Newswise — July 19, 2021, Washington DC.  As the discussion over race and racism, white supremacy and nationalism, critical race theory, impacts of the pandemic, and issues confronting Asian-Americans continue to dominate the American conversation, thousands of sociologists whose work provides insights on these and other vital topics will meet at the American Sociological Association’s Virtual Annual Meeting, August 6-10. Approximately 900 sessions featuring over 3,000 research papers are open to the press.

From sexual assault and harassment to LGBTQ discrimination and from challenges facing the U.S. education system to income and wealth inequalities, sociologists are investigating and reporting on the most sensitive problems confronting American society. This year’s theme, “Emancipatory Sociology: Rising to the Du Boisian Challenge,” provides an opportunity to make sociology relevant to positive social transformation and reclaim its radical roots anchored in research. Given the diverse range of topics that will be covered, ASA’s Virtual Annual Meeting will provide a wealth of information for journalists assigned to nearly any beat.

Session highlights include:



  • Anatomy of Race, Racism, and Change. COVID-19 and police brutality have made it clear that racism remains a major issue in the world. As a result, racism has spun social movements seeking to address its structural and cultural roots. This panel will explore racism and its consequences in today’s world.

Participants: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Ibram X. Kendi, Mary E. Pattillo, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor


  • America at Mid-Century: A Majority-Minority Society? For more than a decade, both scholars and the public have believed—based on demographic data and projections—that the U.S. will transition to a majority-minority society by the middle of this century. However, new challenges to this idea are arising. This session explores the issues around the Census Bureau ethno-racial classifications, racialization, rising intermarriages, and the surge and characteristics of Americans from mixed family backgrounds.

Participants: Rebecca Karam, Victor E. Ray, Rogelio Saenz, and Jessica Vasquez-Tokos


  • Broadening the Conversation about Racism in Organizations, Occupations, and Work. This panel will discuss issues related to racism in the Silicon Valley and Atlanta; a mega church and a progressive high school in the Pacific Northwest; a public radio production process; and more.

Participants: Sarah H. Diefendorf, Laura Garbes, Brian Gravel, C.J. Pascoe, Cassidy Puckett, Victor E. Ray, Alicia Sheares, and Adina Sterling



  • Comparative White Supremacy/Race Relations. This panel will analyze and compare white supremacy in different locales and times and demonstrate the utility of a comparative approach for understanding white supremacy.

Participants: Zophia Edwards, Pap Ndiaye, Tianna S. Paschel, and Gay W. Seidman


  • Deciphering the Mechanisms of White Supremacy. This session highlights how white supremacy operates differently in different communities of color facilitating a more nuanced understanding of the apparatus of white supremacy.

Participants: Glenn Edward Bracey, Dwanna L. McKay, Wendy Leo Moore, Rogelio Saenz, and Vilna Francine Bashi Treitler


  • The Global Rise of the Far Right, Nationalism, and Authoritarianism. Panelists will discuss the rise of rightwing, nationalist, and illiberal politics around the world, with a focus on the U.S., India, Brazil, and the Philippines. They will seek to diagnose the current political moment by comparing the experiences and trajectories of these movements. The panel will provide an opportunity to assay the coherence and significance of a global authoritarian turn.

Participants: Mabel Berezin, Kathleen Blee, Thomas Blom Hansen, and Elizabeth McKenna



  • The Future of Critical Race Theory (CRT). Many sociologists use critical race theory to better understand race and social inequality in America. While CRT has become politicized in recent months, these panelists seek to explain why it is really a crucial tool for sociological study.

Participants: Glenn Edward Bracey, George Lipsitz, Charles W. Mills, Victor E. Ray, and Jean Stefancic




  • How the Pandemic Is Transforming Gendered Divisions of Labor in the U.S. From the changes in work hours among remote workers to mothers becoming largely responsible for education and health during the pandemic, to the unequal division of labor in both heterosexual and same-sex households, panelists will highlight how the pandemic built on already existing gender inequalities.

Participants: Jurgita Abromaviciute, Kate Henley Averett, Emily Kiyoko Carian, Jessica McCrory Calarco, Wen Fan, Rachel A. Rinaldo, and Ian M. Whalen


  • Pandemics and Sexualities. How do pandemics, such as COVID-19, impact sexual identities, cultures, and communities? And conversely, how do sexual agents shape these global crises? Panelists will analyze the relationship between socio-sexual life and worldwide epidemics.

Participants: Harry Barbee, Rick Braatz, Amy Braksmajer, Laura M. Carpenter, Robert Cserni, M.D.R. Evans, Lara Janson, Jonathan Kelley, Sarah Kelley, Tara A. McKay, and Barbara Rothmüller


  • Schooling and the Unequal Impacts of the Pandemic. This panel will discuss how the pandemic has impacted schooling, including the national variation in school reopening measures and reevaluating the purpose of the teaching profession.

Participants: Thurston A. Domina, Alma Nidia Garza, Kate Steed Hoffman, Sarah M. Kendig, Brittany Murray, Gilda Laura Ochoa, Annica Karlsson Petts, Linda Renzulli, Hilary Naa-Afi Tackie, Mariana Barragan Torres, and Christine Min Wotipka


Participants: Ruha Benjamin, Abeba Birhane, Angel Diaz, Joan Donovan, Frank Pasquale, Cierra Robson, and Amy Moran-Thomas





  • The Sociology of Asian America: Historical and Contemporary Issues. This panel will address historical and contemporary issues for various Asian American groups. Research on the U.S. empire and racialized global orders (which fundamentally shape U.S. racial orders) function as forms of agency. These forms of agency include the frontline work of Filipinx nurses who have been dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates; South Asian American political organizing; and how Asian American celebrity chefs represent themselves.

Participants: Victoria-Jo Gapuz, Christina Hughes, Nadia Y. Kim, Prema Ann Kurien, Kazuko Suzuki, and Jackson Wright


All ASA sessions except business meetings are open to credentialed journalists and freelancers with assignment letters or clips from credentialed outlets. Complimentary media registration is open; read the press policy and register online. Search the online program for keywords to find sessions of interest.




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.

Papers presented at the ASA Annual Meeting are typically working papers that have not yet been published in peer‐reviewed journals.