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Culture, inequalities, and social inclusion across the globe: a ASA 2017 reading list

This year, the 2017 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting takes place in Montreal, and our Sociology team is gearing up. The 112th Annual Meeting will take place from 12- 15 August, bringing together over 5,000 sociologists nationwide for four days of lectures, sessions, and networking with some of the top figures in the field.

This year’s theme is “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe.” The annual meeting is focusing on improving our understanding of the nexus of culture, inequalities, and group boundaries, in order to promote greater social inclusion and resilience, collective well-being, and solidarity throughout the world.

The conference schedule has a variety of meetings, workshops, and sessions to check out. Ahead of the conference, we have created a reading list of authors attending ASA17 to discuss important topics and issues within the field, and to raise awareness of current inequalities and  promote social inclusions across the world.

Citizen Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline by Jennifer Carlson

A Gallup poll conducted just a month after the Newtown school shootings found that 74% of Americans oppose a ban on hand-guns, and at least 11 million people now have licenses to carry concealed weapons as part of their everyday lives. Why do so many Americans not only own guns but also carry them? In Citizen-Protectors, Jennifer Carlson offers a compelling portrait of gun carriers, shedding light on Americans’ complex relationship with guns.

Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009 by Fatma Muge Gocek

Winner of the 2015 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, Sociology of Culture Section, American Sociological Association, and 2016 Barrington Moore Book Award, Honorable Mention, Comparative Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Denial of Violence develops a novel theoretical, historical, and methodological framework to understanding what happened and why the denial of collective violence against Armenians still persists within Turkish state and society.

National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America  by Mara Loveman

Winner of the 2015 Best Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Global and Transnational Sociology, and 2015 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.

Mara Loveman explains why most Latin American states classified their citizens by race on early national censuses, why they stopped the practice of official racial classification around mid-twentieth century, and why they reintroduced ethnoracial classification on national censuses at the dawn of the twenty-first century. The way census officials described populations in official statistics, in turn, shaped how policymakers viewed national populations and informed their prescriptions for national development—with consequences that still reverberate in contemporary political struggles for recognition, rights, and redress for ethnoracially marginalized populations in today’s Latin America.

Despite the Best Intentions: How Racial Inequality Thrives in Good Schools by Amanda E. Lewis and John B. Diamond

Through five years’ worth of interviews and data-gathering at Riverview high school, John Diamond and Amanda Lewis have created a rich and disturbing portrait of the achievement gap that persists more than fifty years after the formal dismantling of segregation. As students progress from elementary school to middle school to high school, their level of academic achievement increasingly tracks along racial lines, with white and Asian students maintaining higher GPAs and standardized testing scores, taking more advanced classes, and attaining better college admission results than their black and Latino counterparts. Most research to date has focused on the role of poverty, family stability, and other external influences in explaining poor performance at school, especially in urban contexts.

The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity by Allison Pugh

Today we live in a society in which relationships, social ties, and jobs seem to change constantly. People roll this way and that, like tumbleweeds blown across an arid plain. How do we raise children, put down roots in our communities, and live up to our promises at a time when flexibility and job insecurity reign? Allison Pugh offers a moving exploration of sacrifice, betrayal, defiance, and resignation, as people adapt to insecurity with their own negotiations of commitment on the job and in intimate life.

Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio by Robert Vargas

Winner of the 2017 Distinguished Book Award from the Political Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and 2016 Outstanding Book Award, Section on Peace, War and Social Conflict, American Sociological Association.

Wounded City dispells the popular belief that a lack of community is the primary source of violence, arguing that competition for political power and state resources often undermine efforts to reduce gang violence. Robert Vargas argues that the state, through the way it governs, can contribute to distrust and division among community members, thereby undermining social cohesion.

Soybeans and Power: Genetically Modified Crops, Environmental Politics, and Social Movements in Argentina by Pablo Lapegna

Winner of the 2017 Best Book Award, Sociology of Development Section of the American Sociological Association.

Although Argentina’s use of genetically modified (GM) soybean seeds has spurred a major agricultural boom, it has also had a negative impact on many communities, including  deforestation of native forests, prompted the eviction of indigenous and peasant families, and spurred episodes of contamination. Soybeans and Power investigates the ways in which rural populations have coped with GM soybean expansion in Argentina. It also gives voice to the communities most adversely affected by GM technology, as well as the strategies that they have enacted in order to survive.

Have questions for us? We’ll be at booths 915-919 in the exhibit hall with our latest books, journals, and online resources in sociology. The ASA Exhibit Hall will be located in Hall 220C in the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.

Stop by between the following hours:

Saturday, 12 August      2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, 13  August        9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, 14 August       9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 15 August       9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

We hope to see you in Montreal!

Featured image credit: Montreal City night by Free-Photos. Public domain via Pixabay.

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