SSRI is excited to announce a new seminar series highlighting the value and impact of social science at Penn State. The first lecture will be presented by SSRI cofund and PRI Director Jennifer Van Hook, Roy C. Buck Professor of Sociology and Demography, on November 17, 12 p.m., at The Bennett Pierce Living Center, Room 110 Henderson Building, and via Zoom.
Van Hook’s talk, “Not a Level Playing Field: How the American Experience Differed Between Industrial-Era Italian and Mexican Immigrants”, will focus on the upward mobility of Italian migrants in comparison to Mexican migrants in the first half of the 20th century.
Using linked Census data and newly digitized school records, Van Hook and co-author Jim Bachmeier demonstrated that Mexican American's disadvantages were owed largely to their concentration in Texas and the racist schooling and labor practices there. In contrast, Italian Americans lived primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, where they benefitted from the rapidly rising investment in public schooling in those regions of the country. Overall, European immigrants benefitted from a relatively inclusive policy environment.
Showcasing the interdisciplinary research of social and behavioral sciences, the seminar series will encourage new collaboration between SSRI faculty, affiliates, and the broader university community. The series is open to anyone from the University looking to understand the groundbreaking research conducted through SSRI. The second seminar in the series will be on December 8 featuring a presentation by Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies and director of the Center for Healthy Aging. Contact Jason Shumberger for more information on the seminars.