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  • Chenpitayaton, Keerati

    Expected Completion
    Spring 2014

    Dissertation Title
    Entrepreneurship in the Flows of Empire: Colonial Modernity and Early Industrial Patterns in the North and South of Thailand, 1855-1932

    Dissertation Abstract

    This dissertation traces the unfolding course of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century timber and tin-mining industries in the northern and southern Thailand through the conceptual lenses of “colonial modernity.” Why do regions within the same nation pursue such different entrepreneurial strategies and develop such different industrial outlooks, even when the same sets of entrepreneurs are involved? In the earlier phase of industrialization in Thailand, the Thai aristocratic, overseas Chinese, and European firms were all involved in the northern and southern enterprises. Whereas the collaborative effort among them shaped the course of the timber industry in the north, the intense competition between these firms took place in the course of the tin-mining industry in the south. Why, then, did the northern entrepreneurial pattern unfold into a direction significantly different from that of the south? This dissertation aims at answering these questions by the historical studies of social networks among the actors working on behalf of the Thai aristocratic firms, the overseas Chinese enterprises, and the British joint-stock companies. It intends to examine the divergent patterns of industrial developments in the Northern and Southern Thailand as the two distinct patterns of “colonial modernities.” 

    Such concept emerges in the literature to resolve the incommensurable tension between “Western modernity” (or societal modernization) and “alternative modernities” (or cultural modernity). Situating at the nexus between the “colonial,” the “national,” and the “modern,” it explores the interrelationships between the West and natives in shaping the unfolding course of these industries. However, I argue that the colonial modernity in Thailand was not a universal phenomenon across the nation emanating from the center to peripheries only. It was also realized in the peripheries through how the relations between concepts and actors (human and non-human) were formed in such unfolding course. By treating both the center and peripheries within the same analytic field, I arrive at a conclusion that the divergence between the northern and southern entrepreneurial patterns is closely associated with the different forms of colonial modernity in Thailand—that is, collaborative colonialism in the North and competitive colonialism in the South.

    Conventional political and economic theories that focus only on the interest-group and power dynamism within the center as well as the efficiency behind these early capitalistic enterprises cannot answer why the significant variations between these two regions happened. Cultural approaches that take the core meanings as its priority also miss the material and ecological conditions that undergird different patterns. By applying the Actor-Network-Theory (ANT), or the sociology of associations that emphasizes both the symbolic and material dimensions of social networking, I examine the relations between discourses (i.e., “scientific forestry” in the north and “patrimonialism” in the south) and group formations. Furthermore, I analyze how the material and ecological conditions shaped such divergent patterns. Only through the understanding of how relations between concepts, human and non-human actors are formed can we come to grapple with such divergence. Consequently, this dissertation intends to contribute to the literatures of historical sociology (i.e., “colonial modernity”) and the new imperial history (i.e., empire as “nodes” and “networks”) through the employment of the Actor-Network Theory (ANT).

    Areas of expertise
    Historical Sociology (Empire and Colonial Studies); Economic Sociology; Contemporary Theory (Structure-Agency Debate and Actor-Network Theory); and Culture and Network.

    Teaching experience
    Fall 2010-Fall 2012: TA (Teaching a Small Section), Design, Self, and Society; Parsons The New School for Design
    Fall 2011: TA (Teaching a Small Section), The Great Transformations: Understanding the Rise of India and China; University Lecture (ULEC), The New School
    Fall 2010: Adjunct Instructor, World Civilization I; Pratt Institute
    Spring 2006-2013: TA, Foundation of Sociology II: Sociology & History; New School for Social Research
    Spring 2005: TA, Fundamentals of Political Sociology; New School for Social Research

    Writing Samples
    Keerati_Ethnic Solidarity WritingSample1_pdf
    Bangkok Expansionism_WritingSample2_pdf

    Profile
    I was born and grew up in Bangkok, Thailand. Living there, I have experienced a profound sense of inequality between the different regions of the country. My personal and social experiences motivate me to probe deeper into such phenomenon. As a doctoral student at The New School for Social Research, I have been trained to think historically, theoretically, and with ethnographic sensibility. My doctoral dissertation on the colonial history of Thailand is just the first step into the understanding of this phenomenon in Thailand and around the world. After graduation, my goal is to extend my work to cover contemporary concerns such as developmental, social, and environmental policies in Thailand and other post-colonial countries.

