06 March 2023

Selcan Mutgan, a postdoc in analytical sociology at Linköping University in Sweden, was invited to Stanford as a SCANCOR fellow to participate in research and other activities. Read article to find out what she thinks about this adventure.

Selcan Mutgan is the fellow of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organisational Research (SCANCOR) program, which invites scholars from Scandinavia to participate in research and other activities at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. During the three-month stay at Stanford, the researcher continued her research, attended internal and external meetings and seminars, and networked with other scholars.

Selcan Mutgan, IAS.

“Time as a visiting fellow at Stanford University in 2022 was one of the most valuable experiences of my academic career,” says Selcan Mutgan, a postdoc at the Institute for Analytic Sociology, Linköping University.

One of the researcher's main goals was to network with people and learn about other scholars and their research.

“I was able to meet some of the best scholars in segregation research and organisational research, and I found the environment to be very welcoming and open. Everyone was very open to meet even just for a coffee and discuss research, and it was easy to connect with people across disciplines.”

As a segregation scholar, the researcher noticed that the research in the USA was mostly focused on race and racial identity, while in Europe, including Sweden, ethnic segregation based on country of birth or origin are in focus. The researcher believes though that high-quality research is being conducted in Europe and Sweden and that it needs to be advertised more to gain more attention also in the US.

“In Sweden we are very lucky to have access to full population administrative data to study sociological issues. Every time I presented my research for colleagues in Stanford, they got excited about the data. Not many countries have that, so we should be very proud of that,” says Selcan Mutgan.

One of the things that struck Selcan Mutgan about Stanford was the more fluid system between departments and institutes.

“I was exposed to interdisciplinary research, and it was interesting to see how different skill sets were used in a strategic way to generate new project ideas,” says Selcan Mutgan.

Overall, the visiting researcher had a positive experience at Stanford and found it to be a welcoming environment. She was able to network and meet people from junior scholars to senior researchers with big names in the field. The researcher recommends that a six-month stay at Stanford would be ideal to find one's way around and get the most out of the experience. 

Selcan Mutgan and her colleague at IAS are currently working on a project that seeks to understand how families strategically choose where to live and send their children to school, and how those choices contribute to school segregation.

Read about ongoing project of school segregation

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