March 2009 Issue • Volume 37 • Issue 3

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09mtgLooking Forward to the 2009
Annual Meeting in San Francisco

A New Politics of Community
in Action?

A mini-symposium at the ASA Annual Meeting will explore the sociological significance of Barack Obama’s election as President.

In 2007, when I first selected "The New Politics of Community" as the theme for ASA’s 2009 Annual Meeting, I had no way of knowing that the historical events of the past year would resonate so compellingly with it. I chose this theme, in part, to investigate how the term community permeates social policy, popular culture, and everyday social interaction in ways that generate dynamic social and political identities. The ideal of community also holds significance for quite different populations with competing political agendas—political groups of the right and left invoke ideas of community, yet have very different definitions in mind.

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San Francisco 40 Years Later

by Edward A. Tiryakian, Duke University

It is fitting that in this year of a tremendous, calamitous financial crisis, nationally and globally, which for some harkens back to 1929-32, that the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting will convene in San Francisco. It was in San Francisco in 1969, that the ASA Annual Meeting was held amidst an unprecedented period of national and global political and cultural crisis. As a participant at the meetings, then and now, let me shake off the cobwebs of memory to detail a brief historical context of 40 years ago.

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Congratulations to the
2009 ASA Award Winners

ASA proudly announces the winners of the ASA Awards for 2009. The awards are the highest honor that the Association confers. These outstanding scholars will be recognized at the 2009 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony in San Francisco, CA, on Sunday, August 9, at 4:30 pm. The Awards Ceremony will immediately precede the formal address of ASA President Patricia Hill Collins.

The ASA awards honor sociologists for outstanding publications and achievements in the scholarship, teaching, and practice of sociology. The recipients are selected by committees directly appointed by the ASA Council.

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Sociologists Headlined
Plenary at NIH Summit

Prominent sociologists headlined the marquee of one of nine plenary sessions of a major NIH (National Institutes of Health) summit, titled "The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities," in mid-December. With more than 4,000 attendees, including policymakers, senior federal agency staff, members of Congress, health practitioners, academics, and other stakeholders, the three-day meeting brought the spotlight on the discrepancies in both the delivery of American health care and the health status of Americans across racial/ethnic categories. This impressive meeting featured some 300 speakers.

The summit was organized by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), a component of the NIH Director's office, which Congress established in 2000. Some in the research community viewed the summit as a step toward redefining NIH's disparities research agenda.

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