This research project used oral history methods to create an archival complement to the written record of the California Supreme Court and, by extension, the lower California courts. Collaborations with the Supreme Court appointees of Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis focused on the court’s work since the early 1990s,, exploring specific cases, such as In re Marriage Cases in 2008, and also such issues and themes as capital punishment, victims' rights, legal challenges to key ballot measures, sentencing guidelines, alternative dispute resolution, state constitutionalism, and reforms to the statewide judiciary.
With generous support from the California Supreme Court Historical Society, the project operated at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (2014-21) and at the Institute of Governmental Studies (2006-2014) under the leadership of Project Director Laura McCreery (firstname.lastname@example.org) in consultation with Berkeley Law, especially with the guidance and mentorship of Harry N. Scheiber, Stefan Riesenfeld Professor of Law and History.
McCreery's oral history of the former chief justice of California, The Honorable Ronald M. George, was published by Berkeley Public Policy Press as Chief: The Quest for Justice in California and was named a California Book Award winner for 2013 by the Commonwealth Club of California.
The most recent oral histories in the series, all issued by ISSI, are: The Honorable Ming W. Chin, released in 2021; The Honorable Carlos R. Moreno, 2019; The Honorable Marvin R. Baxter, 2018; and The Honorable Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, 2017. These manuscripts, along with earlier oral histories of California Supreme Court justices, are available in the archival collection of The Bancroft Library.
To locate the oral histories in this series, access the UC Library Search site, select the “advanced search” option at right, and select either UC Berkeley Catalog or WorldCat at the top.
Then enter these search filters on the top line: Author/Creator / is (exact) / California Supreme Court Oral History Project. (with period at the end). Scroll down to see results.
The African Alumni Project is a collaboration among six educational institutions to learn about the career and life trajectories of their African alumni, an idea that evolved from their participation in The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. The multi-disciplinary study (2013-2016) is advancing understanding of the myriad ways that Africans who study abroad pursue their careers and relate to their home countries and the African continent. Lessons learned from this study will guide partners to improve the environment for current and future African students and will shed light on the barriers and enabling factors related to return. Preliminary results are available in this post in the Association of Commonwealth Universities' "Measuring Success" blog series.
Lead researcher: Robin Marsh, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
Since 2014, there has been a large increase in the numbers of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America entering the U.S. across the U.S. Mexico border. While these children have been at the center of a media firestorm, little is known about their health, mental health, and educational needs, and how U.S. communities are responding to those needs. This research project investigated the national, state, and Bay Area contexts to identify how many children are in detention, how many children have been released to family members and other sponsors, and the general patterns of their needs, as well as Bay Area community responses. The results are available in a Fact Sheet as a downloadable pdf in both English and Spanish.
Principal Investigator: Patricia Baquedano-López, Associate Professor, Education, UC Berkeley
Project Director: Deborah Lustig, Research Associate, CRSC, UC Berkeley
Undergraduate Student Researcher: Darlene Olmedo
This seminar provides a forum for work in progress that explores topics in Latina/o and Borderlands History. The purview includes not only traditionally defined historical research but also historically oriented work in the social sciences and humanities. Thus topics may run the gamut from labor history to literary or art history; they may be single case studies of communities or transnational and comparative in scope.
One of the primary goals of the Bancroft Seminar is to provide constructive feedback on manuscripts in progress, with emphasis given to work by junior faculty and recent PhDs. Another goal is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and information among those working in Latino Studies. We wish to break down the isolation that many of us find ourselves in.
The seminar’s cosponsors are the Chicano-Latino Studies Program, the Center for Research on Social Change, the Latinx Research Center and the Bancroft Library.
In September of 2013, CRSC convened “Growing Food, Growing Justice: Making Connections,” a gathering of about 40 food justice scholars and activists from the Bay Area and Denmark. This event, co-sponsored by Aalborg University, University College Lillebaelt, and Innovation Center Denmark, provided the foundation for an ongoing effort to incubate collaborative research on food justice. Since then, CRSC has hosted two Visiting Student Researchers from Denmark investigating school lunch and school gardens.
While an extensive body of research documents links between neighborhood characteristics and youth outcomes, including education, health, and delinquency, the effects of neighborhood change on youth are unknown. This study, funded by the Berkeley Population Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was conducted in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland during 2008-9. Based on interviews with 38 young adults about their experiences from ages 13-21 and 37 older adults about their perspectives on the neighborhood and youth in particular, the project explored youth growing up in a diverse and changing neighborhood, focusing on education, employment, and experiences with violence.
