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Greetings from ASA President Barbara Reskin

You are cordially invited to an intellectual bash—the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Chicago from August 16 to 19, 2002.

If you are already on the program, I hope you will plan to attend for all four days to sample the paper sessions, workshops, discussion roundtables, plenary events, and town meetings that are organized around the substantive issues that animate sociology. If you are not on the formal program, I particularly encourage you to come—especially if you have not previously attended an ASA meeting. The 2002 Program Committee has worked for two years to plan a program that will give everyone a chance to participate, regardless of career stage and whether her or his primary interests lie in teaching, research, or practice.

You are especially invited to the four plenary events. The first, on Thursday evening, is a town meeting on the Social Dimensions of Terrorism, followed by a welcoming party. On Friday—the first full day of the meetings—the featured event is a plenary session on Meritocracy. Saturday afternoon features the annual Awards Ceremony and Presidential Address. On Sunday, in the midday slot, is a plenary session on Racial Profiling. Following this plenary is a set of sessions on profiling in specific social arenas such as criminal justice, health care, and consumer and housing markets, and an intensive teaching workshop. If you are interested in teaching about profiling, pre-register for Sunday’s day-long course that will provide curriculum assistance, teaching strategies, a chance to get to know others who share your interests, and a certificate documenting your completion of this mini-course.

The plenary events relate to the theme of the 2002 annual meetings: “Allocation Processes and Ascription.” I picked this theme to highlight scholarship on how and why ascribed characteristics (sex, race, ethnicity, nativity, age, religion, and class, for example) affect people’s exposure to society’s opportunities. Throughout the meetings, special thematic sessions feature how allocation and ascription operate across a variety of social institutions, both in the United States and around the world.

The Annual Meeting is a marketplace for the exchange of ideas. It is both the meeting of our learned society and a place to learn. Come early, stay late, and if you see me, members of the 2002 Program Committee, and the other ASA officers, stop us and say hello.

Barbara Reskin, ASA President