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Social Sciences News

Bita Shahian credits her liberal arts education at USC Dornsife for helping her to cultivate her diverse interests in technology, design and psychology. She aims to foster opportunities for minorities and women in the technology industry. Photo courtesy Bita Shahian.

Tech Talk

February 25, 2014

Bita Shahian believes the future lies in technology. Since she also believes in the future of college students, she wants to help them jump into the tech world. “Technology is transforming a lot of industries and making…

Professor of International Relations at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, USC Dornsife alumnus Mahmood Sariolghalam is a specialist in Middle East politics, and Iranian foreign policy and political culture. Photo courtesy of Mahmood Sariolghalam.

Shaping Foreign Policy

February 21, 2014

A quick lesson in Farsi: Sariolghalam, literally, means “quick pen.” Apt nomenclature for a devoted academic who has written more than 68 articles and 11 books in English, Farsi and Arabic. Mahmood Sariolghalam,…

Senior Reid Lidow wins a Gates Cambridge Scholarship given to United States-based students. He receives a full scholarship for graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where he will continue his research on Burma’s political and economic future. Photo by Jake W. Roberts.

Lidow Awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarship

February 18, 2014

Senior Reid Lidow, an international relations and political science double major, has been awarded a highly competitive Gates Cambridge Scholarship. This award grants him a full scholarship for graduate studies at the…

In a recent Barbra Streisand Lecture, sociologist Eva Illouz said the interactive format E L James used to write <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> allowed her to incorporate readers’ feedback, including their own fantasies and desired plot twists. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Hard Core Self-Help

February 6, 2014

Anyone who claims not to have at least heard of E L James’ erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is either fibbing or has been living on a remote desert island with no Internet access for the past three years. The…

USC Dornsife's Daphna Oyserman, Dean's Professor of Psychology, shares her research during a Jan. 22 Dean's Special Lecture, explaining why we often achieve less than we aspire to and offering solutions to help attain our goals. Photos by Matt Meindl.

Meet Your Future Self

January 30, 2014

“If it’s not cool for a teenage boy in inner-city L.A. to do his science homework, then how will he ever become a brain surgeon?” This thorny question was asked by USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay as he…

Volunteers might become more effective by spending the same amount of time as activists pressuring politicians to change policies, says Professor of Sociology Nina Eliasoph in her new book, <em>The Politics of Volunteering</em>. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Volunteering Vs. Activism

January 24, 2014

Volunteering is considered almost sacred in modern society. But in her book The Politics of Volunteering (Polity Press, 2013) Nina Eliasoph, professor of sociology at USC Dornsife, says that along with the good, volunteers and…

Lois Banner, retiring professor of history and gender studies who wrote a book about Marilyn Monroe, holds up Monroe's favorite photo of herself by Cecil Beaton and an original oil painting belonging to Monroe by Parisian artist Poucette titled "La Toureau" (the Bull). Photo by Susan Andrews.

A Banner Day

January 16, 2014

As a young professor in the 1960s, Lois Banner was moved by history. She had no idea at the time that she would play such a vital part in it. With ambitions to push forward the nascent field of women’s history, she…

In his role as Warschaw Chair, Robert Shrum will encourage students to engage in politics. He will connect them with elected officials, candidates and their staff members from across the political spectrum to discuss and analyze relevant issues. Photo courtesy of Robert Shrum.

Shrum Named Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics

January 14, 2014

Robert Shrum, a veteran political consultant with experience guiding presidential, senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns, joins USC Dornsife as the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics on June…

The Global Ethics Fellows Conference hosted by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs brings together students from around the world to discuss global ethical challenges. Here, attendees participate in a roundtable discussion as part of the program held in New York Nov. 5 to 8. Photo by Amanda Schmitt.

Advocates for Ethics

December 19, 2013

When an earthquake and tsunami occurred in Futaba, Japan, in March 2011, there was a horrible ripple effect. Not only was the small coastal town devastated by the natural disaster, but the nearby Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear…

Romanticizing the violence of the 19th century American frontiersman as a route to individual freedom is dangerous, USC Dornsife doctoral student Alex Young warns in a prize-winning paper. Doing so can serve as a justification for violent and racist politics, he said.

A New Frontier

December 13, 2013

In Quentin Tarantino’s blood-spattered film Django Unchained, set in pre-Civil War America, the eponymous hero is a black slave who has suffered brutal treatment at the hands of his murderous former owners, the Brittle…