors in the Fall, Kevin Lewis and Vanesa Ribas.   Vanesa is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina who is anticipating to defend May 2012.  Her dissertation is on the social and economic incorporation of Latina/o migrants in the American South. Vanesa Ribas’ research is in race/ethnicity, migration, work, and social movements.  Her principle line of research focuses on the intergroup relations, conditioned by the social organization of labor, that fundamentally shape the incorporation of Latina/o migrants in the contemporary American South. Vanesa Ribas’ dissertation, titled “On the Line: The Working Lives of Latinos and African Americans in the New South,” is an ethnography of a large meatpacking plant in the Southeast where she held entry-level production jobs on the line alongside mostly Latina/o and African American workers. She will be teaching Soci 104 Field Research: Methods of Participant Observation and Soci 139 Social Inequality: Class, Race and Gender.

Kevin Lewis is currently a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Harvard University, and is expected to receive his degree May 2012. He is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Mr. Lewis’ area of expertise is in cultural sociology and network analysis.  His research focuses on the formation and evolution of social networks, and addresses three general questions. First, how are observed patterns of homogeneity in social networks generated? Second, how does culture contribute to the development and maintenance of social network ties? Third, what are the implications of both processes for the genesis and reproduction of inequality? To answer these questions, Mr. Lewis has primarily analyzed  two network datasets unique in nature and scale using cutting-edge methods for modeling cross-sectional and longitudinal network data.  His general range of teaching interests includes statistics, theory, network analysis, cultural sociology, social psychology, gender, sociology of the family, and inequality. He will be teaching Soci 108 Survey of Research Design as well as his new course – Soci 120T Social Networks.

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