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August 28, 2007

Lights! Camera! Sociology!

The 2007 ASA Annual Meeting sparks “media frenzy” in New York City.

Media attendance in New York broke records across the board this year, with more than 30 print and broadcast journalists covering the 102nd Annual Meeting.

Among the extensive press coverage of the meeting, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Democracy Now covered the U.S. government’s denial of South African scholar Adam Habib’s entry visa, which prevented him from speaking at the Annual Meeting. Inside Higher Ed also reported on several sessions, including the session on “Challenges Facing Sexualities Researchers”; the Presidential panel, “Academic Freedom Under Attack”; and the workshop on “Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion Reviews of Public Sociology.” The Chronicle of Higher Education also published an article on ASA President Frances Fox Piven’s Presidential Address.

Several of sociologists were heard on the radio this year, thanks to New York City’s WBAI Radio.  President Piven was interviewed on Bill DiFazio’s City Watch show on August 8. Past-President Troy Duster was a guest on the station’s "Equal Time for Free Thought" show on August 12 where he discussed whether sociology is a science. Sally O’Brien from WBAI’s monthly magazine show Cuba on Focus, covered the panel “The Future of Cuba,” which aired on August 27, 2007.

Local print media left their stamp on the meeting. Gary Shapiro from The New York Sun wrote a piece on the panel, “Why Did Crime Decline in New York City?” and Albor Ruiz from The New York Daily News covered “The Future of Cuba.”

International broadcast media covered two plenary sessions. The New Tang Dynasty Network, a global news channel that broadcasts to 200 million Chinese viewers, covered former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos’ plenary on “Democratic Transition: The Example of Chile.” They also interviewed incoming President Arne Kalleberg on his upcoming trip to China. In addition, Radio Free Asia covered Congressman John Conyers’ plenary on “The Future of American Politics,” and Democracy Now covered Naomi Klein’s plenary “Competing Paths to Another World: Strategies and Visions.”

In addition to the sessions and plenaries, several papers presented at the meeting received a variety of press coverage. Several media, including the wire service Health Day News, The Washington Post, and, reported on Scott Akins’ (Oregon State University) paper, “The Effect of Linguistic Isolation on Hispanic Substance Use in Washington State.” Paul von Hippel’s (Ohio State University) paper, “What Happens to Summer Learning in a Year-Round School Year?” was covered by United Press International and CTV, Canada.

Other media in attendance were four reporters and a photographer from The New York Times and journalists from Live Science, Self Magazine, Time Magazine, Conde Nast Portfolio, EFE Spanish News Services, ShelterForce, Science magazine, El Economista, Commonwealth News Network, Discoveries and Breakthroughs Inside Science, and Forbes magazine.


About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.