American Sociological Association
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American Sociological Association
American Sociological Association
American Sociological Association Logo.png
FormationJanuary 1, 1905; 114 years ago (1905-01-01)
Headquarters1430 K Street
Washington, D.C.
Membership (2018)
2019 President
Mary Romero
Entry to the ASA conference, Boston, 2008

The American Sociological Association (ASA), founded in 1905 as the American Sociological Society, is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the discipline and profession of sociology. Most members work in academia, but about 20 percent work in government, business, or non-profit organizations.

The ASA holds its own annual academic conference, the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. The 103rd ASA Annual Meeting in Boston in August 2008 attracted 5,458 attendees.[2] ASA publishes several academic journals. The best known is the American Sociological Review. and the newest one is an open-access journal, Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. The ASA also publishes Contexts, a magazine designed to share sociology with other fields and the public. As of 2018, ASA had 11,505 members and consisted of various sociology-related professionals: academics (professors, students, researchers) as well as other practitioners. ASA currently is the largest professional association of sociologists in the world, even larger than the International Sociological Association.[3]


The mission of the ASA is to advance sociology as a scientific discipline and as a profession serving the public good.[4]


Lester Frank Ward


The American Sociological Association was founded in December 1905 at Johns Hopkins University by a group of fifty people. The first president of the association was Lester Frank Ward.[5]


The American Sociological Association is governed by a code of ethics and ethical standards. In 1970, the first ASA code of ethics was written. Since 1970, the code of ethics has been revised. The Committee on Professional Ethics worked to write this code and upon completing and approving it in 1997, the code focused on three goals. These three goals were to make the code more educative, accessible, easier to use, and more helpful for sociologists to understand ethical issues.[6]

In 1993, then-doctoral student Rik Scarce was jailed for more than five months as a result of following the ASA's code of ethics. Scarce's Ph.D. research was on the radical environmental movement. Based on an FBI investigation of an Animal Liberation Front break-in, federal prosecutors argued in court that Scarce may have engaged in conversations with individuals believed to be involved with the incident. Prosecutors demanded that Scarce testify to a federal grand jury about those conversations, but Scarce refused to answer three dozen questions, citing the ASA Code of Ethics and the First Amendment as his reasoning for remaining unresponsive.[7] Scarce's refusal to answer resulted in a contempt of court citation and 159 days spent in jail. He was never suspected of wrongdoing and--in keeping with contempt of court practice--he was never read his Miranda rights, arrested, or tried.[8]

In early 2010, ASA publicly expressed outrage over a controversy involving Frances Fox Piven and Glenn Beck, asking Fox News to stop Beck's comments.[9] An article written by Piven concerning mobilization of unemployed individuals had spurred the commentary by Beck.[10] ASA suggests in their public statements that the line should be drawn at name calling and that political commentators should instead rely on gathering evidence related to the topics and then drawing the proper conclusions.

In January 2012, a United States district court ordered Boston College to turn over material from the "Belfast Project", an oral history project pertaining to the violence in Northern Ireland. Boston College filed an appeal in February 2012, challenging the district court's decision. ASA became involved in the case to help protect human participants from the subpoena of confidential project research data.[11] The statement by the ASA council cited the potential damage this ruling would have on social science research by stifling the ability to study controversial topics. ASA is looking for an affirmation by the court for confidentiality in research.[12]

ASA style

ASA style is a widely accepted format for writing university research papers that specifies the arrangement and punctuation of footnotes and bibliographies. Standards for ASA style are specified in the ASA Style Guide, which is designed to aid authors in preparing manuscripts for ASA journals and publications.


The association publishes the following academic journals:[13]

It also publishes Footnotes, a newsletter aimed at the association's members. Footnotes was established in 1979 and is published five times per year.[14]

Organizational structure

Officers of the association are:[15]

  • President
  • President-Elect
  • Vice-President
  • Vice-President-Elect
  • Secretary
  • Council-Members-At Large


Members of the ASA also belong to sections devoted to specific subfields, for example, Social Psychology or Medical Sociology.[16] Each section has its own set of officers and committees that organize sessions at the annual conference and present awards to section members for their achievements, among other things. Some sections also operate their own academic journals, such as Society and Mental Health edited by the Section on the Sociology of Mental Health, or Sociology of Race & Ethnicity edited by the Section for Racial and Ethnic Minorities.[17]


The following persons have been president of the American Sociological Association:[18]

