2020 Section Awards Results!

Congratulations to our 2020 Section Award Winners!

Sociology of Development Section Book Award


Bobel, Chris. 2019. The Managed Body: Developing Girls & Menstrual Health in the Global South. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tarlau, Rebecca. 2019. Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education. Global and Comparative Ethnography Series. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Sociology of Development Section Faculty Article Award


Reyes, Victoria. 2018. “Port of Call: How Ships Shape Foreign-Local Encounters.” Social Forces, 96 (3): 1097–1118.

Paret, Marcel. 2018. “Critical Nostalgias in Democratic South Africa.” The Sociological Quarterly, 59 (4): 678-696.

Honorable Mention:

Ballakrishnen, Swethaa. 2019. “Just Like Global Firms: Unintended Gender Parity and Speculative Isomorphism in India’s Elite Professions.” Law & Society Review, 53 (1): 108-140.

Sociology of Development Section Graduate Student Paper Award


Annavarapu, Sneha. “Risky Routes, Safe Suspicions: Gender, Class, and Cabs in Hyderabad, India.” (Unpublished) (Department of Sociology, University of Chicago)

Honorable Mention:

Utama, Rahardhika Arista. “Embedded Peasantry: Path-Dependence and Economic Transformation in Indonesia and Malaysia.” (Unpublished) (Department of Sociology, Northwestern University)

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Sociology of Development Policy Brief: “Good Governance Can Reduce the Gender Gap in Secondary Schooling”

A new Sociology of Development Policy Brief is out! Volume 6, Issue 1 (2021) is: “Good Governance Can Reduce the Gender Gap in Secondary Schooling” by Jamie M. Sommer (University of South Florida) and Kathleen M. Fallon (Stony Brook University).

Also, here is a message from our Policy Brief editor Alaka Basu:

As usual, I welcome expressions of interest to contribute. While I am open to any ideas you have, your pitch should ideally include a reference to something you have published on the subject, so that we can assume a base level of peer reviewing of the material. There should also be some clear policy implications arising from the piece.

Thanks again,


Email: ab54@cornell.edu

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DevSoc Link 2021: ASA Sociology of Development Section Conference

Last year was the first year since the inception of the section that we were not able to hold an annual section conference.  The pandemic continues to disrupt our plans, and we continue to adapt. This year, we are planning to renew our annual section conference this summer with a virtual conference: DevSoc Link 2021! The call for papers and details are below. The due date of April 20, 2021! You can email your applications (here is the form) to socdevlink@gmail.com.

The Conference Organizing Committee is: Sam Cohn, Robert Clark, Rita Jalal, Karin Johnson, Amber Blazek, Barbara Wejnert, Tuba Agartan, Fauzia Ahmed, Heidi Rademacher, and Anthony Roberts. We thank them for their hard work organizing this wonderful event!












When: The Six Weeks Between June 15 and August 1

Intensity: No More Than One or Two Sessions a Day

Do As Many or As Few As You Like

Deadline for Submitting Proposals/Materials: April 20.

Level of Effort Required To Put In A Proposal: Pretty Minimal

Possibilities For Connecting With Other Development Sociologists and Having Intellectual Conversations You Like: High

We will be running all sorts of Zoom Sessions

Between June 15 and August 1.

These will be at different times of day to accommodate different people with different real world responsibilities. (Child care, Teaching Classes, Sleep, Survival)

The number of sessions per day will be kept minimal to keep people from having to take whole days off to attend a conference.

What Will Be At Devsoc Link 2021:

Ranging From the Most Orthodox to the Least Orthodox

1) Keynotes By Famous Sociologists

2) Traditional Paper Sessions

(You only need to submit an abstract. We Are Open To Both Receiving Preconstructed Sessions of Papers and To Receiving Proposals For Individual Papers To Be Put In a Session )

3) Open Topic Tables For Free Discussion

YOU Choose the Topic

(You Send Us a Topic. We Schedule a Zoom Room Where Anyone Who Wants To Discuss the Topic Can Show Up)

4) Soulmate/Wild Combo One-on-One Dialogues

The Biggest Attraction of Going to Conferences Is Having One on One Discussions Over Dinner, Coffee or Beer With Someone You Never Would Have Met At Home. This Person Often Unblocks Your Research Or Sets You In A Direction You Never Would Have Thought Of Yourself.

