October 1, 2014  

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Urban Anthropologist Presents ‘Coming of Age at Minimum Wage’ Research

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Dr. Carol Stack, Professor Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley

The University of Southern Mississippi welcomes internationally known urban anthropologist Dr. Carol Stack to the Hattiesburg campus for a lecture on April 4.

Stack will present her current research on young people working minimum wage jobs in a public talk, “Coming of Age at Minimum Wage,” from 4:30 - 6 p.m. in the Gonzales Auditorium of the Liberal Arts Building. The lecture is presented as part of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology Research Colloquium and is open to the public.

“Despite the odds, low-wage youth working in fast food restaurants in Oakland share a gut-level obsession with making it in America,” said Stack, professor emerita at the University of California at Berkeley.

According to Stack, nearly 26 percent of the nation’s young adults are unemployed. “Oakland offers a mirror on urban poverty, work, immigration and teen unemployment,” said Stack.

Stack is a highly regarded scholar most well known for her influential work on African American families and urban policy. Dr. Amy Chasteen Miller, chair of the Southern Miss Department of Anthropology and Sociology, describes Stack’s award-winning books “Call to Home” (1996) and “All Our Kin” (1974) as “path-breaking research that remains highly relevant today.” Stack’s research has been funded by prestigious national agencies, such as the Rockefeller, Russell Sage, and Ford Foundations.

“Stack argues that we know very little about the real experiences of young people trying to make it in these low-wage jobs,” said Miller. “Her talk will give the audience a window into these young people’s lives, as well as illustrate how an anthropological perspective can help them see their own work lives and futures in new ways.”

While visiting Southern Miss, Stack will also give a workshop on writing ethnography to faculty members, visit a sociology undergraduate research class, and speak to graduate students.

For more information about Stack’s visit, call Miller at 601.266.4306.