Sociology of Reproduction Sessions at
the American Sociological Association
History of the Regular Session: Sociology of Reproduction
For ASA 2001 and 2005, Christine Morton submitted a proposal for a session (with Jackie Litt and Susan Markens, respectively). This was a competitive proposal process and we successfully organized two sessions in 2001 and three in 2005. The ASA Program Committee makes determinations on what topics to institutionalize as regular sessions, and looks to the past in part to make its decisions.
For ASA 2006, the Program Committee instituted Sociology of Reproduction as a regular session, and chose a demographer as organizer; and papers on the 2006 session reflected this approach. In order to ensure more representation of feminist qualitative perspectives on reproductive issues, it is important for ReproNetwork members to be known to Program Committee members during that assignment phase. The Program Committee is appointed by the ASA President. At a meeting, the Program Committee members go around the table, choosing particular regular sessions for which they then have the responsibility of naming five possible organizers.
However, the same person cannot organize the same session two years in a row. Hence a couple of things: the more submissions and papers that are presented at ASA 2008 in this session the better. It will better ensure (but not guarantee) the session topic remaining as a general session, and give the next years’ Program Committee a list of possible future organizers. Organizers must have a PhD and maybe other qualifications. I will continue checking on the process, and if any of you have insight into this process, please share with me. Each year, when the Program Committee is named, it would behoove all of us ReproNetworkers to perhaps drop a line with folks we know on the PC to let them know of possible candidates for organizing this session. We need to be proactive about ensuring that feminist qualitative work on reproduction has a central place in the ASA meetings.
I have been very gratified by this small but significant dent made into the structure of ASA for presenting the work that we do.