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At its last meeting in February 2012, ASA Council approved the immediate appointment of members to a new Task Force on the role of the postdoctorate in sociology that will begin work in 2012. An important question for the Task Force is whether sociology should follow the natural science model and, if so, why and for whom? For sociologists, does being awarded a postdoctorate position, especially during a tight labor market, improve the careers of those who receive these positions compared to matched groups of those who do not? Are there particular subareas of sociology that are important for postdoctoral training? Are resources available to add this rung to the academic ladder for broader groups? These are the types of research and policy questions that the Task Force will be expected to answer. A task force of sociologists with higher education research experience can aid ASA to confront important questions about the current and future status of postdoctorate programs in sociology. The ASA Research Department is currently doing research on aspects of this issue and will aid the Task Force.
The mission of the Task Force on the Postdoctorate in Sociology is as follows:
Sociologists interested in participating in the new Task Force should contact Sally T. Hillsman, ASA Executive Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Roberta Spalter-Roth, ASA Director of Research, at email@example.com, or Jean H. Shin, ASA Director of Minority Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.