Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program Participants

Spring 2019 Participants

The Forced Removal of Blacks from Napa: A Documentary Film Project

In 1956, Denise DelCarlo and a friend had just exited a restaurant in downtown Napa when Denise observed something that instantly became emblazoned on her memory. At the time, the 18-year old had never seen a black person before, but on this day in January she remembers seeing three or four school busloads of black faces, women and their children, driving through town. Soon after she was told that they were driven to the line separating Napa from Sonoma counties and dropped off in Vallejo, the first town in Sonoma County. Their men and sons would travel in cars from Napa to the same location, with furniture and other household belongings in tow.

What Denise believes she saw was Napa’s forced removal of blacks. Now, at 80, Denise wonders if she actually saw what she can’t seem to forget. No one in Napa had ever really spoken about Napa’s black population at all, much less aspects of its forced relocation, and so Denise now fears she made it all up.

This documentary is devoted to solving this mystery. Using traditional research methods, including archival research of historical materials, in-depth interviews of residents from both cities/counties, Census data and administrative records, and other sources, we will attempt to answer the question that has plagued Denise for decades: Were blacks forcibly removed from Napa in the mid-1950s? If so, for what purpose? Why then? And by whom? Further, what does this potential slice of Napa history tell us about race relations in the Valley, in California, in the States, then and now? And how can sociological theories of race and place help us to make sense of the story that we uncover?

Each student who participates will contribute some part to developing the film. They will either conduct research that will help us to solve this mystery, and/or they will assist in the actual production process—filming, editing, etc.

Mentor: Sandra Smith, Professor, Sociology


The Difference a Day Makes: How Pretrial Detention Affects Individuals’ Lives in the Short- and Long-Term

This project explores the experiences of people who have spent time in jail pre-trial for low-level criminal charges. How do people describe their experiences in jail, and what different forces shape those experiences?

Students will code and analyze completed interviews with people who have spent time in the San Francisco County Jail.

Mentor: Sandra Smith, Professor, Sociology
Day-to-day supervisor: Isaac Dalke, Graduate Student


Bargain Justice: A Study of Guilty Pleas in Misdemeanor Criminal Cases

This project examines how people navigate the criminal legal system when facing low-level criminal charges.

Most criminal prosecutions look nothing like the high-stakes trials depicted in TV courtroom dramas. The overwhelming majority of criminal cases in the U.S. involve misdemeanors, and in 97% of these low-level cases defendants plead guilty rather than going to trial. How do misdemeanants see their charges? How do they approach their cases in court? And why do so many end up pleading guilty?

This project offers students an opportunity to get training and hands-on experience organizing and analyzing qualitative data, as well as an opportunity to learn more about punishment and the criminal legal system.

Students will be primarily responsible for coding field notes and writing analytic memos. Depending on interest and project needs, you may also help review relevant academic literature and/or conduct direct observations in court.

Mentor: Sandra Smith, Professor, Sociology
Day-to-day supervisor: Katherine Hood


Investigating the Shift Towards Outside CEO Hires in the United States

In recent years, there has been enormous public concern and political debate about economic inequality – from the Occupy movement, to the popularity of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, to the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. However, scholars still lack a firm grasp of why inequality rose so much, so fast. This project investigates one understudied mechanism contributing to rising income inequality: the sharp increase in outside CEO hires at large U.S. firms since the middle of the 20th century.

The percentage of new CEOs hired from outside the company (rather than promoted from within) more than doubled from 1970 to 2005, and evidence suggests that this upward trend is even more stark if the entire post-WWII period is considered. CEOs hired from outside the company tend to have higher compensation than those promoted from within, and hence this rise in outside hires is linked to surging executive pay. Despite the importance of this rise in outside CEO hires, past research has not provided a convincing explanation of why this practice has become much more common among U.S. firms.