  1. Lester F. Ward 1906-1907
  2. William G. Sumner 1908-1909
  3. Franklin H. Giddings 1910-1911
  4. Albion Woodbury Small 1912-1913
  5. Edward A. Ross 1914-1915
  6. George E. Vincent 1916
  7. George E. Howard 1917
  8. Charles Cooley 1918
  9. Frank W. Blackmar 1919
  10. James Q. Dealey 1920
  11. Edward C. Hayes 1921
  12. James P. Lichtenberger 1922
  13. Ulysses G. Weatherly 1923
  14. Charles A. Ellwood 1924
  15. Robert E. Park 1925
  16. John L. Gillin 1926
  17. W. I. Thomas 1927
  18. John M. Gillette 1928
  19. William F. Ogburn 1929
  20. Howard W. Odum 1930
  21. Emory S. Bogardus 1931
  22. Luther L. Bernard 1932
  23. Edward B. Reuter 1933
  24. Ernest W. Burgess 1934
  25. F. Stuart Chapin 1935
  26. Henry P. Fairchild 1936
  27. Ellsworth Faris 1937
  28. Frank H. Hankins 1938
  29. Edwin Sutherland 1939
  30. Robert M. MacIver 1940
  31. Stuart A. Queen 1941
  32. Dwight Sanderson 1942
  33. George A. Lundberg 1943
  34. Rupert B. Vance 1944
  35. Kimball Young 1945
  36. Carl C. Taylor 1946
  37. Louis Wirth 1947
  38. E. Franklin Frazier 1948
  39. Talcott Parsons 1949
  40. Leonard S. Cottrell Jr. 1950
  41. Robert C. Angell 1951
  42. Dorothy Swaine Thomas 1952
  43. Samuel A. Stouffer 1953
  44. Florian Znaniecki 1954
  45. Donald Young 1955
  46. Herbert Blumer 1956
  47. Robert K. Merton 1957
  48. Robin M. Williams Jr. 1958
  49. Kingsley Davis 1959
  50. Howard P. Becker 1960 (died in office)
  51. Robert E. L. Faris 1961
  52. Paul Lazarsfeld 1962
  53. Everett C. Hughes 1963
  54. George C. Homans 1964
  55. Pitirim A. Sorokin 1965
  56. Wilbert E. Moore 1966
  57. Charles P. Loomis 1967
  58. Philip M. Hauser 1968
  59. Arnold Marshall Rose 1969 (died in office)
  60. Ralph Turner 1969
  61. Reinhard Bendix 1970
  62. William H. Sewell 1971
  63. William J. Goode 1972
  64. Mirra Komarovsky 1973
  65. Peter M. Blau 1974
  66. Lewis A. Coser 1975
  67. Alfred McClung Lee 1976
  68. John Milton Yinger 1977
  69. Amos H. Hawley 1978
  70. Hubert M. Blalock Jr. 1979
  71. Peter H. Rossi 1980
  72. William Foote Whyte 1981
  73. Erving Goffman 1982
  74. Alice S. Rossi 1983
  75. James F. Short Jr. 1984
  76. Kai T. Erikson 1985
  77. Matilda White Riley 1986
  78. Melvin L. Kohn 1987
  79. Herbert J. Gans 1988
  80. Joan Huber 1989
  81. William Julius Wilson 1990
  82. Stanley Lieberson 1991
  83. James S. Coleman 1992
  84. Seymour Martin Lipset 1993
  85. William A. Gamson 1994
  86. Amitai Etzioni 1995
  87. Maureen T. Hallinan 1996
  88. Neil Smelser 1997
  89. Jill Quadagno 1998
  90. Alejandro Portes 1999
  91. Joe R. Feagin 2000
  92. Douglas S. Massey 2001
  93. Barbara F. Reskin 2002
  94. William T. Bielby 2003
  95. Michael Burawoy 2004
  96. Troy Duster 2005
  97. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein 2006
  98. Frances Fox Piven 2007
  99. Arne L. Kalleberg 2008
  100. Patricia Hill Collins 2009
  101. Evelyn Nakano Glenn 2010
  102. Randall Collins 2011
  103. Erik Olin Wright 2012
  104. Cecilia L. Ridgeway 2013
  105. Annette Lareau 2014
  106. Paula England 2015
  107. Ruth Milkman 2016
  108. Michèle Lamont 2017
  109. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva 2018
  110. Mary Romero 2019


The following persons have been president of the American Sociological Association:[19]


There are five different types of membership categories:[20]

  • Regular membership
  • Student members
  • Associate members
  • International associate members
  • Emeritus members

ASA Members may also join special interest sections at an additional cost to their membership.[21]


The association comprises the following specialist sections:[22]

  • Aging and the Life Course
  • Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco
  • Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity
  • Animals and Society
  • Asia and Asian America
  • Body and Embodiment
  • Children and Youth
  • Collective Behavior and Social Movements
  • Communication and Information Technologies (formerly Sociology and Computers section, renamed in 2002)[23]
  • Community and Urban Sociology
  • Comparative and Historical Sociology
  • Consumers and Consumption
  • Crime, Law and Deviance
  • Culture
  • Development
  • Disability and Society
  • Economic Sociology
  • Education
  • Emotions
  • Environment and Technology
  • Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis
  • Evolution, Biology and Society
  • Family
  • Global and Transnational Sociology
  • History of Sociology
  • Human Rights
  • Inequality, Poverty and Mobility
  • International Migration
  • Inequality, Poverty and Mobility
  • Labor and Labor Movements
  • Latina/o Sociology
  • Law
  • Marxist sociology
  • Mathematical Sociology
  • Medical Sociology
  • Mental Health
  • Methodology
  • Organizations, Occupations and Work
  • Peace, War and Social Conflict
  • Political Economy of the World System
  • Political Sociology
  • Population
  • Race, Gender and Class
  • Racial and Ethnic Minorities
  • Rationality and Society
  • Religion
  • Science, Knowledge and Technology
  • Sex and Gender
  • Sexualities
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociological Practice and Public Sociology
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Theory


