Section-in-Formation Status Approved for Global and Transnational Sociology
by George Ritzer, University of Maryland
At its August 2009 meeting in San Francisco, the ASA Council approved Section-in-Formation status for Global and Transnational Sociology. This is the culmination of two years of hard work by an organizing committee led by John Boli (Emory University) and including Julia Adams, Peter Beyer, Glenn Firebaugh, Sanjeev Khagram, Frank Lechner, Peggy Levitt, John Meyer, George Ritzer, Roland Robertson, Ino Rossi, Jackie Smith, and George Thomas. Their efforts included sending numerous e-mails to potential members and planning well-attended organizational meetings at the last two ASA meetings. The Section-in-Formation has passed bylaws and has a set of committees in place. It also has elected its officers (I am the current Chair; George Thomas, Arizona State University, is the Chair-elect). There are about 350 names on our listserv and we believe that many more will sign up for the section. The temporary website for the section is seis.bris.ac.uk/~ggmhf/GlobeSocWeb/index.html.
Global and transnational sociology is the study of social structures and processes that transcend or go beyond the national level. The field covers a wide range of social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena. Some are global and transnational by definition, such as international organizations and associations, economic globalization, global production systems and value chains, and the cross-national diffusion of norms and culture (i.e., human and minority rights). Others may be strongly rooted at the national level, but nonetheless have important transnational dimensions, such as inequality, social movements, migration, environmental problems and movements, public opinion, religion, sports, and communications.
The ASA has previously provided no clear intellectual home for the rapidly increasing number of scholars working and/or teaching in these areas. Topics in global and transnational sociology are already prevalent in the annual meeting sessions and publications, but they are only now being formally recognized as such. The new ASA Section on Global and Transnational Sociology will fill a major void in the association and in sociology, as well as for those in various other fields with an interest in globalization.
Interested ASA members will have an opportunity to join the new section when they pay their 2010 membership dues. We especially urge members outside the United States to join in order to make section membership truly global. We also would like national and international ASA members to urge non-members with an interest in globalization to join the ASA and the section. To become involved in this new section, contact George Ritzer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to be added to the mailing list, contact David Miyahara (email@example.com).