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

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 (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 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,
Marie Sarita Gaytán, Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Sociology, University of Utah,

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,

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,
Joan Ryan, Roundtables Organizer,

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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CFP Rethinking Multilateralism for the post-COVID Era

We live in a time where the need for global collective action is as great as any time in human history: the COVID pandemic and its consequences, climate change, conflict, and mass migration all have the potential to pose compounding existential threats to peace, prosperity, and participation. Yet, the multilateral institutions that were set up more than 75 years ago – at the end of the second World War, to facilitate global cooperation – are weaker than they have ever been, with some facing threats to their very existence.

Several reasons for this have been documented by scholars, including weaknesses in the governing structure of these institutions that privilege the global north; shifts in the politics of countries that make them less amenable to seeking international cooperation and supporting global public goods; and – more broadly – a declining willingness to jointly address contemporary challenges via the existing multilateral structure.
All this calls for an urgent need to understand and reimagine multilateralism for a post-COVID world. This call for papers seeks contributions from scholars and practitioners, from any discipline and country, to help diagnose the challenges that face multilateralism today, to rethink how we may make it work better, and to explore how existing multilateral institutions could be reformed, or new ones created, to feasibly meet contemporary challenges.

Those interested in contributing to this special issue should send us, at a minimum, an extended abstract (in English) of about 600-1000 words describing the nature of a full-length paper that they would write. If a draft paper is already available, we would welcome that as well. Selected papers will be published in a “special collection” of the journal Global Perspectives on “Rethinking Multilateralism for the post-COVID Era.” (Other such special collections can be seen here). The authors of each selected paper will be awarded a grant of $2500 (shared equally between authors in case of co-authored papers) and would participate in an author’s workshop (COVID permitting) to discuss the papers. Our goal is to begin a dialogue across disciplines on finding solutions to contemporary challenges via the multilateral system, and to rethink and energize institutions that facilitate global collective action.

Please send your extended abstract (or completed paper) to Vijayendra Rao (, J.P. Singh (, and Michael Woolcock ( by January 15, 2021. Papers selected for inclusion will be notified by mid-February 2021, with an expected submission date of the completed paper by June 18, 2021.

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Call for Applications: Sociology of Education Editorship

Call for Applications: Sociology of Education Editorship. The ASA Publications Committee encourages applications for the editorship of Sociology of Education. The official term for the new editor (or co-editors) begins in January 2022, with the transition starting in summer 2021. The editorial term is for an initial three years with an extension of one or two years possible. Proposals are due December 1. ASA Council will appoint the new editor in March 2021. See complete application procedures and examples of previous successful proposals.

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ASA Pick Your Own Sponsorship

Have you heard about Pick Your Own Sponsorship? One in five members are participating. It’s a new approach to ASA membership renewal, which holds ASA dues steady at their 2020 level and provides members with the choice of (a) paying those dues, (b) taking a sponsorship, or (c) providing a sponsorship. Taking a sponsorship means opting to reduce one’s dues payment for 2021 by 10%, 20% or 30%. Giving a sponsorship means adding 10%, 20%, or 30% to one’s dues payment to support colleagues who are in more precarious financial situations. In the words of ASA’s 2021 President Aldon Morris, “When we pull together, we all win.”

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Call for Nominations: 2021 Sociology of Development Section Awards

The Sociology of Development section of the American Sociological Association invites
nominations for three awards recognizing outstanding scholarship in the area of the sociology of development: Book Award, Faculty Article Award, and Graduate Student Paper Award.

Sociology of Development Section Book Award

All books published in 2019 or 2020 are eligible. A brief letter of nomination (self-nominations are welcome) and a copy of the nominated book should be sent to each of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2021:

Firuzeh Shokooh Valle (co-chair)
419 S 45th St
Apt. 5
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Joseph Harris (co-chair)
169 Wachusett St
Boston, MA 02130

Andy Chang
Singapore Management University
School of Social Sciences
90 Stamford Road Level 4
Singapore 178903
Attention: Jancy Poon

Sefika Kumral
Department of Sociology
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
337 Frank Porter Graham Building
PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

Yao Li
4349 NW 34th Dr
Gainesville, FL 32605

Sociology of Development Section Faculty Article Award

Please send a letter of nomination and an electronic version of the article to each of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2021.  If the article has been published, the copyright date must be 2019 or 2020.  However, unpublished articles are also welcome and self-nominations are encouraged.

Victoria Reyes
UC Riverside (chair)

Amanda Cheong
University of British Columbia

Jennifer Givens
Utah State University

Anne Mook
Nazarbayev University

Marina Zaloznaya
University of Iowa

Sociology of Development Section Graduate Student Paper Award

Please send a letter of nomination and an electronic version of the article to each of the committee members listed below by March 1, 2021. If the article has been published, the copyright date must be 2019 or 2020.  However, unpublished articles are also welcome and self-nominations are encouraged.

Shiri Noy (chair)
Denison University

Jason Mueller

Mahirah Mustaffa
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Emily Springer
Arizona State University

Jeffrey Swindle
University of Michigan

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New Issue Alert! Sociology of Development Fall 2020 Issue

The third issue of 2020 for Sociology of Development is now published and live! The link to the issue and table of contents is below.

Sociology of Development


Link to issue:

Production Globalization and the Segmentation of the Global Manufacturing Sector


The Empowerment Paradox: Exploring the Implications of Neoliberalized Feminism for Sustainable Development


“What Do They Want from Us?”: How Locals Work to Meet Their Employers’ Expectations in Jordan’s Aid Sector


What a Small Group of People Can(’t) Do: An Analysis of Capable Agents for the Mobilization of Social Capital in Two Ghanaian Ecotourism Projects


The Technological Basis of Egalitarian Economic Growth: How Nineteenth-Century Norway’s Boats with No Decks Provided a Humanistic Alternative to Industrial Slums


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Sociology of Development Policy Brief: “Mass Incarceration as a Factor in the US Mortality Disadvantage”

A new Sociology of Development Policy Brief is out! Volume 5, Issue 6 (2020) is: “Mass Incarceration as a Factor in the US Mortality Disadvantage” by Sebastian Daza (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Alberto Palloni (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Jerrett Jones (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Below is a message from our policy brief editor, Alaka M. Basu:

Here is the sixth of the 2020 series of Policy Briefs from the Sociology of Development section of ASA.  The brief is titled: “Mass Incarceration as a Factor in the US Mortality Disadvantage”, and is by Sebastian Daza, Alberto Palloni and Jerrett Jones (2020, vol 5, no. 6).

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,

Alaka M Basu, Professor,
Cornell University,
Department of Global Development,
250B Warren Hall,
Ithaca, NY 14853
Tel: 607-255-1487/607-793-8974

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Special Issue of the Delaware Review of Latin American Studies

Enrique Pumar is co-editing a special issue of the Delaware Review of Latin American Studies.

He says: we would be delighted to receive papers from our development colleagues and their contacts.  We are looking forward to publishing an inclusive and diverse issue with papers from different perspectives and disciplines.

For more information, see the link below:—Call-for-papers.aspx

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