    Contact Information
    Keerati Chenpitayaton
    Department of Sociology
    The New School for Social Research
    6 East 16th Street, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10003
    ChenK708@newschool.edu
    Sensorium0356@gmail.com

    Syllabi
    WHF10Syllabus_pdf (PDF)

    Chmielewska-Szlajfer, Helena

    Chmielewska-Szlajfer, Helena

    Expected Completion
    Fall 2013

    Dissertation Title
    Negotiating old understandings in a new world of meanings from the West. Sites of everyday celebrations in post-1989 Poland: a Catholic sanctuary, a charity music festival, national pro-voting campaigns and small-town watchdog websites (working title)

    Dissertation Abstract

    The dissertation examines the consequences of the democratic transition of 1989 in Poland as manifested in changes in everyday culture and community, a process that has been largely ignored in academic research. These changes, which can be observed in familiar, accessible and often simple popular practices, opens up the space for investigation of the perceptions of Poland and Polish society as a community of shared ideas. The commonplace, everyday meanings attributed to Poland are difficult to notice using economic or other markers supposed to portray the maturity of a democratic system as a structure of institutions of power. Nonetheless, Polish research tends to focus on empirical observations of institutional indicators, such as democratization or civil society, or on theoretical analyses of these concepts. Instead, I adopt an approach in which the processes of shaping cultural practices and the meanings behind them, rather than the categorized social structures, are at the center of attention. Thus, I use "cultural lenses" as a theoretical tool to study the recent changes in Polish society.

    I believe the uniqueness of everyday cultural practices lies in the fact that their study gives the opportunity to show diverse ideas of community, which are not automatically noticeable in open discussion. At the same time, involved in a never-ending process of meaning making, these cultural practices are particularly exposed and responsive to new meanings, unlike other, more institutionalized, hence less flexible spheres in society. I present a study of three sites which have become elements of casual knowledge in Poland after 1989: a Catholic sanctuary, a charity music festival, as well as national pro-voting campaigns and small-town watchdog websites sites. I attempt to investigate them as spaces of what I call "everyday celebrations," commonplace cultural practices that both reinforce and reinterpret the shared ideas on the role of Catholicism, empathy towards others, and civic activity in contemporary Poland. Furthermore, the everyday celebrations can be seen as a testing ground where different ideas of community are negotiated, in order to become integrated into more institutionalized social realms such as civil society, religion and social empathy.

    Areas of expertise
    Cultural sociology
    Sociology of knowledge
    Social change
    Media, technology, and consumption

    Teaching experience
    Spring 2013 and Fall 2013: Teaching Assistantship for Professor Emma Bowen, Introduction to Design Studies Parsons The New School for Design, New York
    Spring 2011 and 2012: Teaching Fellowship, The Practice of Everyday Life. Reclaiming Culture; American Studies Center, University of Warsaw, Poland
    Fall 2011: Teaching Fellowship, Technology and Culture; Parsons The New School for Design, New York
    Fall 2009, 2010 and 2011: Teaching Assistantship for Professor Margot Bouman, Introduction to Visual Culture; Parsons The New School for Design, New York
    Spring 2008: Teaching Assistantship for Professor Elżbieta Zakrzewska-Manterys, Methodology of Social Sciences with Elements of Philosophy of Science; Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warsaw

    Profile
    PhD candidate in Sociology at New School for Social Research and at The Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warsaw, Poland. I am writing about changes in understanding community in post-1989 Poland. Viewed through the shifts in everyday culture, they allow me to focus on the ways social imaginaries are negotiated in a plural world.

    Selected Publications
    Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz: Marksizm a socjologia (Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz: Marxism and Sociology), Warsaw, Poland: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2013 (forthcoming)
    The Shrine in Licheń. Redefining Religiosity and Entertainment, “Euroacademia”, 2012, Orsay-Vienna
    The Plastic Palm and Memories in the Making. Conceptual Art Work on Warsaw's Jerusalem Avenue, “International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society” no. 23(4)/2010, New York
    The ‘Other-Others’. Analysis of Press Coverage of Nonvoters and Undecided Voters during the 2008 US Presidential Campaign, “Studia Polityczne” no. 23/2009, Warsaw

    Contact Information
    Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer
    Department of Sociology
    The New School for Social Research
    6 East 16th Street, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10003
    chmih272@newschool.edu

    Syllabi
    The Practice of Everyday Life_ Syllabus Spring 2012_pdf (PDF)

    Guzman, Sebastian G.