For this project, undergraduate research assistants will be expected to:
– Commit at least 6 hours per week of independent work (see below)
– Communicate regularly with the day-to-day supervisor via email
– Attend regular meetings with the day-to-day supervisor
– Attend occasional meetings with the faculty advisor

During the independent work, undergraduate research assistants will:
– Review a list of online sources—Who’s Who, The New York Times, etc.—to find biographical information on CEOs at large U.S. firms (the list of CEOs will be provided by the supervisor)
– (Later in the semester:) Read newspaper articles discussing CEO hires and identify important themes in the texts.
– Enter the collected data in a standardized way into Excel
– Document work carefully, and note questions and difficulties for further discussion with supervisor
– Carry out preliminary data analysis

Students participating in this project will gain valuable knowledge about the career trajectories of executives at major U.S. firms. By reading business media evaluations of CEO hires they will also gain a deeper understanding of how the meaning of the CEO position has changed over time. Finally, they will gain broadly applicable research skills, such as how to query and organize information to construct a data set that can be analyzed, how to apply basic quantitative analyses, and how to conduct qualitative coding of texts.

Mentor: Daniel Schneider, Professor of Sociology
Day-to-day supervisor: Matt Stimpson, Ph.D. candidate


Schedule Instability and Unpredictability and Worker and Family Health and Wellbeing

The American labor market is increasingly unequal, characterized by extraordinary returns to work at the top of the market but rising precarity and instability at the bottom of the market. This precarity is multi-dimensional, characterized by low-wages, few benefits, short tenure, contingent employment, and non-standard work schedules.

While the consequences of these dimensions of precarity have been studied, scholars, policy makers, workers, and advocates have documented a new set of precarious employment practices related to work scheduling that may have serious negative effects on workers and their families. These changes are particularly dramatic in the large and growing service sector where employers have embraced scheduling practices in which workers’ hours and work schedules vary day-to-day with little advance notice or worker input. Yet, there is an acute lack of existing data that would allow us to monitor these practices and the existing empirical literature on the effects of scheduling instability is sparse.

In this project, Professor Schneider and his co-author, Professor Kristen Harknett, collect low-cost web-based surveys on a large scale. We collect detailed reports of employment conditions, worker health and wellbeing, and parenting and child wellbeing. A unique advantage of our approach is that we can collect large samples of responses from workers at specific named companies, allowing us for the first time to publicly characterize specific company’s employment practices using large-scale external data and to track these changes over time. To date, we have collected data from 13,000 hourly workers at 28 large retail companies in the United States. We use these data to examine the prevalence of unstable and unpredictable scheduling practices and the associations between these practices and multiple dimensions of household economic security, worker health, and parenting.

For this project, undergraduate research assistants will be expected to:
– Commit at least 6 hours per week of independent work (see below)
– Communicate regularly with the day-to-day supervisor via email
– Attend regular meetings with the day-to-day supervisor

During the independent work, undergraduate research assistants will:
– Take primary responsibility for researching a set of 4 to 5 large public companies to detail such attributes as employment size, workplace practices, and store locations
– Use UC Berkeley subscriptions to databases including Hoovers, Dunn and Bradstreet, Reference USA, and SimplyMap as well as internet searches of public data
– Compile these data into a standardized spreadsheet including cleaning and coding source data
– Document work carefully, collaborate and share methods and sources with other team members, and note questions and difficulties for further discussion with supervisor

Mentor: Daniel Schneider, Professor of Sociology
Day-to-day supervisor: Harpreet Zoglauer


Undocumented Non-DACA Students and Employment Prospects

The project aims to undertake exploratory research on employment opportunities and experiences of undocumented non-DACA students on campus and after graduation. It will look at the political, economic, legal, and policy changes.

1) The project requires 3-5 hours a week from the students
2) Literature review
3) Presenting the research at IRLE URAP Showcase on May 7, 2019

Qualifications: Knowledge of qualitative research and methods like interviews and focus groups. Basic data analysis skills required. Advanced level skills can be learnt by attending IRLE offered 4 workshops on data analysis during spring.

