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Who We Are

We are an interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, advocates, and students interested in the application of critical, scientific, and humanistic perspectives to the study of vital social problems. 

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What Our Members Say

David A. Smith, 2015-2016 SSSP president

"Oddly enough, I was quite unaware of SSSP as a graduate student, despite the fact that I quickly adopted “Introduction to Social Problems” as my main “go to” teaching offering. In the PhD program at Chapel Hill, we were trained to be very oriented to the “big meeting” of the ASAs (and “network” with key “players” in the field): that was seen as the most efficacious way to move forward in one’s career as a young sociologist. It was only in the mid-1990s, shortly after I “survived” a rather harrowing tenure process at UC-Irvine, that I discovered SSSP. My immersion in world-system analysis and global inequality (and my political sensibilities) led me to various other forms of critical sociology, including other forms of Marxism, labor studies, gender and development work, and radical analysis of the growing worldwide environmental crisis. I also became very aware of Social Problems as an outstanding outlet for sociological work that was just as rigorous, but a bit more relevant, than that found in those other major journals. While I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to become a member, it is possible that Executive Officer Tom Hood personally recruited me: I’d known him as a North Carolina grad student and found him both genial and inspiring, a scholar who really believed in linking sociology with a vision of how to change the world. Soon I attended my first SSSP sessions – and, again, I was taken by the smaller, more informal (less pretentious?) atmosphere and drawn to the people, their values and their warmth. In 1998 the plot thickened: Rodolfo Alvarez at UCLA was the Chair of the Editorial & Publication Committee and starting a search for a new Editor of SP: I believe he wanted to bring the journal to a University of California campus, and looked south toward Irvine. I emerged as the candidate (partly because I was foolish enough at the time to not fully understand what I was getting myself into!) – and proudly served as Editor from 1999-2002. Now I am extremely honored to serve as President of this society that brings together fine scholars and dedicated activists (not to mention some wonderful scholar-activists!) and is committed to radical inclusivity, combating so many forms of inequality and discrimination, and addressing mounting societal and global crises. It is wonderful to be part of a organization whose members understand that the point is to both interpret the world, and to change it!"

David A. Smith, SSSP President 2015-2016
University of California, Irvine

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In Pursuit of Social Justice

2016 Proposed Resolutions

Resolutions constitute an important opportunity for our scholar-activist membership to analyze and opine on contemporary social problems that we believe the Society should address as a social justice organization.  All SSSP members are invited to review the proposed 2016 resolutions and participate in the resolutions process.

 New resolution guidelines were adopted in order to promote and facilitate wider discussion prior to formal consideration at the 2016 Business Meeting [Saturday, August 20 from 4:15pm–5:25pm, Cascade II].  To that end, please review the three proposed resolutions.  An open forum to discuss the proposed resolutions will be held on Friday, August 19, 2:30pm–4:10pm, Puget Sound.  Possible modifications to the resolutions will be considered during the open discussion.  The revised (if any) resolutions will then be presented as a package for approval by the membership at the business meeting.

 We would also like to remind individuals and divisions who submitted resolutions that if the action requires sending a letter or letters and/or e-mails, you will have to provide the names and addresses of the recipients and possibly be asked to assist in the drafting of the correspondence. Our thanks to everyone who submitted a resolution and to our members for giving them careful consideration.  If you have any questions regarding the proposed resolutions, I can be reached at .


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