Between the Dream and the Nightmare Immigration, the “Bulimic Society” and the Criminal Justice System

This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by York College Office of Academic Affairs, Department of Sociology, Department of Research Center on Terrorism at Jon Jay College of Criminal Justice.
When May 15, 2009
from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where John Jay College of Criminal Justice North Hall, Room 2200 445W 59th St. New York, NY
Contact Name
Contact Phone 646-557-4576
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Conference Statement

New York City, the United States' great "unfinished city," is the quintessential city of immigrants in the U.S.A. Currently 37% of the city-is population were born outside the country while in metropolitan New York 42% are said to be either from first or second generation immigrant families. In the past, the city has welcomed immigrant populations from Europe and all quarters of the world and this has resulted in Queens becoming the most ethnically -diverse county in the United States. But this journey to New York and the United States often entails great material and social costs; and while many attain what they would call the -iAmerican Dream,-i a significant percentage fail to attain there desired mobility and experience a great deal of immobility, alienation and even exclusion. Drawing from Jock Young's (a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at CUNY Graduate Center) well-known criminological text, The Exclusive Society, we refer to this social dynamic of cultural inclusion and social and economic exclusion as the "ibulimic society."

This is a day-long seminar at John Jay College, co-sponsored by York College, to address the relevance of this analysis and the related issues from a variety of academic and socio-political perspectives. As the present economic and social crisis unfolds with massive cuts to the city's labor force and social and educational services the momentum of this bulimic process will inevitably be intensified. This is occurring in a period marked by little credible national leadership on the huge dilemmas of immigration and citizenship policy, leaving a significant population of immigrant residents in an extremely vulnerable position vis a vis local law enforcement and the various branches of Homeland Security. It is important to note that the fastest growing population of the federal prison system are noncitizens and that one of the most pressing, yet rarely studied, problems facing various Latino and immigrant communities of New York is the deportation yearly of thousands of their members.

With the various legacies of the previous administration in Washington, particularly its penchant for turning social problems into crime problems, the position of the immigrant becomes a crucial area of study and debate. The contemporary immense global economic and political crisis presents enormous challenges and also presents many opportunities to rethink past policies and to emerge with different solutions to make our society more inclusive, democratic and just. We believe that this seminar is extremely timely and that its location at John Jay - and the involvement of faculty from York College, one of the most ethnically-diverse colleges in the nation - will ensure a dynamic gathering of interested parties. With the position and reputation of John Jay as a leader in the criminal justice field where new ideas are constantly debated in an inter-disciplinary setting, where practitioners rub shoulders with theorists and where policy-makers engage with the most affected populations, we are confident that this proposed seminar will be an outstanding success. The event will be recorded for use in class rooms and possibly broadcast on CUNY television.

CUNY Faculty and Doctoral Candidate Organizers:

David Brotherton, Chair, Department of Sociology, John Jay College.
Jock Young, Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center.
Fenix Arias, Doctoral Student in Urban Education - CUNY Graduate Center,
Director of Testing, York College.
Fabiola Fernandez-Salek, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Coordinator of Women Studies, York College.
Michael Flynn, Associate Professor, York College and Associate Director, Center on Terrorism, John Jay College.

Conference Program

8:30am - 9:15am - Registration

9:15am - 9:30am - Welcoming Remarks by Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College

  • Opening Remarks:  Michael Flynn, York College & John Jay College

Multi-purpose Room

9:30am -11:00am -  Dreams, Plowshares, and the Nightmare: The United States as a Bulimic Society.

  • Jock Young, The Graduate Center-CUNY
  • Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, University of Southern California
  • Todd Clear, John Jay College-CUNY
  • Mustafa Bayoumi, Brooklyn College-CUNY

11:00am-11:15am - --------------------------------------Break ------------------------------------------------------

11:15pm-12:45pm- From Ellis Island to La Frontera

NAC 2504

  • David Brotherton, John Jay College-CUNY (Chair)
  • Phillip Kasinitz, The Graduate Center-CUNY
  • Nancy Foner, Hunter College-CUNY
  • Luis Argueta, Independent Film Maker

 Globalization, Social Mobility, and the Race to the Bottom

NAC 2506

  • Ivelaw Griffith, York College-CUNY (Chair)
  • Stanley Aronowitz, The Graduate Center-CUNY
  • Michael Zweig, SUNY Stony Brook
  • Chris Greer, City University, London

12:45pm-1:45pm - ----------------------------------------Lunch------------------------------------------------------

2:00pm-3:30pm - The American Gulag: Punishing the Dream

NAC 2504

  • Ron Daniels, York College-CUNY (Chair)
  • Elizabeth Gaynes, The Osborne Association
  • Douglas Thompkins, John Jay College-CUNY
  • Susan Tucker, Open Society Institute

Limiting the Dream: Schooling Reality

NAC 2506

  • Fenix Nikaurys Arias, York College & The Graduate Center-CUNY (Co-chair)
  • Fabiola Fernandez Salek, York College-CUNY (Co-chair)
  • Nicholas Michelli, The Graduate Center-CUNY
  • Allen Wernick, Baruch College-CUNY & The CUNY Immigration Center

3:30pm-3:45pm   - ----------------------------------------Break ------------------------------------------------------

3:45pm-5:15pm   - Closing Plenary: Defying the Nightmare: Resuscitating the Dream?

Multi-purpose Room

  • David Brotherton, John Jay College-CUNY
  • Daniel Kanstroom, Boston College
  • Ethan Nadelman, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Patricia Ticineto Clough, Queens College-CUNY

5:15pm-6:30pm    - Reception in Honor of Luis Barrios

Sponsored by York College Office of Academic Affairs, Department of Sociology, Department of Research Center on Terrorism at Jon Jay College of Criminal Justice

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