Mentor: Cybelle Fox, Professor, Department of Sociology


The Promise and Practice of Prison Education

It has been well-documented that incarceration can produce a wide range of collateral consequences for individuals and their families. For instance, spending time in prison has a significant negative effect on later job security, even after controlling for alcohol use, criminal activity, and prior criminal history, and some studies suggest that a period of incarceration reduces annual earnings by as much as 30 to 40 percent. The families of incarcerated individuals also experience collateral costs, in the form of restricted rights, diminished resources, and social marginalization. These broader harms are made more acute by the hyper-concentration of imprisonment in poor, predominantly minority neighborhoods. In these communities, mass incarceration has a destabilizing effect, fostering distrust of political institutions and reducing civic participation.

In this study, we aim to document the effects of incarcerated students’ participation in a degree-granting, on-site college program at San Quentin State Prison. Using both original, longitudinal surveys and administrative data, the project will allow us to assess whether higher education has the potential to alter not only the experiences these individuals have while incarcerated, but also their life trajectories following release. To do this, we match over-time student surveys with criminological data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and with student records. As a point of comparison, we also gather administrative data on three distinct control groups – those at San Quentin who are on the waitlist for enrollment in college, but have not yet matriculated; those incarcerated at other prisons who have requested transfer to enroll in higher education; and a statistically matched sample of individuals at San Quentin who are eligible to enroll in educational programs but have not done so.

Tasks
– Literature reviews on higher education and the effects of incarceration for scholarly papers
– Drafting and contributing to white papers and policy reports on the effects of higher education programs in prison
– Planning the next wave of surveys to be fielded in San Quentin next fall

Learning Outcomes
– Master critique and comprehension of currently scholarly literature
– Improve research writing skills
– Gain a deeper understanding of the quantitative and qualitative research process
– Learn the basics of survey methodology with hard-to-reach populations

Mentor: Amy Lerman, Professor
Day-to-day supervisor: Meredith Sadin, Staff Researcher


How Do U.S. Presidents Talk About Government?

Public trust in government has dramatically declined in the United States since the 1960s. Some scholars have speculated that one cause may involve political communication: federal politicians might have begun speaking more negatively about government in their public addresses, leading the public to increasingly see government as untrustworthy.

This exploratory study aims to shed light on whether the language used by political elites has, indeed, become more negative over time. It also examines whether that language has shifted in other ways that might impact trust—for example, by increasingly contrasting government with the private sector. We focus for now on a relatively narrow body of content: State of the Union addresses made by U.S. presidents. (Future research will explore a broader body of political communications.)

Using a new content analysis coding scheme, this project examines State of the Union addresses on a sentence-by-sentence basis, capturing key information about how government is defined, described, evaluated, and framed. We will code dozens of speeches, resulting in a robust data set capturing how U.S. presidents have shifted the way they talk about government over the past half-century.

Tasks
– Assigning codes to past State of the Union addresses using a detailed content analysis coding scheme
– Documenting “edge cases” that do not easily fit into coding categories
– When appropriate, helping refine the coding scheme with the lead researcher
– If time allows, conducting basic quantitative analyses of speech content

Learning Outcomes
– Develop a working understanding of content analysis and proper manual coding techniques
– Improve research communication skills
– Gain a deeper understanding of the quantitative and qualitative research process

Mentor: Amy Lerman, Professor
Day-to-day supervisor: Charlotte Hill


The Gendered Effects of Unemployment Insurance Modernization Provisions

The project aims to examine the effects of the Unemployment Insurance Modernization provisions on UI receipt and the effects of UI receipt on subsequent employment patterns among unemployed workers leaving their jobs for family caregiving reasons.

Many American workers face challenges in balancing their work and family. While some workers can adapt their work schedules or take paid leaves to take care of sick family members, young children, or aging parents, some have to quit their jobs or are laid off for reasons related to family caregiving. Female workers, compared to their male counterparts, are more likely to leave their jobs for compelling family reasons and experience economic insecurity due to employment interruptions. Unemployment Insurance (UI) has played a critical role in providing income and work support for unemployed workers since its establishment in 1935. However, its outdated eligibility rules and wide variations in provisions across states have disqualified many unemployed women and family caregivers unequally across states. The federal Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA) of 2009 financially incentivized states to reform their UI provisions, including three family caregiver-friendly eligibility expansions. By using the Census Survey of Income Program Participation and a quasi-experimental design to examine the policy effect of UIMA, this research will inform future UI reform to improve the economic security and gender equity.