Selected Publications and Academic Presentations:
Lustig, Deborah F; & Sung, Kenzo. (2013). Dissolving borders: Reframing risk, delinquent peers, and youth violence. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (8): 1197–1205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.02.013
Lustig, Deborah F; & Sung, Kenzo. (2011). Birds of a Feather? Peers, Delinquency and Risk. UC Berkeley: Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3n87898t (This article was also published in Education and the Risk Society: Theories, Discourse, and Risk Identities in Education Contexts, edited by Steve Bialostok. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2012)
Ossei-Owusu, S. & N. Lindahl. (2010). Seesaw injustice: At the interface of underpolicing and overpolicing in marginalized neighborhoods. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Society of Criminology.
Simon, J. (2009) Crime, Housing, and the Habitus of the Urban Poor in the early 21st Century: A Youth Cohort Study of the San Antonio District in Oakland 2000-2008. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Law and Society Association.
Sung, K. (2013). ‘Hella ghetto!’: (dis)locating race and class consciousness in youth discourses of ghetto spaces, subjects and schools. Race Ethnicity and Education
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Simon, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley
Project Director: Deborah Lustig, Research Associate, CRSC, UC Berkeley
Co-Investigator: Victor Rios, Associate Professor of Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Graduate Student Researchers:
Nicole Lindahl (Jurisprudent and Social Policy), Shaun Ossei-Owusu (Ethnic Studies), Alex Schafran (City and Regional Planning), Kenzo Sung (Education)
Undergraduate Student Researchers:
Alexandra Aylward, Morgan Elam, Dena Fehrenbacher, Mitzi Iñiguez, Shafinaaz Kamrul, Laure Kohne, Jennifer Millman, Luis Morales, Kyla Searle, Zachary Taylor, Sandra Yang
The project will provide a comprehensive overview and critical analysis of the neurobiology of violence and aggressive behaviour from a social science perspective. The key objective is to analyse how violence and aggression are studied in the neurosciences, and to outline the social and political implications associated with this research. With its interdisciplinary focus at the intersection of the neurosciences and the social sciences, the project will open up new perspectives in the study of violent and aggressive behaviour that transgress traditional disciplinary boundaries. It will make a contribution to the theoretical reflection of science and technology in society and also inform future neurobiological research. In order to study the neurobiology of aggression and violence from a social science perspective, the project combines document and literature analyses, interviews, and participant observations in neuroscience laboratories.
Principal Investigator: Troy Duster, Chancellor's Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley
Co-Investigator: Torsten Heinemann, Professor of Sociology, Universität Hamburg; Marie Curie Fellow, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley
In December 2007, the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) awarded CRSC a large grant to study political socialization in mixed status families of Mexican, Chinese, and Vietnamese origin. Building upon an exploratory study of political socialization in Mexican-origin families with mixed citizenship status, which was also funded by RSF and housed at CRSC (see below), this study examines the political socialization that children receive in mixed-status immigrant families and the ways in which native-born children might socialize their immigrant parents into American civic and political norms and behaviors.
Despite significant levels of Latino and Asian immigration, relatively low rates of political engagement and incorporation among these groups fuel an expanding gap between the new demographic reality of the United States and electoral participation. This project seeks to help explain this gap by re-considering an established literature on political socialization, which identifies families and parents’ as important socializing agents for their children. Through in-depth interviews with Asian and Latino teens and parents in mixed-status families, this project examines the intergenerational transfer of political information, the direction of political socialization in these families, and the effect of legal status on the civic and political engagement of immigrant parents and their adolescent children.
The findings of this study will contribute to the scholarly literature by showing how the immigrant experience complicates existing models of political socialization, especially by bringing in the agency of second-generation children, and by expanding the study of immigrant incorporation by considering political and civic engagement. It will also examine how differences in culture of origin and context of reception shape newcomers’ civic and political engagement. Beyond academia, the findings can inform the policies and practices of schools, government agencies, and other public and private institutions that seek to ensure a healthy future for our multicultural democracy.
Irene Bloemraad and Christine Trost, “It’s a Family Affair: Inter-generational Mobilization in the Spring 2006 Protests.” American Behavioral Scientist 52, 2 (December 2008): 507-532. (Updated and reprinted in Rallying for Immigrant Rights. Co-edited by Irene Bloemraad and Kim Voss. University of California Press, 2011.)