We Are Going To Try to Replicate This On Zoom.

We Are Asking People Who Want To Have High Quality Discussions On Their Research To Send Us A Mini-Briefing On What They Are Working On.

We Will Match Them Up with TWO Different People.

One of them will be a SOULMATE. This is the person doing work most similar to your own. The two of you can have a conversation on subjects the two of you understand better than anyone else at the conference. Your partner really really “gets it”.

A different conversation will be set up for you in a WILD COMBO.

This is some one working on something radically different than what you work on and in a radically different way. The purpose of Wild Combos is cross-fertilization. Often we are stuck because we are in the rut implied by one tiny literature. Someone from a completely different perspective can throw something into your mix you never would have come up with any other way.


DEVSOC LINK 2021 is Open To All Members of the ASA Development Sociology Section.

The Conference is Free.

You Do Have to Register For the Conference.

We Will Open Up Registration After We Publish the Program So You Can Decide If This Is Worth Your While.

There Is No Minimum Attendance Rule For Registrants – So There Is No Downside To Registering.

To Get On the Program – Either For Giving a Paper, For Organizing a Fully Constituted Paper Session, For Nominating a Topic for the Open Table Discussions or For Getting Matched Up in a Soulmate/Wild Combo Duo – You Have To Send in an Application.

There are Separate Applications for Individual Papers, Full Paper Sessions, Open Table Topics and for Soulmate/Wild Combo Duos.

All Four Types of Application are Due APRIL 20

You email them to socdevlink@gmail.com.

We will be notifying people of the results by MAY 20.

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ASA Sociology of Development Section Mentorship Program 2021 Call

We are pleased to announce that the ASA Sociology of Development Section Mentorship program continues in an online format this year.

If you would like to participate, we would like to solicit applications for mentors and mentees. Click here and fill out your information. Applications accepted through Monday, July 19th.   

Karin Johnson (US Census Bureau at Texas A&M University), Mentorship Coordinator, will pair up graduate students and junior faculty with a scholar more advanced in their career. Pairs will be matched based on their desired areas of mentorship, then by substantive research interests. Mentorships groups will consist of at least one mentor and one or more mentees. Mentors and mentees will personally schedule and meet up anytime by video, phone, or whatever means preferred. You will be notified of your pairing by Friday, July 23rd.

Reminder emails will be sent to SocDev members on May 31st and July 12th.

Questions? Email Karin Johnson at kacjohnson354@tamu.edu

Sign-up link: https://forms.gle/8zchmuhNAKq7oWNp8

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2021 ASA Elections Open April 27

The 2021 ASA elections will open on Tuesday, April 27, and close on Friday, May 28, at 5 p.m. EST. Ballots will be sent out via email from “Sociological.ballot@intelliscaninc.net.” Please add this email address to the permitted senders list on your spam filter to ensure timely delivery of your ballot. All members, with the exception of affiliate members, will receive ballots and are eligible to vote in the ASA-wide elections and in the elections for the sections in which they have membership. If you have any questions regarding the elections, contact Mark Fernando (mfernando@asanet.org). To see the ballot and learn about the candidates for ASA-wide positions, visit www.asanet.org/election.

The last day to join a section to participate in the election is March 31.

Submit Suggestions for Elected and Appointed Offices 2022

Elected Positions. ASA members are invited to suggest names for consideration for elected offices, including: President-Elect, Vice President-Elect, Council Members-at-Large, Committee on Committees, Nominating Committee, and Publications Committee. Suggestions for elected positions will be sent to the relevant body that determines the ballot for each position—either Committee on Committees, Nominating Committee, or Council Members-At-Large. Selected nominees will ultimately appear on the 2022 election ballot for ASA member vote.

