June 2, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC—Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has been elected the 115th President of the American Sociological Association (ASA). Jennifer A. Reich, Professor of Sociology and Director of University Honors and Leadership, University of Colorado-Denver, has been elected ASA Vice President. Misra and Reich will serve as President- and Vice President-elect for one year before succeeding Prudence L. Carter, Brown University, and Mignon R. Moore, Barnard College and Columbia University, respectively, in August 2023.    

Misra’s research and teaching primarily focus on social inequality, including inequalities by gender and gender identity, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, citizenship, parenthood status, and educational level. Misra considers how policies may work to both reinforce and lessen inequalities; her aim is to create more equitable societies and workplaces. Much of her work explores different approaches that countries take to addressing inequality. Misra’s book, Walking Mannequins How Race and Gender Inequalities Shape Retail Clothing Work (University of California Press 2022), which she co-authored with Kyla Walters, demonstrates how employers reproduce gendered and racist "beauty" standards by regulating workers' size and look. The book sheds important light on the dynamics of retail work in the twenty-first century. Misra’s work has been featured in various professional journals, edited volumes, and books. She has written for and been quoted in many publications and media outlets, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education.

“I'm so grateful to be elected,” Misra said. “I'm a second-generation immigrant woman who grew up in the South. I have actively made choices throughout my career to do the work that matters most to me. I am truly moved that other sociologists see my work, my praxis, as valuable, and hopeful about what this means about where the discipline is moving.” 

Regarding her plans as ASA president, Misra said, “the beauty of sociology is in its variety. I hope to do more to honor that variety—by serving as President to all of the sociologists teaching in high schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities; all of the applied and public sociologists using sociology to better the world; as well as all of the sociologists doing research across the globe, recognizing that any one sociologist may represent many different aspects of the field. We make better sociology when we feel our work has meaning; I want to highlight those meanings, helping to move ASA beyond primarily a professional organization to a place that people see as supporting their calling.” 

Misra has held several positions at ASA, including Vice President; Council member; chair of Distinguished Book Committee; and as chair of Sex and Gender, and Race, Gender & Class sections. She was Editor of Gender & Society.

Misra was Assistant & Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, University of Massachusetts,-Amherst, and Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Georgia. She completed her PhD and MA degrees from Emory University and BA degree from Centenary College.

Reich’s research examines how individuals and families weigh information and strategize their interactions with the state and service providers in the context of public policy, particularly as they relate to healthcare and welfare. She is author of two award-winning books, Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines (NYU Press 2016) and Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System (Routledge 2005). Reich is editor of the books, The State of Families: Law, Policy, and the Meanings of Relationships (Routledge 2020) and Reproduction and Society: Interdisciplinary Readings (Routledge 2014), co-edited with Carole Joffe. She has written more than 40 articles and book chapters that explore vaccination, reproductive health, welfare, multiracial families, public assistance, and recovery after disaster. Her work has been featured in many news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and Newsweek, and on the Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World.

Regarding her election as ASA Vice President, Reich said, “I am a strong believer that our strength as an organization is our diversity of backgrounds, experiences, jobs, research topics, teaching opportunities, and public engagements. Being elected as Vice President means that I will be able to continue to help make ASA inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of that diversity moving forward. Sociologists are uniquely qualified to help as we identify ways to work, socialize, educate, and live that are sustainable and supportive of those in our communities who are vulnerable. Many of our members are already doing this work. We need to collectively do a better job of communicating this publicly.”

Reich has held several positions at ASA, including Council member; nominations committee member, Section on Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity; member, Committee on Sections; chair, Sex and Gender Section; and Chair, Teaching Committee, Medical Sociology Section.

Reich was Co-Director and Qualitative Methods Mentor, Clinical Faculty Scholars Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado-Denver; and Associate Professor at the University of Denver. She completed her PhD and MA degrees from the University of California-Davis and her BA from University of California-Santa Barbara after transferring from Santa Barbara City College.


About the American Sociological Association

The American Sociological Association, founded in 1905, is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

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