|Tuesday, April 19th|
2:00 PM - 2:15 PM
American society has gone through an evolutionary and revolutionary process in the legalization and cultural conceptions of marijuana. Cannabis has long been illegal and illicit with no grey area. Now, it is a legal substance in some states and will likely become legal in many others. Legalized marijuana has the potential to produce millions in taxes. Yet, a social stigma is still attached to marijuana use. Although African American and white populations are reported to use cannabis at comparable rates, African Americans are penalized 2.5 times more than whites for marijuana possession and use. Research indicates that, with the legalization of cannabis, these false, racially-based notions of crime are being perpetuated by the very market that is trying to legitimize itself.
2:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Immigration detention centers are infamous for terrible conditions, mistreatment and human rights violations. In 2009, President Obama called for “civil detention” reforms to improve conditions and government oversight. I explore how these reforms, specifically those focused on improving medical care, have transformed immigration detention as an institution, and how detainees have experienced these transformations. I use an ethnographic approach to understand how the rhetoric of health and care, as well as the overwhelming use of psychotropic medication, affect detainees’ understanding of themselves and the meaning of their detention experience. My findings will add to scholarly understanding of immigration detention through its examination of civil detention. It will also challenge the acceptance of these reforms as improvements. If, as I contend, these reforms have refined the mechanisms of control and marginalization at work in immigration detention, my findings support an abolitionist critique of detention.
2:30 PM - 12:00 AM
What are the costs to those who stand up for targets of prejudice? In our study, we examined how the onsequences of confronting prejudice differ for allies of either African Americans or overweight people. Since research on confrontation and allyship demonstrates that social identities of targets and allies interact to predict these consequences, we also evaluated how perceptions of the ally are influenced by the weight (Study 1) or race (Study 2) of both allies and participants. We presented participants with a scenario depicting an incident of weight bias or racial prejudice, after which participants provided their impression of the ally who confronted discrimination in the scenario. Ultimately, this research furthers our understanding of the consequences that allies may face as a function of their social status and the type of prejudice they confront, while also improving understanding of the ally characteristics most preferred by different targets of prejudice.
2:45 PM - 3:00 PM
In July 2015, the Zimbabwean lion Cecil was killed by an American dentist, leading to widespread outrage across social media. I analyze the counter-discourse that criticized those who were incensed over Cecil’s death for their silence over unarmed African Americans killed by police. I argue that this counter-discourse served to discursively devalue the lives of non-human animals, delegitimize animal advocacy as legitimate social justice work and elide the genuine intersections between animal rights and anti- racism. I do this through use of Rogers Brubaker’s analysis of discourses that place social justice movements in a zero-sum game with each other for societal recognition and Lori Gruen’s call for activists to recognize their common goals rather than tearing each other down. Ultimately, I affirm the validity of animal liberation as complementary to anti- racism, arguing not that “All Lives Matter” but rather that all systematic injustice is significant and worth combating.
Coaches: Felipe Rivera