American Sociological Association

ASA Constitution



The Association shall be known as the American Sociological Association.


The objectives of the Association shall be to stimulate and improve research, instruction, and discussion, and to encourage cooperative relations among persons engaged in the scientific study of society.

ARTICLE III. Membership

Any persons interested in the objectives of said Association shall be eligible for membership. The forms and conditions of membership are set forth in the By-Laws, Article l.


Section 1. The officers of the Association directly elected by the voting membership shall be a President, a President-Elect, a Past President, a Vice-President, a Vice-President-Elect, a Past Vice-President, a Secretary, and the members of the Council. The President-Elect and the Vice-President-Elect shall serve for one year, and shall then automatically become President and Vice-President respectively for one-year terms. The Secretary shall be elected by the voting membership for a three-year term and is ineligible for re-election. The Secretary-Elect shall serve for one full year prior to the three-year term as Secretary, during which year the Secretary-Elect shall sit as a non-voting member of the Council.

Section 2. The Association shall constitute a Council from among its members. The Council shall be the governing body of the Association, except insofar as the Constitution and By-Laws delegate governmental functions to other officers or to committees.

Section 3. The Council shall consist of a maximum of nineteen voting members: up to seven ex officio, and precisely twelve elected-at-large. The ex officio members shall be the President, Past President, President-Elect, Vice-President, Past Vice-President, Vice-President Elect and Secretary. The members-at-large shall be elected for staggered three-year terms, with four elected each year. No member-at-large shall be eligible for re-election to the Council as a member-at-large until one year after the expiration of the prior term, and no individual shall be eligible for re-election as a member-at-large of the Council after having served two such terms.

Section 4. As the governing body of the Association, the Council shall be responsible for the formulation of policy and the general direction of the affairs of the Association. It shall have the power to fill vacancies in its elective membership occasioned by death, resignation, or failure to elect, such as appointees to hold office until replaced by officers elected at the next annual election. In the event of an anticipated absence of six or more months of a member of Council, the Council may appoint a temporary replacement to serve with all rights and responsibilities of regular membership for the term of the anticipated absence. The authority to interpret the Constitution and By-Laws resides in the Council. When the Council is not in session, the Secretary may make such provisional rulings as are necessary for the operation of the Association, subject to review by the Council at its next meeting. The Council shall appoint and may remove by majority vote the Executive Officer and Editors of the various publications sponsored by the Association.

Section 5. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum of the Council. When the Council is not in session, questions may be submitted to all members of the Council for their votes.

Section 6. The other officers of the Association shall be elected by the Council, and shall be an Executive Officer and Editors of publications sponsored by the Association. The Executive Officer and the Editors shall be elected by the Council for terms to be fixed by the Council.

ARTICLE V. Official Publications

Section l. The Association shall maintain a journal entitled the American Sociological Review.

Section 2. The Association shall issue such other regular or occasional publications, as it deems necessary in the promotion of its objectives.

ARTICLE VI. Committees

Section l. The Council may establish such committees as may be necessary for the conduct of the Association's affairs.


Section l. The President shall call at least one convention each year, at a time and place to be determined by the Council. At each annual convention there shall be at least one Business Meeting at which the Officers and the Council shall report to the Association and respond to questions from the membership.

Section 2. At the Business Meeting, a majority of the voting members present may: (a) place items on the agenda of that Business Meeting, and (b) pass courtesy resolutions. If at least one hundred voting members are present, a majority can place items on the agenda of the Council.

Section 3. If Council disapproves a resolution passed by the Business Meeting for which at least 3% of the voting members of the Association voted affirmatively, this resolution and such alternatives as Council may propose will be submitted to the voting membership. If endorsed by a majority of those voting on that ballot, the resolution or alternative will be considered to be an action of the Association.

ARTICLE VIII. Special Funds and Endowments

Section l. The Association may solicit and receive special funds and endowments. Acceptance and expenditure of such funds shall be authorized by the Council.

ARTICLE IX. Amendments

Section l. The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of those voting in a referendum submitted to the voting members of the Association.

Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Council or by petition of at least 3% of the voting members of the Association.

Section 3. All proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be communicated to the voting membership at least fifty days prior to the vote on the amendment.

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