Irene Bloemraad, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley
Christine Trost, Associate Director, ISSI, UC Berkeley
Graduate Student Researchers:
Edwin Ackerman (Sociology), Charlotte Chang (Public Health), Ming Chen (JSP), Julia Chuang (Sociology), Angela Fillingim (Sociology), Kimberly Hoang (Sociology), Heidy Sarabia (Sociology), Gordon Shen (Public Health)
Undergraduate Student Researchers:
Huan Jany Gao, Lucia Kuang, Annie Lin, Jinghan Liu, Xuan Vinh Luu, Ivy Ngo, Bao Chau Ngyuen, San Quintanar
The Center on Culture, Immigration and Youth Violence Prevention was a project of the Center for Research on Social Change (formerly the Institute for the Study of Social Change); the National Council on Crime and Delinquency; the University of California, Berkeley School of Law; and the University of California, San Francisco. The Center was one of eight Academic Centers for Excellence nationwide funded from 2005-2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address youth violence. Other Center partners included researchers from local institutions, community organizations, and state, local and federal agencies. The Center, under the direction of Franklin Zimring, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley, focused on youth violence, especially among Asian/Pacific Islander and Latino immigrant populations in Oakland, California.
"Kids" Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures” was a three-year collaborative project (2005-2008) funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley. In the face of increasing disengagement of youth from formal secondary education, the Digital Youth Media Project explores the possible unintended consequences and pedagogic insights of youth skill and resource development through digital play and digital networks.
Since the early eighties, digital media have held out the promise of more engaged, child-centered learning opportunities. The advent of Internet-enabled personal computers and mobile devices has added a new layer of communication and social networking to the interactive digital mix. While this evolving palette of technologies has demonstrated the ability to capture the attention of young people, the innovative learning outcomes that educators had hoped for are more elusive. Although computers are now fixtures in most schools and many homes, there is a growing recognition that kids' passion for digital media has been ignited more by peer group sociability and play than academic learning.
This gap between in-school and out-of-school experience represents a gap in children's engagement in learning, a gap in our research and understandings, and a missed opportunity to reenergize public education. This project worked to address this gap with a targeted set of ethnographic investigations into three emergent modes of informal learning that young people are practicing using new media technologies: communication, learning, and play.
Findings from CRSC’s Digital Youth Project were featured at a public forum on “New Media in the Everyday Lives of Youth” hosted by Stanford University on April 23, 2008. The research team published a book based on their research findings Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (MIT 2009). The book is available as a free download.
Peter Lyman, Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley
Barrie Thorne, Sociology, UC Berkeley
Mizuko (Mimi) Ito, Research Scientist, Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California
Michael Carter, Monterey Institute for Technology and Education
Sonja Baumer, UC Berkeley; Matteo Bittanti, UC Berkeley; Heather Horst, UC Berkeley; Patricia G. Lange, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC; Katynka Martinez, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC; CJ Pascoe, UC Berkeley; Lisa Tripp, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, USC; Laura Robinson, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC
Graduate Student Researchers
Danah Boyd, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Becky Herr Stephenson, Annenberg Center for Communication, USC; Megan Finn, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Mahad Ibrahim, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Dilan Mahendran, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Dan Perkel, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Christo Sims, School of Information, UC Berkeley
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Judd Antin, School of Information, UC Berkeley; Brendan Callum, University of Southern California
In December 2005, the Russell Sage Foundation awarded CRSC a grant to research political socialization in families of Mexican origin with mixed citizenship status. Increases in Latino immigration along with high Latino birth rates have made Latinos the largest minority group in the country. At the same time, comparatively low rates of political participation and incorporation for Latinos, and for Mexican immigrants especially, are contributing to an expanding electoral participation gap. In California, where this research project is based, political scientists project that if current rates of participation and naturalization remain the same, by 2040 Latinos will make up more than 40 percent of voting age adults, but only 26 percent of California’s electorate, compared to non-Hispanic whites who would comprise about 35 percent of voting age adults, but 53 percent of voters.
Political scientists identify the family as a key site of political socialization, where parents transmit to their children both general orientations about politics and more specific attitudes, as well as the propensity to be politically active. While there is a considerable amount of scholarship on the role of parents as socializing agents of their children, relatively little attention has been given to understanding how political socialization in Latino and other immigrant group families might be similar to or different from that of the native-born, majority population. And there has been no study of the political socialization that children receive in mixed status families.
