The Stanford Court Hotel, San Francisco, CA

Vice President Cheryl Boudreaux reported on the Resolutions Committee. Four resolutions were presented to the membership and all were passed. An additional resolution was presented from the floor regarding the Troy Davis case, an inmate on death row in Georgia, calling for, along with many other groups, a new trial for Mr. Davis in light of the fact that he was convicted largely on the basis of (typically unreliable) eyewitness testimony and now virtually every eyewitness has recanted. It was determined that the Administrative Office would send a letter to the District Attorney, Larry Chisolm, registering the concerns of the Society copying Governor Sonny Perdue. Click here to view the letter sent to the District Attorney.

Click here to download the PDF file of the four resolutions passed by the membership. (PDF, 18 KB)

Resolution 1: Expression of Gratitude

Resolution 2: THE EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT (EFCA) of 2009 Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) August 2009

Resolution 3: Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Resolution 4: UN Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in Burma

RESOLUTION 1: Expression of Graditude

Our sincere appreciation is expressed to all of the officers, committee chairs and members who have made this program possible and whose efforts maintain the vitality of the SSSP. First, we thank President Steven E. Barkan for his outstanding leadership in developing this 59th Annual Meeting and its Theme: Race, Ethnicity, and the Continuing Problem of the Color Line. We also thank this years Program Committee: Chair: A. Javier Treviño and committee members Mitch Berbrier, Hoan N. Bui, Otis Grant, Michelle A. Harris and Karen M. McCormack; and Local Arrangements Committee Chair: Rebecca W. Ancheta. We thank the staff of The Stanford Court Hotel for fine accommodations and we particularly want to recognize the efforts made by Amiee James, Event Manager and Barry A. McCarthy, Senior Sales Manager.

The Society wishes to express its gratitude to Past President Nancy A. Naples for her years of leadership; Vice-President Cheryl Boudreaux for managing the resolutions process; Martha A. Hargraves for her service as Secretary; and David Rudy (outgoing) for his service as Treasurer. The Society also thanks JoAnn L. Miller, President-Elect; PJ McGann, Vice-President Elect; Board of Directors Luis Fernandez, Alison Griffith, Carol Brooks Gardner, Raymond J. Michalowski; outgoing members John F. Galliher, Michelle Y. Janning and Carolyn C. Perrucci; Melanie Carlson (outgoing) and Antwan Jones, student representatives of the Board; Nancy Mezey (outgoing), Chair of the Council of Special Problems Divisions; Ted Chiricos, Editor of Social Problems; Ken Kyle, Editor of Social Problems Forum: The SSSP Newsletter; Frances G. Pestello, outgoing Budget, Finance, and Audit Committee Chair and committee members Anna Santiago, Stephani Williams and Susan M. Carlson; James A. Holstein, outgoing Editorial and Publications Committee Chair and committee members Suzanne Vaughan, Lora Bex Lempert, Barbara Katz Rothman, Benigno E. Aguirre, Claire M. Renzetti, Ted Chiricos, Ken Kyle, Frances G. Pestello and Amy S. Wharton; the University of Tennessee and the Department of Sociology for hosting the SSSP Administrative Office; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine for their financial contribution to the awards banquet and to the University of California Press for their financial contribution to the registration bags and the reception honoring Dr. Thomas C. Hood, SSSP Executive Officer, 1990-2009.

The Society wishes to thank Administrative Officer & Meeting Manager Michele Smith Koontz, Administrative Assistant & Webmaster Sharon Shumaker and Graduate Research Associate Sarah Hendricks for continuing to make the organization run and do all that it does year in and year out.

Finally, the Society wishes to thank Executive Officer Thomas C. Hood for his numerous contributions to SSSP’s success over the last two decades. Words can’t express our gratitude for the countless ways in which he has given of his time, energy, and resources. SSSP will be forever indebted to him.

