Department of Ethnic Studies Colloquium Series

February 19, 2015

The Dynamics of SNAP Participation During Periods of Macroeconomic Distress: From Stagflation and the Double Dip to the Great Recession


Thursday, February 19, 2015

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301


Guest speaker: Dr. Lloyd Grieger, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Affairs, Yale University


During the Great Recession and the sluggish recovery that followed, participation in the federal food assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), increased to historic levels. In the policy realm the explosion in participation is often portrayed as a symptom of increased dependency on public assistance. However, little is actually known about individuals’ lifetime participation, which is required in order to differentiate between new program participants and ‘dependent’ returners. This project relies on data spanning over 40 years to uncover the extent to which the Great Recession coaxed new versus return participation in SNAP among adults, whether the demographic profiles of new and return users differed, and whether this has changed over time. When compared across the last three prolonged macroeconomic downturns, new relative to return SNAP participation grew increasingly more common among the newest adults (those under 30), but less common among slightly older adults. This suggests relatively lower levels of ‘dependency’ for new adults but relatively higher levels for older adults. I also find that the demographic profiles of new program participants were significantly different from returners; however, the differences remained constant across downturn periods, suggesting that SNAP participation during the Great Recession was unique from other recessions because of high volume but not because of a difference in the types of people accessing the program during sour economic times.


Lloyd Grieger is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Global Affairs in the Department of Sociology and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University. He is a faculty fellow in the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE) and a founding organizer of the Yale Demography Workshop. His research interests include poverty and inequality, social policy, and family/relationship formation across the life course. He is also interested in quantitative research methods, especially those using longitudinal panel data and other big data sources.


Prior to joining the faculty at Yale, Grieger worked as a researcher at the U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor), the United Nations (Demographic and Social Statistics Bureau), the Urban Institute (Income and Benefits Policy Center), the U.S. National Poverty Center, and the Southern African Labor and Development Research Unit (University of Cape Town). He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Public Policy as well as an M.A. in statistics and an M.P.P. in social policy analysis from the University of Michigan.


Co-sponsors: Office of Public Health Studies, School of Social Work, Center on the Family, and the Public Policy Center


To view the flyer, click here.



January 29, 2015

Cloaked in Life and Death: Tangi and Taonga in a Contemporary Māori Whānau


Thursday, January 29, 2015

3:00pm - 4:15pm

UH Mānoa, George Hall 301B


Guest speaker: Dr. Vincent Malcolm-Buchanan


Half a century ago in Aotearoa, New Zealand anthropologist Dame Joan Metge noted "Death is the occasion above all others which brings Maori together." This research articulates reflexions of specific case-studies of death and tangihanga (funeray processes) within a singular family or whānau; memorable events spanning four generations, involving a multitude of simultaneously occurring religious realities, and carious transformations of indigenous life for the Maori, and their western counterparts, the Pākehā. The foci of this presentation are treasures form the past, taonga tuku iho that are tangible repositories which reveal much about their owners, those owner’s families, and their histories. At the same time, tangihanga practices now allow for beloved personal belongings including nightwear and reading glasses; novelty items such as dice and bingo cards; and the presence of treasured portraits and photographs of the deceased. Western introduced aspects that reveal the extent to which Māori and Pākehā have mutually come to affect each other’s lives, and deaths. As indigenes of Aotearoa there is much we have to learn form each other and still much more we might share with our Pacific and other global contemporaries.


Dr. Malcolm is a FASS Research Associate in the Anthropology Department of the University of Waikato and a member of the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa New Zealand.


To view the flyer, click here.