Newswise — June 22, 2022, WASHINGTON DC. As the discussions over gun violence, policing, housing insecurity, abortion rights, climate change, and the pandemic continue to dominate the American conversation, thousands of sociologists whose work provides insights on these and other vital topics will meet at the American Sociological Association’s 117th Annual Meeting, August 5-9, Los Angeles, California. Approximately 600 sessions featuring over 3,000 research papers are open to the press.
From immigration and family displacement to voter suppression and from challenges facing the U.S. Census and academia to racism, sociologists are investigating and reporting on the most sensitive problems confronting American society. This year’s theme, “Bureaucracies of Displacement,” provides an opportunity to assess sociologically the depth of issues we are facing today as a result of the pandemic, along with the economic and political crises, which have brought to light inequities in access to a wide range of benefits, resources, and rights that sociologists have to grapple with. Given the diverse range of topics that will be covered, the ASA Annual Meeting will provide a wealth of information for journalists assigned to nearly any beat.
Session highlights include:
GUN VIOLENCE, POLICING, AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Guns in U.S. Society. This panel explores the multifaceted and dynamic social life of guns in America. Featuring cutting-edge scholars who engage how guns matter across a wide breadth of social contexts, this panel will examine the institutions and axes of inequality that shape, and are shaped by, gun violence, gun policy, and gun politics. In doing so, the panel will provide an opportunity to pivot sociological know-how to navigate the shifting terrain of gun violence and gun politics amid recent reversals in crime trends, surging political extremism and white supremacy, and dramatic increases in gun purchasing, including among first-time gun owners. Participants: Emine Fidan Elcioglu; Andrew V. Papachristos; Rashawn Ray; Angela Stroud; and Jennifer Carlson.
Displacing Policing: The Present and Future of Public Safety. Sociologists have long described how law enforcement (and related criminal legal system actors and processes) marginalize, exclude, and contain poor communities of color from the broader body politic. After the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, protests erupted across the country, prompting an explosive public conversation on reforming, transforming, and abolishing the police. This panel discussion takes stock of where we stand two years later. Participants: Monica C. Bell; Nikki Jones; Erin M. Kerrison; Robert Vargas; and Michelle S. Phelps.
Collateral Consequences of Punishment: Injustices in the Courthouse, the Jailhouse and the Home. This panel discussion will bring together four ethnographers of color to discuss the range of injustices experienced at the intersection of race, gender, poverty, and the criminal legal system. Participants: Reuben Miller; Matthew Clair; Susila Gurusami; Brittany Friedman; and Anna R. Haskins.
HOUSING INSECURITY AND DEBT
Housing Insecurity under Bureaucracies of Displacement. This session takes stock of current and future directions for the sociology of housing insecurity, with special attention to the programs, policies, and partnerships on housing insecurity. Participants: Christopher Herring; Eva Rosen; Natasha Camhi; Prentiss A. Dantzler; Philip M.E. Garboden; Anna Reosti; Kyle Crowder; Courtney Allen; Chris Hess; and Esther Sullivan.
Debt and Displacement. This session will examine the links between various types of debt stemming from subprime lending, and penal and higher education debt. The panelists will explore, compare, and contrast similarities across the systems producing the debt. Participants: Louise Seamster; Raphaël Charron-Chénier; Kate Krushinski; Ian Kennedy; and Alexes Harris.
Abortion Rights in Crisis: Reflections on Dobbs v. Jackson. This panel will discuss the implications of the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, the most consequential abortion case to come before the court since the 1973 case, Roe v. Wade. Panelists will address the future of abortion care in the U.S. from legal, medical, social science, and social justice perspectives. Participants: Michele Goodwin; Michelle Oberman; Bhavik Kumar; Patricia Zavella; and Carole E. Joffe.
State Bureaucracies and Gender-Based Violence Across National Contexts. Gender-based violence creates “displacements:” isolation from social networks, loss of access to paid work and welfare benefits, psychological upheaval, forced migration, lost faith in trusted institutions, housing insecurity, and coercive legal system involvement. Due to action or inaction, states create, interrupt, and/or reproduce such displacements. What role should states play in responding to intimate violence? Whose visions of “protection” are amplified in state policy? What kind of state exists for non-normative victims? How do state categories—such as “victim” or “refugee”—shape our understandings of violence and of survival? This panel will explore these questions across national contexts. Participants: Mimi Kim; Zeynep Kivilcim; Poulami Roychowdhury; Montserrat Sagot, Myra Marx Ferree; and Paige L. Sweet.
The Movement to End Abortion and LGBTQI+ Rights: Insights from Ireland, Brazil, El Salvador, Uganda, and the United States. Recent changes in the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court raise questions about whether existing gender-based rights (like abortion access and LGBTQI+ protections) will be overturned. Yet this narrow focus on judicial decisions tends to ignore the broader so-called “pro-family” movement—the movement responsible for mounting these judicial challenges in the first place. Who are the organizations and activists mobilizing successfully against abortion and LGBTQI+ rights? How do they share resources, information, and tactics transnationally? Whose bodies are targeted with their policies and propaganda? And who benefits—economically, politically, and socially—from their legislative and judicial victories? Participants: Debora Diniz; Pauline Cullen; S.M. Rodriguez; Jocelyn S. Viterna; and Fanny Gomez-Lugo.
Climate Change, Disaster, and Displacement. Scientists agree that climate change will bring more frequent and intense disasters in the years ahead. Panelists will discuss growing concerns over social inequities of disaster response and recovery, with special attention to the role that government policies and procedures play in perpetuating those inequities and related dynamics of displacement. Participants: Eric Klinenberg; Sancha Doxilly Medwinter; Lori Peek; Fernando I. Rivera; Koko Warner; and Vann Newkirk.
