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Public Sociology and UC’s Institute on Labor and Employment

The first in a series of articles highlighting the sociological context of ASA’s next Annual Meeting location . . . San Francisco, California

Public Sociology is the theme of this summer’s Annual Meeting in San Francisco. While many of us are familiar with it in theory, what does it look like in practice? What are its challenges, dilemmas and unique advantages? One place to look for answers is the Institute on Labor and Employment (ILE), a University of California multi-campus research program that engages scholars and labor movement staff and activists in studying issues of labor and employment in California and the United States.

ASA President Michael Burawoy, instigator of this Annual Meeting theme, believes that public sociology is the discipline’s “moral moment,” when sociologists engage a public beyond the academy, bringing their tools and expertise to dialogue on issues affecting society as a whole.

also in this issue
Sociologists Are Appointed Sage Fellows

Six sociologists were among the 21 leading social scientists recently appointed 2003-04 Visiting Scholars at the Russell Sage Foundation. During their tenure at the Foundation, the Fellows will pursue research and writing projects that will promote the Foundation’s commitment to strengthening the social sciences.

Are Sociology Programs Downsizing?

A recent series of articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests that academic departments are downsizing as retirements accelerate and “hiring freezes abound.” State budget shortfalls and declining stock portfolios have affected scholarly disciplines in both the humanities and the sciences, including English, history, physics, and math. Interviews with department chairs suggest that teaching loads are increasing, as specialties are being cut, and temporary faculty are being hired to cover classes.

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