    Expected Completion
    Spring 2014

    Dissertation Title
    "To Pay or to Protest: Consent and Resistance to Social Housing Debt in Chile"

    Dissertation Abstract
    My dissertation is an ethnography of low-income housing debtors in Chile, some of whom have sustained a six-year mortgage strike demanding that the state cancel their debt, while others continue to pay in spite of a moratorium on foreclosures. I explain how debtors’ motivations to consent or resist debt payment are produced in their lived experience by comparing debtors with different behaviors in a similar situation in a Santiago housing development. I analyze how debtors negotiate meanings with the state, banks, and social movement organizations in various processes: the politicization of debt, making sense of misinformation and counter-information, maintaining or changing expectations, and normalizing or breaking the normalization of debt payment. I also discuss some challenges faced by debtors’ organizations: first, in relying on true and false incentives for members only, rather than on solidarity, to motivate participation; second, in pushing the movement to broaden the demands and embrace class-struggle politics in a context of scarce resources and pervasive political clientelism. I conclude with a “meso-cultural and motivated reasoning” explanation of consent and resistance: people do what they consider in their own interests, but the factual beliefs, expectations, emotions, justifications, and apparent choices change with group-level “meso cultures” and efforts to validate interpretations that provide hopes and feelings of agency—of course, affected by macro-level factors such as “macro culture” and material inducements by the state. Much of the state’s, SMOs’, and individuals’ agency lies in changing these group-level “meso cultures” and people's motivations for reaching certain conclusions in their reasoning.

    Areas of expertise
    Political Sociology, Urban and Labor Movements, Class and Inequality, Social Theory.

    Writing Samples
    sebastian-guzman-writing sample most recent -Debtors_ Work to Beleive Misinformation_pdf
    Guzman-Writing Sample-Ideology and Militant Movement Fractions against Partisan Allies_pdf

    Profile
    My research focuses on how political and class subjectivities are produced and how these subjectivities relate to political and economic action that reproduces or challenges inequality, especially (but not only) in Latin America. I use qualitative, historical, and qualitative methods to address these questions.

    Selected Publications
    2013" Reasons and the Acceptance of the Authoritative Speech: An Empirically-Grounded Synthesis of Habermas and Bourdieu.” Sociological Theory 31(3): 267-289.
    Forthcoming. “Substantive-Rational Authority: The Missing Fourth Pure Type in Weber’s Typology of Legitimate Domination.” Journal of Classical Sociology.

    Teaching Statement

    Lecturer: “Political Sociology,” CUNY Hunter College, Sociology Department (Fall 2010); “Models of Conflict Mediation” and “Clinical Practice in Social Conflict Mediation,” Universidad de Chile, Sociology Department, Diploma in Social Conflict Mediation (Winter 2005-Summer 2006); “Leadership Styles, Participation, and Democracy in Social Organizations.” Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano and Programa de Economía del Trabajo, Diploma in Formation of Local Development Leaders (Spring 2004).

    Teaching Assistant: “Logic of Inquiry,” Prof. Rachel Sherman, New School for Social Research, Sociology Department (Fall 2011); “Quantitative Methods,” Prof. Richard Hendra, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy (Fall 2008); “Sociology,” Prof. Darío Rodríguez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Sociology Department (Fall 2001-Fall 2004).

    Contact Information
    Sebastian Guzman
    Department of Sociology
    The New School for Social Research
    6 East 16th St, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10003
    guzmas31@newschool.edu

    Savage, Ritchie

    Savage, Ritchie

    Expected Completion
    Fall 2013

    Curriculum vitae (PDF)

    Dissertation Title
    "A Comparative Analysis of Populist Discourse in Venezuela and the United States"

    Dissertation Abstract
    My dissertation investigates the way in which populist discourse is structured in order to appeal to the people and foster multiclass coalitions. Confronted with the proliferating usage and ambiguity of the concept, I began my project with the research question: “What is populism?” I discovered three bodies of literature, corresponding to three regions (i.e. the U.S., Latin America, Western Europe), with contrasting usages of the term. Every combination of comparisons had been made between the regions, except that there were no systematic comparisons of populism in the U.S. and Latin America. Why? And to what level of phenomena does populism correspond – a type of regime, political tactic, or discourse? Using the conceptual framework of populism as discourse, I have analyzed speeches and articles covering Betancourt’s Acción Democrática, Chávez, McCarthyism, and the Tea Party, and I argue that there is an essential structure to populist discourse revealed in references to the ‘enemy’ as a representation of the persistence of social conflict. In the discourses of these politicians and social movements, references to the enemy are posed against a ‘founding moment of the social,’ which serves as a collective memory of the origins of democracy and struggle for equality. With evidence provided that this binary structure is present in all of the aforementioned cases, I conclude that populism is a case of a universal discursive formation, which can emerge in administrations, social movements, and ideologies with vastly different characteristics. I utilize this framework to reveal that instances of populism, which once proved to be exceptional phenomena within modern forms of political rule, are now becoming part of the institutionalized structure of democratic politics, due to the successful linking of Manichean discourse with clear economic policies. My comparison between populism in Venezuela and the United States is pertinent because it highlights the similarities between the political discourses produced in two countries that are usually classified as empirically specific regarding their economic and political development and ideological orientation – yet once the similar structure of their political discourse is revealed, other comparisons emerge as well as new ways to historically frame the economic and political relationships between the two countries. In this sense, my work contributes to the field of political sociology by showing that a structural approach to political discourse can bridge empirical and historically specific data with an overarching theory of transformations in modern politics. I contribute to comparative-historical sociology by providing an approach that analyzes cases, in which there are obvious differences and resistances to comparison, for the purpose of elucidating important and often overlooked similarities.

