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July 11, 2018, Washington DC. As controversies over overt racism, White Nationalism, #MeToo, income inequality, immigration and social polarization dominate the American conversation, more than 5,500 sociologists whose work provides insights on these and other vital topics will meet in Philadelphia August 11-14 for the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Approximately 600 sessions featuring over 3,000 research papers are open to the press.
From sexuality to criminology and from religion to the family, sociologists are investigating and reporting on the most sensitive problems confronting American society. This year’s theme, “Feeling Race: An Invitation to Explore Racialized Emotions,” provides an opportunity to think deeply about how emotion works not just at the individual level, but in terms of its impact on larger societal issues and policy choices.
“Because racialized emotions are relational, sociologists should address the emotions of all actors, dominant as well as subordinated, in racialized settings, situations and interactions,” wrote ASA President Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. From examining the emotion of anxiety in a changing American society to discussing the role of ‘what will people say’ in the politics of coming out, the ASA sessions will provide insight, data and lively discussion to attending journalists.
All ASA sessions except ASA and section business meetings are open to credentialed journalists and freelancers with assignment letters from credentialed outlets. Complimentary media registration will open July 11; download the press policy and registration form online (www.asanet.org/PressPolicy). Search the online program for keywords to help find sessions of interest. All sessions will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and adjoining Philadelphia Marriott, adjacent to the Reading Terminal market.
Session highlights include:
Thematic Session. Anxiety; Prospects of Change; Racial Demographic Change
August 11, 8:30 to 10:10 am, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Level 100, 109AB
Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America William H. Frey, Brookings Institution
Studies of News Headlines and Reactions to Prospects of Racial Change Dowell Myers, University of Southern California
Impact of Hispanic Population Growth (Real and Perceived): On Relations between Blacks and Whites in the United States Maria Abascal, Columbia University
The Likely Persistence of a White Majority Richard D. Alba, City University of New York-The Graduate Center
This session will address the emotion of anxiety, framed around prospects for racial/ethnic demographic change in American society. Over the past several decades, the U.S. population has transformed from a primarily White, non-Hispanic population to one filled with myriad groups from all across the globe, and a population where Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Multiracial groups collectively outnumber Whites in many cities, counties, and a growing number of states. Demographic methods for projecting racial/ethnic diversity do not operate in a vacuum and their resulting impact on media reports of demographic change have led to emotions of feeling anxiety or feeling empowered. Themes such as "the Declining White Majority" and "the Rise of Diversity" represent some of the ways in which the projected trends of the racial/ethnic composition of the U.S. population impact the way that people feel about their prospects for the future.
Special Session: Guns and Violence in Trump’s America
August 11, 10:30 am to 12:10 pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 8
Panelists: Jonathan M. Metzl, Vanderbilt University
Jennifer Carlson, University of Arizona
Carmen Gutierrez, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Anna North, Vox
The Trump administration promises broad expansion of gun rights in the U.S. As candidates, Trump-Pence ran with the full endorsement of the NRA and vowed to end gun-free zones in schools and airports, severely curtail gun-violence prevention efforts, and make it ever-easier for people to carry guns across state lines and into cities such as New York. This panel combines journalists, activists, legislators, and academics to discuss gun policy and its everyday effects. It will address questions such as: What are the implications for gun-violence-prevention policy, legislation, reporting, and research? What are the implications of gun proliferation for communities of color? What role will the NRA play in shaping public policy? What impact might legislation such as concealed-carry reciprocity have for policing? What new strategies are needed to promote balance between gun rights and public safety, or foster conversations between disparate people, groups, and factions along the oft-contentious U.S. gun debate?
Special Session: Theorizing Emotions and the Self in Migration Research
August 11, 4:30 to 6:10 pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 8
The State Management of Fear and the Outmigration of Filipino Domestic Workers to the Middle East Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, University of Southern California
Ambivalence and the Social Processes of Immigrant Inclusion Peter Kivisto, Augustana College; Paolo Boccagni, University of Trento
Emotions in Migration Research: Its Relevance for Understanding Immigrant Incorporation Elizabeth M. Aranda, University of South Florida; Girsea Martinez, University of South Florida
Legal Structures, Institutions, Racialization Practices and the Immigrant Self Cecilia Menjivar, University of Kansas
Theories of migration and immigrant incorporation tie successful integration to “benchmarks” of assimilation, such as educational and occupational attainment, language acquisition, civic engagement, and intermarriage, among other measurable outcomes. Assimilation research often focuses on these outcomes and on diminishing ethnic identity. Often neglected from theorization from within migration and incorporation theories is the role of emotions and the self. What does the study of emotions tell us about the processes of incorporation? Given the increasingly hostile reception for immigrants across European countries and the United States, a greater emphasis on national borders, and calls for barring “unassimilable” immigrants, how can the study of immigrant emotions serve as a conduit to understanding larger social, political, and cultural processes and how individuals negotiate these?
