Recent Submissions

  • Material Acts in Everyday Hindu Worlds

    Flueckiger, Joyce Burkhalter (SUNY Press, 2020-10-01)
    In Material Acts in Everyday Hindu Worlds, Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger analyzes the agency of materiality—the ability of materials to have an effect on both humans and deities—beyond human intentions. Using materials from three regions where Flueckiger conducted extensive fieldwork, she begins with Indian understandings of the agency of ornaments that have the desired effects of protecting women and making them more auspicious. Subsequent chapters bring in examples of materiality that are agentive beyond human intentions, from a south Indian goddess tradition where female guising transforms the aggressive masculinity of men who wear saris, braids, and breasts to the presence of cement images of Ravana in Chhattisgarh, which perform alternative theologies and ideologies to those of dominant textual traditions of the Ramayana epic. Deeply ethnographic and accessibly written, Material Acts in Everyday Hindu Worlds expands our understanding of material agency as well as the parameters of religion more broadly.
  • Working through Surveillance and Technical Communication

    Young, Sarah (SUNY Press, 2023-04-01)
    What is surveillance, and why should we care? Why are those who use technology susceptible to being both agents and targets of contemporary surveillance practices? Working Through Surveillance and Technical Communication addresses these questions, discussing what it means to engage in surveillance, examining why this participation may be problematic, and offering entry points into assessing one’s ethical and socially just involvement with surveillance. Further, the book suggests ways to resist both individually and collectively, and it offers pedagogical entry points for those looking to talk about surveillance with others. Led by the central questions, “How are technical communicators also surveillance workers?” and “Why does this matter for technical communication and surveillance scholarship?” the text uses the example of Edward Snowden to illustrate how technical communicators and surveillance workers exist on an often-overlapping range. Sarah Young highlights the potentially discriminatory nature of surveillance and argues that recognizing and evaluating surveillance in is increasingly important in a data-driven world.
  • Technical Communication for Environmental Action

    Williams, Sean D. (SUNY Press, 2023-01-01)
    Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing the global community in the twenty-first century. With its position at the border of people, technology, science, and communication, technical communication has a significant role to play in helping to solve these complex environmental problems. This collection of essays engages scholars and practitioners in a conversation about how the field has contributed to pragmatic and democratic action to address climate change. Compared to most prior work—which offers theoretical perspectives of environmental communication—this collection explores the actual practice of international technical communicators who participate in government projects, corporate processes, nonprofit programs, and international agency work, demonstrating how technical communication theories such as participatory design, social justice, and ethics can help shape pragmatic environmental action.
  • Envisioning Sociology

    Scott, John; Bromley, Ray (SUNY Press, 2013-06-01)
    Envisioning Sociology is a landmark work, the first major study of the founding of sociology in Britain and the enormous contributions made by the intellectual circle led by Victor Branford and Patrick Geddes. Authors John Scott and Ray Bromley chronicle the biographical connections and personal partnerships of the circle's key participants, their international connections, their organization-building work, and the business activities that underpinned their efforts. Branford and Geddes fashioned an ambitious and wide-ranging interdisciplinary vision, drawing on geography, anthropology, economics, and urban planning, in addition to sociology. This vision was an integral part of a project of social reconstruction, a "third way" eschewing both liberalism and communism in favor of cooperation, redistribution, and federalism. Envisioning Sociology uncovers a previously hidden history of the social sciences, giving readers a fascinating glimpse into early twentieth-century social science and political economy, while demonstrating the contemporary relevance of the ideas of these underrated figures. Although Branford and Geddes failed to establish the grand sociology they envisioned, their ideas helped develop the theory and practice of community development, participatory democracy, bioregionalism, historic preservation, and neighborhood upgrading.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: The Differential Impacts of COVID-19: Five Lessons from New York’s Hospital Community

    Burke, Courtney (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    New York State healthcare providers learned much from the covid pandemic about identifying and addressing health disparities. Although many already were engaged in equity efforts there are five ways hospitals and states might consider further reducing disparities in the future. They include: 1) reduce financial disparities across hospitals, 2) use hospitals as "anchor institutions" to leverage the power of community to reduce disparities, 3) embed social determinants of health into health planning at hospitals, 4) maximizing technology as a tool for equity, and 5) consider how healthcare "consumerism" may widen or decrease health for patients.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: COVID-19 and the Causal Relationship Between the Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

