Event: Brian Powell Speaks to UCF

Brian Powell will be speaking to UCF students, staff, faculty and guests on March 13 as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series, which is hosted by the College of Sciences and the UCF Sociology Department. biopicture2

Powell’s presentation, entitled “Evolution, Revolution:  Americans’ Changing Views Regarding Same-Sex Marriage,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Teaching Academy, Room 130.

Professor Powell will discuss his latest research, which deals with how Americans conceptualize the family.  Specifically, his work attempts to move beyond previous efforts to understand how Americans view their own families by examining the way Americans characterize the concept of family in general.

In his book, titled Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family which forms the basis of this presentation, Dr. Powell analyzes data from the Constructing the Family Survey (2003 and 2006) that asks more than 1500 people to explain their stances on a broad range of issues, including same-sex marriage and adoption, single parenthood, the influence of biological and social factors in child development, religious ideology, and the legal rights of unmarried partners.

Professor Powell is a James H. Rudy Professor and the Co-Director of the Preparing Future Faculty program in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Professor Powell’s research interests have focused on family sociology, sociology of education, gender, and social psychology.

With grants from the National Science Foundation, American Education Research Association, and the Spencer Foundation, Brian has examined how families confer advantages (or disadvantages) to their children and how structural and compositional features of families (e.g., parental age, family size, birth order, one vs. two-parent households, inter-racial composition, adoptive vs. biological parents) influence parental social, intellectual and economic investments in children.

Dr. Powell’s most current work moves beyond previous efforts to understand how Americans view their own families by examining the way Americans characterize the concept of family in general.  Specifically, in his latest book Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family, Dr. Powell analyzes data from the Constructing the Family Survey (2003 and 2006) that asks more than 1500 people to explain their stances on a broad range of issues, including same-sex marriage and adoption, single parenthood, the influence of biological and social factors in child development, religious ideology, and the legal rights of unmarried partners.

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