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April 2014 (PDF)

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Speaker Series

Spring 2013 Speaker Series

Wednesdays, 12:15-1:30 p.m.
April 3, 10, 17, and 24
Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse
2020 Addison St, Berkeley
Free to OLLI members
$10 general admission

RSVP online

Keeping Fit

Matt Grigorieff, Coordinator, Fitness For All, Recreational Sports, UC Berkeley
Bill Satariano, Professor, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Joe Watz, Director of Marketing, Recreational Sports, UC Berkeley

April 3, 2013

Staff from the Recreational Sports Facility will present their new insights about older adult fitness and people with mobility issues and their recent purchase of new fitness equipment.  Public Health Professor William Satariano will present his collaboration with New Media Center associate director, Greg Niemeyer, on mobility.

Using Online Dating to Study Contemporary Patterns of Courtship

Gerald Mendelsohn, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, UC Berkeley

April 10, 2013

Online dating has become a widespread and well-accepted method of making contact with potential romantic partners; it is now an integral part of the social environment. This presentation will not be concerned with online dating as such, but rather with what data obtained from a major online dating site can tell us about patterns of courtship in 21st century America. I will focus on two areas of our research: interethnic dating and dating by people in their sixties and beyond. 

Jerry Mendelsohn completed work for his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1959 and has been a Professor of Psychology at Berkeley since 1960. Presently Professor of Graduate Studies, his field of research is personality and social psychology, with a recent focus on relationship formation. During his career he has done research on topics ranging from creativity to the solution of anagrams, adaptation to physical illness, Giuseppe Verdi, and courtship online.

Big Data is Too Small – Social Media, Social Class
and Social Movements

Jen Schradie, Berkeley Center for New Media, UC Berkeley

April 17, 2013

The so-called Facebook and Twitter Revolutions of the Arab Spring raised questions about the relationship between technology and democracy. Schradie compares social movement organizations in one Southern state, from grassroots Tea Party groups to rank-and-file labor unions. Political orientation, social class, and racial formations shape how these groups use the Internet. Rather than simply examining the digital traces of the Twitter elite using Big Data, she also delves into the everyday practices of activists’ use of digital technologies with surprising results: groups that care more about democracy care less about the Internet.

Jen Schradie is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley and the Berkeley Center for New Media. She has a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. Publicity garnered from publishing two articles on digital production inequality in Poetics and Information, Communication and Society earned her the 2012 Public Sociology Alumni Prize at UC Berkeley. Her current research is funded by a National Science Foundation Grant. Before entering academia, Jen directed six documentary films, including “The Golf War – a story of land, golf and revolution in the Philippines.” Most of her films, however, focused on social movements confronting corporate power in the American rural South. Jen’s documentaries have screened at more than 25 film festivals and 100 universities.

Black-Latino Relations in U.S. National Politics:
Beyond Conflict or Cooperation

Rodney Hero, Professor, Politics and Haas Chair in
Diversity and Democracy, UC Berkeley

April 24, 2013

Professor Hero summarizes some major findings from a book he co-authored which analyzes the extent to which conflict between Latinos and African Americans is found in national politics. Based on research of minority advocacy groups in national politics as well as the behavior of minority members of Congress, he finds the relationship between these groups is mainly characterized by non-conflict and independence. He addresses why there appears to be little minority intergroup conflict at the national level, suggesting the importance of the roles of institutions and types of policies as likely factors. This research represents one of the first systematic studies of Black-Latino intergroup relations at the national level of U.S. politics.

Rodney Hero is professor in the Department of Political Science and the Haas Chair in Diversity and Democracy at UC Berkeley. His research and teaching focus on American democracy and politics, especially as viewed through the analytical lenses of Latino Politics, Racial/Ethnic Politics, State & Urban Politics, and Federalism. His book, Latinos and the U.S. Political System: Two-tiered Pluralism, received the American Political Science Association's [APSA] 1993 Ralph J. Bunche Award. He also authored Faces of Inequality: Social Diversity in American Politics, which was selected for the APSA’s Woodrow Wilson Award in 1999, and several other books.