Distinguished Lecturers

Each year, Alpha Kappa Delta holds a Distinguished Lecture session at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Dr. C.J. Pascoe


Nice is Not Enough: How A Regime of Kindness Won’t Solve Inequality 

Congratulations and thank you to our 2023 Distinguished Lecturer, Dr. C.J. Pascoe. AKD was honored to host a lecture on August 18th at the 2023 American Sociological Association conference with guest speaker, Dr. Pascoe.
American High School is a school filled with well-meaning staff and students, where, as a sign suggests, there is “no room for hate.” It is a school full of individuals trying to do the right thing, where acceptance, connection, and kindness characterize school culture. However, a two year study of the social world at American High suggests this “regime of kindness” can obscure the systemic nature of inequality, making these inequalities seem like they are individual problems of merit, hurt feelings, meanness, individual effort or resilience. This regime of kindness at American High is part of a “politics of protection” or the way that dangers, threats or harms to young folks are framed as external, random and individual, not necessarily as preventable, systemic or related to social inequalities. This talk will detail the various ways a politics of protection can appear – in terms of race, gender, sexuality, class and their intersections. By tracing a politics of protection, resistance to it and outlining alterative framings of inequality at American High School, this talk offers up a different response to inequality by suggesting a politics of care. A politics of care is an approach to issues of power, resource distribution and public morality that centers human needs, vulnerabilities, and systemic disparities rather than relying on individual responses like kindness and acceptance as solutions. After all, if inequality can be systemic, so can care.

Alpha Kappa Delta Distinguished Lecturers throughout the years:

2022 – Dr. David Embrick, University of Connecticut
“White Sanctuaries: Considering HWCUs and their Role in Maintaining the Status Quo”

2020 & 2021 – No Distinguished Lecture due to COVID-19 pandemic

2019 – Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University
“Feeling Race, Feeling Trump: Racialized Emotions in Trump’s America”

2018 – Dr. Kathleen Gerson, New York University
“Different Ways of Not Having It All: Fashioning Strategies of Gender, Work, and Care in an Age of Insecurity”

2017 – Dr. Barbara Risman, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Where Will the Millennials Take Us? Transforming the Gender Structure”

2016 – Dr. Annette Lareau, University of Pennsylvania
“Unequal Childhoods, Unequal Adulthoods: Small Moments and Large Consequences”

2015 – Dr. Brian Powell, Indiana University
“Changing Counts, Counting Change: Toward a More Inclusive Definition of Family”

2014 – Dr. Cecilia Ridgeway, Stanford University
“How Does Gender Inequality Persist in the Modern World?”

2013Dr. Teresa Sullivan, University of Virginia
“Greedy Institutions”

2012Dr. David Takeuchi, University of Washington
“Bringing Boundaries to Reach Real Utopias”

2011 – Dr. Frances Fox Piven, CUNY Graduate Center
“The Resurgence of Corporate Power in the United States and the Implications for Democracy as We Know It”

2010 – Dr. Michael Messner, University of South California
“Stopping Gender Violence: Two Generations of Male Activists”

2009 – Dr. Cecilia Menjivar, Arizona State University
“Immigration, Citizenship, and Exclusion: Latin-American Immigrants and the Contemporary Regime”