American Sociological Association

COVID-19 Resources for Sociologists


by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay
July 15, 2020

Every day we face new challenges related to COVID-19. ASA wants to help sociologists navigate those challenges. We are offering several resources to help sociologists in their work during this period.

For more sociological perspectives and insights, see ASA's Special Issue of Footnotes on COVID-19.


A Call to Higher Education Administrators to Support Caregivers During COVID-19. One impact of the pandemic that has been documented by researchers is the detrimental impact on the careers of women scholars, owing in large part to the disproportionate care work that women (especially women of color) are doing for their families and for their universities. ASA encourages administrators to consider adopting responses that would be meaningful on their respective campuses. Several potential options are articulated including workload reductions, workload redistributions, compensation for unpaid labor, post-pandemic sabbaticals, and adjusted criteria for tenure and promotion. Read the statement. (December 14, 2020)

Letter to Congressional Leadership on Relief Funding for Higher Education: On June 1, ASA sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer asking for the provision of substantial additional funding for higher education in future COVID-related relief bills. The letter recognizes that, while the pandemic has affected all of us, its consequences are not uniform, with the most marginalized institutions and individuals hit hardest. We urge that resources allocated to higher education be distributed to the students and institutions who need them most. The letter was authored by ASA and co-signed by almost 40 other scholarly associations. Read the letter


Statement on Student Educational Progress during COVID-19: On April 22, ASA released a formal statement, endorsed by over 30 other scholarly associations across disciplines, calling on institutions of higher education to consider appropriate temporary accommodations for students whose degree progress has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement contains recommendations that institutions modify timelines for student progress and completion, such as extending funding eligibility and time-to-degree requirements, and adjust expectations for learning and scholarship by, for example, offering pass-fail grading options and amending graduation requirements. "Tangible policy changes like these are important for students' educational progress and well-being, and we encourage departments and institutions to offer these and other protective measures that are appropriate for their students and context." Read the statement.


Statement on Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes during COVID-19: On March 23, ASA released a formal statement, endorsed by over 50 other scholarly associations across disciplines, calling on institutions of higher education to consider appropriate temporary adjustments to their review and reappointment processes for tenure-track and contingent faculty during the COVID-19 crisis. The statement contains recommendations to limit the use of student evaluations of teaching during the current term and to adjust expectations for faculty scholarship through this period. Further, administrators are encouraged to communicate such changes to faculty expeditiously. "We ask that institutions support the extraordinary efforts of faculty by allowing them to focus on immediate needs without worrying that this will compromise how they are reviewed for tenure, promotion, and reappointment." Read the statement.


Ethics of working with students and Black Lives Matter: ASA has issued guidance for faculty who involve their students in potentially risky research on the protests. Read the statement.



ASA Forum for Directors of Graduate Studies, recorded May 27, 2020
ASA invites sociology graduate program directors to a virtual forum to discuss how to navigate disruptions in graduate education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum is an opportunity to share ideas with your peers and provide support to each other. The conversation will be led by three experienced graduate directors at doctoral and master’s degree-granting departments across the country: ASA President Christine Williams, University of Texas at Austin; Kirk A. Johnson, University of Mississippi; and Mary Nell Trautner, SUNY Buffalo. Watch the recording.  

ASA Forum for Sociology Department Chairs, recorded May 6, 2020
Department chairs are on the front lines of higher education's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ASA invites sociology department chairs to a virtual forum to discuss how to navigate the challenges of leading a department during this crisis. The forum is an opportunity to share resources, ideas, and support with your peers. It will be led by Jacqueline Johnson, Department Chair at Adelphi University; Jennifer Randles, Department Chair at California State University, Fresno; and Eric Wright, Department Chair at Georgia State University. Watch the recording.

Best Practices and Strategies for Successful Online Teaching, recorded April 22, 2020
Because of COVID-19, faculty have quickly moved their courses online, and their immediate focus is getting through the crisis. As institutions look beyond the current semester, a growing number are moving summer courses online and some are planning for this possibility for fall. In this webinar, Melinda Messineo will cover best practices for online teaching and learning, as well as sociology-specific recommendations to help faculty prepare for and improve their online teaching. Dr. Messineo is a professor of sociology at Ball State University. She was a member of ASA’s Task Force on Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major, where she was part of the subcommittee on online learning. The recommendations from the task force can be found in The Sociology Major in the Changing Landscape of Higher Education: Curriculum, Careers and Online Learning. Watch the recording. 

