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Seminars, Courses, and Workshops

Chart a path to this year’s Annual Meeting for development and training across research, teaching, publishing, and a host of other important professional issues.


To help sociologists keep abreast of recent scholarly trends and developments, the Program Committee creates specialized seminars. Experts considered to be at the forefront of a given field are invited to conduct these sessions.

Seminar topics and leaders are listed below. Attendance at each seminar is limited to 50 registrants. Prepaid registration is required;; fees are $25. The schedule and description of each seminar is posted on the ASA website. Please check the posted schedule carefully to make sure that you don’t sign up for a seminar when you are scheduled to present your own paper.

  • Coding and Beyond: Qualitative Software Tools that Invite You to Think Out Loud about Your Data
    Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Boston College; and Raymond C. Maietta, ResearchTalk, Inc.

  • Describing the Unconscious in Social Interaction
    Jack Katz, University of California-Los Angeles

  • Designing Web-based Surveys
    Laura C. Brewer, Arizona State University

  • Does Space Matter?: Analyzing and Visualizing Spatial Effects in Sociology
    Richard P. Appelbaum, University of California-Santa Barbara; Luc Anselin, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Geoffrey Jacquez, Terra Seer/ BioMedWare; Donald G. Janelle, University of California, Santa Barbara; John R. Logan, University at Albany, SUNY; and Deirdre Oakley, University at Albany, SUNY

  • Interpreting Effects in Nonlinear and Nonadditive Models Ross Stolzenberg, University of Chicago

  • Interpreting Results of Models for Limited and Categorical Dependent Variables
    Scott Eliason, University of Minnesota

  • Narrative/Textual Analysis
    Roberto Franzoyi, University of Reading

  • Social Network Analysis
    Peter Marsden, Harvard University

  • Techniques to Study Popular Culture
    Wendy Griswold, Northwestern University


    This new educational component provides opportunities for attendees to get in-depth training in special subject areas. These day-long intensive sessions are led by expert faculty who have prepared a comprehensive curriculum to engage participants on all levels. Registrants will receive certificates documenting their participation and completion of these courses.

    Courses are held pre- and post-convention. Attendance limits and fees are noted below, and prepaid registration is required. Reservations are accepted in order of receipt in the ASA Executive Office. Please check the ASA website for details on these course offerings.

  • Human Research Protections in Sociology and the Social Sciences
    Friday, August 15, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
    Fee: $75 (includes lunch); Attendance Limit: 50
    Co-Organizers: Felice J. Levine, Chair, Social and Behavioral Sciences Working Group on Human Research Protections, and Executive Director, American Educational Research Association; and Paula R. Skedsvold, Social and Behavioral Sciences Working Group on Human Research Protections
    Virginia Cain, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health
    Richard T. Campbell, University of Illinois, Chicago
    Jeffrey M. Cohen, Weill Medical College, Cornell University
    Karen A. Hegtvedt, Emory University
    Felice J. Levine, American Educational Research Association
    Paula R. Skedsvold, Social and Behavioral Sciences Working Group on Human Research Protections
    Elaine Wethington, Cornell University

    In this intensive day-long course, participants will get hands-on training in human subjects protection in the conduct of research by examining the federal regulations, the principles undergirding the regulations, the ethical standards provided by ASA’s professional code, and special issues related to human subjects protection in the social sciences. This course is a must for anyone seeking more in-depth training and knowledge than general courses or web-based seminars can provide. Participants will receive a certificate documenting training in human subjects research protections. The course meets or surpasses most institutional and federal agency requirements; however, participants are responsible for ensuring that their institution’s training standards are met.

  • Teaching about Contemporary Families
    Friday, August 15, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Fee: $50; Attendance Limit: 30
    Leaders: Maxine Atkinson and Shannon Davis, North Carolina State University

    This course will focus on a major challenge to teaching about contemporary families: providing a sociological framework. Connections between basic sociological concepts and the family literature are too often left implicit rather than explicit and undergraduates miss the sociological connection. When we are able to make strong connections between sociological perspectives and families, many of the challenges we face in teaching family sociology are resolved. Using a sociological perspective, students are more likely to be able to see beyond their individiual family issues to viewing families sociologically.