Appointed Positions. ASA members are invited to suggest names for consideration for appointment to ASA committees, including the Annual Meeting Travel Fund Award Selection Committee, Awards Committee, Committee on Professional Ethics, Sections Committee, and the ASA award selection committees. Suggestions for appointed positions are reviewed by the Committee on Committees. Committee members are formally appointed by Council. All terms begin on January 1, 2022.

When submitting a suggestion for either an elected or appointed position, consider how well the person meets the standards of professional ethics as articulated in the ASA Code of Ethics (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, discrimination). Submit suggestions by May 1 to nominations@asanet.org.

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Call for Submissions – Sectors, Spring/Summer 2021

We are seeking your submissions for the Spring/Summer 2021 Sociology of Development newsletter, Sectors. Specifically, we are calling for general content (see below) and short, original pieces related to Global COVID-19 Vaccine Testing, Production, and Distribution.

Call for original contributions: Amidst the collective anxiety of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine offers a ray of hope. However, vaccines are tested, produced, and distributed unevenly across the globe. There are live debates about relative vulnerability and strong calls for equity in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. But, access to the vaccine is also being shaped by considerations of profitability, global power distribution, sovereignty, and public health infrastructure. 

For the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of Sectors, we seek original contributions from section members that discuss a specific aspect of Global COVID-19 Vaccine Testing, Production, and/or Distribution. Original pieces should be short (4-8 paragraphs) and can be built around current research or in-depth international, regional, or country knowledge. Topics might include any of the following: COVAX design and operations; Human vaccine trials in the Global South; Vaccine acquisition among middle-income countries; Vaccination among refugees and IDPs; Impacts of US, EU, and UN sanctions on vaccination; Intellectual property rights as related to vaccine production; Emerging black markets for vaccines, or; Variable strategies of key vaccine producers, including the US, the UK, China, and Russia. If you are interested in submitting a short piece please send a brief email (a few sentences) to SOCDEVSectors@gmail.com by February 28, 2021. The final text for original contributions will be due by April 18th 2021.

For the general content of Sectors, we welcome:

  • New books (include an image of the cover, a citation, and a short abstract)
  • New journal publications, book chapters, and policy publications (include the full citation, using the ASA Style Guide)
  • News of completed dissertations, research grants and awards, and/or new positions and promotions
  • Links to “public sociology” pieces written by development sociologists or research by section members mentioned in the news
  • New data sets
  • Upcoming conferences and workshops organized by section members, calls for proposals or papers, opportunities related to jobs, fellowships, post-docs, grants, or collaborations (with May 2021 deadlines or later)
  • Job market candidate spotlights, including (1) name, (2) affiliation/school, (3) email and website, (4) specializations, (5) dissertation title, (6) short dissertation abstract (150-200 words), and (7) optional photo
  • Photographs related to member research, with an accompanying description

We also encourage junior scholars to share their research with the section by submitting short articles (500-600 words) for Notes from the Field. Submissions can be based on qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research. Ethnographic pieces typically contextualize the research and provide an excerpt from recent fieldwork. Historical pieces may reflect on the researcher’s experiences working with particular archives. Quantitative pieces may discuss constructing a data set, developing a set of analytic strategies, or some other “behind the scenes” aspect of producing a polished piece of research. For the Spring 2021 newsletter, scholars might also discuss the creative strategies they have adopted to overcome challenges created by COVID-19, Junior scholars (i.e., graduate students, recent grads, postdocs, and new faculty) are especially encouraged to submit their work. The deadline for all Notes from the Field submissions is April 18th.

Please send materials to Sectors co-editors Jeb Sprague, Leslie MacColman and Preethi Krishnan at SOCDEVSectors@gmail.com by April 18th, 2021.

