Sociology

Hana Brown
Enforcement or embrace? The determinants of state-level immigration policy in new immigrant destinations
Awarded $49,251 for the period 4/1/14 to 7/31/15
Source: Russell Sage Foundation/University of Notre Dame

This pilot project examines why some new immigrant destination states have adopted anti-immigrant policies while others have embraced newcomers with more supportive initiatives. Combining archival, media, and interview data, it will evaluate the effect of interracial coalitions, immigrant civic capacity, and political context on immigration policy outcomes in Alabama and Mississippi. It will test three hypotheses: (1) in Mississippi, high levels of interracial organizing thwarted efforts to pass omnibus anti-immigration policies, while their absence facilitated passage in Alabama; (2) activism by immigrant community organizations prompted policy backlash unless they were part of a larger matrix of civic groups advocating for supportive reforms; and (3) the broader policy context constrained the stakes of state-level immigration policy debates; i.e., racial tensions were higher in Alabama than in Mississippi, pressuring lawmakers to enact stringent immigration policies. If results warrant further examination, the project will expand to North Carolina and Georgia, which have a higher density of immigrant newcomers and significant regional economic power.

Robin Simon
Collaborative Research: A Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Children on Parents’ Well-Being
Awarded $29,393 for the period 9/15/10 to 8/31/11
Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)

This project studies gaps in parents and nonparents’ well-being across 21 nations, with welfare states as a key intermediary variable.

Ian Taplin
Conflict and Control in Organizations: Rethinking Governance in the Light of Efficiency Imperatives and Management Security
Source: WFU Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Research Fund

This pilot study is designed to evaluate how and to what extent senior managers in two major corporations deal with new sets of regulatory pressures following recent corporate governance controversies. With pressure for greater transparency in administrative routines following passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, July 2002, it is hypothesized that managers will be forced to create more elaborate procedures to maintain the status quo. Building on an earlier demonstration that management decision-making is constrained by self-interested actors (senior managers) who seek to minimize the destabilizing effects of externally mandated change, the project further postulates that neither inertia nor a specific firm-based culture leads to errant behavior, but, instead, the system predisposes managers toward rational self-interest. Change, if it occurs, will therefore remain minimal. If we are to understand why some managers behave badly and illegally, we must analyze how they construct an administrative apparatus that shields them from scrutiny and sustains a broad commitment to such principles throughout the firm.