American Sociological Association

Sociology in the News at the 2017 ASA Annual Meeting

August 24, 2017

With journalists covering the Annual Meeting both on site and from afar in print, online, and radio outlets, sociologists were not the only ones who were interested in our Montreal gathering.

To facilitate press engagement, the ASA distributed more than a dozen press releases on studies presented at the Annual Meeting and responded to media inquiries about them.

Among the research most popular with the media was a fortiuitously-timed study titled “When Genetics Challenges a Racist’s Identity: Genetic Ancestry Testing among White Nationalists.” The paper, by Aaron Panofsky and Joan Donovan of University of California-Los Angeles, was covered by the PBS Newshour, The Atlantic, the New York Post, Scientific American, STAT News, Good Magazine, Salon, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education, to name a few. Another article on why more women don't join white supremacist movements in Swaay magazine quoted Alondra Nelson of Columbia University and Matthew Hughey of the University of Connecticut. 

Also popular was work by Ohio State University’s Scott Duxbury and Dana Haynie on how drug dealers on the “dark web” are concerned about their reputations and rely on good reviews by clients. It was covered by several outlets including Vice, Wired, BoingBoing, The Sydney Morning Herald and Digital Trends.

Teen Vogue and Inside Higher Ed reported on a paper presented by Nicole Bedera, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan, about how college men perceive sexual consent titled “Moaning and Eye Contact: College Men’s Negotiations of Sexual Consent in Theory and in Practice.”

Christopher Browning, Professor of Sciology at The Ohio State University, presented research on how neighborhood crime affects children and adolescents, which received coverage by Reuters,, and Yahoo News. Kentucky University researcher Jacob Lipsman’s paper on justifications by climate change deniers was reported on by the International Business Times, Science Daily, and Seeker. A paper by University of Kansas doctoral student Walter Goettlich on how bumper stickers facilitate social interactions was covered by Psychology Today and which also published an article on University of Arizona’s Justin Knoll's doctoral research on how tolerance for incivility affects political participation. Karen Kramer of the University of Illinois presented findings on links between parents' earnings, gender roles, and mental health which was picked up by the Daily Mail and outlets in IndiaIndonesia, and Vietnam

Journalists were interested in activities at the meeting that extended beyond presentation of research findings. For example, Inside Higher Ed published a story about sociologists teaching controversial topics, reported on the work of ASA’s contingent Faculty task force, and wrote about responding to threats against public scholars.

The annual meeting was presided over by ASA P resident Michèle Lamont who hails from Quebec. She was interviewed on Canadian radio, ICI, where she discussed sociology, the meeting, and issues of social inequality. In addition, Montreal’s Le Devoir published two articles, one by Michèle Lamont on the meeting and one on papers presented at the meeting that help explain the social factors that led to Donald Trump's election.

(Did you or your paper receive a mention in the press? Let us know! Email the link to

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