The Annual Meeting of the ASA is held each August to provide opportunity for professionals involved in the study of society to share knowledge and new directions in research and practice. It provides networking outlets for nearly 3,000 research papers and 4,600 presenters.[24] The meeting is spread across four days and covers 600 program sessions.

Committee meetings

All ASA Committees and Task Forces also meet during the annual meeting. The ASA Council and several Constitutional Committees meet mid-year during the winter months in Washington D.C.[25]

Regional meetings

Regional Associations associated with the ASA are:[26]

The ASA is also aligned with various state-based associations, international associations, cause-oriented associations, and academic associations.[26]


Every year, in August, the ASA presents awards to individuals and groups deserving of recognition. The awards presented are:[27]

Additionally, the Sections of the ASA administer separate multiple awards, which are presented each August during the Annual Meeting.[28]

Wikipedia initiative

In the fall of 2011, the ASA launched its "Sociology in Wikipedia" initiative. Erik Olin Wright, President of the American Sociological Association, called for improvement in sociological entries in Wikipedia. He asked that professors and students to get more involved by having Wikipedia-writing assignments in class. The basic goal set forth by the initiative is to make it easier for sociologists to contribute to Wikipedia. In conjunction with the Wikimedia Foundation and a research group at Carnegie Mellon University, the ASA developed its resource Portal in an attempt to achieve the initiative's goal by providing tutorials on how to contribute, video discussions of norms and procedures, and lists of articles and subject areas that need improvement. The resource Portal also provides instructions for professors on how to use resource writing assignments for academic courses. The overall goal of the initiative is for sociologists to become involved in the writing and editing processes to ensure that social science articles are up-to-date, complete, accurate, and written appropriately.[29]

See also


  1. ^ "Section Membership Data". American Sociological Association. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "ASA Footnotes. September-October 2008 Issue". American Sociological Association. Archived from the original on 16 September 2014. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Homepages of Sociological Societies & Associations". Hartford Seminary, Hartford Institute for Religion Research. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "Mission Statement". 21 May 2009.
  5. ^ Hill, Michael R. (2007). "American Sociological Association". In Ritzer, George (ed.). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. pp. 130-134. doi:10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x. ISBN 9781405124331.
  6. ^ Iutcovich, Joyce M.; Kennedy, John M.; Levine, Felice J. (2003). "Establishing an Ethical Climate in Support of". Science and Engineering Ethics. 9 (2): 201-205. doi:10.1007/s11948-003-0007-z. PMID 12774652.
  7. ^ Rik Scarce. (2003). Contempt of Court: A Scholar's Battle for Free Speech from behind Bars. ISBN 0759106436.
  8. ^ "American Sociological Association: Teaching Ethics Throughout the Curriculum, Ethics, Teaching, Teaching Ethics to Students". Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved .
  9. ^ American Sociological Association: ASA Officers Respond to Attacks on Frances Fox Piven. Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine January 24, 2011.
  10. ^ The Editors (2011-01-20). "Glenn Beck Targets Frances Fox Piven". The Nation. Retrieved .CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "ASA Opposes Subpoena of 'Belfast Project' Data". American Sociological Association (Press release). 22 February 2012. Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "American Sociological Association: Journals". Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Footnotes Advertising". American Sociological Association. 9 May 2016.
  15. ^ "American Sociological Association: Slate of Candidates for the 2012 ASA Election". Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Current Sections". American Sociological Association. 2009-05-21. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Journals". American Sociological Association. 2016-02-23. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Presidents". 28 May 2009.
  19. ^ "Vicepresidents". American Sociological Association (ASA).
  20. ^ "American Sociological Association: FAQs". Retrieved .
  21. ^ "American Sociological Association: Cost of Membership". Retrieved .
  22. ^ "American Sociological Association: Current Sections". Retrieved .
  23. ^ Earl, Jennifer (2015-05-04). "CITASA: intellectual past and future". Information, Communication & Society. 18 (5): 478-491. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2015.1008544. ISSN 1369-118X.
  24. ^ "ASA Annual Meetings". Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved .
  25. ^ "ASA Committee Meetings". 2012-01-19. Retrieved .
  26. ^ a b "Accessed 4 January 2014". Archived from the original on 2014-02-10. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "American Sociological Association: Awards". 2012-01-31. Retrieved .
  28. ^ "American Sociological Association: Awards". Retrieved .
  29. ^ "American Sociological Association: ASA resource Initiative" (PDF). Retrieved .

External links

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