***If you have any questions, please contact us at: SOCDEVSectors@gmail.com


Jeb Sprague, Preethi Krishnan, and Leslie MacColman
2020-21 Editors of Sectors, the newsletter of the ASA Sociology of Development section

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Call for Applications: Sectors Co-Editor (2021-2023)

The Sociology of Development section is seeking a new co-editor of our newsletter, Sectors. This is a great opportunity for a junior scholar to get more involved with the section and its diverse members. Sectors is published semi-annually (generally in December and May), e-mailed to all current section members, and posted on the section’s website. The newsletter includes section news and reports, information about calls for papers and conferences, and feature stories.

The new Sectors co-editor will have a two-year term from August 2021 to July 2023. During the first year (2021-2022), they will work with current co-editors. During the second year (2022-2023), they will continue working with a new co-editor selected in 2022. The editorial team will work collaboratively to shape the content and formatting of the newsletter. They will seek out and develop original content and maintain regular features.

As part of the Sectors editorial team, the new co-editor will report to the Section Council (during council meetings) and work closely with the Chair and the Secretary-Treasurer.


• Member of the Sociology of Development Section;

• Strong organizational skills, including ability to meet deadlines;

• Strong written communication skills;

• Strong MS Word and Acrobat Reader skills

• Graduate students are welcome and encouraged to apply.

Application consists of:

• a one-page statement of interest, qualifications, and ideas for the newsletter

• a one-page CV

Please submit applications to: socdevsectors@gmail.com by March 31, 2021. Applicants will hear back by the end of the Spring 2021 term.

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Fall/Winter 2020 Edition of Sectors Newsletter

The latest edition of our section’s newsletter, Sectors (Fall/Winter 2020), is now out! It is full of information about Sociology of Development events, publications, and people.  

A big thank you to the editors, Jeb Sprague, Leslie MacColman, and Preethi Krishnan Ramaswamy, our exceptionally dedicated and talented newsletter editors, for their tremendous work in assembling this issue, entirely on their own, in addition to everything else pulling on their time, in the midst of a pandemic. 

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Call for Applications: Problem-Solving Sociology Dissertation Proposal Development Workshop

Doctoral students in departments of sociology who have not yet defended their dissertation proposals are invited to apply to a dissertation proposal development workshop on “problem solving sociology.”  Northwestern University will pay for economy-class airfare and accommodation in Evanston, IL, plus meals and transportation expenses, for a one-day workshop to be held on May 27, 2021.  If an in-person workshop cannot be held, the workshop will be held online over two days, May 26 and May 27.  This workshop is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Problem-solving sociology uses sociological insights to attempt to solve (not just describe) contemporary social problems, and uses investigation of these problems to further sociological theory.  The approach proceeds from the assumption that mitigating critical social problems can be a catalyst for breakthroughs in the basic understanding of society, and that sociological perspectives have much to contribute to changing troubling patterns and dynamics.  For more on problem-solving sociology see our website at https://problemsolvingsociology.com.

The workshop will include discussion of principles and techniques of problem-solving sociology and examples of sociological scholarship that applies the approach, plus extensive feedback on individual student projects.  Facilitators will include Gianpaolo Baiocchi (New York University), Bruce Carruthers (Northwestern University), and Monica Prasad (Northwestern University).

To apply, please submit by January 15, 2021, to mirieliyahu2014@u.northwestern.edu (1) a short cover letter detailing your university, your department, your year in the program, whether or not you have defended your dissertation proposal, and any other information that might be relevant.  If you know the date you expect to defend your proposal, please indicate it, but we also welcome students who are several years away from defending.  Please also submit (2) a separate document, no more than 2 single spaced pages, responding to some or all of the following questions (not all questions will be relevant for all applicants):

  1. In a paragraph or two, what is your project?
  2. What is the social problem that you seek to solve?  What are some potential solutions, and how can research shed light on how to move forward with solutions?
  3. What social theories or approaches might be useful in solving this problem?  If none, can you use this research as a way to critique and reformulate existing theories?
  4. (more relevant for some topics than others) Have you been involved with non-academic groups that work on this problem?  Describe if so, or if you have plans to be in future.  Do you see a way to engage sociological theory with the work of these groups?
  5. (if possible) How could short-term solutions feed into longer-term, structural change on this problem?

