Cascading Lives: Stories of Loss, Resilience, & Resistance
Drs. Hansen and Kibria will work over the next year to gather and disseminate the life histories of people who have suffered economic decline. The project "Cascading Lives: Stories of Loss, Resilience, & Resistance" includes a workshop for high school and college age students who will learn core techniques (interviewing skills, data analysis, sound editing, podcast production) to gather histories in their communities for publication via podcast and social media with the target audience of high school teachers, legislators, and policy makers. This funded project has its origins in the Cascading Research Group which has been working and meeting at Brandeis as part of the Women's Studies Research Center since 2018.
The Cascading Research Group explores the process of falling from a particular status in ways that trigger additional declines.
Building on the success of our interdisciplinary Cascading workshop last year, the Cascading Research Group takes an intersectional lens to map the contours, causes, consequences and meanings of downward mobilities in the U.S., India, and other countries. The group reviews the gendered and racialized processes that affect women and men in this era of growing inequality, reinforced glass ceilings, diminished public safety net, enduring prejudice, and blocked opportunity. The term “Cascading” describes the process of falling from a particular social location in ways that precipitate additional declines – social, interpersonal, and aspirational, as well as financial (Hansen, Strand, and Leonard 2019). Given the complexity in these times of increasing precarity, we urgently need to understand the structural, intersectional, and interpersonal processes that can turn a shock into a cascade and what serves as a source of resilience.
Research Group Participants
- Christine Bishop, Atran Professor of Labor Economics, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Bernadette Brooten, Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Director of Brandeis WSRC
- Nazli Kibria, Professor of Sociology, Boston University
- Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Tatjana Meschede, Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, Visiting Associate Professor UMass Boston; Visiting Scholar, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
- Debi Osnowitz, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Clark University
- Smriti Rao, Associate Professor of Economics and Global Studies, Assumption College; WSRC Scholar
- Sam Leonard, PhD, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology