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June 25, 2008

Boston in Focus: Sociologists Explore
Local Issues and Hot Topics

American Sociological Association to meet in Boston this August;
regional sessions will feature discussions of local policy, news, politics and health

Boston, the host city for the American Sociological Association's 2008 Annual Meeting July 31-August 4, will be the subject of several regional spotlight sessions in which leading sociologists explore the politics, history, health and policies of the city and its residents.

More than 5,000 sociologists will convene in Boston for the association's meeting, which highlights "Worlds of Work," the meeting's theme. The changing patterns of work and social life will be explored, as will a wide range of other social science topics impacting life today.

WHAT: The American Sociological Association's 103rd Annual Meeting, "Worlds of Work"

WHEN: Thursday, July 31, through Monday, August 4, 2008

WHERE: Regional spotlight sessions will be held in the Boston Marriott Copley Place
Other meeting events will take place at the Sheraton Boston

REGIONAL SESSIONS:

? Reflections on the Political History of Boston
Friday, Aug. 1; 10:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Northeastern University sociologists and former Massachusetts State Representative John W. Sears discuss the impact of Boston's political history on the current issues facing Massachusetts.

? The Prospect of Casino and Online Gambling in Massachusetts
Saturday, Aug. 2; 10:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Featuring sociologists from around the United States, this session deals with Governor Deval Patrick's proposal for casino gambling in Massachusetts and discusses the social, political, economic and psychological issues involving casino, video and online gambling.

? The Struggles of Boston's Disadvantaged
Saturday, Aug. 2; 2:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
Social scientists focus on the contemporary and historical struggles of Boston's minorities, the impoverished and the disabled.

? Sociologists and the Health of Bostonians
Sunday, Aug. 3; 10:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Social scientists examine local innovative projects and discuss the importance of a sociological perspective in urban health and health care. Topics include forensic mental health, autism, homelessness and cancer patient navigation programs.

? The Massachusetts Initiative Toward Universal Health Insurance
Sunday, Aug. 3; 2:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
Sociologists describe Massachusetts' plan to provide universal health insurance coverage; discuss its implementation to date; and compare this model to other proposals for extending health insurance coverage to all.

? The City Beat: What Newspapermen Really Think About Boston
Monday, Aug. 4; 10:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Journalists from Boston newspapers discuss the city, its problems and its evolution. They will also discuss reporting in Boston, "The Hub of the Universe."

CONTACT: Jackie Cooper, ASA Media Relations Officer
(202) 247-9871 (office), jcooper@asanet.org
On-site: (301) 509-0906 (cell)
Press room: Exeter AB, Sheraton Boston

Visit www.asanet.org/cs/2008_meeting for a searchable program and additional details.

Complimentary media registration is available at http://www.asanet.org/galleries/pubinfo/ASA_AM_Press_Policy.pdf

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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), 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.