An American in Jakarta – Fieldwork During a Time of Conflict

An American in Jakarta
SWS Member, Rachel Rinaldo writes about her dissertation fieldwork that she later turned into her first book Mobilizing Piety: Islam and Feminism in Indonesia. Beginning in fall 2002 in Jakarta, Indonesia, just as she was getting into the flow, the Bali bombing happened and nearly 200 people were killed. It was very disruptive to her fieldwork as the US embassy was telling Americans to leave Indonesia for safety reasons. Rachel chose to stay, but spent about 6 weeks “lying low” until things felt calm enough to return to the research sites. Mainly, that meant spending a lot of time in her apartment and the vicinity. She was able to finish out the year there, though there was another bombing in Jakarta not long before she left. It definitely affected her research in all sorts of ways — she made efforts to keep a fairly low profile as an American, and she was careful about how she traveled around the city and the country. In the end, she did finish the dissertation and turned it into a book and she continues to do fieldwork in Indonesia.
Rachel wrote about those experiences for the Gender & Society blog a few years ago:
Rachel Rinaldo

Associate Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder


New research in Gender & Society shows that women face a benefit gap as well as a pay gap. News we need just in time for Equal Pay Day.

New research in Gender & Society shows that women face a benefit gap as well as a pay gap. News we need just in time for Equal Pay Day. For more info ask the author, Leslie Hodges @lb_hodges, or Gender & Society Editor @bjrisman,

Gender & Society


CONTACT: Barbara J. Risman


News for Equal Pay Day: Women’s occupations offer fewer benefits—not just lower pay

Today is Equal Pay Day in the United States. This is the day we begin to observe that (all) women, on average, must work three months into the new year to earn the same thing that (all) men earn in the prior year, because in 2019 they earned 82 cents for every dollar men made. For (all) moms, Equal Pay Day is June 4 (70 cents). For African American women, Equal Pay Day is August 13 (62 cents); and for Latinx women, the date is October 29 (54 cents). New research shows that it is actually worse than this, because it isn’t just pay that women are shorted. They are shorted decent benefits.

Chicago, IL, March 31, 2020: A study released today by Gender & Society, a top-ranked social science journal, establishes that workers in women-dominated jobs get fewer benefits, including employer-provided health insurance coverage and retirement plans. The recognition of Equal Pay Day means that many understand the well-established fact that workers in women-dominated jobs get paid less than those in men-dominated jobs. This new study shows that the disadvantages are even greater than previously thought.


The data. The study, conducted by Leslie Hodges at the University of Wisconsin, relied on three major datasets: the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, the American Community Survey, and the Occupational Information Network. Focal information came from the household component of the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, which includes nationally representative data from 2007-2013 about employer-provided health insurance coverage, sick leave and retirement plans. Hodges’ analysis included 34,698 people who worked full time in year-round jobs.


No, women don’t get better benefits to compensate for lower pay. Hodges found that women-dominated jobs not only pay less, they provide fewer benefits such as health insurance coverage and retirement plans. Even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 turns 57 this year, the research replicated the well-known finding that the more women there are in an occupation, the lower the wages. One classical economic claim to justify wage inequality has been that women choose these jobs, because the benefits are better and compensate for the lower pay. Yet this new study shows that simply is not the case.


The research has vital implications for social policy. Women are half our labor force; they are indispensable family breadwinners, yet women and their families are disadvantaged both by a gender gap in wages as well as benefits. “Around the world, and in the U.S., during this pandemic and incipient recession, we are feeling the acute pain where safety nets and resources are limited. Today’s study reminds us that those limitations on security are not gender blind. We must do better,” observes Gender & Society editor Barbara Risman.




The article, “Do Female Occupations Pay Less But Offer More Benefits?” by Leslie Hodges is published in  Gender & Society. The article is available for a limited time at (link). For more information, contact June Macon, attn: JM, at


Hodges, Leslie.  2020. “Do Female Occupations Pay Less But Offer More Benefits?” Gender & Society.  Forthcoming. Available for review now at


AUTHOR CONTACT/BIO: Leslie Hodges is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin – Madison who studies how families make ends meet. She specializes in the use of survey and administrative data to examine patterns in employment, health, and wellbeing for different population groups and to inform evidence-based policy making on public programs including child support, unemployment insurance, and SNAP. You can contact her at Twitter: @lb_hodges.

