2023-2024 Archive

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the department focused on the following types of hybrid gatherings: those in which we shared our own research and with invited project partners and professionalization workshops for graduate students.

    Fall 2023 Quarter

  • Michelle Gomez Parra on Desiring a Better Life: Heteronormativity and Generational Negotiations among Latinas

    Thursday, November 02, 2023

    Time: 11:40 am - 1:15pm
    Location: RCC 301 + Zoom (registration)

    Desiring a Better Life examines how heteronormativity and undergoing a mobility experience of either migration or higher education shapes Latinas' own gender and sexual subjectivities as well as generational conversations of sex, pleasure, and dating among mother-daughter dyads. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 53 college-going daughters and 11 of their migrant mothers, digital and in person ethnographic observations with 7 daughters, and a discourse analysis of 78 Tik-Tok videos utilizing the hashtag “#hotcheetogirl,” this project offers heteronormativity matrix of domination, a framework rooted in intersectionality, Black feminist thought, and transnational feminist theory, for examining how multiple, historical, context-specific formations intersect to shape the social construction of heteronormativity. As such, this presentation employs this framework to examine how national and regional forces have led to the formation of two discourses of heteronormativity, that of the “chola” and “hot cheeto girl,” and the impacts these narratives have on low-income urban Latinas’ mobility trajectories and gender and sexual subjectivities. This talk also examines how the discourse of uno nunca sabe (you never know what bad things can happen) that migrant mothers draw on to teach their daughters about sex reflects how mothers' migratory journeys and first-hand experiences with economic, racial, gender, and sexual oppression in Latin America and the US, shape Latina daughters’ college-going experiences and subjectivities. Overall, this project contributes to the fields of Sociology, Sexualities, Gender Studies, and Feminist Studies as it reveals that heteronormativity (normative gender and sexuality) are critical sites for resisting and reproducing intersecting social problems, such as poverty, racism, and nation-making projects.

    Michelle Gomez Parra (she/ella) is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department with a designated emphasis in Latin American and Latinx Studies at The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She uses feminist theories of color and qualitative methods to examine sexual, gender, racial, and economic formations in the Americas. Her dissertation examines the ways in intersecting structures of power produce heteronormativity (normative gender and sexuality), subsequently shaping Latinas' mobility experiences of migration and higher education, their gender and sexual lives, and generational conversations of sex between migrant mothers and their college-going daughters. Michelle’s research has been funded by the Sociologist for Women in Society, the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Sexualities Section, the American Educational Research Association, and the UC Pre-Professoriate Fellowship. Her research has been published in Gender & Society as well as Sex Education.

  • Winter 2024 Quarter

  • Graduate Student Professionalization Workshop: Teaching-Focused Academic Positions

    Thursday, February 01, 2023

    Time: 12:00 - 1:15pm
    Location: RCC 301 + Zoom (Registration)

    Join us in RCC 301 or on Zoom for an online workshop presentation about teaching-focused academic positions. Amanda Mireles, Assistant Teaching Professor in sociology at the University of California, Merced, will share expertise on a range of topics including: what can students do to prepare for teaching-focused tenure-track roles, how should students think about the interview process for teaching-focused roles, and how to craft a compelling teaching demonstration. We will save time for Q&A as well, so please bring your questions too. 

    Amanda Mireles is an Assistant Teaching Professor in sociology at the University of California, Merced. Her research areas of interest are inclusive pedagogy, social inequality, gender, family, and work. At UC Merced, she teaches courses on social inequality, sociology of the family, sociological research methods, and statistics for sociology. She previously taught at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Mills College. She earned her PhD in sociology from Stanford University and her bachelor's degree in sociology with certificates in African American studies and Latino Studies from Princeton University.