Society and Culture Blog Posts

Who Will Kamala Harris Supporters Vote for Now?

December 20, 2019
With California Sen. Kamala Harris out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, UC Davis communication professor Magdalena Wojcieszak and colleagues investigated who her supporters are likely to vote for.

What Gamers and Redditors Can Teach Us About Democracy

December 11, 2019
Despite the ongoing threat of misinformation spreading online, UC Davis cognitive scientist Seth Frey still believes in the promise of the internet as a force for political and economic empowerment. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Frey and colleagues at three other universities a $460,000 grant to study how groups create and enforce self-rule in a wide array of domains, including Frey’s focus: Reddit forums (called subreddits) and video games.

How Flu Vaccine Misinformation Spreads Online

December 10, 2019
Social media are a powerful tool to spread information — and misinformation — about health issues such as vaccines and cancer prevention. How does bad information spread online, and what is the best way to stop it? That is a topic being studied by Assistant Professor Jingwen Zhang and her students in the UC Davis Department of Communication.

How Groups Make Up Their Minds

December 10, 2019
The choices we make in large group settings, such as in online forums and social media, might seem fairly automatic. But our decision-making process is more complicated than we know. So, researchers at the University of Washington and UC Davis have been working to understand what’s behind that seemingly intuitive process. The research has discovered that in large groups of essentially anonymous members, people make choices based on a model of the “mind of the group” and an evolving simulation of how a choice will affect that theorized mind.

How Do You Bounce Back After a Setback?

December 10, 2019
Why are people often only fleetingly happy about positive events, but persistently upset about negative events like setbacks? Alison Ledgerwood, behavioral scientist, professor of psychology and chancellor’s fellow at UC Davis, has conducted extensive research to understand this.

Alameda Creek Project Gets $31.4 million

October 16, 2019
Work to restore the natural flow of Alameda Creek into the San Francisco Bay involving two design department faculty is moving forward with $31.4 million from the State of California.

History Professors Receive Graduate Mentoring Fellowships

October 10, 2019

Three history professors are among the four recipients of this year's Wakeham Mentoring Fellowships from UC Davis. The honor is given to faculty and their mentees to support the exploration of mentoring best practices. Up to five $10,000 fellowships are awarded annually.

The 2019-2020 Wakeham Mentoring Fellowship recipients include:

Study Finds Deportations Haven't Reduced Crime

September 27, 2019
Economists' findings are part of multidisciplinary approach to studying immigration.

UC Davis researchers are examining the consequences of deportation from many angles — its effects on people, families and communities. Their research employs analytical methods from sociology, economics, the humanities and other disciplines.

Why Negative Campaigning Works — and How to Fight It

September 13, 2019
Our brains are hard-wired to remember insults and attacks — which explains why so many political campaigns go negative. Research by psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood also finds a bright side: You can train your brain to flip the script.

Historian's Podcasts Examine Conspiracy Theories

September 05, 2019
Delve into popular conspiracy theories this month with a new podcast from Kathryn Olmsted, professor of history in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science. Olmsted has launched a four-episode “State of Conspiracy” series on the site Crooked Media.

Faculty Fellowships Provide Freedom for Research

August 09, 2019

From the history of black women chefs to a documentary film on dwarfism to African music in Brazil, the UC Davis Humanities Institute’s new faculty research fellows will pursue a wide range of topics this year. The fellowship promotes interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty, who will meet weekly to discuss their research and creative work.

Sociology Researcher Gets Grant for Police Shootings Study

August 02, 2019
Sociology doctoral candidate Matthew Thompson has received a $25,000 grant from the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research to complete his dissertation on police shootings. Thompson’s research focuses on how the organizational structure of police agencies and their use-of-force policies influence their rates of officer-involved shootings.

Howard Chiang Wins Book Prize For 'After Eunuchs'

July 25, 2019
UC Davis historian Howard Chiang’s book on gender and sexuality in modern China has won the Humanities Book Prize from the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS).

From Chinese Film to Housing Segregation, Graduate Fellows Explore the World

July 23, 2019
This year's graduate fellows in the College of Letters and Science come from a wide range of majors and are using the fellowships to explore diverse topics. Graduate fellowships support students in humanities, arts, and cultural studies programs to engage in research or creative projects over the summer.