ABOUT: Gender & Society is a peer-reviewed journal, focused on the study of gender. It is the official journal of Sociologists for Women in Society and was founded in 1987 as an outlet for feminist social science. Currently, it is a top-ranked journal in both sociology and women’s studies. Gender & Society, a journal of Sage Publications, publishes less than seven percent of all papers submitted to it. For more information, contact Gender & Society Editor Barbara J. Risman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Twitter: @Gend_Soc, @bjrisman.

Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), founded in 1969, is a nonprofit, scientific and educational organization with more than 1,000 members in the United States and overseas. For more information, contact Dr. Barret Katuna, SWS Executive Officer, at Twitter: @socwomen.



SWS Endorses ASA Statement – Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes During the COVID-19 Crisis


A Call to Higher Education Administrators Regarding Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes During the COVID-19 Crisis


Please click HERE to go directly to the ASA Statement.

Statement Posted on March 23, 2020

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS SPECIAL ISSUE OF GENDER & SOCIETY: “Gender Transformations of Higher Education Institutions” 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS SPECIAL ISSUE OF GENDER & SOCIETY: “Gender Transformations of Higher Education Institutions” 

Special Issue of Gender & Society: “Gender Transformations of Higher Education Institutions” 

Guest Editor: Julia McQuillan (University of Nebraska) 

Guest Deputy Editors: Sheryl Skaggs (University of Texas, Dallas) and Kevin Stainback (Purdue University) 

Click HERE for Complete Submission Details 

Completed manuscripts, due February 1, 2020, should be submitted online to and should specify in the cover letter that the paper is to be considered for the special issue.

Barbara J. Risman

Department of Sociology

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, Illinois 60607




Washington, DC:  A formal statement issued by the American Sociological Association (, and endorsed by 17 other scholarly associations, describes the current use of student evaluations of teaching as “problematic” and identifies ways to use student feedback appropriately as one part of holistic assessment of teaching effectiveness in institutions of higher education.

A large body of research has demonstrated that student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are weakly related to student learning and are often biased against women and people of color.  In this statement, the ASA provides a brief summary of the current research and notes that SETs systematically disadvantage faculty from marginalized groups. This has consequences for who gets hired, who gets tenure, and whose contracts are renewed.

The statement encourages colleges and universities to consider different methods of evaluating teaching and also highlights several institutions that are exploring alternatives. These include renaming SETs to indicate that student feedback is important, but not determinative of teaching quality or effectiveness, and initiating processes that include or heighten the importance of peer review and self-evaluation.

“ASA encourages institutions to use evidence-based best practices for collecting and using student feedback about teaching. Our hope and expectation is that this statement will be used as a resource by faculty and chairs to begin conversations on their own campuses,” said Nancy Kidd, Executive Director of the ASA.  “Particularly at a time when faculty are facing new challenges to their work and their job security, they deserve a fair, accurate and balanced evaluation process.”

About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a non‐profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

Contact: Johanna Olexy
Phone: 202-247-9873

Remembering Toni Morrison on Hear to Slay – With SWS Member, Tressie McMillan Cottom

With SWS Member, Tressie McMillan Cottom

Description: This week, we called a few of our favorite black women together to gather and celebrate Toni Morrison. Roxane and Tressie host a round-table discussion with the brilliant Stacia L. Brown and Rebecca Carroll. They talk about Morrison’s life and legacy for single mothers, communities of black women, and those breaking free of the white gaze. Later in the show (~33:12), they talk to historian Imani Perry (@imaniperry) about how Morrison remapped the history of the United States and what future generations can learn from Morrison’s work.
This episode is free and open to everyone – no Luminary subscription necessary! As always, keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter and Instagram at @HearToSlay and with the hashtag #HearToSlay.