Mentor: Yu-Ling Chang, Professor Social Welfare


Understanding “Us vs Them” Attitudes, Police Officer Wellness, and Public Safety

Existing research shows that perceived stress is associated with performance impairment and can have negative consequences for decision-making. This project aims to provide evidence of “Us vs Them” attitudes as occupational stressors in policing and examine the consequences of this stressor for public safety outcomes. We will conduct in-depth interviews with patrol officers to ask: How do officers understand “Us vs Them” dynamics? How do these understandings shape their interactions with the public? What is the relationship between “Us vs Them” attitudes and officers’ sense of safety? How do trainings intended to promote bias-free policing inform officers’ perceptions of their interactions with community members?

This project will provide students with the opportunity to engage in multiple elements of qualitative research. They will gain instruction and experience conducting literature reviews, interview transcription, qualitative data coding, ethical human subjects research design, and research participant recruitment.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Kimberly Burke, Graduate Student

Mentor: Erin Kerrison, Professor Sociology


Immigration Policy, Immigrant Community and Civil Society in Japan and Korea

Japan and South Korea (Korea hereafter) present a prototype of the restrictive immigration policy aimed at preventing settlement of immigrant workers. Yet over the past 30 years, the two countries have been home to growing and diverse immigrant populations, mostly from other Asian countries, that engage in the jobs and industries shunned by citizen workers. This is a result of not only severe labor shortages in such industries, but also due to ad hoc governmental policies accommodating such demands. Consequently, the two nations have witnessed expanding immigration policies, increasing immigrant populations, and developing social movements to counter strict immigration policies.

This research focuses on the three major themes regarding the evolving immigration landscapes of East Asia, specifically Japan and Korea, the two advanced economies with alarming demographic changes. First, it analyzes changes over time in governmental policies on managing immigration control and immigrant access to the basic public services such as healthcare. Second, the study examines activities, strategies and achievements of the counter-forces to the strict immigration policies, including immigrant associations, citizen organizations, and international NGOs and UN Conventions. Third, it studies history, labor and community of the two selected immigrant populations, specifically the Filipinos and the Nepalese, long residing and working in each country.

Research Context and Methods:
Since the early 1990s when Japan witnessed an influx of global immigrant workers, I studied this new phenomenon in central Japan focusing on the two populations, Brazilians of Japanese descent and Nepalese visa overstayers. I published many journal articles and book chapters (see my personal website: http:// http://keikoyamanaka.info/publications.html). In the early 2000s, I extended my study to Korea where immigration policies were similar to those of Japan but increasingly diverging it developed its own. I hypothesized that Korea’s strong civil society contributed partly to the rapid policy changes, whereas Japan’s traditional bureaucratic negotiation resulted in gradual policy changes.

For over the past twenty years I collected data for this project in Japan, Korea and more recently the Philippines, using interviews, surveys and observations. Because changes are rapid, my data need to be updated. For this goal, I conducted field studies in Japan, Korea and the Philippines last year, and Korea this year. I plan to continue follow-up studies in these countries in the near future. I also need to update statistics on immigration published by the government of Japan and Korea, and the data and information collected by non-governmental agencies in each country.

In this academic year, I concentrate on updating immigration statistics and other relevant data in Japan and Korea. I need two undergraduate research apprentices who will engage in collecting:
(1) the governmental data, especially official statements and statistics, regarding immigration control, immigrant labor and employment, residence and family, citizenship, etc., and
(2) the non-governmental data, including those by academics, businesses, labor unions, journalists, immigrant support organizations, and others.

