Welcome to Philly!

“Abolitionist Approaches to Social Problems”

The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) will hold its 68thAnnual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 10-12, 2018 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel

We see schisms in our society in an explicit manner on a daily basis: children separated from their parents at the southern border and forced into cages; unarmed Black men, women and children gunned down and incarcerated in unprecedented numbers; hate crimes, violence and discrimination skyrocketing against the LGBTQ community; and as the economy “improves,” addiction, overdoses, and mass shootings increase. At the same time, however, we foment resistance in our kitchens and hallways and classrooms and back offices, and we give birth to hope in marches, acts of civil disobedience, teach-ins, walk-outs, and via policy creation. Our desire to celebrate inclusivity, smash boundaries, and generate more social justice is seen in a myriad of ways: from student activists leaping in the streets in youthful exuberance demanding weighted funding formulas for equitable educations, to old and young alike taking to the streets in Philly to New York to Chicago to San Francisco to New Orleans to resist the gentrification and displacement sweeping our cities – not just with their voices and colorful signs but with their entire bodies. This resistance is also visible via the creation of physical, stable monuments that demand the acknowledgement of our violent racist history such as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, and via social institutions like the United Nations, which, in April (2018) convened a panel of experts in New York to address the criminalization of peaceful protests and demand protection for indigenous defenders of our world. Our opposition to state violence exists in micro and macro forms – and our struggle against inequality insists that creating a more humane and just world is possible, desirable, and essential. This is exactly why we are so excited about our 68thAnnual Meeting – “Abolitionist Approaches to Social Problems.” The theme of this conference focuses on all the ways ordinary people refuse to be separated from dignity, humanness, and justice, and the methods we use to challenge the powerful structures aimed at doing just that. As SSSP President Luis A. Fernandez notes in his conversation on abolitionists, those who resisted slavery were “unrelenting in their actions to reach their goals” and “unapologetic about their demands.” At our conference we will continue this movement for dignity and the “reimagining of social justice” because as President Luis A. Fernandez writes, we need to “think through what is required to eliminate systems of subjugation, and to document the current struggles that are already leading the way in these efforts.” We are excited to join with you at this critical time as we confront suppression, refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy, and focus on constructing a less oppressive and more just society. Ever onward! 

For more information about SSSP and how to register for the conference, visit: https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/m/713/2018_Annual_Meeting/.