UCSC Sociologists Win Big at American Sociological Association Annual Meeting

University of California, Santa Cruz continues to innovate beyond intellectual boundaries, this time in the field of sociology.

At the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in August, Craig Reinarman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, received the 2022 Senior Scholar Award from the ASA’s Drugs and Society Section.

Reinarman, who spent 27 years at UC Santa Cruz before retiring in 2016, is known for his research on US drug policy, drug and alcohol use, and the relationship between addiction and incarceration rates.

During his career, Reinarman has conducted extensive research and advocated for the decriminalization of cannabis, which is now legal in 37 states for medical use and 19 states for recreational use. His research found that cannabis was generally not a gateway to “harder” drugs, crime and addiction.

“We wanted to shift the discourse from criminal law to public health as a more effective way to manage drug abuse,” Reinarman said. “The United States has been slower than most to embrace this change, but it’s coming back.”

Reinarman has also co-authored a book on crack cocaine and public policy, served as co-editor of a book, Developing Addiction – Critical Essays, appeared in numerous scholarly journals and wrote opinion pieces for journals such as The Washington Post.

Michelle Gomez Parra, Ph.D. student in sociology, received the Martin P. Levine Memorial Thesis Fellowship in Sociology of Sexualities at the ASA meeting. Parra’s dissertation incorporates her lived experience as a Latina student daughter of a Latina immigrant single mother and how this influenced her view of gender and sexuality.

“My research examines how two pathways of mobility, higher education and migration, shape the gender and sexual identity of Latinas and the generational negotiations of these social forces between migrant mothers and their daughters,” Parra said. “For example, immigrant women often grow up with a negative view of sex due to their experiences of sexual or domestic violence and a lack of sexual health resources.

“On the other hand, their college-going daughters learn about sex positivity in college, which makes it easier for them to explore gender identities. sexual health.

The community, named after sociologist and educator Martin Levine, specializing in research on homosexuality and AIDS, is offering $3,000 to a graduate student who is in the final stages of researching and writing their thesis. Parra plans to use the funding to interview mothers and daughters in Los Angeles, where she grew up.

Parra is also a recent recipient of the UC President’s Pre-Professional Scholarship and UC HSI DDi Pre-Professional Scholarship. She hopes to one day become a teacher at a public institution for first-generation girls of color and work with a community organization that provides access to sex education resources to the immigrant community.

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