    Wedenoja, Leigh (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    The COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on public policy has the potential to provide new causal evidence on the relationship between the social determinants of health (SDOH) and health disparities in the US. Pre-pandemic data is suggestive that SDOH were the primary reason why Black and Hispanic New Yorkers were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 but rigorous causal inference statistical methods and high quality data are needed to fully understand the relationship. In this chapter I discuss the complex relationship between SDOH and health disparities and the role COVID-19 can play in understanding that causal relationship. I discuss several statistical and econometric methods and how they can be employed in COVID-19 related causal inference including panel data methods, instrumental variables, and regression discontinuity designs. I also discuss the importance of leveraging new and existing sources of high quality data.
  • Native American Nationalism and Nation Re-building

    Poliandri, Simone (SUNY Press, 2016-05-01)
    Bringing together perspectives from a variety of disciplines, this book provides an interdisciplinary approach to the emerging discussion on Indigenous nationhood. The contributors argue for the centrality of nationhood and nation building in molding and, concurrently, blending the political, social, economic, and cultural strategies toward Native American self-definitions and self-determination. Included among the common themes is the significance of space—conceived both as traditional territory and colonial reservation—in the current construction of Native national identity. Whether related to historical memory and the narrativization of peoplehood, the temporality of indigenous claims to sovereignty, or the demarcation of successful financial assets as cultural and social emblems of indigenous space, territory constitutes an inalienable and necessary element connecting Native American peoplehood and nationhood. The creation and maintenance of Native American national identity have also overcome structural territorial impediments and may benefit from the inclusivity of citizenship rather than the exclusivity of ethnicity. In all cases, the political effectiveness of nationhood in promoting and sustaining sovereignty presupposes Native full participation in and control over economic development, the formation of historical narrative and memory, the definition of legality, and governance.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Narrowing the gap: Using telemental health during COVID-19 to address disparities for resettled refugees

    Disney, Lindsey (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Abstract: While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been varied and wide-reaching, certain groups have experienced an exacerbation of existing health and mental health disparities, particularly refugees, immigrants, and migrants. Additionally, refugees have specific and often urgent mental health needs related to their experiences in countries of origin and during the process of resettlement. Telemental health, which has been used for service provision in some refugee camps prior to the emergence of COVID-19, presents unique benefits and challenges for refugee-serving providers and clients. This chapter will explore existing empirical work while centering the experiential knowledge of a refugee-serving practitioner, with a focus on innovative policy and practice recommendations for culturally responsive service provision.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: COVID-19, Technology, and the Digital Divide: Implications for NYS

    Bennett Gayle, DeeDee; Yuan, Xiaojun (Jenny); Knight, Thora; Dubois, Elisabeth (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Technology rapidly became a necessity during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic amid social distancing strategies such as New York State on Pause, broadband wireless and internet-based technologies became critical lifelines. These lifelines enabled citizens to maintain some semblance of normalcy with work, education, access to healthcare, and other daily activities - albeit online. While technology was a necessity during this time, the pre-existing digital divide issues (among others) may have further marginalized, underrepresented populations during the pandemic. This chapter summarizes the efforts of the Technological Innovation amid COVID-19 Working Group and poses questions regarding the potential secondary impacts of the pandemic on racial and ethnic minority groups in New York State. The workgroup was convened in 2020 and has since had over 15 publications (journal articles, commentaries, conference papers, books, and book chapters) related to the impacts and use of technology during COVID. The meta-analysis considers broadband wireless technology as a super social determinant of health, crossing all health domains. Using a modified ecology theory framework, the conclusions are presented across the five domains of influence focused on the implications for New York State.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Exploring differential impacts of COVID-19 related fear and psychological health consequences on college students

    Flagg, Amanda M.; Welch, Laura; Chong, Li Shen; Lin, Betty; Gordis, Elana (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    The global spread of COVID-19 induced fear and stress, increasing the risk and severity of mental health problems. In particular, college students have been impacted academically, physically, financially, and psychologically. Further, college students from racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, experiencing higher rates of infection, hospitalization, mortality, and discriminatory events, as well as inequities related to healthcare insurance and access, and having pre-existing health disparities. Taken together, the uncertainty of COVID-19 may induce marked fear across domains, thus increasing the risk of anxiety and depressive symptoms among students. The current study drew data from 249 undergraduate students to examine whether fear of COVID-19 predicted anxiety and depression, and whether associations varied as a function of race or coping strategies. Results indicated that White students endorsed significantly less COVID-related fear compared to Black and Asian students. Further, associations between fear of COVID-19 and anxiety differed significantly across racial/ethnic groups, such that COVID-related fear was only tied to more anxiety among Hispanic students. Moreover, greater fear of COVID-19 was associated with greater anxiety and depression among students who endorsed higher levels of maladaptive coping strategies and lower levels of adaptive coping strategies. The current study provides insight into the role of race and ethnicity on COVID-related fears and its influence on mental health symptoms, as well as the role of coping strategies in modifying their associations. Findings suggest that mechanisms through which COVID-19 may influence college students’ mental health may vary depending on race/ethnicity and individual risk and resiliency factors. These findings may help to inform the development of strategies targeted toward vulnerable communities to provide better support. Strategies to address mental health disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 among students are discussed.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Selecting and Training Contact Tracers to Address Minority Health Disparities: Lessons from COVID-19

