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ASA Holds Briefing on Hate Crimes
ASA Holds Congressional Briefing on Hate Crimes

A packed house of over 100 filled the room of the Rayburn House Office Building and listened intently to four sociologists knowledgeable about research on hate crimes. The October 21, 1999, Congressional briefing, "Hate in America: What Do We Know?" was held by the ASA's Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy.

James F. Short, Jr., Washington State University, moderated the panel comprised of Abby Ferber, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs; Ryken Grattet, University of California-Davis; and Valerie Jenness, University of California-Irvine.

The panelists pressed the point that hate-motivated behavior was not new but that the category of hate as a crime was a more recent construction. Also, they emphasized that such actions have received more recent attention in light of a stream of violent incidents. They noted that the names of the people and places involved remind us of the worst aspects of human societies: James Byrd, Matthew Shepard, Billy Jack Gaither, Columbine, the Sacramento Synagogue arsons, Jonesboro, and Benjamin Nathaniel Smith. White supremacist organizations have also been on the rise throughout the 1990s.

Contemporary Sociology
  Contemporary Sociology Offers Utopian Visions

How should the official journal of reviews of the American Sociological Association mark the turn of the millennium? We have decided the appropriate means is to celebrate our disciplinary potential. We will mark this new century with a review not of the past, but of the possible future. In the January issue of Contemporary Sociology, you will find a series of essays on the possibilities, constraints, and institutional designs that may lead to a better world. All the essays use sociological wisdom, research, theories, and imagination to envision a more utopian world. Collectively, they demonstrate the breadth of contribution we can expect from the engaged sociology of the next century.

  Spencer Foundation Makes Grant

The Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based Foundation which funds projects to improve education, has made a $25,000 award to the American Sociological Association for a special issue of Sociology of Education (SOE). The special issue will examine the recent past of the sociology of education, reflect on the state of the field of the present, and point to promising directions for the future.

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