homeprev issuesexecpublic affairsSTAFFASA home


Many Changes Evident Since Sociologists Last Converged on Atlanta

"Hotlanta" became even hotter August 16-19 with the arrival of a 4,100-strong legion of sociologists and other social scientists to the city. And, the American Sociological Association's return to the South-since last having convened there 15 years ago-was well worth the wait. The 2003 Annual Meeting of the ASA in Atlanta, GA, was a glowing success, thanks to organizers, participants, and staff.

Then & Now

The last Annual Meeting held in Atlanta was in 1988 when Herbert Gans was president. Much has changed in 15 years. For instance, in 1988 the attendance at the Annual Meeting was a mere 2,700. In 1988 the meeting was held in the Marriott Marquis but in 2003, the meeting filled the newly refurbished Marriott as well as the Hilton Atlanta. Fifteen years ago there were 257 sessions and this year's 550 sessions, courses, and workshops doubled the offerings. In 1988, DOS (remember this?) was the prevalent PC operating system, but in 2003, sociologists stood in line for a chance to remotely check their local PC's e-mail via the Internet.







also in this issue
Tales of the Kefir Furnaceman: Michael Burawoy

On a frigid February morning in 1985, Michael Burawoy's dream came true. He passed under gate number one of the Lenin Steel Works, ground zero of Hungary's industrial heartland, and found himself belly-to-brimstone with the flame-belching maw of an 80-ton furnace. This was no velvet-rope tour for the Berkeley sociologist, however. Over the course of three separate stints totaling a year, it would be Burawoy's job-along with seven comrades in the work team called the October Revolution Socialist Brigade-to tend this ungodly vessel, in which molten pig iron and scrap steel are melded in a roiling bath and pierced with high-pressure oxygen, kicking temperatures upwards of 1600 degrees. "A departing Boeing," he later wrote of the works at full gale, "couldn't make more noise."

------
Lewis Coser Remembered

I am fortunate to have known Lewis Coser, quite literally, all my life. Since he thought "Grandpa" was too pedestrian and his native "Grossvater" or "Opa" too Germanic, I knew him first as "grand-pe`re," a name he and Rose-both Francophiles-chose when I was born. As I became more aware, first of his political persona and, later, his academic one, I gained additional admiration for his remarkable life.

Copyright 2003 by the American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.