    Dowden, Aileen; Danna, Gabrielle; Randall, Jason; Dalal, Dev (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Like most public health emergencies, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted minority communities and exacerbated pre-existing health disparities (Hooper et al., 2020; Selden & Berdahl, 2020). Consequently, state and local governments had to rapidly hire, train, and send forth an “army” of contact tracers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, not much was known about the individual characteristics required to perform this critical job effectively, particularly in a way that ensured equal treatment of all individuals and effective contact with minority communities. Randall et al. (2021) and Dalal et al. (2021) showed that well selected and trained contact tracers, and trust and knowledge about the contact tracing role are critical aspects of contact tracing compliance among minority individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on theories from personnel psychology (e.g., Guion, 2011), we present a blueprint to extend this work by presenting a comprehensive picture of procedures to efficiently, fairly, and validly select and train contact tracers to address future public health crises, and to effectively work within minority communities. Future steps to develop selection and training systems are also identified to facilitate the establishment of a contact tracing personnel system and to expand these procedures to other public-facing health support positions. Being more proactive in preparing public health personnel to work more effectively in minority communities should increase preparation for future health crises and contribute to the elimination of minority health disparities.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: The Ecological Impact of COVID on the Mental Health of Black Children

    Cooke, LaNina N. (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    COVID-19 has widely exasperated existing issues within societal areas, including educational and mental health systems. These systems, which are guided by socioeconomics, are in no way isolated, connecting and spilling into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Especially magnified and significant are the disproportionate perception and treatment of Black children with mental health concerns. Consequential undesirable behavior is often not connected with cognition issues, especially anxiety and depression. Instead, due to assumptions of normative “culture” or irreparable internal flaws, they are often diverted away from therapeutic environments. Relatedly, similar system behavior is also seen in the criminal justice system, which is a possible consequence of this disproportionality. This work considers the dearth of emotional and connectivity resources in areas that couple with low socioeconomic status. These challenges, which were present pre-pandemic, regard technological resources, demographically framed workforce burdens, and community mental health resources. The posed issue focuses on workplace culture and system functioning, rather than teacher, parent, or child shortcomings. Noted also are policy and system suggestions that hope to alleviate pressure and change the disproportionate impact of system behavior on Black children, even with the changing bearing of COVID. These recommendations include educational and community services, policy changes, professional development, increased funding sources, and parental empowerment, along with changing of stigmatizing perceptions and responses on the part of societal systems.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Changes in Educators’ Awareness of Racial Inequality in Two Small-City School Districts During COVID-19.

    Schiller, Kathryn; Horning, Beth Anne (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    The rapid pivoting to fully online schooling in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing educational and social inequalities between students, especially in urban districts serving marginalized populations. This chapter highlights changes in teachers’ perceptions of racial inequality and related challenges in two small-city school districts between April 2019 and April 2021 by using responses to a school climate survey administered as part of a project piloting professional development for early career teachers around promoting racial justice. Compared to 2019, teachers in 2021 tended to indicate being more accepting of attention given to multicultural and diversity issues. However, these increases were largest for untenured teachers, who were also more likely than their more experienced colleagues to agree that COVID-19 made racial and ethnic disparities more prominent and contributed to students’ mental health struggles. In open-ended responses, teachers in these districts expressed frustration over a lack of time to address both their own mental health and the mental health of their students due to district focus on curricular instruction. Drawing upon lessons learned in piloting project workshops, suggestions are provided for adapting mentoring and other professional development activities to better support teachers challenged by more prominent racial disparities and increased mental health issues among their students and for themselves.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: COVID-19-Anxiety and Using Substances to Cope: Differences Across Race and Gender in a New York State College Student Sample

