Printer Friendly Version Of
American Sociological Association: 2012 Director of Graduate Studies Conference
August 16, 2012
This half day conference for directors of graduate studies programs focuses on the organizational challenges of managing MA and PhD programs in sociology. Topics respond to current issues in graduate education, and may include effective recruitment, balancing funding priorities, maintaining and promoting diversity, PhD completion, and preparing students for the job market. The conference is held the afternoon prior to the start of the ASA Annual Meeting.
Fostering Meaningful Diversity in Graduate Sociology Programs: Insights from the Report of the ASA Committee on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Sociology.
In most departments of sociology today, diversity as a theoretical construct is an unquestioned good. But theory and practice are often quite different, and the results of a recent survey of graduate students conducted by the ASA Committee on the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Sociology reveals that diversity in practice remains a highly contentious issue in our graduate programs. For example, graduate students in sociology programs perceive “raced” advantages in other groups—with White students seeing students of color receiving discriminatory advantages, and students of color seeing White students receiving discriminatory advantages. For students of color, diversity impacted both their decisions regarding which program to attend, as well as their overall satisfaction with the program in which they were currently enrolled. Important differences among students of color were also found, including the finding that Latina/o students reported lower levels of mentoring, lower levels of perceived respect, and lower levels of satisfaction with their programs overall, compared to African American or White students.
This year’s Director of Graduate Studies Conference will examine current data regarding diversity in sociology graduate programs, and then engage participants in an extended discussion of specific strategies that MA and PhD programs can use to increase diversity, respond to tensions, and develop support systems that strengthen peer relations, faculty mentoring, and academic success and professionalization.
The conference will be led by Denise Segura (UC Santa Barbara) and Scott Brooks (UC Riverside), Chair and Co-Chair of the SREM Committee. The DGS Conference takes place Thursday, August 16 from 1:30-5:30pm, just prior to the Opening Plenary for the 2012 Annual Meeting.