    Areas of expertise
    Social theory, political sociology, comparative-historical sociology, cultural sociology

    Profile
    Ritchie Savage is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at The New School for Social Research. His work utilizes discourse theory within a comparative-historical framework in order to identify similar structures of political discourse across cases and tie them to transformations in modern politics. His current research analyzes the role of populist discursive formations in political contexts spanning from the postwar period to the present in Venezuela and the United States.

    Selected Publications
    2012. Savage, Ritchie. “From McCarthyism to the Tea Party: Interpreting Anti-leftist Forms of U.S. Populism in Comparative Perspective.” New Political Science: 34 (4): 564-584.
    2011. Savage, Ritchie. “Populist Elements in Contemporary American Political Discourse.” The Sociological Review: 58 (Special Issue): 169-188.
    2008 “Merleau-Ponty’s Use of the Weberian Example: Avoiding Totalizing Meanings in History.” Pp. 73-85 in Max Weber Matters: Interweaving Past and Present, eds. David Chalcraft, Fanon Howell, Marisol Lopez Menendez, Hector Vera. Farnham: Ashgate

    Teaching Statement
    With seven years of teaching experience, I have developed and taught courses at Pratt Institute and St. John’s University, including Introduction to Sociology, Language and Culture, and Race and Ethnicity. I also held a position as a teaching assistant for Social Thought 1 in the New School University Lecture Program.

    Contact Information
    Ritchie Savage
    Department of Sociology
    The New School for Social Research
    6 East 16th Street, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10003
    savar647@newschool.edu

    Sherwood, Daniel

    Sherwood, Daniel

    Expected Completion
    Spring 2014

    Curriculum vitae (PDF)

    Dissertation Title
    "Civic Struggles: Jews, Blacks and the Question of Inclusion at The City College of New York, 1930-1975"

    Dissertation Abstract
    "Civic Struggles: Jews, Blacks and the Question of Inclusion at The City College of New York, 1930-1975," analyzes 20th century transformations in educational inequality in the United States through an in depth case study of The City College of New York. Dubbed the "proletarian" or "Jewish Harvard," City College is remembered in the scholarly and popular imaginations alike as a central symbol and educational embodiment of an exceptionally liberal citizenship regime in the U.S. However, such sanguine views of City College’s history are as much myth as reality. In fact, City College's history has continuously been marked by struggles over anti-Jewish and anti-black racism, political repression, and forms of institutional exclusion that revolve around questions of who belongs at City College and what the meaningful benefits of a City College degree should be. As a significant but contested institution of civil, political and social citizenship in the United States, The City College of New York has persistently served as a stage for transformative struggles over the structure and meaning of American citizenship.

    Areas of expertise
    Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Social Theory; Sociology of Education; Historical Institutionalism

    Teaching experience
    As a Teaching Fellow at The New School for Public Engagement in 2006, I taught "The Sociology of Race;" this fellowship was renewed in the fall of 2007 and the fall of 2008. It was also renewed in the summer of 2008 when I taught a course "Identity and Identity Politics." At Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, under the same fellowship, I taught a class on culture and power titled "Domination and Resistance," in spring 2007. Finally, as an Adjunct Lecturer at Baruch College from 2005 to present, I have taught "Introduction to Sociology," "Social Movements," "The Sociology of Race," "Sociological Theory," and have twice taught their curricular capstone course, a course titled "Citizenship and Higher Education in the U.S., the Case of The City College of New York."

    Writing Samples
    daniel sherwood - Imagining American Democracy - writing sample_pdf

    Contact Information
    Daniel A. Sherwood
    Department of Sociology
    The New School for Social Research
    6 East 16th Street, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10003
    sherd026@newschool.edu

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