COVID-19 and the Twin Crises of Mass Incarceration and Viral Pandemics. The panelists, who are experts in the area of health status of incarcerated people and have recently conducted research on infectious diseases and the pandemic in prisons and jails, will discuss health vulnerabilities under the twin crises of mass incarceration and viral pandemics and changes required in health and criminal justice policy. Participants: Emily Wang; Lisa Puglisi; Kathryn M. Nowotny; Lauren Brinkely-Rubinstein; and Bruce Western.
IMMIGRATION AND FAMILY DISPLACEMENT
Immigration Enforcement, Borders, and Displacement. This panel will consist of a discussion and Q&A session on immigration enforcement, borders, and displacement with migration scholars working in critical field sites in Mexico, along the U.S.-Mexico border, and in the interior U.S. Participants: Bertha Alicia Bermudez Tapia; Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa; Margot Moinester; Jeremy Slack; and Daniel E. Martinez.
Beyond Control: Immigration Policy in an Era of Enforcement. While immigration policy has historically been shaped by the conflicting pressures of business demand for labor on the one hand, and nativism and xenophobia on the other, the double whammy of populism and COVID-19 have shifted the balance. This panel will consider the conditions of migration in light of circumstances that have made it increasingly urgent and yet more difficult, as well as the immigration policies at the heart of these challenges. Participants: Muzaffar Chishti; Kelly Lytle Hernandez; Douglas S. Massey; Karen Musalo; and Roger Waldinger.
Racialized Bureaucracies of U.S. Family Displacement and Separation. The U.S. government has a long history and ongoing practice of forcibly separating children from parents, particularly in racially marginalized families. This panel brings together scholars studying state displacement of families in multiple contexts, including Black and Indigenous families separated by child protection authorities and Latinx families separated by immigration enforcement authorities. The session will discuss how racism, nativism, and settler colonialism fuel, and are fueled by, state separation of families. Participants: Jessica Vasquez-Tokos; Dorothy E. Roberts; Theresa Rocha Beardall; Frank Edwards; Hana Brown; Joanna Dreby; and Kelley Fong.
Voter Suppression, Institutions, and Displacement. Panelists will discuss the sociology of voter suppression, addressing disenfranchisement as a product of racial oppression, U.S. political institutions, criminal legal system punishment, and religious ideology and institutions. Participants: Theda Skocpol; Barbara Harris Combs; Brianna Remster; Samuel L. Perry; and Christopher Uggen.
U.S. CENSUS AND EXCLUSION
The U.S. Census, Political Power, and Distribution of Resources. Since its inception, the Census has been a bureaucracy of exclusion and even today marginalized groups are disproportionately undercounted. As people of color become a larger segment of the U.S. population, there have been heightened efforts to disempower and exclude people of color and other marginalized groups. The panel will discuss the changes required to ensure equitable apportionment, redistricting, and resource allocations for the 2030 census. Participants: Robert Santos; Jenifer L. Bratter; Lydia Camarillo; Carolyn A. Liebler; Neda Maghbouleh; and Rogelio Saenz.
Understanding Vaccine Refusal: Politics, Policy, and Inequality. This session examines the social contexts in which vaccines are differentially rejected or accepted. Panelists look specifically at the policy environment, politicization of vaccines, experiences of racism and inequality, and views of science to understand how perceptions of risk, trust, and experience shape vaccine decision-making. Participants: Kevin A. Estep; Randall Kuhn; Claire Laurier Decoteau; Andrea N. Polonijo; and Jennifer A. Reich.
ACADEMIA AND EQUITY
Decentering Sociology from the Global North: Going Beyond Theory and Epistemology. Calls for greater equity in the halls of academia and for the university to be globalized or decolonized are loud and clear. Why, then, if everyone agrees that business as usual is no longer acceptable—and that a wider range of voices needs to be heard—is change so slow? This panel will discuss the kinds of ethical, ideological, and attitudinal changes needed to create a truly decentered academic world and how should the next generation of graduate students be trained to engage more actively and successfully beyond our borders. Participants: Nazli Kibria; Victor Agadjanian; Marco Z. Garrido; Paul D. Almeida; and Peggy Levitt.
RACISM IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
Post #OscarsSoWhite? The State of Representation in the Entertainment Industry. Since #OscarsSoWhite, Hollywood has undergone a racial reckoning. Sociologists have been at the forefront of research and advocacy work on behalf of BIPOC in Hollywood both in front of and behind the camera. This panel will discuss race and racism in the entertainment industry.Participants: Maryann Erigha Lawer; Darnell M. Hunt; Ana-Christina Ramón; Clyde Kusatsu; Michael Tuan Tran; and Nancy Wang Yuen.
SOCIOLOGICAL THINKING AND JOURNALISM
Journalists Bringing Structural and Systems-Based Thinking to Their Beats. This panel brings together three prominent journalists who draw on and advance sociological thinking in their respective beats. Participants: Jamelle Bouie; Jerusalem Demsas; Dara Lind; and Clayton Childress.
All ASA sessions except business meetings are open to credentialed journalists and freelancers with assignment letters or clips from credentialed outlets. Complimentary media registration is open; read the press policy and register online. Search the program (updated June 1; any changes to the program after June 1 are reflected on the members-only Annual Meeting portal) for keywords to find sessions of interest.
About the American Sociological Association The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.
Papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting are typically working papers that have not yet been published in peer‐reviewed journals.