  • Conducting Focus Groups
    Friday, August 15, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
    Fee: $50; Attendance Limit: 20
    Leader: David Morgan, Portland State University

    This course will introduce participants to the basic issues involved in conducting focus groups. It is organized around the following core topics: deciding to use focus groups, designing focus groups research, asking questions in focus groups, moderating focus groups, and analyzing and reporting the data from focus groups.

    The course begins with the assumption that there is no single, correct way to do focus groups. Instead, every project requires you to think about why you are doing the research, so you can make more specific decisions about who will participate in the discussions, what you ask them, how you will conduct the conversation, and how you will analyze the data from those discussions. This approach emphasizes issues related to research design, question writing, and analysis strategies, rather than treating moderating as the single most important element in focus groups. In addition, this approach also emphasizes the importance of thinking about analysis issues right from the beginning and throughout the project.

    Those attending the workshop will have the opportunity to write questions for a focus group, to practice moderating a focus group, and to participate in a demonstration of the analysis of focus groups by applying computer software to an interview transcript.

  • Infusing Inquiry and Research Experiences into Undergraduate Courses
    Wednesday, August 20, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
    Fee: $50; Attendance Limit: 30
    Leaders: Kerry Strand, Hood College; and Havidan Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Research training in most undergraduate sociology programs occurs late in the major and is largely confined to one or two courses. This late introduction to research is exacerbated by the large number of sociology students who are transfer students, who declare the major late, or who postpone taking research courses. In contrast, students who are introduced to research experiences early in the curriculum acquire a more accurate and appealing picture of sociology, begin to develop skills and confidence in data analysis, and are better prepared both for upper-level sociology courses and for research-related positions after they graduate. In this course we will introduce and demonstrate various strategies for introducing research training and experiences across lower level, non-research courses in the sociology curriculum, with a focus on using available data sets and user-friendly data analysis programs to meet the learning goals of basic sociology courses.

  • Teaching an AP-level Course (sponsored by the ASA Task Force on the Development of an AP Course in Sociology)
    Wednesday, August 20, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
    Fee: $40; Attendance Limit: 30
    Leader: Caroline Persell, New York University

    This course is designed for current or future teachers of honors, advanced, or AP-type sociology courses in high schools and for teachers of Introduction to Sociology courses in colleges and universities. It will focus on some of the key understandings students should gain as a result of studying sociology and explore ways of teaching those insights, including how a sociological perspective differs from that of other social sciences and humanities, the evidence needed to infer causality, the probabilistic and contingent nature of sociological knowledge, the power of demography, what sociologists do, how sociologists think about culture, socialization, social organization, deviance and conformity, social inequalities by class, race and gender, social institutions, and social change. The emphasis will be on active forms of learning—simulations, exercises, and research activities— although films and websites will be mentioned where relevant.

    Participants in the course will leave with examples of exercises they can use in teaching sociology in high school or college courses, with information about web-based resources, and with some experience accessing social science data that are publicly available.


    From teaching challenges to using major data sets to career advice and beyond, the 2003 Program features a robust variety of workshops. All workshops are open to all meeting registrants. An overview of workshop topics is listed below. Workshop schedules, leaders, and descriptions are posted on the ASA website.

    Career Issues, Opportunities, and Advice

    • Achieving Success in Your First Academic Job
    • Balancing Teaching and Research Expectations in the Early Faculty Career
    • Career Opportunities in International Development
    • Careers or Interludes in Academic Administration
    • Clinical Sociology; Preparation and Career Opportunities
    • Opportunities for Research and Teaching in International Settings
    • A Dissertation Coach: Practical Steps to Completing a Master’s Thesis or Dissertation
    • Juggling Identities: Do Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Sociologists Study Sexualities?
    • Operating Your Own Firm or Consulting Business
    • Opportunities and Pitfalls in Community Action Research
    • Constructing a Teaching Portfolio
    • Preparing for Graduate School (designed for advanced undergraduates, faculty advisors)
    • Preparing Your Credentials for Teaching-oriented Faculty Positions (designed for advanced graduate students)
    • Reflections of Recently Hired Junior Faculty Members (co-sponsored by the ASA Minority Affairs Program)
    • Searching for and Obtaining Academic Positions
    • Sociological Careers in Science Agencies

