July/August 2010 Issue • Volume 38 • Issue 6

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Social Psychology Quarterly
Moves to Emory

Cathryn Johnson and Karen A. Hegtvedt

Linda D. Molm, University of Arizona, and
Lynn Smith-Lovin, Duke University

Karen A. Hegtvedt and Cathryn Johnson, both Professors of Sociology at Emory University, will be the next editors of Social Psychology Quarterly. Their three-year term begins in August 2010 and follows the editorship of Gary Alan Fine.

Karen and Cathy will be the first co-editors of SPQ since our co-editorship of the journal from 1996 to 2000. At that time, no ASA journal had ever been co-edited, and many questions were raised about how we would make decisions about manuscripts and resolve differences of opinion. Now, of course, co-editorships of ASA journals have become quite common.

A True Collaboration

It is unlikely that any ASA co-editors have been more of a team than Karen and Cathy. Their partnership has been forged through multiple collaborative efforts since Cathy joined the Emory faculty in 1990 (Karen arrived in 1985). Karen has often joked that it’s actually a good thing that Linda Molm left Emory for Arizona in 1988, because her departure opened the door for Cathy’s arrival and the development of a highly productive relationship. Karen and Cathy collaborate on research and writing, they train graduate students together, and they currently administer much of the department of sociology’s business together, with Karen serving as Chair and Cathy as Director of Graduate Studies. Their offices are next door to one another, and colleagues report that they frequently call out to one another.

Karen and Cathy’s research collaboration began with an article published in our final issue as editors of SPQ, a special millennium issue on the state of sociological social psychology. In this article, they proposed joining their respective areas of expertise—justice (Karen) and legitimation (Cathy)—to forge a new, more collective approach to justice: Justice beyond the individual, in which concepts from legitimacy are used to highlight the collective nature of justice processes. They subsequently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to support a new research agenda studying how legitimacy affects reactions to injustice. Work from that project has appeared in a number of outlets, including the American Behavioral Scientist and the Australian Journal of Psychology.

Individual Projects

As Karen and Cathy would quickly point out, however, their areas of expertise are much broader than their current collaboration. Both have done work not only on justice and legitimation, but on status, power, and the role of emotions in these processes. Cathy brings expertise in identity processes, and Karen’s interests include social cognition and socialization. Their methodological expertise is particularly broad. Although both specialize in experimental research, their work also includes survey and qualitative studies. The two deputy editors who will round out their team (pending ASA confirmation) will complement their strengths in these areas.

Both Karen and Cathy have impeccable credentials as social psychologists. They trained in departments known for their social psychology programs (Karen at the University of Washington and Cathy at the University of Iowa), and their impressive vitas include numerous publications in Social Psychology Quarterly. Both have been active in the Social Psychology and Emotions Sections of the ASA. Karen is the past chair of the Social Psychology Section, and Cathy is the incoming chair of the Emotions Section. Both have served on the Councils and on numerous committees of both sections.

Karen has written widely on distributive and procedural justice, and has investigated justice processes both in rigorously controlled laboratory experiments that test basic theories of justice, and in natural settings where she has applied justice theories to questions of comparable worth, family and workplace policies, income inequality, and environmental justice. Much of her work concerns how people react emotionally to injustices, but she has also done extensive work on the relation between structural inequalities in power and status and perceptions of injustice. In addition to SPQ, her work has been published in Social Forces, Advances in Group Processes, the Annual Review of Sociology, and Social Justice Research, among others.

The core focus of Cathy’s research is the study of legitimation: how the legitimacy of leaders and organizational structures affect behaviors and perceptions that are important for organizations and their members. She is particularly interested in the linkages between legitimation and other processes central to groups, such as status and power, and her work with Karen continues that theme by linking legitimation with justice processes. Cathy also has an abiding interest in inequality and disadvantage, whether created by gender, physical disability, immigrant status, or sexual orientation. In addition to SPQ, her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, and Advances in Group Processes, among others.

Karen and Cathy are currently co-authoring a social psychology text for the 21st Century Series in Sociology (Pine Forge Press), in which they lay out their vision of a social psychology that builds connections both within social psychology (linking different theoretical and substantive areas) and between social psychology and other fields of sociology, such as culture, race, gender, stratification, criminology, health, and globalization. That vision also describes their goals for SPQ, and they will particularly encourage submissions that bridge sub-areas of social psychology or that link micro-processes with structural and cultural elements of the larger society.

Karen and Cathy bring to the editorship superb administrative and editorial skills, honed in the many leadership positions both have held. Both have served on the SPQ editorial board, and Karen is a past deputy editor of SPQ. Between them, they have also served on the editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and Social Forces, and edited research volumes. In addition to their administrative and editorial skills—clearly essential to their new roles, they bring a deep commitment, reflected in their scholarly work, to fairness and tolerance. Both authors and readers can be assured that under the new editorial team, Social Psychology Quarterly will be managed with efficiency and high standards, authors will be treated with fairness and respect, and readers will be offered a broad and diverse array of the very best social psychological work.

Social Psychology Quarterly publishes theoretical and empirical papers on the linkages between the individual and society, including the study of the relations of individuals to one another, to groups, to collectivities, and to institutions. The journal is genuinely interdisciplinary and publishes works by both sociologists and psychologists. As of August 1, send any correspondence to spq@emory.edu.

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