Printer Friendly Version Of American Sociological Association: 2014 Annual Meeting Theme
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Hard Times: The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals

 

America is a land of inequality. Moreover, the scope of economic inequality has grown sharply in recent decades. Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, in particular, many Americans have lost ground. Its consequences have been particularly harsh for families with children.

With the theme, “Hard Times: The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals,” President Annette Lareau draws attention to the multiple ways in which inequality reverberates throughout American society and the world.

The program will highlight social science research documenting the breadth and depth of economic inequality and the consequences for virtually every sphere of social life: education, health, family life, work, political participation, neighborhood life, religion, and experiences with the criminal justice system. Of course, the ramifications of economic inequality are not equally shared. The program will examine variations in economic inequality by race and ethnicity, gender, and immigrant status. Particular attention will be paid to social class differences in daily life.

Our focus will not simply be on the impact of income inequality, but also the accumulation of debt and the consolidation of income into wealth. In addition to examining the poor and middle-class, special attention will also be paid to the experiences of the very wealthy. Hence, the program takes a broad view of economic inequality.

The focus on “Hard Times” also seeks to understand the lasting consequences of being raised in times of economic uncertainty. Furthermore, it will critically examine programs of change, whether in the form of social movements or policy interventions. Finally, since the ASA is a professional society, the conference will include a series of workshops aimed at strengthening sociologists’ facility at sharing their research with the public.

Please plan to join us in San Francisco in 2014.

Annette Lareau, Stanley I. Sheerr Professor, University of Pennsylvania
ASA President and 2014 Program Committee Chair