In Pursuit of Social Justice

As 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, the SSSP is engaged in multiple avenues of social justice research and action. In addition to SSSP publications, the Society regularly participates in calls to action on various social justice issues. Each year, the SSSP also presents the Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award, which recognizes social justice work of grassroots organizations in marginilized communities in the city/local are hosting the annual meeting. See below for more information on these activities.

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, one of our sessions, CRITICAL DIALOGUE: Presidential Perspectives on Current Social Problems, featured the Presidents of several scholarly organizations.  The panelists discussed major social problems. 

Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, President of the International Sociological Association (ISA), 2018-2022
Mary Romero, Arizona State University, President of the American Sociological Association (ASA), 2018-2019
Adia Harvey Wingfield, Washington University in St. Louis, Past-President of the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), 2018
Marcus Anthony Hunter, University of California, Los Angeles, President of the Association of Black Sociologists (ABS), 2017-2019
Nancy J. Mezey (not in photo), Monmouth University, President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), 2018-2019
William D. Cabin (not in photo), Temple University, Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), 2018-2019 and Presider of the session 

SSSP Resolutions

2020 Approved Resolutions

Resolutions were solicited via several calls sent out to the membership by the SSSP Administrative Office as well as by emails sent to the Chairs of the 23 Divisions by the SSSP Vice-President and Chair of the Committee on Social Action, Daina Cheyenne Harvey. This year, three proposed resolutions were submitted, including the expression of gratitude.

The resolutions were provided online for the membership to review and comment on prior to the Society’s Virtual Annual Business Meeting on Friday, August 7, 2020. Immediately following the meeting, current members were able to vote online for or against each resolution or abstain. The voting period lasted two weeks. 

Thank you to those who voted. 410 votes were cast. Resolutions 1 and 2 passed overwhelmingly, but resolution 3 did not pass. Per the Society’s By-Laws, a resolution passes if two-thirds of the members voting online by the deadline, vote in favor of the resolution.

Click here for the 2020 Approved Resolutions.

Click here for past years Approved Resolutions.

SSSP Letters

If a passed resolution requires letters or e-mails to be sent, the Administrative Office distributes these to appropriate individuals or agencies.

Click here to read the letters.

Take Action!

TWO-DAY SCHOLAR STRIKE: SEPTEMBER 8-9, 2020: #ScholarStrike

The Society for the Study of Social Problems [SSSP] began as a group of sociologists who believed that a professional organization could both support the activist work of its members as well as be more engaged in the research and action necessary to address social problems and fight for social justice. Two of the major issues the organization set its sights on was the issue of racial inequality and the academic freedom of its membership. It is in this spirit that the SSSP issues this statement of support to the two-day strike of college faculty currently being organized by Dr. Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Kevin Gannon of Grand View University under the hashtag #ScholarStrike.

The strike organizers have issued the following statement:

Given the recent events of police brutality, most recently the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wi, and the murders of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, and many other police shootings during the summer of 2020--an intensification of the trend we’ve seen in recent years--we can no longer sit quietly amidst state violence against communities of color.

We believe that it’s of crucial importance for those of us in higher education to take a stand in solidarity with our students and the communities we serve. We also see the need to affirm protestors, workers for social justice, and activists who are crucial parts of making our communities better places. To that end, we propose a General Strike (for those who are working Union contracts, working to the clock) for 48 hours, to take place immediately after Labor Day, on September 8-9. We believe that it is long past time for us to make a collective stand against police violence (particularly against communities of color) in the United States. We will refrain from teaching and all administrative duties for this entire 48 hour period. We will use this time as a public teach-in about police brutality and violence in our communities from both historical and contemporary perspectives. We plan to use our social media platforms and all other venues available to us to get the message out.

We support this statement and would support all faculty (but particularly our own membership) who take part in this labor action and teach-in. Actions such as these demonstrate the power of workers and the power of educators who are prepared and willing to address this very significant social problem. Police brutality and the militarization of policing—especially as they terrorize communities of color— must end.

Click here for more Action items...

Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award

The Thomas C. Hood Social Action Award, established in 1991, is awarded to a local grassroots social justice organization in the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Census) in which the annual meeting is held that year.  While the recipient can be an organization that engages in direct service work, preferred recipients for the Social Action Award will be organizations that also work at the level of systems change.  The organization may not be a local or regional chapter of a national or international organization, and must be one that will benefit significantly from the award.  The nomination of organizations that include directly impacted people and communities in leadership positions and decisions are also encouraged.  The award carries a stipend of $5,000.

Click here for a list of past winners.