Mentor: Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer Ethnic Studies


Probing the limits of criminal record stigma: audit studies of the job market for college graduates

The poor labor market outcomes of former prisoners and others with criminal records are well documented, including high rates of unemployment, low wages, and poor working conditions. Although the sources of these difficulties are many – including low levels of education, high rates of substance abuse, and limited work experience, prior research compellingly shows that the stigma of a criminal record reduces the chances of being hired and often relegates those with a criminal record to the secondary labor market. Experimental audit studies show that a criminal record dramatically reduces the chances of a callback. Qualitative evidence on the job search strategies of those with a criminal record shows that they respond by turning to temporary positions and certain “felon friendly” industries at the bottom of the labor market.

However, the scope conditions of the criminal record stigma are not well understood. Prior research focuses on the low-skill labor market, so we know little about which “positive credentials” might counteract stigma. This is particularly important because one of the primary policy proposals for improving the labor market outcomes of those with criminal records is greater access to postsecondary education. Can a college degree overcome the stigma of a criminal record? For whom and for which types of jobs does it do so? This project will conduct a series of audit studies in the labor market for college graduates to examine the scope and limits of the criminal record stigma.

Mentor: David Harding, Professor Sociology

Fall 2018 Participants

The Gendered Effects of Unemployment Insurance Modernization Provisions

The project aims to examine the effects of the Unemployment Insurance Modernization provisions on UI receipt and the effects of UI receipt on subsequent employment patterns among unemployed workers leaving their jobs for family caregiving reasons.

Many American workers face challenges in balancing their work and family. While some workers can adapt their work schedules or take paid leaves to take care of sick family members, young children, or aging parents, some have to quit their jobs or are laid off for reasons related to family caregiving. Female workers, compared to their male counterparts, are more likely to leave their jobs for compelling family reasons and experience economic insecurity due to employment interruptions. Unemployment Insurance (UI) has played a critical role in providing income and work support for unemployed workers since its establishment in 1935. However, its outdated eligibility rules and wide variations in provisions across states have disqualified many unemployed women and family caregivers unequally across states. The federal Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA) of 2009 financially incentivized states to reform their UI provisions, including three family caregiver-friendly eligibility expansions. By using the Census Survey of Income Program Participation and a quasi-experimental design to examine the policy effect of UIMA, this research will inform future UI reform to improve the economic security and gender equity.

Mentor: Yu-Ling Chang, Professor Social Welfare

Students:
Stephanie Cong
Tiger Tam


Probing the limits of criminal record stigma: audit studies of the job market for college graduates

The poor labor market outcomes of former prisoners and others with criminal records are well documented, including high rates of unemployment, low wages, and poor working conditions. Although the sources of these difficulties are many – including low levels of education, high rates of substance abuse, and limited work experience, prior research compellingly shows that the stigma of a criminal record reduces the chances of being hired and often relegates those with a criminal record to the secondary labor market. Experimental audit studies show that a criminal record dramatically reduces the chances of a callback. Qualitative evidence on the job search strategies of those with a criminal record shows that they respond by turning to temporary positions and certain “felon friendly” industries at the bottom of the labor market.

However, the scope conditions of the criminal record stigma are not well understood. Prior research focuses on the low-skill labor market, so we know little about which “positive credentials” might counteract stigma. This is particularly important because one of the primary policy proposals for improving the labor market outcomes of those with criminal records is greater access to postsecondary education. Can a college degree overcome the stigma of a criminal record? For whom and for which types of jobs does it do so? This project will conduct a series of audit studies in the labor market for college graduates to examine the scope and limits of the criminal record stigma.

Mentor: David Harding, Professor Sociology

Students:
Maura Barry
Abel Vallejo Galindo
Maia Payne
Danielle Medina
Joshua Mason
McArthur Hoang
Sammie Gilmore
Juan Flores
Michael Cerda-Jara


Understanding “Us vs Them” Attitudes, Police Officer Wellness, and Public Safety

Existing research shows that perceived stress is associated with performance impairment and can have negative consequences for decision-making. This project aims to provide evidence of “Us vs Them” attitudes as occupational stressors in policing and examine the consequences of this stressor for public safety outcomes. We will conduct in-depth interviews with patrol officers to ask: How do officers understand “Us vs Them” dynamics? How do these understandings shape their interactions with the public? What is the relationship between “Us vs Them” attitudes and officers’ sense of safety? How do trainings intended to promote bias-free policing inform officers’ perceptions of their interactions with community members?

