American Sociological Association

Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium

Call for Submissions

DEADLINE: February 3, 2021

As applied and active sociologists in non-academic work environments, we are fundamentally sociologists at work. In our day-to-day working lives, we aim to: 

  • Promote the discipline and the sociological imagination as a paradigm for understanding; 
  • Engage in rigorous scientific-based research and evaluation;
  • Advocate for, and encourage others to explore, sociologically-informed career pathways outside of academia that provide fulfillment and dignity, and/or
  • Contribute to ethical and justice-based approaches to social and institutional transformation. 

About the Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium
Sociologists employed in government, non-profit organizations, commercial industry, research centers, and other practice settings are invited to submit abstracts that address the context-specific opportunities and challenges of their work to the fourth annual Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium.

The symposium will consist of four back-to-back sessions including “lightning” presentations, a special topic panel, roundtable presentations, and interactive workshops, with opportunities to network throughout. We invite submissions to the special topic panel related to the 2021 ASA theme titled, “Putting Emancipatory Sociology to Work.” 

Sociologist practitioners who wish to present traditional research papers are encouraged to consider submitting their papers to the Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology or another topic-specific section. 

Submission Topic Guidelines
Symposium submissions can address a broad range of topics, including but not limited to: 

  • Advice and examples of how you have responded to challenges (e.g. methodological, substantive, communicative, expectation setting, working with teams, satisfying stakeholders, etc.) in your work.
  • The use of theory and sociological methods in the workplace, work/life balance, decision-making, and company culture.
  • Case study of a specific application or implementation of sociological science in a practice setting.
  • Be creative—we’re open to your ideas!  

Special Topic Panel for ASA 2021: “Putting Emancipatory Sociology to Work”
How do we put the concepts of emancipatory sociology into practice through our work? What problems or challenges do we address in our practice settings and how do we use our sociological imaginations and knowledge in our working lives? Are there restrictions or freedoms allowing for emancipatory sociology in practice settings? How does sociology in practice contribute to a sociology of liberation for oppressed groups?

Submission Details
When making your submission, the following will be required:

  1. Preferred format, please indicate: 10-minute lightning presentation (quick, dynamic presentations meant to engage the audience on a specific topic or challenge); 15-minute informal roundtable discussion; 20-minute panel on special topic, “Putting Emancipatory Sociology to Work;” or 45-minute workshop (training experiences organized around specific learning goals and audience engagement).
  2. Title
  3. Short description of presentation for online program.
  4. Structured abstract (200-300 words) to be reviewed by the committee, with the following headings: practice setting background; description and contribution of presentation topic; and intended target audience (including take-aways) as an uploaded paper/extended abstract file.
  5. Names, affiliations, and contact information for each author. If multiple authorship, please indicate who will be presenting.  

If you have any questions about submitting a Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium proposal, please contact: Nicole Amaya at

The 2021 Sociology in Practice Settings Symposium Committee
Sidra Montgomery (Chair), Insight Policy Research 
Jillian Powers, Idea Couture/Cognizant
Matt Rafalow, Google    
Caren Arbeit, RTI International
Barbara Kirsh, ETS (retired); working with a variety of nonprofits
Christopher Steven Marcum, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
George Wimberly, American Educational Research Association

How to Submit

All submissions must be made via the online submission portal. The online forms will guide you through the steps required to submit your proposal. You will have one hour to complete your submission. The system will log you out after one hour of inactivity. Any unsaved work will be lost. 

  1. Go to the online submission portal. Log in using your ASA username and password.
  2. Under the Submitter Menu, select Submit or Edit a Proposal.
  3. Select Submit to the Sociology in Practic Settings Symposium.
  4. Select the type of submission you want to make.

    Confirmation of Proposal Submission
    All electronic proposal submissions will receive an email confirmation from Please save the confirmation email for future reference. If you do not immediately receive your confirmation email, please check your junk or spam folder. Contact if you do not receive an email confirmation of your submission within 12 hours.

    Acceptance Notification
    In March 2021, you will receive an acceptance or decline email for each proposal you submitted. 



    2021 Kauffman Foundation
    2021 Pearson