Through exploratory qualitative research with mixed status and naturalized citizen families, this project examined both the ways in which mixed status families serve as sites for the political socialization of adolescents and their parents and the extent to which such families foster engagement with community, civic and political affairs. The findings of this research contribute to filling a significant gap in the scholarly literature and provide a basis for developing proposals designed to enhance the processes of civic learning with the goal of encouraging civic and political participation among underrepresented immigrant communities.
Irene Bloemraad, Professor of Sociology
Bruce E. Cain, Robson Professor of Political Science; Director, UC Washington Center
Christine Trost, Assistant Director, ISSC
Graduate Student Researchers
Ricardo Huerta-Nino, City and Regional Planning; Sara Levine, Geography; Heidy Sarabia, Sociology; Angela Fillingim, Sociology
Undergraduate Research Apprentices
Abril Diaz, Business, Sociology; Monica Gudino, Sociology; Federico Pacheco, Sociology
Summer 2006 Research Opportunity Project Assistant
Abril Diaz, Business, Sociology; Robert Vargas, Political Science, DePaul University; Vanessa Cruz, Political Science, DePaul University
For more information please contact Dr. Christine Trost: ctrost AT berkeley.edu, (510) 643-7237.
The Consortium for High Academic Performance (CHAP), funded by the James Irvine Foundation and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, was a collaboration between CRSC and research partners at the following colleges and universities in California: University of California at Santa Cruz, University of California at Riverside, University of Southern California, Occidental College, California Institute of Technology, and the California Polytechnic State University.
The purpose of the CHAP initiative was to investigate ways to increase the number of underrepresented undergraduates in colleges and universities. Included in the racial/ethnic groups are African American, Latino, and Native American students. The study focused on underrepresented students who excel academically (high GPA, graduating top 10% of the class, earning academic honors, or doing outstanding research during the undergraduate years).
Specifically, CHAP’s research sought to:
L. Scott Miller with Mehmet Dali Ozturk and Lisa Chavez. “Increasing African American, Latino, and Native American Representation among High Achieving Undergraduates at Selective Colleges and Universities.” Berkeley: Institute for the Study of Social Change. University of California, Berkeley, 2005.
Eugene Cota-Robles, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, UC Riverside
Rachel F. Moran, Professor of Law, Boalt Hall
Eugene Garcia, Professor of Education, Arizona State University
The Berkeley Center for Working Families (CWF), located at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, was established in September 1998 through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. UC Berkeley Professors Arlie Hochschild and Barrie Thorne were Co-Directors of the Center, which published working papers, hosted conferences, and trained scholars for four years.
Women’s advancements in the world of work were the focus of extensive research in the 1980s. In the wake of these changes, scholars at the Center for Working Families set out to learn about "advancements" in the realm of care. CWF scholars studied strategies developed by U.S. dual-earner parents, of varied class and cultural backgrounds, as they negotiate and seek to provide care for their children. Others examined care arrangements for the elderly and strategies used by the physically disabled to provide for their own needs, including the wish to feel independent.
CWF’s holistic and contextual approach illuminated varied "ecologies of care," that is, relationships and transfers of care that extend beyond families, kin, and paid caregivers, to encompass a range of institutional sites, informal ties, and even migration streams. CWF research projects examined not only households and sites of paid work but also the care-related dynamics of other institutions, including schools, after-school programs, synagogues and immigrant churches, charitable public institutions, and care-providing-and-receiving relationships among friends and neighbors and co-workers.
In addition to conducting innovative and foundational research that explored the care deficit, and responses to it, from varied perspectives, CWF made conceptual and empirical contributions to two other, relatively new cross-disciplinary areas of knowledge—research on the social organization of time and the cross-disciplinary study of childhoods.
In the aftermath of the 1994 election, affirmative action came under the sharpest attack in its thirty-year history. Affirmative action was eliminated by popular referendum in California, Washington and more recently Michigan. (Until the Supreme Court’s decision in 2003, affirmative action also was banned in Texas by federal court order.)
Funded by the Ford Foundation, the Project on Equal Opportunity, which began in the summer of 1995, was conceived in the belief that the ongoing national debate about affirmative action is not being conducted at a level commensurate with the seriousness of the issues at stake. The Project’s primary purpose was to use social-science research to educate the public and separate fact from myth in debates about affirmative action. To clarify the policy choices being made, the Equal Opportunity Project examined the new admissions processes and implications of these practices in undergraduate and graduate programs in California and Texas.