This project will provide students with the opportunity to engage in multiple elements of qualitative research. They will gain instruction and experience conducting literature reviews, interview transcription, qualitative data coding, ethical human subjects research design, and research participant recruitment.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Kimberly Burke, Graduate Student

Mentor: Erin Kerrison, Professor Sociology

Students:
Teresa Kabba


The Promise and Practice of Prison Education

It has been well-documented that incarceration can produce a wide range of collateral consequences for individuals and their families. For instance, spending time in prison has a significant negative effect on later job security, even after controlling for alcohol use, criminal activity, and prior criminal history, and some studies suggest that a period of incarceration reduces annual earnings by as much as 30 to 40 percent. The families of incarcerated individuals also experience collateral costs, in the form of restricted rights, diminished resources, and social marginalization. These broader harms are made more acute by the hyper-concentration of imprisonment in poor, predominantly minority neighborhoods. In these communities, mass incarceration has a destabilizing effect, fostering distrust of political institutions and reducing civic participation.

In contrast to the damage done by imprisonment, higher education provides a path to generational advancement. According to a recent estimate, the economic returns to a college degree exceed 15 percent and, over a lifetime, average earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree are roughly $570,000 higher than for those with only a high school education. We hypothesize that participation in prison-based higher education can significantly alter a broad set of outcomes related to economic mobility, civic engagement, educational attainment, criminal justice involvement, and family stability. Yet, despite the emerging consensus that higher education advances economic mobility among marginalized populations, the availability of college programs within American prisons has decreased dramatically in recent decades, even as incarceration rates reached historically unprecedented levels.

In this study, we aim to document the effects of incarcerated students’ participation in a degree-granting, on-site college program at San Quentin State Prison. Using both original, longitudinal surveys and administrative data, the project will allow us to assess whether higher education has the potential to alter not only the experiences these individuals have while incarcerated, but also their life trajectories following release. To do this, we match over-time student surveys with criminological data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and with student records. As a point of comparison, we also gather administrative data on three distinct control groups – those at San Quentin who are on the waitlist for enrollment in college, but have not yet matriculated; those incarcerated at other prisons who have requested transfer to enroll in higher education; and a statistically matched sample of individuals at San Quentin who are eligible to enroll in educational programs but have not done so.

Our goal is to increase current understanding of how higher education might intervene in the cycle of social and economic marginality in its most extreme form. This is of both theoretical and policy importance; by rigorously documenting the effects of prison higher education, we hope that this study will help policymakers take a data-driven approach to policy reform. In addition, our results can serve as a baseline for conducting localized cost-benefit analyses to assess the expected returns on investment from prison higher education, and to determine how prison higher education programs might be employed in other institutions, states, or localities.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Meredith Sadin, Staff Researcher

Mentor: Amy Lerman, Professor GSPP

Students:
Kyle Dill
Anna Schiff


How do other countries prepare, support, and compensate the early childhood education workforce?

A qualified, well-supported workforce is crucial to ensuring high-quality early childhood education services for children age birth to five. With the publication of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment’s biennial Early Childhood Workforce Index, we have a sense of whether and to what extent U.S. states are ensuring that the ECE workforce is appropriately prepared, supported, and compensated, but we know little about how the U.S. compares internationally on these issues. What types of policies and systems are in place to ensure a qualified, supported ECE workforce in other countries? Can other countries serve as a model for reform efforts in the U.S.?

Mentor: Caitlin McLean, Research Specialist, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment

Students:
Katherine Perez
Tor Frøytvedt Dahl


The Shift Project

The Shift project examines the contours, causes, and consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules in the retail sector. Drawing on data from tens of thousands of surveys for retail workers at large first in the United States, we describe scheduling practices experienced by low wage workers, examine their consequences for worker and family health and wellbeing, test the firm level predictors of precarious scheduling, and evaluate new policies to regulate these practices. Marianne Motus will work to scrape data from the internet to help build a data base of establishments that can be linked to the survey micro-data.