Sociology Student Town Hall: Navigating Covid-19, recorded April 16, 2020
The Student Forum Advisory Board invites sociology graduate and undergraduate students to a town hall to discuss how to navigate the challenges of being a student during this difficult time. Whether you are taking courses or in the final stages of writing your dissertation, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted students in unique ways. We invite students at all stages to join us for a conversation to share resources, discuss coping strategies, and commiserate. Watch the recording and access shared resources.

Transitioning to Online Teaching in the Face of COVID-19, recorded March 19, 2020
Colleges and universities across the country are transitioning to distance learning in response to COVID-19. Many instructors have been asked to move their face-to-face courses online in a short amount of time, often with little guidance for this process. In response, ASA hosted a webinar to help instructors manage the transition and facilitate students' continued learning in the online environment. Panelists include Melinda Messineo, professor of sociology at Ball State University and member of the Online Learning Subcommittee of the ASA Taskforce on Liberal Learning; Kimberly Alecia Singletary, Instructional Designer and Educational Consultant; and Matt Rafalow, Social Scientist at Google and author of forthcoming book on EdTech and inequality. Watch the recording and find additional resources to assist faculty in creating quality and creative online courses and assignments.

College Students and Mental Health: Strategies for Supporting Students, recorded January 22, 2019
In this ASA Department Affiliates webinar, sociologists Shirley Leyro (Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College and Mental Health First Aid Trainer) and Yvonne Vissing (Professor at Salem State University and National Alliance on Mental Health Trainer) share strategies for responding to students and explore proactive ways that faculty members, departments, and institutions can support student mental health. Watch the recording.



In reponse to COVID-19, ASA has temporarily made TRAILS available to everyone. TRAILS is an online peer-reviewed library of high quality teaching resources. Resource types include syllabi, class activities, assignments, lectures, and more. You may log in to TRAILS using your ASA username and password, regardless of your membership status. If you do not have an ASA username and password, you can create one here.

Online Sociological Content for Your Courses

Other Resources to Support Your Teaching and Advising




ASA Journal Articles Relevant to COVID-19. ASA has worked with our journal editors to identify existing articles in ASA journals that could be useful to those trying to develop responses to, and cope with, the enormous disruptions this pandemic has produced. Click here to access the articles that are freely available to all users.

Call for Papers. Journal of Health and Social Behavior is seeking manuscripts on “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Risk, Disparities, and Health” to be published in a regular issue. JHSB is looking for theoretical and empirical manuscripts that examine the sociological impacts of COVID-19. These papers can address any of, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Racial/ethnic disparities in testing, treatment, and/or health outcomes
  • Gender differences in mortality and morbidity
  • Geo-spatial trends in US morbidity and mortality
  • Social variation in pandemic response by city/state/country
  • Impact on medical care professionals and first-responders (e.g., fatigue, burnout, risk of infection, overwork)
  • Impact on health care systems and networks (e.g., overburdening, lack of supplies/equipment, lack of trained professionals)
  • Social disparities in the impact on “essential” workers
  • The impact of the pandemic on mental health (e.g., due to isolation, proximity to death, economic uncertainty)
  • Prison and detention center health, health outcomes, and risk of infection
  • Impact on other medical care (e.g., individuals who need care for—or are hospitalized for—conditions/reasons other than COVID-19)
  • Disparities in responses to public health recommendations during this pandemic



Sociologists are responding in creative ways to learn more about the pandemic and its consequences. They are collecting data, creating interdisciplinary research collaborations, compiling resources, and supporting their communities. See the projects and initiatives that sociologists are leading and add your own.


Journalists are turning to sociologists on a wide variety of topics. Click here to see the articles that sociologists are quoted in or have authored on the topic of COVID-19 and add yourself to the list.


You can help support ASA's efforts on behalf of sociologists by becoming a member or by making a donation here.

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