Section on the Sociology of Development By-Laws

Section on the Sociology of Development 

By-Laws 

April 4, 2011 

Revised 23 October 2015; Approved by ASA June 2016 

Revised 22 September 2017; Approved by ASA June 2018 

Statement of Purpose. This Section promotes the study of societal development within the discipline of sociology by providing intellectual and professional services to its members. These services may include (but are not limited to) the provision of outlets where development sociologists can publish or orally present work; the provision of useful information concerning grants, job openings or scholarly resources; the provision of opportunities for development sociologists to dialogue with each other; the official recognition of unusually meritorious work; the provision of academic forums for the raising of significant questions in the sub-discipline; and the provision of more public forums for the raising of development-related questions in society as a whole. All ASA members who define themselves as scholars of development, regardless of rank or institutional affiliation, are eligible for membership and office holding within the section. 

Norm of Intellectual Diversity. A foundational principle of this section is the promotion and encouragement of intellectual diversity within the study of societal development. As such, the Section embraces all sociologists who define themselves as scholars of development regardless of theoretical orientation, methodological preference, region of study, or historical period of study. This commitment to intellectual diversity shall be reflected in all aspects of its activities, including but not limited to the composition of office holders, the composition of participants in official section panels or activities, and the composition of work that is recognized as meritorious. 

By creating scholarly interchange between development sociologists with a wide variety of scholarly agendas, this section promotes a rich environment of intellectual cross-fertilization that is a benefit to all development sociologists and to the discipline more broadly. 

Officer of the Section. The officers of the Section shall be a Chairperson, a Chairperson-Elect, a Past-Chairperson, and a Secretary-Treasurer. Voting members of the section alone shall be eligible to hold office. The Chairperson-Elect will automatically become Chairperson in the year following his/her office as Chairperson-Elect, and in the year subsequent to that become Past-Chairperson. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a period of three years. Officers shall not succeed themselves. 

The Chairperson of the Section will serve as Chairperson of the Council. 

The Secretary-Treasurer will be responsible for keeping section records, drafting an annual budget for the section, and tracking and promoting section membership. 

There shall be a Council consisting of eleven members, seven non-officer members plus the four officers of the section. One non-officer member will be a graduate student representative. With the exception of the graduate student representative, the non-officer members will each serve for three years, with two Council seats being vacated each year. The graduate student representative will serve a one-year term, but will be eligible to participate in Council meetings and activities immediately upon election. The Council, in consultation with the membership at large, will be responsible for determining the academic program of the section. 

The Council will nominate an editor for the section newsletter, and a webmaster for the section. The Editor and Webmasters serve for one-year terms. They may be reappointed for subsequent terms up to a maximum of three consecutive terms. The Editor and Webmaster may appoint assistants as they so choose. 

Power of the Council. The Council is vested in principle with the power to carry out all necessary operations for the Section, acting as the representative of the membership of the Section. The functions of the Council include cooperating with the Program Committee of the American Sociological Association in planning the presentation of its field of interest in the Annual Meeting of the Association. They also include establishing ad-hoc committees to meet specific Section goals. 

Elections and Voting. The elections of the Section shall be carried out in cooperation with the American Sociological Association and coordinated to their schedule. 

Committees. 

  1. (a) There shall be an annual Book Award Committee. This committee shall be chaired by a current member of Council and staffed by volunteer section members approved by the Book Award Committee Chair. The award shall be for the best book published with copyright date falling in the two calendar years prior to the year of the award. Authors will be invited to self-nominate for the book award. The Chair of the Book Award committee will coordinate with the Chair of the other award committees to ensure that the total number of section awards made is in compliance with ASA guidelines. 
  1. (b) There shall be an annual Article Award Committee. This committee will be chaired by a current member of Council and staffed by volunteer section members approved by the Article Award Committee Chair. Authors will be invited to self-nominate for the article award. The award shall be for the best professional paper published (including publication in ASA meeting proceedings) with copyright date falling in the two calendar years prior to the year of the award. The Chair of the Article Award committee will coordinate with the chairs of the other section award committees to ensure that the total number of section awards made is in compliance with ASA guidelines. 
  1. (c) There shall be an annual Student Article Award Committee. This committee will be chaired by a current member of Council and staffed by volunteer section members approved by the Student Article Award Committee Chair. The award shall be for the best professional paper published (including publication in ASA meeting proceedings) with copyright date falling in the two calendar years prior to the year of the award. Authors will be invited to self-nominate for the student article award. The Chair of the Student 
  1. Article Award committee will coordinate with the chairs of the other section awards committees to ensure that the total number of section awards made is in compliance with ASA guidelines. 
  1. (d) There shall be a Committee of Nominations, the composition of which shall be the section past-Chairperson (who will serve as chair of the committee) plus the two members of Council in their third year of service and the outgoing graduate student representative. The Nominating Committee shall present at least two people for each office to be voted on by the voting members of the Section. Members will be invited by the Committee to self-nominate for election to offices. The choices of the Nominating Committee for each office shall be made known to the membership at least 60 days prior to the deadline for receiving nominations by petition. 

Other committees shall be appointed on an ad hoc basis by the section Chairperson with the approval of the Council. 

Nomination by Petition. Regardless of any action by the Committee of Nominations, qualified members of the Section may be nominated for any office by a petition of ten percent of the members of the Section or by 25 members of the Section, whichever is less. 

Referenda. Any action of the Council may be referred to a mail ballot of Section members by means of a petition containing the signatures of ten percent of the Section members or of 25 members of the Section, whichever is less. Any resolution passed by the Annual Business Meeting of the Section shall be referred to Council. If such resolutions are not accepted by the Council, they shall be submitted to the membership by mail ballot. A resolution passes when it is supported by a majority of those casting ballots. 

Membership. The membership of the Section shall be drawn from the members of the American Sociological Association who have expressed an interest in the sociology of development. 

Dues. Dues shall be set by the Council to cover the operation of the Section in accord with the requirements of the American Sociological Association. 

Awards. In accordance with the Association’s regulations on sections, four types of awards will be given. The awards are: Book Award [Annual], Article Award [Annual], Student Article Award [Annual], Distinguished Career Award [occasional — to be awarded at the discretion of the Section council], and Samuel Cohn Distinguished Service Award [occasional – to be awarded at the discretion of the Section council]. 

Amending Section By-Laws. Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed by any member of the Council, or by a petition signed by 10% of the membership or 25 members, whichever is smaller. Proposed amendments may be voted on at the Annual Business Meeting of the Section, through a mail ballot of Section members, or through an electronic balloting procedure (email or Internet based survey). The Council determines the timing and the venue for any vote on a proposed amendment, and the vote must occur within 15 months of the amendment’s initial proposal. Proposed amendments must be shared, in writing, with all section members at least 14 

days prior to voting. Members must be given the opportunity to discuss the amendment (after notification and prior to the vote) in at least one public forum such as the Annual Business Meeting, though an on-line exchange on the Section’s website, or via the Section’s e-mail list. An amendment passes when it is supported by a majority of those casting ballots. 

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