Brainstorm
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Social Sciences

Over the course of the program, students in the social sciences will engage with the breadth of the field and learn about how research in the social sciences happens. Students will participate in a number of courses and exercises designed to demonstrate and elucidate the methods and practices involved in a social sciences research project, including how to read and analyze academic literature, how to create a research question, how to begin a research proposal, and ultimately how to create a social sciences research project.

 

Additionally, students will take specialized courses about history, political science, international relations, and linguistics, among other fields normally not taught within high school in order to show students all of the possibilities that social sciences as a field has to offer. At the end of the program, students will have simultaneously expanded their breadth of knowledge and learned how to confidently enter the world of social sciences research.

Guest Speakers

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Rachel Meyer, PhD

Rachel Meyer is a Lecturer on Sociology at Harvard University. Meyer’s research explores the relationship between political economy and working-class mobilization. She is interested in precarious workers, neoliberalism, and social change. Her publications in Critical Sociology, Political Power & Social Theory and the Journal of Historical Sociology explore how collective action experiences transform working-class consciousness and subjectivity. She has written, additionally, on precarious workers’ movements and on contemporary immigrant mobilizations. She has also published with colleagues at the University of Michigan on the extent and sources of ethical consumption with respect to sweatshops and workers’ rights. Meyer is currently working on a project about the relationship between workplace and community in the mid-20th century American labor movement. Her areas of interest include social movements, social class, labor movements, political sociology, social change, culture and identity, labor and work, globalization, U.S. labor history, and qualitative methods.  Previous positions in Harvard’s Department of Sociology include Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies and Harvard College Fellow. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2008.

Tyler Woods

Tyler Woods is PhD student in Sociology at Harvard University. Tyler was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He received his BA in Sociology with a minor in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities from Rice University. Prior to Harvard, Tyler worked as a research analyst at the Urban Institute’s Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population in Washington, DC. While at Urban, he conducted research on the safety net and the social and economic well-being of low-income and vulnerable children and families. Broadly, his research interests include poverty, social welfare policy, natural disasters, employment, and migration. He is a mixed-methods scholar, and his current work investigates the intersection of low-wage, precarious work and natural disasters. He serves as a research assistant on the Resilience in Survivors of Katrina (RISK) project (with Prof. Mary C. Waters) and the Shift Project (with Prof. Daniel Schneider), and he is a Graduate Student Affiliate at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

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Jeromel Lara

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Jeromel is a rising junior at Harvard studying Social Anthropology and Comparative Study of Religion. Jeromel was born in the Philippines, and he lived there for 11 years before immigrating here to the U.S. with his mother in 2011 where the two of them have moved around from place to place across the country. His mother is a certified nursing assistant doing the job of domestic caregiving, which is the work that many Filipinx immigrants do abroad with the Philippines being the biggest supplier of nurses worldwide.

 

Our lives as immigrants facing the pressures of assimilation and the struggles of living as low-income, non-U.S. born residents have made Jeromel connect deeply with immigrant communities and experiences. Jeromel am interested in exploring and uncovering the often sidelined and unrecognized stories of Filipinxs in America and abroad. He has read, engaged, and continued to search for first person accounts and primary source materials of Filipinxs abroad. Jeromel has taught a 5-week course on postcolonial Filipino consciousness that brings to light the mostly forgotten history of Filipinx presence in the United States and broadcasted Filipino stories through Original Pilipino Music (OPM) for 11 hours at Harvard Radio Broadcasting (WHRB). He have a lot of stories to tell and new stories to give care to.

Raj Karan Ghambir

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Mentors

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Donald Barrett

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Donald is now a student at Wake Forest University, majoring in Politics and International Affairs.  Donald has assisted in conducting research on the impacts of social justice protests and statements made by American athletes.

Sample Course Schedule

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