ASA Awards Presentation and Presidential Address
WELCOME FROM THE ASA PRESIDENT
University of California-Los Angeles
Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various manifestations of violence around us today, we need connection, community, and the power of sociological thinking to understand the world—and to change it. I am deeply honored to welcome you all to Los Angeles to engage in fruitful and invigorating conversations so that our collective sociological wisdom can sustain us, enlighten us, and help us see possibilities for a better and more just world. It is my sincerest hope that we can come together for meaningful exchanges while also enjoying the bounty that Los Angeles has to offer.
This year, ASA returns to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly three decades (the last time ASA was in L.A. was in 1994), which means that we, local sociologists, are thrilled to welcome you! So, I want to welcome you warmly to my hometown and invite you to explore its rich culture, sights, neighborhoods, and history. The local committee (Jody Agius-Vallejo and Jan Lin, co-chairs; Kevan Harris, Nadia Kim, Alejandra Marchevsky, James McKeever, and Walter Nicholls) has been hard at work curating tours and lists of restaurants, neighborhoods, and places of interest. They also have organized regional spotlight panels that showcase L.A. for sociologists, including a look back at the thirty years after the L.A. rebellion of 1992, Indigenous Los Angeles, gentrification and displacement, the role of community colleges in L.A., the immigrant rights movement, and the politics and policies that affect the unhoused.
The theme I chose for the 2022 meetings, Bureaucracies of Displacement, allows us to examine the depth and breadth of the effects of political and policy decisions on the wide range of challenges and crises that we face in the United States and around the world today. I convened a program committee (Nina Bandelj, Nancy López, Paul Almeida, Monica Bell, Cedric de Leon, Cynthia Feliciano, Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Neda Maghbouleh, Rashawn Ray, Florencia Torche, Chris Uggen, and Laurel Westbrook) to help me organize a meeting that would create a solid platform to discuss such challenges, aiming to be as inclusive as possible of different themes, populations, and spaces.
I am delighted to open the meetings with the plenary, Beyond Control: Immigration Policy in an Era of Enforcement, where Muzaffar Chishti (Migration Policy Institute/NYU Law), Kelly Lytle Hernandez (UCLA), Douglas Massey (Princeton), Karen Musalo (Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Hastings College of Law), and Roger Waldinger (UCLA) will discuss pressing questions in immigration policy. Immediately following, I invite you all to the welcoming reception, with a musical performance by the Jornaleros del Norte, a band composed of immigrant laborers living in Los Angeles.
Two other plenaries include a conversation about Abortion Rights in Crisis: Reflections on Dobbs v Jackson, led by Carole Joffe (UCSF), on the SCOTUS decision and its implications with participation from Michele Goodwin (UC Irvine Law), Michelle Oberman (Santa Clara University), Bhavik Kumar (Planned Parenthood, Texas), and Patricia Zavella (UC Santa Cruz). And a plenary on Decentering Sociology from the Global North, with Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College) moderating a discussion on how to center knowledge from the Global South to understand our world, with panelists Nazli Kibria (Boston University), Marco Garrido (UChicago), Victor Agadjanian (UCLA), and Paul Almeida (UC Merced).
Presidential Panels on guns in society, climate change, voter suppression, race representation in Hollywood, vaccine refusal, housing insecurity, threats to end abortion and LGBTQ+ rights around the world, family separation, mass incarceration, gender-based violence, anti-Asian racism, immigration enforcement (and more), section sessions, book panels, and regular sessions will ensure meaningful conversations, so we go home inspired, with our sociological imaginations sharpened. But while in L.A., please enjoy our city and have fun at the various events, visiting with old friends and meeting new ones!
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