    Longo, Laura M.; Fresquez, Cara L.; Martin, Jessica L.; Cimini, M. Dolores; Sumski, Natalie (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    This chapter examines prevalence rates of alcohol use, marijuana use, and reports of using substances to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic gathered through the University at Albany’s 2020 Recent Issues and Student Experiences (RISE) Survey. Using findings from the RISE study, this chapter investigates how using substances to cope and COVID-related anxiety differed among college students identifying as racial and ethnic minorities, and men and women. Specifically, the impact of multiple minority identities on substance use coping motives and COVID-related anxiety was explored. We discuss implications for research, clinical work, targeted prevention initiatives, and place special emphasis on approaching prevention of health-risk behaviors through a comprehensive public health framework.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Related Stressors on Graduate and Undergraduate Students at a Majority-Minority University in New York State

    Maroney, Meredith R.; Zhou, Shangyun; Cimini, M. Dolores; Karter, Justin M.; Feuer, Emily (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    The COVID-10 pandemic exacerbated stressors for undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those with minoritized identities. The purpose of this study was to explore student experiences and related stressors during the pandemic related to their education. We conducted focus groups with 30 students through seven focus groups in December 2020. We used thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to analyze qualitative data which resulted in three higher order themes and several subthemes: Worries related to health, sociopolitical anxiety, dancing around the issues and impact. We conclude with implications for university systems including flexible policies, access to mental health interventions, and the use of a public health framework to understand barriers and access for students.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Housing Insecurity and Eviction Likelihood among Renters during the Pandemic in New York State and Beyond

    Friedman, Samantha; Lu, Yi; Nakatsuka, Mayuko (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Since the coronavirus pandemic, little research has examined racial and ethnic differences in housing insecurity or eviction among renters. This study seeks to build upon and expand the existing literature on these topics using data from the Household Pulse Survey administered by the U.S. Census Bureau since 2020 for the U.S. (overall), New York State, California, Texas, and Florida. These four states have the largest state populations, and they received nearly 30% of the $25 billion in aid from the Emergency COVID-19 Relief Bill. New York and California had state-based eviction moratoriums in place much longer than in Texas and Florida. Our results reveal that race and ethnicity are significantly associated with housing insecurity in the U.S. and all four states. Blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely than Whites to report not being caught up on their rent. With respect to the analyses of eviction likelihood, Hispanic renters in the U.S. and Florida are significantly less likely than Whites to report being very likely to be evicted, relative to reporting that they would not be at all likely to be evicted. There is no difference between Blacks and Whites in their likelihood of being evicted. In spite of the availability of federal aid to renters, racial and ethnic disparities in housing insecurity among renters have persisted during the pandemic. Future research should study racial and ethnic differences in actual evictions rather than just perceptions of eviction, particularly since most eviction moratoriums have been lifted.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: COVID-19 and disability services in Upstate New York: A survey of disability organizations

    French-Lawyer, Jeremy; White, Lindsey; Goss, Katherine D.; Turk, Margaret A. (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Introduction/purpose People with disability, who represent 1 in 4 adults in the U.S., experience a number of health disparities. These disparities have been exacerbated by the recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (COVID-19). Individuals with disability may rely on services from organizations for support, and anecdotal evidence suggests that these services have been impacted by COVID-19. The purpose of this study was to understand changes in service provision in a number of categories, organizational priorities related to COVID-19, and the information needs of disability organizations in New York State. We hypothesized that disability services would have decreased and that more services would be offered remotely during COVID-19 compared to prior to COVID-19. Methods We conducted a survey of disability organizations, contacting individuals at those organizations via phone, email, and listserv. The survey was developed by the research team and included questions about services offered prior to COVID-19 versus during COVID-19, as well as questions about additional precautions, health information, and organizational priorities. Disability services assessed in the survey included advocacy, caregiver, education, emergency/crisis services, health promotion programing, mental health, and recreational services, among others. Additional precautions included social distancing, use of masks, use of other PPE (face shields, gowns, gloves), reduced hours, reduced staff density, reduced group sizes, increased sanitizing of space/equipment, temperature screenings, other (please specify). The survey was conducted from August to December 2020. Descriptive analyses and paired sample t-test were conducted to compare service provision prior to and during COVID-19. Results Fifty-three respondent completed the survey from twenty-two counties in New York State. Organizations represented were of varied size and served a broad range of populations. The majority of organizations indicated that staff and clients had been impacted by COVID-19 positive cases. Overall, there significantly were fewer disability services offered during COVID-19 compared to prior to COVID-19. In addition, there was a significant change to remote disability services during COVID-19. Several disability services were no longer offered by organizations during COVID-19 that had been offered previously, while at the same time some services were initiated by organizations during the pandemic. Many respondents from disability organizations reported use of additional precautions. Disability organizations accessed information and COVID-19 related information from sources including National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Almost all of the respondents reported sending COVID-19 health and wellness resources to their consumers and/or stakeholders. Discussion/Conclusions As hypothesized, disability services decreased during COVID-19, and more services were offered remotely. The resulting impact of this change on health disparities experienced by people with disability is not yet clear, and these results represent a starting point for understanding that impact. In addition, the finding that some services were no longer offered, while others were initiated, warrants further investigation. Further research on this topic utilizing clear definitions and investigating the changes in specific services would be valuable, especially related to the effect on people with disability in rural areas and other instances where alternatives might not be available.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: Positive Impacts on Health Disparities for Kinship Caregivers Using Technologies New to Them: Lessons Learned about Virtual Peer Support Services Compelled by COVID-19