    Challenges in Teaching

    • Assessing Quantitative Literacy in Sociology Students
    • Ideas for the First Day of Class
    • Sociology in Freshmen Seminars
    • Teaching Undergraduate Theory: The Canon and Its Narratives
    • Teaching for the 21st Century: Teaching for Inclusion
    • Teaching Students How to Think Sociologically
    • Using the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Teaching

    Department Leadership and Management

    • Effective Use of Part-time and Adjunct Faculty
    • Establishing a Service Learning Program in Your Department
    • Integrating Writing Training in the Sociology Curriculum
    • Putting Sociology to Work: Building Community Capacity for Assessment and Evaluation
    • Recruiting and Graduating Students of Color
    • Some of the Things You Have Always Wanted to Know About Assessment
    • Strategies for Building Departments of Excellence

    Enhanced Teaching of Sociology

    • Graduate Theory Courses
    • Pursuing Social Justice through the Sociology of Sport
    • Teaching Family Violence: Instructional Innovations and Perspective
    • Teaching about Gender and Work
    • Teaching about Genocide and Human Rights
    • A Facilitated Discussion of the Tips and Pitfalls of Teaching about Violence in the Undergraduate Classroom
    • Teaching Chicano and Latino Studies in Sociology
    • Teaching Gay and Lesbian Studies
    • Teaching Introductory Sociology for the First Time
    • Teaching Race, Class & Gender in Sociology
    • Teaching Sociology from a Marxist Perspective
    • Teaching Sociology of Death and Dying
    • Teaching Sociology of Formal Organizations
    • Teaching the Sociology of Alcohol and Drugs
    • Teaching the Sociology of Consumption
    • Teaching the Sociology of Mental Health
    • Teaching the Sociology of Religion
    • Teaching the Sociology of Sex and Gender

    Grant Writing and Funding

    • Applying for Foundation Funding
    • Understanding the Peer Review Process When Applying for NIH Funding
    • Winning Small Grants for “Cutting Edge” Sociological Research and Related Activities: The ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline
    • Writing a Successful Grant Proposal (oriented to beginners)

    Professional Issues and Skills

    • Communicating Research to Policymakers (co-sponsored by the ASA Spivack Program)
    • Communicating Research to the Media (co-sponsored by the ASA Spivack Program)
    • Ethical Dimensions of Internet Research (co-sponsored by the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics)
    • Planning for Data Sharing and Data Dissemination
    • Preparing Professional Presentations
    • Research Integrity and Misconduct (co-sponsored by the ASA Committee on Professional Ethics)
    • Writing a Departmental History (A Project for the ASA Centennial)

    Publishing Advice

    • Advice on Publishing a Monograph
    • Advice on Publishing in Scholarly Journals
    • Publishing GLBT-related Work

    Teaching Techniques Using Active Learning

    • Critical Pedagogy in Sociology
    • Issues in Teaching about Health & Healthcare: Undergraduate, Graduate, & Professional Education
    • Reflective Practice in Class
    • Scaling Up: Using a Web-enhanced Curriculum to Support Sociology Courses
    • Students as Living Data: Developing Active Learning Exercises for Teaching Sociological Methods
    • Teaching Ethics in Undergraduate Methods Courses, (Co-sponsored by Committee on Professional Ethics)
    • Teaching Social Research Across the Undergraduate Curriculum
    • Teaching Sociology in High School
    • Teaching Sociology using Mystery Novels
    • Teaching with the Case Method of Learning
    • “Walking the Walk”: Cooperative and Service-Learning Approaches to Understanding Social Class Inequality

    Using Major National Data Sets

    • Adolescent Health: New Elements in Wave III
    • Datasets on Philanthropy
    • ICPSR and Maximizing the Use of Archives
    • Panel Study of Income Dynamics: An Introduction to Its Potential & Use
    • Using the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) in Research
    • Wisconsin Longitudinal Study