Skip to main content

Talia Shiff (Ph.D. 2018)

Area(s) of Interest

Frontline decision-making; Schemas, Moral deliberation; Cultural categories of worth; Evaluation and categorization; Institutionalization; Asylum; Gender

Dissertation Title:

Reconfiguring the Deserving Refugee: Moral Boundary Work and Decision-Making in US Asylum Policy 

Biography:

Talia Shiff is a Raphael Morrison Dorman Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Scholars Program, Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in 2018 from the Sociology Department at Northwestern University, as well as her J.D. from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Her dissertation research was funded by the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, and the National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. As part of her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Shiff is working on a theory driven project that looks at questions of evaluation, institutionalization and moral worth through the case of frontline asylum decision-making. A central focus of her research is what is the role of moral values in legal settings that rely on a routinized processing of cases, and how does the disconnect between the moral goals of an institution and its legal rules shape the decision-making process? Her research suggests that decision-making is comprised of moments that sometimes emphasize moral worth and at other times emphasize legal rules. Accordingly, accounting for situations where established patterns of information break down for individuals is important for understanding the conditions that generate moral deliberation in otherwise technocratic spaces. This research has implications for scholarship concerned with the role of deliberation within highly institutionalized settings of social control, the production of social inequality, and how moral orders define the connection of crime and immigration.

Publications:

2015 Shiff, Talia (equal author) and Orloff, Ann. “The Critics of Feminisms in Power: Rethinking Feminism after the Second Wave.Emerging Trends, edited by Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn, Wiley

2012 Shiff, Talia. Book Review of “Mongrels and Marvels: The Levantine Writing of Jacqueline Shohet.” Israeli Sociology, [Hebrew], 15 (1): 220-222

Under Review:

Shiff, Talia. “Evaluating the Case: Encounters of Schematic Accordance and Schematic Discordance in Asylum Adjudications”

  • Recipient of 2018 Shils-Coleman prize for the best graduate student paper in Theory, Theory Section of the American Sociological Association
  • Honorable Mention for the 2018 Richard A. Peterson Award for the best student paper, Cultural Section of the American Sociological Association.
  • Recipient of the 2017 Robert F. Winch Award for Best Published or Presented Paper, Northwestern University

Shiff, Talia. “Unsettled Screening Categories and the Making of US Asylum Policy”

Shiff, Talia. “Reconfiguring the Deserving Refugee: Cultural Categories of Worth and the Making of Refugee Policy”


Awards and Fellowships:

2018   Shils-Coleman prize for the best graduate student paper in Theory, Theory Section of the American Sociological Association

2018   Richard A. Peterson Award for the best student paper, Cultural Section of the American Sociological Association, Honorable Mention.

2017-18   National Science Foundation (NSF), Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant ($11,718)

2017-18  Josephine De Karman Fellowship Trust ($22,000)

2017-18  Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy ($7,500)

2017  Robert F. Winch Award for Best Published or Presented Paper, Northwestern University

2016  Robert F. Winch Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University

2015  The Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf Peace Award, Northwestern University ($5,000)

2015  Buffett Institute Dissertation Research Travel Award, Northwestern University ($5,000)

2014  MacArthur Foundation Collaborative Summer Research Grant, Northwestern University ($1,500)

2014  Buffett Center Graduate Student Dissertation Award, Northwestern University ($2,500)

2013-14   Northwestern Law Dean’s list, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

2011  Buffett Center’s Crown Family Middle East Research Travel Awards Program, Northwestern University ($2,500)

2011  MacArthur Foundation Collaborative Summer Research Grant, Northwestern University ($1,800)     

2011  The Robert F. Winch Award 2010-2011 Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Honorable Mention, Northwestern University

2009  Jonathan Shapira Scholarship for M.A. Thesis, Tel Aviv University ($1,000)

2008  Dean of Social Sciences Scholarship for Distinctive Scholarly Achievements, Tel Aviv University

2008  Department of Sociology’s Scholarship for Scholarly Achievements, Tel Aviv University

2008  Provost’s Teaching Award: Best Teacher among Junior Teaching Staff, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tel-Aviv University

Back to top