    Coen Flynn, Karen; Glaser, Rae (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Kinship caregivers are non-parent relatives, commonly grandparents, or anyone with a positive relationship to the family who cares for a child full time in the absence of a biological parent. Many kinship caregivers identify as Black or Hispanic, members of minority groups long documented to suffer health disparities, including challenges in behavioral health. In 2018 New York State Kinship Navigator implemented the Kinship Navigator System of Care Project (see As part of the project evaluation, University at Albany researchers survey participants and track peer support group services delivered by five agencies. In March 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic forced agency staff to transition in-person peer support meetings to online ones, forcing already burdened kinship caregivers to learn how to connect with their peers through digital technologies new to them. This exploratory study examined the relationship between a pandemic-mandated technological change in family service delivery and how this change shaped some kinship caregivers’ access to and benefits received from peer support meetings. Researchers conducted ten focus groups and two individual interviews between November 2020 and March 2021 with 46 individuals. Themes surfaced, among others, included: (1) transitioning to virtual meetings presented insurmountable hurdles for some, and (2) transitioning to virtual meetings was relatively easy. The findings suggest that this pandemic-induced technological change in kinship caregiver peer support will likely have a transformative effect post-pandemic on the delivery of family support services, perhaps in a hybrid in-person/virtual form. Study limitations and future directions for research are discussed.
  • Addressing Differential Impacts of Covid-19 in NYS: COVID-19 & The Black Church

    Hastings, Julia F.; Cooke, Collina D. (SUNY Press, 2023-02-27)
    Throughout American history, the Black Church has endured and overcome every crisis and continues to stand during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. As the most recognized, trusted, and stable social institution in Black communities, churches have significantly enhanced psychological, health, educational, and cultural well-being. From March 2020 to present day, the Black Church has helped to make sense of, and support public health responses to, life sustaining practices. The research literature offered no record on how New York Black Churches might make necessary adjustments to the historic health crisis. In order to examine how Black Churches persisted through the COVID-19 pandemic, the present study explored the type of public health information shared on church-related social media sites. Secondly, researchers captured recollections from Senior Pastors about the decision-making process and actions taken to maintain the Black Church’s presence. The qualitative study analyzed data using ATLAS.ti (version 9. 0) from 20 randomly selected New York Black Churches varying in denomination and congregation size. Findings revealed how many churches provided food, clothing, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and communal prayer to all who needed it. Technology became essential for many churches to virtually support congregants through prayer and remain a steadfast, trusted resource within the Black community. Our study underscored that the Black Church, as an institution, continues to serve as strong partners for any public health social work effort in that it is supportive, culturally appropriate, and can be responsive to needed interventions improving the lives of Black populations.
  • Everyday Sustainability

    Sen, Debarati (SUNY Press, 2017-11-01)
    Everyday Sustainability takes readers to ground zero of market-based sustainability initiatives—Darjeeling, India—where Fair Trade ostensibly promises gender justice to minority Nepali women engaged in organic tea production. These women tea farmers and plantation workers have distinct entrepreneurial strategies and everyday practices of social justice that at times dovetail with and at other times rub against the tenets of the emerging global morality market. The author questions why women beneficiaries of transnational justice-making projects remain skeptical about the potential for economic and social empowerment through Fair Trade while simultaneously seeking to use the movement to give voice to their situated demands for mobility, economic advancement, and community level social justice.

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