We welcome both creative and ambitious ideas, as well as focused and practical ideas, as well as ideas that are somewhere in between.  If the problem is the basic structure of the economic system and the only solution that you see is revolution, then think about how to bring about revolution.  If the problem is colleges closing over spring break and low-income students having nowhere to go, think about how to nudge institutions to respond to the needs of nontraditional members.  If the problem is racism or sexism, think about how to solve (not just describe) racism or sexism.  If you already know the solution to the problem, but the problem is convincing policymakers, then focus on how to convince (or change) policymakers.

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Call for Submissions – Junior Theorists Symposium


2021 Junior Theorists Symposium

Held over Zoom on August 6th (additional dates TBD)

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, February 19, 2021

We invite submissions of précis for the 15th Junior Theorists Symposium (JTS). The symposium will be held over Zoom on August 6th (additional dates TBD) prior to the 2021 ASA Virtual Annual Meeting.  The JTS is a conference featuring the work of up-and-coming sociologists, sponsored in part by the Theory Section of the ASA. Since 2005, the conference has brought together early career sociologists who engage in theoretical work, broadly defined. 

It is our honor to announce that Jean Beaman (University of California, Santa Barbara), Gil Eyal (Columbia University), and Frederick Wherry (Princeton University) will serve as discussants for this year’s symposium. Kyle Green (SUNY Brockport) and Daniel Winchester (Purdue), winners of the 2019 Junior Theorist Award, and Neil Gong (University of Michigan and University of California, San Diego), winner of the 2020 Junior Theorist Award will deliver keynote addresses. Finally, the symposium will include an after-panel titled “Theorizing for Troubled Times,” with panelists Javier Auyero (University of Texas, Austin), Jennifer Carlson (University of Arizona), Harvey Molotch (New York University), Christina Simko (Williams), and Howard Winant (University of California, Santa Barbara).

We invite all ABD graduate students, recent PhDs, postdocs, and assistant professors who received their PhDs from 2017 onwards to submit up to a three-page précis (800-1000 words). The précis should include the key theoretical contribution of the paper and a general outline of the argument. Successful précis from last year’s symposium can be viewed here. Please note that the précis must be for a paper that is not under review or forthcoming at a journal.

As in previous years, there is no pre-specified theme for the conference. Papers will be grouped into sessions based on emergent themes and discussants’ areas of interest and expertise. We invite submissions from all substantive areas of sociology, we especially encourage papers that are works-in-progress and would benefit from the discussions at JTS.

Please remove all identifying information from your précis and submit it via this Google form. Sarah Brothers (Yale) and Laura Halcomb (University of California, Santa Barbara) will review the anonymized submissions. You can also contact them at juniortheorists@gmail.com with any questions. The deadline is Friday, February 19th. By mid-March, we will extend up to 12 invitations to present at JTS 2021. Please plan to share a full paper by July 6, 2021. Presenters will be asked to attend the symposium in its entirety in order to hear fellow scholars’ work. Please plan accordingly.

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ASA 2021: A Virtual Engagement

The ASA meeting will be entirely virtual this year:


Reminders: the deadline to submit a full paper or extended abstract is Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 11:59 p.m Eastern. You can submit a full paper or extended abstract of 3-5 pages (with full paper due in early-July). 

Please consider submitting your work to our section sessions or roundtables! We look forward to seeing you (virtually) at the next ASA meeting! See below for a listing of the sessions.

