homeprev issuesexecpublic affairsSTAFFASA home
2001 Annual Meeting

Four Full Days in Anaheim: A Stimulating Program!

The 96th Annual Meeting of the ASA took place in the west coast in sunny Anaheim, CA this year. Because it is home to Disneyland and near the sprawling city of Los Angeles, Anaheim made a fitting backdrop for this year’s Annual Meeting, with the theme—“Cities of the Future,”

President Douglas Massey’s theme was meant to reflect on the meaning of urbanization for human societies and the social relations within nations that are rapidly industrializing as well as those that lag behind by looking at the social organizations, economic structures, ecological patterns, and cultural forms that exist in cities. Massey and the 2001 Program Committee led a program of more than 570 sessions.

Thematic sessions addressed such issues as “Disney’s America and the World,” “The Multicultural Metropolis,” and “Cities of the Future: From Chicago to LA.” They received much attention from meeting participants as well as the media.

More than 4,200 attendees were engaged and visibly animated by the many options in the 2001 Program. Besides thematic, special, and regular sessions, the meeting included two town meetings. The first featured speaker was Raynard Kington, Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences, National Institutes of Health, who spoke about social science research in health. Greg Koski, Director of the Office for Human Research Protections, Department of Health and Human Services, focused on the review of social and behavioral science research involving human subjects.

President Massey addressed a topic of enormous significance in a thought-provoking paper on “The Origin and Role of Emotions in Social Life.” This Presidential Address followed the Awards Ceremony, where eight major ASA awards were given.

There were many opportunities to socialize at well-attended events such as the Welcoming Party, the Honorary Reception, the Student Reception, the Departmental Alumni Night, Just Desserts! A Teaching Enhancement Fundraiser, and the Minority Fellowship Program Benefit Reception.

The crowded International Scholars reception reflected the significant numbers of international sociologists who attended the meeting and contributed to the program. In particular, ASA was pleased to welcome Alberto Martinelli, president of the International Sociological Association.

This year the exhibit hall became the virtual meeting place. Sociologists from students through senior scholars met with exhibitors and poster presenters to gather information, ask questions, and explore work.

With Café ASA at the center of the hall, attendees were able to “schmooze” over lunch or a cup of coffee sprinkled with visits to exhibitor displays or poster sessions on funding, data resource, or graduate programs in sociology. The mind, the spirit, and the body were all well fed!

The 2001 Annual Meeting was the first experiment with a four-day event instead of the usual five. The goal was to help reduce costs for participants, help ensure that participants and exhibitors can stay for the entire meeting, and increase the number of participants over those days. Sessions were very well received, and sections whose section day was at the end of the meeting had an extra session—also with a larger than usual audience. While some may joke that Anaheim did not have the immediate “draw” with restaurants and interesting neighborhoods, the attractive and accessible meeting facilities coupled with an excellent program and fewer distractions meant that sessions were very well attended.

This year’s Annual Meeting launched some innovations befitting a “meeting of the future.” Instead of selling hard copies of papers, attendees (and anyone) can purchase papers on the ASA website and have them sent to their e-mail accounts. The preliminary program was online as well, and could be readily searched and downloaded. Information on special services, special events, tours, housing, and travel, could also be found on the Annual Meeting web page.

At the closing bell on August 21, the four-day meeting was a success thanks to the Program Committee and all the participants. For those unable to attend this year’s meeting, many papers and the Program are available online. The 2002 Annual Meeting will be held on August 16-19, in Chicago, IL. The online Call for Papers and the printed edition will be available in late October.