Mentor: Daniel Schneider, Professor Sociology

Students:
Michael Obuchi
Reuben Sarwal


Immigration Policy, Immigrant Community and Civil Society in Japan and Korea

Japan and South Korea (Korea hereafter) present a prototype of the restrictive immigration policy aimed at preventing settlement of immigrant workers. Yet over the past 30 years, the two countries have been home to growing and diverse immigrant populations, mostly from other Asian countries, that engage in the jobs and industries shunned by citizen workers. This is a result of not only severe labor shortages in such industries, but also due to ad hoc governmental policies accommodating such demands. Consequently, the two nations have witnessed expanding immigration policies, increasing immigrant populations, and developing social movements to counter strict immigration policies.

This research focuses on the three major themes regarding the evolving immigration landscapes of East Asia, specifically Japan and Korea, the two advanced economies with alarming demographic changes. First, it analyzes changes over time in governmental policies on managing immigration control and immigrant access to the basic public services such as healthcare. Second, the study examines activities, strategies and achievements of the counter-forces to the strict immigration policies, including immigrant associations, citizen organizations, and international NGOs and UN Conventions. Third, it studies history, labor and community of the two selected immigrant populations, specifically the Filipinos and the Nepalese, long residing and working in each country.

Research Context and Methods:
Since the early 1990s when Japan witnessed an influx of global immigrant workers, I studied this new phenomenon in central Japan focusing on the two populations, Brazilians of Japanese descent and Nepalese visa overstayers. I published many journal articles and book chapters (see my personal website: http:// http://keikoyamanaka.info/publications.html). In the early 2000s, I extended my study to Korea where immigration policies were similar to those of Japan but increasingly diverging it developed its own. I hypothesized that Korea’s strong civil society contributed partly to the rapid policy changes, whereas Japan’s traditional bureaucratic negotiation resulted in gradual policy changes.

For over the past twenty years I collected data for this project in Japan, Korea and more recently the Philippines, using interviews, surveys and observations. Because changes are rapid, my data need to be updated. For this goal, I conducted field studies in Japan, Korea and the Philippines last year, and Korea this year. I plan to continue follow-up studies in these countries in the near future. I also need to update statistics on immigration published by the government of Japan and Korea, and the data and information collected by non-governmental agencies in each country.

In this academic year, I concentrate on updating immigration statistics and other relevant data in Japan and Korea. I need two undergraduate research apprentices who will engage in collecting:
(1) the governmental data, especially official statements and statistics, regarding immigration control, immigrant labor and employment, residence and family, citizenship, etc., and
(2) the non-governmental data, including those by academics, businesses, labor unions, journalists, immigrant support organizations, and others.

Mentor: Keiko Yamanaka, Lecturer Ethnic Studies

Students:
Maya Narumi
Margaux Garcia
Eun seo Yang

Spring 2018 Participants

A prison to school to employment pipeline?

Although there is now a large literature on the relationship between criminal justice system involvement and labor market outcomes, it focuses almost exclusively on low-skill work. We will engage in a set of research projects that explore the contours of the labor market for college graduates with criminal records. How do employers looking to hire those with AA or BA degrees evaluate candidates with a felony and/or prison record? What are the formal policies around background checks at large employers in the Bay Area? To what degree and under what circumstances does a college degree weaken the stigma of a felony or prison record? Former prisoners are increasingly enrolling in and completing college, but their prospects for long-term employment with a college degree are unclear. Higher education in prison is again being considered as a policy option for improving the life outcomes of prisoners and for reducing recidivism. From a policy perspective, is a college degree a viable pathway toward economic and social reintegration of former prisoners?

