homeprev issuesexecpublic affairsSTAFFASA home

Spotlight Sessions On Southern California

The location of the Annual Meeting in southern California affords meeting attendees a special opportunity to see interesting sites and discuss political and cultural issues bubbling in the popular cauldron of one of the largest states in our country. You have already enjoyed some of the special feature articles in Footnotes about Southern California. Continue your exposure to this region by attending Regional Spotlight sessions on interesting topics, including:

  • California Indians: A Changing Social Reality
  • Changing Race, Culture: Clash in Orange County
  • The Home of Urban Sprawl: Resistance and Policy
  • The New Labor Movement in Los Angeles: Achievements and Prospects
  • The Sociology of Hollywood
  • Trends in Crime and Deviance in Southern California
  • Victim Services and Crime Prevention Programs in California: Issues in Program Evaluation
  • Welfare Reform, Welfare Policy, and Welfare Research in Los Angeles County
  • Workers across Borders
One of the best ways to get a feel for the people and history of Southern California is to take advantage of one or more of this year’s Spotlight tours.

This year’s complement of tours is interesting and substantive, highlighting the social makeup and personality of the Southern California area. No matter which adventure you decide to embark upon, there is one common denominator: the way to experience and learn about a city is to meet with, talk to, and learn from the people who live there.

The schedule of tours is provided below. Reservations are mandatory and may be made by completing the Tour Reservation portion of the meeting registration form and sending in the form with appropriate fees. Confirmations will be mailed prior to the Annual Meeting; tickets will accompany registration packets which may be picked up at ASA Preregistration counters in the Hilton Anaheim hotel upon arrival at the Annual Meeting. See the homepage for details about reservations and accessibility information.

Tour 1: Bowers Museum, Santa Ana
Saturday, August 18, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (Fee: $34.00)

Coordinated by Whirl-A-Round Tours

Heralded by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s 10 must-see museums, the Bowers Museum opens its stately doors for you. Housed in a Spanish style hacienda, the Bowers is renowned for its collection of Latin American and Pacific Rim art and artifacts. You’ll have time to explore the various rooms of the museum, each chronicling a different piece of the cultural fabric that comprises Southern California. Of particular interest in this, the sesquicentennial of the state of California, is an exhibit that details the Golden State’s rich history. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 46 participants.)

Tour 2: Spanish Los Angeles (Los Angeles: The Spanish Colony)
Sunday, August 19, 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Fee: $22.00)

Leader: Kris Kouri

The first Spanish settlement, established in the area now known as Los Angeles, was a mission founded by the Franciscan Fathers in 1771. Always looking to expand their territory, the Spanish government soon instituted the Pueblo de Los Angeles just a short distance away. The first inhabitants of this little town were forty-four multiracial soldiers of Black, Indian, and Spanish descent, who were granted large plots of land. These early settlers, who were known as the Rancheros, continued to farm the land even after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1822. But with the United States takeover of the California territory in 1848 and the new system of government that followed, they gradually lost their holdings. This tour traces this early Spanish period, including a visit to the San Gabriel Mission, the Pueblo de Los Angeles, and Olvera Street. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 25 participants.)

Tour 3: Little Saigon
Sunday, August 19, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Fee: $22.00)

Leaders: Gina Masequesmay, California State University, Northridge, Jeffery Brody, California State University, Fullerton, David DeVries, California State University, Fullerton, Tracy A. Pham, co-host of Public Affairs Vietnamese American radio, Linh Van Nguyan, Executive Director of Nguyan Ba Hoc Cultural Center, Thom Tran, University of California, Los Angeles

Little Saigon is the largest Vietnamese community outside of Viet Nam and is the social, economic and political capital of Vietnamese America. This is a multi-leader tour that involves driving and promenades. After a 50-minute slide show of the Vietnamese-American community, a bus tour let’s you explore Little Saigon including a newspaper and a Vietnamese-American radio station, where news, entertainment, and community services are delivered in both Vietnamese and English. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 30 participants.)

