Gendered Pathways into the Carceral State?

Fall 2019 Friday Colloquium Series

As part of our series of Friday afternoon colloquia, Brandon R. Davis, an Assistant Professor of Law & Society in University of Kansas’ School of Public Affairs and Administration, will present his current research on the relationship between school discipline and welfare policy, and the gendered pathways of institutional social control (see abstract below). The talk is free and open to the public and will be held at 3:30pm on September 27, in Jesse Hall 410. Prof. Davis’ talk is co-sponsored by MU’s Department of Political Science and Truman School of Public Affairs.


While there is a growing interest in discipline disproportionality for Black girls, questions remain about the long-term implications of girls’ interactions with systems of punishment and social control. Previous research suggests that more frequent disciplinary infractions in school increase a student’s odds of criminal incarceration. However, the extent to which school discipline and punishment affect students’ interactions with other institutions of control is less understood. This research examines the relationship between school discipline and welfare policy. Specifically, it asks “what effect does school discipline have on future welfare use?” Dependence, like deviancy, is a social construction. Who is viewed as deserving or undeserving of assistance has major implications for the fundamental elements of welfare policy design. Using the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, this study seeks to understand the gendered pathways of institutional social control. The research not only holds implications for understanding the long-term implications of school discipline; it may also provide some insight on perpetual welfare use. This research uses panel data focusing on school discipline, welfare policy, social control, and race.


Brandon R. Davis earned an M.S.W. from Alabama A&M University and an M.A. in Women’s Studies and a Ph.D. in Political Science from The University of Alabama. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Political Theory Project at Brown University and is currently an Assistant Professor of Law and Society at The School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. His research focuses on American Politics, Race and Ethnicity, and Law and Society. Brandon is interested in normative and empirical approaches to institutions, participation, and criminal justice.