Mentor: David Harding (Sociology)

Students:
Mac Hoang
Michael Cerda-Jara
Vince Garrett
Michael Alferes
Juan Flores
Brennen Maclean
Samantha Gilmore
Fernando Vallejo


The Shift Project

The Shift project examines the contours, causes, and consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules in the retail sector. Drawing on data from tens of thousands of surveys for retail workers at large first in the United States, we describe scheduling practices experienced by low wage workers, examine their consequences for worker and family health and wellbeing, test the firm level predictors of precarious scheduling, and evaluate new policies to regulate these practices. Marianne Motus will work to scrape data from the internet to help build a data base of establishments that can be linked to the survey micro-data.

Mentor: Daniel Schneider (Sociology)

Student: Marianne Motus


Formerly Incarcerated Individuals’ Perceptions of and Experiences with Fair Chance Employment Initiatives

In response to the substantial employment barriers that the justice-involved face, which has resulted in very poor employment outcomes for this group, various levels of government have implemented fair chance employment initiatives to improve access to job opportunities for those with criminal records. “Ban-the-Box” is one example. While a limited number of studies have gauged the effect of such policies on employers’ hiring patterns, to date no studies have explored their impacts on the perceptions and labor market experiences of the justice-involved. To fill this gap in the literature, we ask the following set of questions: To what extent do the justice-involved know that such policies exist, and what do they know about them? How effective do they believe such policies to be for increasing access to jobs? To what extent do these policies affect justice-involved individuals’ own patterns of job search? Finally, to what extent and how does race, class, and gender inform justice-involved’s perceptions and experiences?

Mentor: Sandra Smith (Sociology)

Students:
Elaine Yang
Evelyn Villanueva
Joyce Cai
Kaiyu Xu
Olivia Amezcua
Sinporion Phuong
Sriya Srinath
Trinity Morton


Networked Production, Jobs and Inequality in the U.S.

In recent decades the U.S. has experienced dramatic shifts in the organization of production toward increasingly networked forms. These changes appear to have consequences for jobs and inequality in the U.S. Recent research has shown that inequality between firms—rather than within them— is one of the main contributors to overall inequality in the U.S. This suggests that changes in the structures of production networks are an important area of study to inform our understanding of rising inequality. My research investigates these changes and what they have meant for workers, in particular low wage workers. I explore why networked production is happening, in what ways it is happening in key industries, and what its impacts are on regional labor markets. It will include a broad quantitative assessment of domestic networked production across the U.S., as well as a mixed-methods case study of the food services industry in Silicon Valley, California.

Mentor: Jessica Halpern-Finnerty (Center for Labor Research and Education / UC Davis Geography)

Student: Sriya Srinath


Impact of the Public Employment and Minority Political Representation on Minority Labor Market Progress

Project description: This project seeks to understand whether minority political empowerment is linked to economic opportunity in the form of labor market gains for the historically disenfranchised groups, such as African-Americans, Latinos, and other racial/ethnic minorities. We aim to provide evidence that voting rights protection by the federal government is linked to improved wages, better employment opportunities, and other economic benefits.

Mentor: Abhay Aneja (Haas School of Business)

Students:
Jason Chen
Simon Zhu
Tomas Villena


2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index

Update to the 2016 Early Childhood Workforce Index. A 50-state report tracking working conditions and public policies related to the early childhood workforce.

Mentor: Caitlin McLean (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment)

Student: Martha Fiehn


Necessary Evil or Public Good: The Origins of the U.S. Early Care and Education Debate and Its Impact on Contemporary Approaches to Reform

Necessary Evil or Public Good will examine the disputes that characterized the beginning of formal early care and education and analyze how these unresolved issues continue to mold contemporary options for reform. Specifically, this project examines the movement for free kindergarten, and the ramifications of the inclusion of kindergarten into the public schools for services focused on children from birth to five.

Mentor: Marcy Whitebook (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment)

Student: Nayada Katavetin


Rethinking economic growth and performance

Using average income (GDP) to measure economic growth and evaluate economic performance does not allow us to address the two major economic challenges of inequality and climate change. Instead we must take a holistic approach to evaluating economic growth that includes how resources are shared (inequality) and environmental degradation (sustainability).

Mentor: Clair Brown (Economics)

Students:
Amir Nourishad
Bharvee Patel
Jared Kelly
Jun Wong
Tomas Villena