Isaac Martin and Sean Jaquez. “Unequal Opportunity: Student Access to the University of California." In The State of California Labor 2003, edited by Ruth Milkman, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
“The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action at the University of California.” In Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Volume 25 (Autumn 1999).
“No Alternative: The Effects of Color-Blind Admissions in California.” In Chilling Admissions: The Affirmative Action Crisis and the Search for Alternatives, edited by Gary Orfield and Edward Miller. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Civil Rights Project and Harvard Education Publishing Group, 1998.
Jerome Karabel, Professor of Sociology
Troy Duster, UCB Chancellor’s Professor
Undergraduate Researcher Apprentices
May Liao, PEIS; Jin Im, English
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Bay Area became a crucible for activism. It was the home of the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panther Party, the Third World College protests, the American Indian Movement, the Stop the Draft Week, the International Hotel campaign, and many more mobilizations for social justice. In defining their missions and developing their strategies, these groups forged entirely new ways of talking about inequality, power, access, and social transformation.
The Mobilizations and Social Movements Project examined paradigms of racial, ethnic, class, and gender politics that emerged during this time of radicalism and reform—paradigms that continue to shape not only social movement theory but also official policymaking.
The Mobilization and Social Movements Project collected and identified primary materials on social movements, made these materials accessible both to scholars and a broader public audience, and generated new scholarship on social movements that is both historical and global in orientation. Researchers created the H. K. Yuen Collection, a unique archive of primary materials on Bay Area movements in the 1960s and 1970s, now housed on the Berkeley campus. These primary documents and audiotapes of rallies, demonstrations, debates, and meetings support richly textured accounts of the period’s activism and inform theories of social change and group mobilization.
Selected Publications and Academic Presentations:
Waldo E. Martin, Jr. and Joshua Bloom. "Revolutionary Nationalism in Global Context." Paper presented at Center for African Studies, UC Berkeley April, 2002
Joshua Bloom. "Organizing Rage: Black Panther Strategy After the Watts Riots." In The Whole World's Watching: Peace and Social Justice Movements of the 1960s & 1970s, sponsored by the California Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Berkeley: Berkeley Arts Center, 2001.
Lauren Araiza and Joshua Bloom. "Eldridge Cleaver." In American National Biography Supplement and American National Biography Online. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Waldo E. Martin, Jr. and Joshua Bloom. "Black Panther Political Strategy in Context." Paper presented at Institute for the Study of Social Change, UC Berkeley April, 2001.
Joshua Bloom. "Black Panther Party." In Civil Rights in the United States, Volume I, edited by Waldo E. Martin, Jr. and Patricia Sullivan. New York: Macmillan, 2000.
Joshua Bloom. "Bobby Seale." In Civil Rights in the United States, Volume II, edited by Waldo E. Martin, Jr. and Patricia Sullivan. New York: Macmillan, 2000.
Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Professor of History
L. Ling-chi Wang, Professor of Ethnic Studies
Joshua Bloom, Graduate Student, History, UCLA
Iain Boal, Director, Environmental Politics Colloquium, Institute of International Studies
Lincoln Cushing, Electronic Outreach Librarian, Institute of Industrial Relations
Rachel F. Moran, ISSC Director; Professor of Law
Eddie Yuen, Owner of H. K. Yuen Collection
Undergraduate Research Apprentices
Grace Lee, Mathematics; Brynn Saito, Philosophy; Maya Pandurangi, Political Science; Michael Eidelson, Legal Studies; Erica Flener, History; Erica Hsu, ISF; Jason LaBouyer, Political Science; Suzanne Martindale, Philosophy; Steven S. McCarty-Snead, History and Political Science; Alexis Wilson, Philosophy
This project was an evaluation the quality and effectiveness of the Business Economics Technology Achievement (BETA) Program at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. The program provided mentoring and academic and youth development through teaching skills in business and economics.
David Minkus and Michael Omi. “Evaluating the Quality, Role, and Effectiveness of the Haas BETA Program.” Berkeley: Institute for the Study of Social Change, University of California, Berkeley, May 2003.
The Berkeley Project on Bioscience and Society, founded in 1989 by Professor Troy Duster, led to the Pathways to Genetic Screening project, a ground-breaking application of social science to the then nascent field of genetic testing. The study of families in the US at high risk for sickle cell, cystic fibrosis, or thalassemia showed that responses to genetic screening were patterned along social, cultural, and economic dimensions.