American Sociological Association

Section on Sociology of Population


A Brief History of the Section on the Sociology of Population

By Charles B. Nam, October 1, 2009

In the early 1970's, some members of the American Sociological Association (ASA) formed a Section on Population. The persons who were selected as Officers were primarily demographer/sociologists with strong ties to the Population Association of America (PAA). The program sessions they developed emphasized interests central to demography. After a couple of years, a motion was made at the Section’s business meeting to terminate the Section on the grounds that it duplicated programs at PAA. The motion passed and the Section was disbanded. In 1977, some members of ASA who felt that the earlier Section failed because it did not emphasize sociology’s link to population moved to start a Section with that orientation. Having sufficient support among members, a new Section was approved in 1978. Leaders within the group insisted that it be named the Section on the Sociology of Population, and the purpose and by-laws indicated this Section focus. On at least two occasions since that time the ASA staff dropped “the Sociology of” part of the title and were reminded by Section members why it had to be there. For some thirty-one years now the Section on the Sociology of Population has functioned well and expanded its member base. From time to time program planners lost sight of the main purpose of the Section, but in the main it has been true to its purpose.

We are always interested in acquiring more knowledge of the section's history for this page. If you would like to share your memories, please contact the current webmaster or the section secretary/treasurer. 

A History of Current and Past Section Officers

Please visit our Officers Page for a list of current and past Section Officers (from 1978 to the present).

Archival: An older listing of Section Officers from 1978-2011 

Copyright 2012-2019 ASA Section on Sociology of Population