The Society for the Study of Social Problems
73rd Annual Meeting in Philadelphia
August 18-20, 2023
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
“Same Problem, Different Day:
Recognizing and Responding to Recurring Social Problems”
Welcome to Philly and the 73rd SSSP Annual Meeting! We are situated on land that was originally settled by the Lenape almost 10,000 years ago and want to recognize Philadelphia as part of Lënapehòkink, the ancestral homelands of the Lenape Nation, whose presence and resilience in Pennsylvania continues to this day.
Known as the “Cradle of Liberty,” Philadelphia has been, and continues to be, a city of resistance, activism, grass-roots movement building, art, music, and critical thinking & writing. Philly is home to groups mobilizing around justice, such as the Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA) which recently ended a 6-week graduate student union strike with important victories; the Stadium Stompers, who are actively battling gentrification; the Native America House Alliance (NAHA), which is demanding resources for the health and well-being of the indigenous population as homelessness, hate-related violence, and inflation ravages the community; and the “Chinatown Coalition to Oppose the Arena” which is fighting a land grab attempt of a 150-year-old neighborhood.
Philly’s creativity emanates from coalition-building in our alleys, homes, schools, and communities, and flows into boardrooms to demand new public policy and binding legislation. When faced with conservative backlash in regard to Black Lives Matter, women’s reproductive rights, the LGBTQ+ movement, and Critical Race Theory, Philadelphians collectively moved into the streets and expressways to protest human rights abuses such as class inequality, the defunding of public education, increased funding for the militarization of the police, etc., and to call for a reimagined justice that was articulated in vivid detail.
President Jackson’s program theme, “Same Problem, Different Day: Recognizing and Responding to Recurring Social Problems” highlights that the movement to establish our humanity and acquire the resources we need to achieve equitable opportunities is not one that is linear or ever fully achieved but is rather one fraught with setbacks; full of curveballs, bullets, and nooses; and requires us to be constantly vigilant and always primed to fight for our collective lives.
President Jackson writes, “Today, it is all too clear that steps taken to move society in the direction of true equity and inclusion by acknowledging the existence of social, cultural, and political divides and working to address them are being systematically impeded. Steps towards repression and oppression have gained traction. Responses to inequities are filled largely with rhetoric rather than meaningful action. This includes responses by those who consider themselves to be progressive and staunch advocates of social justice. Therefore, this year’s conference is a call for sociologists to embark upon deep introspective research into where we are, where we have been, and how we might truly progress structurally and culturally as we engage the future.”
Our conference highlights our movement forward, systemic attempts to derail justice, and our fight onward. We also recognize the exhaustion that comes with – and from - social justice work – most of which is done by non-academics, and address the reality that for most people, organizing for freedom is not funded. As such, this year’s SSSP meeting focuses on what it means to continuously be marginalized in this world and gives voice to both our vulnerability and our collective power. Please join us in Philly!
Questions about the Society for the Study of Social Problems can be directed to the organization’s Administrative Office (865-689-1531) or email@example.com. For more information about the 2023 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, please see The Society for the Study of Social Problems | 2023 Program Theme Statement (sssp1.org)