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My methodological journey in the interrogation of bridewealth’s influence.

Francis Dodoo - Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) at the University of Ghana.

Date & Time: 29 November 29 2019, 12:30

Location: Large Lecture Room, Department of Sociology, 42 Park End Street, Oxford

Professor Dodoo attended the University of Ghana, followed by degrees in Economics (Washington State University) and a PhD in Demography (University of Pennsylvania). He has worked at Vanderbilt University, University of Maryland and is now at Pennsylvania State University and is Pro-Vice Chancellor Research, University of Ghana. His areas of research are demography, gender, poverty and family with a focus on building research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. He examines demographic and health outcomes associated with urban poverty, inter-generational transfer of norms governing the gendered stratification of sexuality, the male role and intersection of gender and power in fertility decision making. He is the Founding Director of an African Diaspora Studies Program (Tulane), African American Studies (Vanderbilt), Director African Population and Health Research Centre (Kenya), Founding Chair of the African American Studies (Maryland) and Director Regional Institute for Population Studies. He was a President of the Ghana Olympics Committee, is an avid athlete and competed in four Olympic Games for Ghana between 1984 and 1986.

Time and Date: Friday November 29, 2019 at 12.30

The promise and the peril of using social influence to reverse harmful traditions​Sonja VogtAssociate Professor, University of Bern


Date & Time: 6 November 2019, 17:00 - 18:30

Location: Lecture Theatre, Nuffield College

Abstract: For a policy maker promoting the end of a harmful tradition, conformist social influence is a compelling mechanism. If an intervention convinces enough people to abandon the tradition, this can spill over and induce others to follow. A key objective is thus to activate spillovers and amplify an intervention’s effects. With female genital cutting as a motivating example, we develop empirically informed analytical and simulation models to examine this idea. Even if conformity pervades decision making, spillovers can range from irrelevant to indispensable. Our analysis highlights three considerations. First, ordinary forms of individual heterogeneity can severely limit spillovers, and understanding the heterogeneity in a population is essential. Second, although interventions often target biased samples of the population, targeting a representative sample is a more robust approach to spillovers. Finally, if the harmful tradition contributes to group identity, spillovers can hinge critically on disrupting the link between identity and tradition.


Part of the jointly hosted LCDS & Nuffield Sociology Seminar Series

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