Title: Environment and migration: short term shocks, long term crises
Session Organizer: Leah K. VanWey, Dean of the School of Professional Studies & Professor of Sociology and Environment and Society, Brown University

Migration has been inextricably linked to socioeconomic development, and to environmental change, for centuries. Migration out of communities influences the local and regional environments through changes to land use systems. Historically, humans migrated in response to changes in environmental conditions. Yet results are mixed regarding the impact of changing weather or environmental shocks on migration; to date, evidence suggests that environmental change leads to relatively few migrants beyond those who would have left anyway. As we move into an era of rapid climate change and associated phenomena, new questions arise about how environment and migration will be connected. Will we see millions of climate migrants or climate refugees? How do historical migration patterns and paths of socioeconomic development influence how individuals, families, and communities respond to environmental changes? Will environmental hazards or disasters have differential impacts on migration of rich and poor, or of different racial or ethnic groups?

The year 2020 appears to be a tipping point in the global experience of climate change impacts, with intensified hurricane seasons, fires, heat, and evidence of accelerating species loss. At the same time, 2020 is a year of overlapping crises. The slowly intensifying threat of climate change interacts with the deep-seated impacts of white supremacy globally. These both interact with the acute global health crisis and related economic downturn. This session welcomes papers examining complexities surrounding the relationship between environment and migration, especially those with relevance to understanding the overlapping short term and long term crises facing the world today.

Title: Food as struggle, food as resistance
Session Organizers:
Sarah Bowen, Assistant Head, Department of Sociology of Anthropology & Professor of Sociology, North Carolina State University, sarah_bowen@ncsu.edu
Marie Sarita Gaytán, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Sociology, University of Utah, sarita.gaytan@soc.utah.edu

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains, caused cluster outbreaks among farmworkers and meatpackers, and contributed to unprecedented increases in rates of food insecurity in the United States and around the world. Fractures like these demonstrate how systemic racism, capitalist exploitation, and settler colonialism shape how our food is produced, distributed, regulated, and consumed. Yet food also continues to be a site of resistance, as illustrated by the Children of Smithfied campaign and other movements around food workers’ rights, as well as innovative collective efforts to feed hungry people during the pandemic. In this session, we welcome papers that analyze the struggles, inequalities, solidarities, and innovations that are part of the global food system. Possible topics include shifts in how supply chains are organized or regulated, social movements around workers’ rights or food safety, the experiences and perceptions of food workers or consumers, and efforts to foster food sovereignty or a more sustainable food system. We are especially interested in papers that consider how food shifts and discourses are tied to broader political-economic processes and/or social contexts. Papers do not need to focus on COVID-19 specifically, but we hope to use these papers to foster a broader conversation about how crises can generate new frames for thinking about what justice means in the context of the food system and how to achieve it.

Title: The development of underdeveloped public health
Session Organizer: Nitsan Chorev, Harmon Family Professor of Sociology and International Studies, Brown University, nitsan_chorev@brown.edu

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, yet again, the unequal distribution of access to health – between rich and poor countries and, even more strikingly, within countries, between the socio-economic elites on the one hand and ethnic/racial minorities and the poor on the other. This panel interrogates the relations between development, public health, and economic and/or racialized social exclusions, at the transnational and/or local levels.

Sociology of Development Business Meeting
Sociology of Development Refereed Roundtables
Matthew R. Sanderson, Chair, mattrs@ksu.edu
Joan Ryan, Roundtables Organizer, joanryan@sas.upenn.edu

Here are some of the topics submitted for panels that might be used to organize roundtables (we would need to see what papers are submitted by the February deadline):

1) Sociological Perspectives on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
2) Sociological Perspectives on COVID-19
3) Corruption and Development
4) Gender, Migration, and Development
5) Gender and Work
6) Development and Globalization
7) Migrant Crises and Urban Governance in the Global South
8) The SDGs and Legal Identity
9) Development and Maternal Mortality
10) Environmental Inequalities in Developing Countries
11) International Development and Urban (Re-)Development
12) Field Research Methods in Development Studies
13) Sociology of Agro-Food Systems and Alternatives to Development

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