Invited Session: Queer Women of Color, Intersectionality and Emotions
August 11, 4:30 to 6:10 pm, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Level 100, 107AB
Is This Your Real Baby? Visibility in Queer and Lesbian Stepparent Families Katie Linette Acosta, Georgia State University
What Will People Say! and Other Emotion Talk: South Asian (Queer) Women and the Politics of Being Out Shweta Majumdar Adur, California State University-Los Angeles
Sexual Autonomy and the Development of Black Women's Same-sex Desire in the Pre-Stonewall Era Mignon R. Moore, Barnard College
Feeling Disconnected: Latina Lesbian-Queer CisWomen and the Intersectional Structuring of Legitimacy and Community Marysol Asencio, University of Connecticut
Within sociology, studies on the lives of queer women of color are still few in number. While intersectionality was introduced to better understand and situate the experiences of populations with multiple markers and sites of social oppressions, in particular women of color, it has also been evolving in both its theorization and application. Panelists will present research on queer women of color which explores issues of subjectivity and emotion in their negotiations of macro- and micro-level limitation and opportunities imposed by race, gender, race, class, age, sexuality, religion, citizenship and other pertinent social markers. Through presentations and discussions among panelists and participants, this session will examine the state of research on queer women of color, the usefulness of an intersectional approach, and the significance of emotions to expanding this field of research.
Thematic Section: The Obama Effect
August 12, 10:30 am to 12:10 pm, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Level 100, 109AB
You Will Not Replace Us: Networked White Feelings in the Wake of the First Black President Jessie Daniels, City University of New York-Hunter College and The Graduate Center
Rethinking -- and Reinvesting in -- Race and Identity Politics in a Post-Obama Political Climate Alford A. Young, University of Michigan
Deconstructing the Politics of Hate: Militant Tiny Publics, Cultural Warfare, and the Destruction of Racial Progress Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College
This session focuses on how the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States offered a promise of social and political change within the country. However, this belief by many Americans did not usher us into what some believed might be a post-racial/political society. Thus, we are left with questions of race and change in the 21st century, comparable to the issues we faced during the 20th century and the new doubling down of once-hidden issues associated with race and ethnicity.
Thematic Session: The Transparency and Integrity of Federal Data and Federally-Funded Data
August 13, 4:30 to 6:10 pm, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Level 100, 108A
Panelists: Robert M. Groves, Georgetown University, former Director of the US Census Bureau
Barbara Entwisle, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Nicole Deterding, Business Strategy Consultants
Many sociologists rely on federal data and federally funded data collection to do social science research. The rise of "alt-facts" and fake news stirs deep feelings about the future of serious evidence. Will the current or future administrations "cook the books" to make their policies look better? Which practices guard us against that now? Unofficial statistical resources like the General Social Survey lack a reporting function and may just disappear if the funding is withdrawn. Leading scholars and administrators will discuss the broad topics of transparency and integrity with focus on specific resources.
Special Session. Legal Apartheid? A Dialogue about Life under Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation
August 13, 4:30 to 6:10 pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 11
The Economic, Social, and Health Consequences of Long-term Detention on Detainees, Households, and Communities Caitlin Patler, University of California-Davis
Childhood in an Era of Mass Forced Parental Absence Chris Wildeman, Cornell University
Mass Incarceration and Mass Deportation: Cross-Cutting Practices and Consequences of Surveilling Institutions Sara Wakefield, Rutgers University
Understanding Immigrant Detention From Within: Legal Consciousness and the Victimization of the Crimmigration System Rocio Rosales, University of California-Irvine
This panel explores the parallels and contrasts between mass incarceration and mass deportation. While subjects of both criminal justice and immigration control face panoptic surveillance, social isolation, and a constant threat of apprehension, scholarship on the two systems remains siloed. Discussing them together makes it possible to consider to what extent U.S. social control hinges around legal status, race, and disenfranchisement, in what combination. Is criminal justice an inheritance of Jim Crow, and thus distinct from immigrant exclusion? Or is there a new “legal apartheid” in the U.S., blocking both low-income Latinos and African-Americans from social and economic mobility? The implications shape whether the disenfranchised should demand (racially-based) civil rights or push for a distinct “legal justice.” Here, we bring scholars together across the immigration/incarceration divide to discuss the similarities and differences in the two groups’ experiences of policing and the utility of the legal versus the racial lens.
Note to local Philadelphia-area reporters: A few sessions will specifically focus on Philadelphia-area sociology, history and issues, including:
Race and Space in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Region: Lessons in Segregation, Exclusion, and Integration
August 13, 2:30 to 4:10pm, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Level 100, 111B
This panel provides multiple scholarly perspectives on ongoing collective struggles for racial integration in light of enduring patterns of residential segregation and exclusion in the Philadelphia region. Philadelphia and its suburbs have rich connections to issues of racial segregation and integration, such as the suburban integration efforts of Quakers/Friends, the development of Levittown as the suburban ideal, and the persistence of segregation and appearance of new forms of exclusion as key parts of the city are gentrified. The panel uses the regional focus to highlight larger historical political, social and cultural dimensions to the segregation/integration divide and collective efforts to address it.
Inequality in the Philadelphia Area
August 12, 2:30 to 4:10pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Salon I
This session features four presenters, each focused on one aspect of inequality in the Philadelphia area. Diane Sicotte’s work from her recent book focuses on inequality in the distribution of environmental hazards in the Philadelphia area, and how inequality since 1970 was shaped by new environmental laws occurring simultaneously with deindustrialization, impoverishment and racial inequality; Len Albright will discuss recent patterns in housing segregation and affordability in the South Jersey region, with a focus on the Fair Share Doctrine in NJ, a statewide inclusionary zoning effort aimed at socio-economic integration; Joan Maya Mazelis will present findings from her new book, which features in-depth interviews with poor people in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, in which the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) has forged mutually supportive relationships between members that allow people to survive the worst consequences of dire poverty. Finally, John Balzarini will discuss his work on gentrification and how it drives neighborhood inequality.
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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non‐profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.
Papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting are typically working papers that have not yet been published in peer‐reviewed journals.