February 2015 Issue • Volume 43 • Issue 2

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Back to Sweet Home Chicago

William T. Bielby, University of Illinois, Chicago

Come on
Oh baby don’t you want to go
Come on
Oh baby don’t you want to go
Back to that same old place
Sweet home Chicago

The Annual Meeting was first held in Chicago in 1919, and we’ve met at “that same old place” a total of 14 times, most recently in 2002. (Chicago was to have been the site of the 2011 meeting until labor issues at the Hilton resulted in a move to Las Vegas.) The Great Recession took a toll on Chicago in the years since we last met there. It is smaller, experiencing a population loss of 200,000 between 2000 and 2010, and the recovery has been less robust than in other large cities. It is also more unequal than it was 13 years ago. Tremendous wealth has been generated in the booming technology and professional and financial services sectors, with predictable impacts on wealth concentration, economic vitality, and conspicuous consumption in the city’s affluent neighborhoods and North Shore suburbs. Gentrification continues apace in every direction from the Loop, while leap frogging African American communities. New immigrant gateways in the suburbs provide new avenues for social mobility for some, but poverty is growing faster in Chicago suburbs than in any other region of the state.

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Reflections from a Sociologist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the second week of January 2015, I traveled to Paris to give a lecture at a research institute and participate in a meeting of the scientific council of the International Panel on Social Progress, a new organization roughly modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its goal is to produce a massive report on the global status of progress on the many dimensions of social justice by 2017. The council consists of social scientists from around the world, including many economists as well as some sociologists. I had anticipated a typical, interesting academic trip; it turned out to be much more intense than I imagined.

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Recipients of the 2015 ASA Awards

The American Sociological Association proudly announces the recipients of the major awards for 2015. These outstanding scholars will be recognized at the 2015 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on Sunday, August 23, at 4:30 p.m. The Awards Ceremony will immediately precede the formal address of the ASA President Paula England. All registrants are invited to attend an Honorary Reception immediately following the address to congratulate President England and the award recipients.

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Helping Students Make the Connection Between Sociology and Careers

Heather Sullivan-Catlin, SUNY Potsdam, sullivha@potsdam.edu

Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting sociology students from numerous colleges while serving on their departments’ program review teams. Diverse in backgrounds and interests, they expressed a common desire for greater career preparation. This is consistent with ASA research showing a dramatic gap between undergraduate students’ overall program satisfaction (78%) and satisfaction with career advising (18%) and graduate school advising (13%) (Spalter-Roth, et.al. 2010). It is also understandable given rising student debt loads and a challenging job market. Apart from student demand, external social forces are increasingly driving departments to enhance career advising and preparation (Vitullo 2014). Below I offer ideas for both curricular and extracurricular activities and suggest a variety of resources for integrating career preparation into departmental programs.

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