American Sociological Association

ASA On the Issues

ASA on the Issues

Ethics and Black Lives Matter Research

As Black Lives Matter protests are ongoing in the United States and around the world, numerous sociologists are viewing these protests not only as opportunities to push for social change, but also as opportunities to better understand how social movements work. This is especially true for sociologists studying Collective Behavior and Social Movements. Given the emergent nature of these protests, some sociology faculty members working with students on collective action research may rely on students to collect data at these protests.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Condemns Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System

ASA wishes to acknowledge and condemn the systemic racism in the society and the criminal justice system. Indeed, the death of Floyd is but the most recent in a sordid history of violence against Black people in America.

Global Issues
ASA on the Issues

Supporting Sociologists Around the World During COVID-19

The American Sociological Association (ASA) is concerned about the well-being of sociologists around the world as the COVID19 pandemic changes the course of daily life in fundamental ways.  We support these sociologists as they make efforts to address this crisis through sociological research, and we express solidarity with our global sociological family interested in the well-being of humanity.

ASA on the Issues

Supporting Graduate Students and Faculty During COVID-19

ASA continues to monitor and analyze the situation affecting faculty and graduate students in light of the Coronavirus. We welcome input from both students and faculty regarding these important and urgent issues.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Statement Regarding Faculty Review and Reappointment Processes During the COVID-19 Crisis

Higher education is facing unprecedented circumstances due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and faculty members are working hard to maintain educational continuity for their students. ASA encourages all institutions of higher education to recognize the parameters of our current context and to consider appropriate temporary adjustments to their faculty review and reappointment processes for tenure line and contingent faculty.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Statement Condemning Online Harassment

The American Sociological Association (ASA) expresses deep concern for and solidarity with our colleagues who are suffering vicious online harassment.


ASA on the Issues

ASA Comments on a Proposed Rule by the National Labor Relations Board on Student Employment

The National Labor Relations Board proposes a regulation establishing that students who perform any services for compensation, including, but not limited to, teaching or research, at a private college or university in connection with their studies are not “employees” within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Signs on to Letter Regarding Middle East Studies

The American Sociological Association signed on to a letter to the U.S. Department of Education from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), along with 16 other scholarly associations, expressing "considerable concern and surprise" regarding an inquiry into the Middle East studies program jointly operated by Duke and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Read the full letter.

ASA on the Issues

Reconsidering Student Evaluations of Teaching

In this statement, the ASA provides a brief summary of the current research and notes that SETs systematically disadvantage faculty from marginalized groups. This has consequences for who gets hired, who gets tenure, and whose contracts are renewed.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Letter Regarding Stanford University Press

In a letter to the the Stanford University president and provost, ASA wrote: Stanford University Press is home to a long and distinguished sociology list, and the decline or demise of the press would significantly disrupt the dissemination of important sociological knowledge.

ASA on the Issues

Letter Regarding Proposed Funding Cuts for Higher Education in Alaska

A letter sent to government officials of Alaska by the ASA, along with 31 other professional societies, states "we express deep concern about Governor Dunleavy’s proposed funding cuts for higher education. While we understand that Alaska is currently facing financial constraints, a $134 million reduction in state support for the University of Alaska will undoubtedly have devastating consequences to the well-being of the state for generations to come....  A healthy local system ensures that many of the economic benefits of higher education remain local.

U.S. Census Form
ASA on the Issues

Census Question Court Ruling Commended by ASA

The American Sociological Association welcomes today’s court ruling in the Southern District of New York holding that the Secretary of Commerce’s decision to include the citizenship question in the 2020 census was unlawful.  ASA has advocated strongly on this issue and submitted an amicus brief for this case in partnership with the American Statistical Association and the Population Associa

ASA on the Issues

Letter Regarding the Proposed Legal Definition of Sex

According to a memo obtained by The New York Times on October 21, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX based on “a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The proposed definition would allow only a binary classification that is immutable and based on genitalia at birth. ASA sent a letter to the Secretary of DHHS expressing strong objection to this proposal which fails to reflect the findings from extensive sociological literature on this subject.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Letter Regarding Gender Studies in Hungary

The American Sociological Association sent a letter to Hungary’s State Secretary for Education imploring him to reject a draft decree from the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of Justice that calls for the abolishment of Gender Studies programs. Read the letter here.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Statement on Fair Labor Practices

The American Sociological Association is a professional society of sociologists who meets annually for a conference of more than 5,000 participants.  Our scholarship shows that many workers in the hospitality industry do not earn a living wage. As sociologists, we know the consequences of such inequality are detrimental to the workers themselves as well as our broader communities. We, therefore, express our strong support for fair labor practices and the right of hotel workers to organize.


ASA on the Issues

The 2018 March for Science

Join your fellow sociologists for the 2nd annual March for Science on April 14, 2018. 

In 2017, more than one million people around the world gathered together in the largest event for science advocacy in history, the March for Science.  The March for Science is a public celebration of science and a reminder of the important role evidence-based research plays in informing public policy.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Signs on to Letters to Congress Regarding Spending Caps

On February 6, ASA signed on to a letter from the Task Force on American Innovation—a broad nonpartisan coalition—that was sent to U.S. congressional leadership, regarding 302(b) allocation. These allocations establish the cap on spending for each of the appropriations bills. The letter's 95 undersigned businesses, scientific and engineering societies, and universities--each a fundamental part of the U.S.