Tour 4: Museum of Tolerance
Sunday, August 19, 10:30 a.m. –3:00 p.m. (Fee: $30.00)

Coordinated by Whirl-A-Round Tours

“This is no ordinary museum,” says the New York Times of the Museum of Tolerance, and many say that is an understatement. LA’s Museum of Tolerance, located within the Simon Wiesenthal Center, guarantees you will not have an “ordinary” experience. The Museum blends technology and history to focus visitors’ thoughts on the dynamics of racism and prejudice, using the Holocaust as the ultimate symbol of man’s inhumanity against man. Your visit begins when you are given a photo passport of a child who lived in the years before the Holocaust. As you travel through the exhibit, the passport is continuously updated, and in the end, you learn the child’s ultimate fate. Besides the recordings and reenactments to which you are exposed in this section, there are displays of Holocaust artifacts such as Anne Frank’s original letters, a bunk bed from the Majdanek death camp, and a flag sewn by the Mauthausen inmates for their American liberators. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 46 participants.)

Tour 5: California History 101: Mission San Juan Capistrano
Monday, August 20, 9:00 a.m. –12:00 noon (Fee: $26.00)

Coordinated by Whirl-A-Round Tours

San Juan Capistrano, “The City of the Bells,” first captured the eye of Father Junipero Serra over 200 years ago. It was here that he built the “Jewel of the Missions”, a complex lovingly preserved to this day. From its significance in the history of Orange County and, indeed, California, to its reputation as a sanctuary for the swallows that return every March, this mission is sure to intrigue and enchant its guests. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 46 participants.)

Tour 6: Sweat Shops (co-sponsored by the Labor and Labor Movements Section-in-formation)
Monday, August 20, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (Fee: $22.00)

Leaders: Ku-Sup Chin and Robert Ross, Clark University

The heart of the Los Angeles garment industry lies in a relatively compact Fashion District just east of downtown Los Angeles, not far from the glittering financial and cultural core of the city. It contains several blocks of apparel manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. After cruising the garment business enclave by bus, you will visit several small garment workshops housed in the aging, multi-story buildings that line the Broadway corridor. We will attempt to observe labor law violator shops; we will see the buildings in which they now operate. Our next stop is the California Mart located in the center of the garment district on 9th Street between Los Angeles and Main Streets. The Mart, the largest apparel market in North America, houses primarily 1,500 showrooms representing 10,000 collections. The final destination is the Jobber Alley, a bustling commercial market filled with apparel wholesalers occupying renovated warehouse shops. The Jobber market is the marketing link between apparel wholesalers and small retailers. This fieldtrip will provide special insights into the structure of the Los Angeles garment industry and the type of economic activity that fosters a “dual city,” or creates a “third world city” in the U.S. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 30 people.)

Tour 7: Afro-American Museum
Monday, August 20, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Fee: $ 27.00)

Coordinated by Whirl-A-Round Tours

Come join in celebrating and exploring the African-American heritage in the city of Los Angeles. You will visit the Afro-American Museum where you are welcomed by a beautiful 13,000 square foot sculpture court with bronze-tinted glass ceilings, greenery, and the works of Afro-American artists placed sporadically throughout the courtyard. The facility’s primary goal is to collect and preserve artifacts documenting the Afro-American experience in this country. The exhibitions and programs focus on those contributions made to the arts, humanities, sciences, politics, religion, and sports. As you tour the museum, be sure to observe one of the many films that are played throughout the day to learn more about African-American culture. (Bus/walking tour, limited to 46 participants.)

Tour 8: Latina/o Los Angeles Through Murals (co-sponsored by the Section on Latina/o Sociology)
Tuesday, August 21, 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Fee: $22.00)

Leader: Abel Valenzuela, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles

The tour will survey different murals located throughout several different Latina/o communities. Murals serve as an important form of community art expression. Los Angeles’s Latina/o community is grounded in the City’s rich mural tradition. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 30 people.)

Tour 9: Los Angeles: A Contemporary Ethnic Quilt
Tuesday, August 21, 10:00 a.m. –3:30 p.m. (Fee: $22.00)

Leader: Kris Kouri

The city of Los Angeles, with its large number of contemporary immigrants, houses many different and sharply defined ethnic neighborhoods. The communities seen here are especially interesting because they are very different from the kinds of ethnic neighborhoods found in other parts of the United States. This tour is hence designed to acquaint you with unique parts of the Southern California landscape. You will first travel to Monterey Park, a modern-day suburb comprised of immigrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Here, you will be given the opportunity to eat authentic Chinese food, explore herb shops, and visit large Chinese supermarkets. You will then proceed to Alvarado Street, an area of Los Angeles largely inhabited by Mexican immigrants. Afterwards you will travel a short distance to an area of the city known as Korea Town where you will view a large number of businesses owned and operated by Korean entrepreneurs. (Bus/walking tour; limited to 25 participants.)