Pitzer College Professor Awarded Two National Research Grants
Claremont, Calif. (August 30, 2012) — Pitzer College Assistant Professor of Sociology Azamat Junisbai has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a $40,000 grant by the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) to organize and oversee nationally representative public opinion surveys in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Junisbai's ongoing project explores changes in popular perceptions about social and economic inequality and the proper role of government in societies where electoral and other channels for expressing dissatisfaction are limited. In addition to gauging current popular opinion regarding a range of government policies, the study seeks to discern changes in attitudes and expectations over time, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis.
"During a time characterized by dramatic growth in inequality, it's critical to have an informed understanding of what people think is fair and what the government's role ought to be in dealing with social and economic disparities," Junisbai explains.
Findings from Junisbai's study will provide crucial insight into societies undergoing volatile and sometimes violent transformations.
The NSF funds research and education in science and engineering, accounting for about one-fourth of federal support to academic institutions. The NSF Sociology Program supports basic research on all forms of human social organization—societies, institutions, groups and demographics—and processes of individual and institutional change.
Grants from NCEEER are designed to promote policy-relevant field research in Eastern European and Eurasian countries. They are funded by the US Department of State's Title VIII Program.
Junisbai was also awarded 2012-13 International Research & Exchanges Board fellowship in April and a Regional Policy Symposium on Regional Security in Eastern Europe and Eurasia grant in 2010 to support this research.