American Sociological Association

Preconferences and Courses

Registration is required for Courses and Preconferences. You may add a preconference or course when you register for the Annual Meeting or add to an existing registration. Sign in to the ASA Portal to continue to registration. 


All courses are scheduled for Friday, August 10, 2018. View full course details on the online program.

An Introduction to the General Social Survey (GSS) and the Data Explorer Course
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Registration Fee: $15

The General Social Survey (GSS) is the most widely used data set in social science after the US Census. This course is first intended for those who are interested in using the GSS but who have never used the GSS data before. It will give a general overview of the GSS data structure as well as some guide about where novice users can start and what resources are available. The second objective of this course is introducing the GSS Data Explorer, an online analysis tool provided by the GSS team and NORC. This course will give an overview of using the Data Explorer for simple analyses online and how it may be utilized in classes especially when statistical programs (e.g. SPSS and Stata) are not available. Participants are recommended to bring their own laptop.

Incorporating American Community Survey and US Census Data into Undergraduate Courses
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Registration Fee: $15

The American Community Survey (ACs) and US Census are the most widely used data sets in the social sciences. These data sets provide a wealth of research opportunities for all scholars from novices to experts, making it an excellent resource for teaching undergraduates both in substantive and methods courses. This workshop will focus on how faculty and future faculty can integrate analyses of US Census and American Community Survey (ACS) data in relevant, user-friendly ways in such courses as Intro Sociology, Social Problems, Stratification, Race Relations, the Family, Sociology of Aging, Population, and more. For the best experience, participants should bring a laptop or tablet.

The course has three main objectives. By the conclusion of the course, participants will: (1) be able to demonstrate how existing sociology courses can incorporate ACS/Census data analysis; (2) be able to identify best practices for incorporating these data into substantive courses; and (3) know of ACS/Census data resources appropriate for intro-level courses through methods/stats-level courses.


All preconferences are scheduled for Friday, August 10, 2018. View full preconference details on the online program.

The Sociology of International Organizations Preconference
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration Fee: Regular - $10; Student - $0
Full Agenda

At a time when globalization is increasingly contested in practice and scholarship, the rise of anti-globalization forces has cast the spotlight on the successes, failures and limitations of international organizations (IOs), ubiquitous actors which structure the institutional environment underpinning world economic, environmental and social affairs. Political science has dominated the study of IOs. Yet, in recent years, a distinctive sociology of international organizations is emerging. It crosses over such diverse subfields as global and transnational sociology, economic sociology, sociologies of law and culture, organizations and professions. Despite the promise of this diversity, however, strands of work on IOs in sociology have not adequately been brought into productive conversation with each other. Nor has adequate attention been given to the structures of domination and race that permeate the transnational and global, from the cross-border flows of refugees and migrants to the racialized depictions of “terrorists” and deliberations of the world’s most prominent and powerful IOs. Further, while emotion is salient in the decision-making and implementation of global governance, it has been little explored. Yet it might offer a powerful sociological counterpoint to the rational actor, rational design and international political economy theories so prominent in political science and international relations. 

As scholars from different sociological approaches to IOs, we propose a preconference where specialists on IOs meet together for the first time in order:

  • To bring our respective areas of focus, research and theory into closer engagement
  • To consider where and how race permeates IOs and global governance 
  • To consider the interplay of reason and emotion in global governance 

We believe sociologists are well-equipped to intervene in contemporary academic, policy and public debates over the postures and practices of IOs in our contemporary field. The preconference will enable younger and senior scholars alike to advance a distinctively sociological approach to IOs.

ASA Section on Teaching and Learning Preconference
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $60 (includes lunch)

This annual full day teaching conference will focus on Using Technology to Improve Our Teaching: From Online and Hybrid Classes to Learning Management Systems and emails. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in engaging theme based roundtables throughout the workshop. Strategies as well as resources to enhance teaching will be explored.

Group Processes Preconference
Registration Fee: Regular - $50; Student - $10 (includes lunch)
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The annual Group Processes Conference focuses around new social psychological advances in Group Processes. Each year the goal of this one-day conference is to allow Group Processes researchers and those interested in Group Processes to come together and share new theoretical and methodological developments in the field. In general, the conference aims to encourage and support dialogue within and between the different strains of group-focused social psychology research. It does this by holding a whole-day conference. In the conference, researchers present projects in three different thematic panels, but the conference also hosts graduate student round tables, where graduate students get the chance to meet and receive feedback directly from experts regarding their projects. 

This year, in conjunction with the 2018 American Sociological Association’s theme to “Explore Racialized Emotions”, in order to commemorate the one year anniversary of the tragic events in Charlottesville, we will encourage submissions that apply Group Processes research to solve real world problems dealing with racial, gender, class, and sexual inequalities. Group processes theory and research on emotions, justice, power, status, identity, trust, and group cohesion are all well-positioned to bring a lot to the table when considering the causes and solutions to micro-interactional dynamics of inequality. While group processes has particularly strong theoretical research programs, we would also like to highlight the expanding application of group processes research in creating solutions to real-world problems. 

We hope not only to continue to foster new ideas and cement collegial relationships between members of the group processes subfield, but to also expand the reach and interactions of group processes research with other researchers who may be less acquainted with the fascinating and exciting developments in group-focused social psychology.

Policy Engagement Preconference
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $35

Training Researchers to Inform Policy
Research and other forms evidence should be used to improve public policy, but that does not always happen. Scholars find it difficult to navigate the policy process. The Scholars Strategy Network's  Training Researchers to Inform Policy (TRIP) Workshop is designed to empower researchers with skills and strategies to make your work -- and research and evidence in general -- matter more to policymakers. To make a significant contribution to policy, scholars need strategies. The strategies presented in SSN's workshop come from the collected lessons of eight years of organizational learning, combined with reviews of the latest research on the conditions when research is most likely to be used in policymaking and over 40 interviews with researchers, policymakers and civic leaders. At the heart of SSN's one-day preconference is one key insight: policymakers make decisions by turning to people and sources they already know and trust. To make research matter, researchers must have trusted, reciprocal relationships with policymakers, or with powerful intermediaries. How can researchers build relationships with policymakers and civic leaders? Whom should you choose to work with? How can you make strategic choices with your limited time for public engagement? How can working with policymakers and civic leaders lead you to better research questions?


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