ASA on the Issues

ASA Statement on Trump’s Decision to End the DACA Program

The American Sociological Association (ASA) calls on President Trump to reverse his decision to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA).  Absent such a reversal, we implore Congress to reinstate the program with expedience. 

Policy News

Communicating Across Difference: Free and Responsible Speech

The very nature of the educational work we do on campuses—generating and disseminating knowledge—is predicated upon the assurance that our institutions of higher education serve as strong and safe forums for the free exchange of ideas.  Importantly, we recognize that speech rights come with responsibilities. Pursuit of understanding and truth cannot happen without responsible debate, deliberation, and dialogue. 

Policy News

ASA Statement on Events at Trinity College

The American Sociological Association is closely following the recent events at Trinity College regarding Professor John Eric Williams. ASA, for its more than 100-year existence, has fought for academic freedom and a strong and safe public forum for the dissemination and discussion of ideas. The ability to inject controversial ideas into this forum is paramount to a better understanding of our society and essential to ensuring a robust exchange of ideas on college campuses.

The White House
Policy News

ASA Signs on to Letter Urging the Appointment of a BLS Commissioner

On May 9, 2017, the American Sociological Association along with 20 other organizations sent a letter to President Trump urging the appointment of a well-credentialed Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner and urging appropriate BLS funding levels, The BLS is the country’s second largest federal statistical agency and a major producer of the nation’s primary economic indicators.

Policy News

ASA Signs on to Letter Supporting Federal Data Sources

The ASA signed on to a letter expressing our strong support for the critical Federal data sources that inform and strengthen our nation’s world-leading economic, educational, democratic and civic institutions and successes. Our Federal statistical and data systems provide information that is uniquely accurate, objective, relevant, timely, and accessible. 

Policy News

ASA Signs on to Letter to Congress in Support of Science Funding

The American Sociological Association signed on to a letter with 287 U.S. business, science and engineering, medical and health, and higher education organizations urging Congress to swiftly complete action on the FY 2017 appropriations process and to include robust investments in scientific research.

Policy News

ASA Letter Regarding Central European University

The American Sociological Association sent a letter to Hungary’s Minister of Human Capacities expressing our profound concern about proposed legislative changes to the status of Central European University (CEU) in Hungary. Read the letter here.

The White House
Policy News

ASA Writes Letter to President Trump in Protest of Executive Order on Transgender Access

The American Sociological Association wrote a letter to President Donald Trump to express support for administrative policies on sex segregation that treat transgender students as members of their professed gender for all school-sponsored activities. Specifically, the American Sociological Association recommends the immediate reimplementation of the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education "Dear Colleagues" letter dated May 15th, 2016.

U.S. Capitol Building
Policy News

ASA Signs on to Letters Opposing Proposed HUD Legislation

ASA signed on to two letters that oppose restrictions on geospatial and racial disparities data:  an Association of American Geographers (AAG) letter which was signed by 26 other prominent national organizations expressing concerns about proposed bills (Senate Bill 103 and House Bill 482) that could impose restrictions on the use of and access to geospatial data related to racial disparities, and one from Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) which expressed interest in the following provision in H.R. 482.

Policy News

NDD United Statement Following Joint Session of Congress

NDD United sent a letter on March 1 (available here) signed by 2,000 national, state, and local organizations, including the ASA, to Congress, the President, and over 500 members of the media in response to the President’s remarks and proposed budget on February 28.

Policy News

Multisociety Letter on Immigration Executive Order

ASA has taken a firm stance against the Executive Order regarding entry into the United States for people from seven majority Muslim countries. We have co-signed, with many of our sister scholarly societies, a statement written by the American Association for the Advancement of Science which argues that scientific progress depends fundamentally on an open exchange of ideas and recognizes that the Executive Order will have the effect of limiting interaction among scholars.

Policy News

ASA President Writes Letter in Defense of Jan Tomasz Gross

ASA President Michèle Lamont recently wrote President Andrzej Duda, Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland criticizing a new Polish law that significantly harms academic freedom. The law punishes those who study Poland's past and reach a well researched conclusion that is opposite to the Polish government's narrative. 

Lamont urges that no charges be filed against Professor Gross. Gross has written about Poles complicity in the persecution of Jews during WWII.

Policy News

ASA Joins Scientific Organizations in Letter to Trump

The heads of 29 top U.S. scientific and higher-education organizations – including Nancy Kidd, ASA Executive Officer – wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on November 23, urging him to quickly appoint a science adviser.

Policy News

ASA Letter on Baseball Mascots

On November 15, 2016, ASA President Michèle Lamont, sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred on the use of Native American nicknames, logos, and mascots.

Policy News

ASA on Levada Center in Russia

ASA along with the British Sociological Association and the Canadian Sociological Association sent a joint letter to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation regarding a troubling situation with the Levada Center. 

Supreme Court building
Policy News

Supporting Policy through Social Science

The American Sociological Association (ASA) recently played a key role in support of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2016 ruling in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The judgement allowed the university to continue using race as a factor in admissions decisions.

“Scientific research shows that having a diverse student body leads to a number of educational benefits, including a decline in prejudice, improvements in students’ cognitive skills and self-confidence, and better classroom environments,” said ASA Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman.

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