Berkeley sociologist will talk about men and the absence of work

Sociologist Raka Ray will discuss “The Politics of Masculinity in the Absence of Work” in this year’s Acker-Morgan Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the UO’s Center for the Study of Women in Society.

The talk will be held May 20 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Ford Lecture Hall at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The talk and reception are free and open to the public.

Ray is a professor of sociology and South and Southeast Asia studies and dean of social sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a speaker on issues ranging from gender and feminist theory, postcolonial sociology, and contemporary politics in the U.S. and India, and her current project is on the transformations in gender wrought by the decline of traditional fields of work for men.

Ray said her current work focuses on “men who do not have class advantage and who are increasingly seen as those the new economy has left behind — the losers in the new global order who pose a threat to society at large. What becomes of men in the absence of work? What possibilities beyond attraction to popular authoritarianism and fundamentalisms are there for men to inhabit during unsettled times?”

Ray’s publications include “Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India”; “Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics,” co-edited with Mary Katzenstein; “Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India,” with Seemin Qayum; “The Handbook of Gender”; “Both Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes,” co-edited with Amita Baviskar; “The Social Life of Gender,” co-edited with Jennifer Carlson and Abigail Andrews; and many articles and op-eds.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the annual Acker-Morgen Memorial Lecture commemorates two former center directors. A pathbreaking feminist researcher, Joan Acker taught sociology at UO for nearly three decades. In 1973, she helped establish the center, which she directed until 1986. A pioneer in feminist anthropology, Sandra Morgen began teaching at UO in 1991. She served as director of the center from 1991-2006.

For more information, visit the Center for the Study of Women in Society website.