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RESOLUTION 2: THE EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT (EFCA) of 2009 Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) August 2009

From: the Labor Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)

WHEREAS: Federal labor laws established in 1935 protecting workers’ rights to unionize have eroded over the years and are poorly enforced; AND

WHEREAS: The freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a fundamental human right and the internationally respected organization Human Rights Watch has identified the Employee Free Choice Act as a human rights imperative; AND

WHEREAS: Public opinion polls indicate that a majority of U.S. workers say they would join a union now if they had the opportunity; AND

WHEREAS: Union membership provides workers better wages and benefits, and protection from discrimination and unsafe workplaces, while benefiting whole communities by strengthening tax bases, promoting equal treatment and enhancing civic participation; AND

WHEREAS: A significant portion of employers across the nation routinely violate workers’ right to unionize through surveillance, interrogation, harassment, intimidation, coercion, harassment and discharge of workers exercising this fundamental freedom; AND

WHEREAS: When employers violate the right of workers to form a union, everyone suffers; wages fall, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases and job safety standards disappear; AND

WHEREAS: Nothing in the EFCA alters the rights of employers to provide information on unionization to their employees; AND

WHEREAS: A worker’s fundamental right to choose a union must be guaranteed by law,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) supports bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act, that will (1) give employees the choice to form a union by majority sign-up (commonly known as “card check”) or secret ballot, (2) provide for first contract mediation and arbitration, and (3) establish meaningful penalties when employers violate workers’ rights to join a union; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That we urge Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to help rebuild the middle class and invigorate an ailing economy by protecting America’s employees’ freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to form a union and provide them with the opportunity to improve their economic situation; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the SSSP officially and publicly add its name to the growing list of organizations which support the Employee Free Choice Act; AND

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, all our federal elected representatives, and any other interested parties.

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RESOLUTION 3: Gender-Neutral Pronouns 

From: Dr. Cary Costello 

Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The Sexual Behavior, Politics, and Communities Division

WHEREAS the use of gender-dyadic pronouns (“he/she”; “him/her”; “his/hers”) is inaccurate or awkward when referring to a person whose gender is unknown, AND

WHEREAS the use of gender-dyadic pronouns to refer to a person of unknown gender often leads to the interjection of gender bias, AND

WHEREAS numerous people identify outside of the gender-binary categories of male and female, AND

WHEREAS the use of gender-neutral pronouns (“ze; zir; zim,” etc.) avoids the problems of inappropriate gender attribution, AND

WHEREAS many institutions do not permit or provide for the use of gender-neutral pronouns, including academic institutions, publication style guides, and governmental and private agencies, on the outdated and counterfactual basis that only gender-dyadic pronouns are “grammatically proper,”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the SSSP calls on all publishers, editors, educators and institutional agents who issue style guidelines, edit documents, or correct papers to (1) let stand gender-neutral pronouns when they encounter them in other’s written work; and (2) update their style manuals to state that gender-neutral pronouns may be employed to refer to real or hypothetical persons of unknown gender, and to those known individuals who choose to refer to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns.

SSSP will permit the use of gender neutral pronouns in its publications.

The SSSP administration is directed to send copies of this resolution to the administrations of the universities to which the SSSP regularly sends literature, to the editorial boards of the sociology journals listed by Sociological Abstracts, to the editorial boards of the top 100 US newspapers by circulation, and to the authors of widely used style guides (such as The Chicago Manual of Style, the APA, MLA, ASA, CBE and other disciplinary guides, the Harvard Bluebook, and Strunk and White). Cover letters should direct the recipients to forward the resolution to the appropriate editorial agent.

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RESOLUTION 4: UN Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in Burma

From: Global Division

WHEREAS: a team of researchers at Harvard Law School released a major report in June, 2009, commissioned by five of the world’s leading judges -- some of whom served at the International Criminal Tribunals on Rwanda and Yugoslavia, that concludes there is sufficient evidence to launch an official investigation by the UN Security Council into crimes against humanity committed by Burma’s military regime; AND

WHEREAS: similar investigations, known as "Commissions of Inquiry" have already been carried out in reference to the situation in Darfur, Sudan; the former Yugoslavia; and Rwanda; AND

WHEREAS: numerous human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have concluded that war crimes and crimes against humanity are indeed taking place under the rule of Burma’s regime, which is led by General Than Shwe; AND

WHEREAS: these abuses include the conscription of tens of thousands of child soldiers, rape of ethnic minority women, extrajudicial killings and torture, modern-day slave labor, and the flight of at least one million refugees and internally displaced persons; AND

WHEREAS: Than Shwe’s regime in Burma is incarcerating over 2,100 prisoners of conscience, including the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Society for the Study of Social Problems strongly condemn these violations of international human rights and humanitarian law; AND

BE IT RESOLVED that the Society for the Study of Social Problems send a letter to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, urging the United States to propose the establishment of an official investigation by the UN Security Council into crimes against humanity committed by Burma’s military regime; AND

BE IT RESOLVED that the Society for the Study of Social Problems send a letter to the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, urging the United States to propose a global ban on weapons sales to Burma’s military regime.

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