Pacific Sociological Association’s
90th Annual Meetings/Conference
Thursday, March 28 to Sunday, March 31, 2019
in Oakland, California, at the Marriott Downtown/City Center
Submissions for presentations will open July 1 and close October 15, 2018.
THEME: “Engaging Millenials: Researching and Teaching about Power, Diversity, and Change”
PRESIDENT: Elaine Bell Kaplan, University of Southern California
VICE PRESIDENT: Kathy Kuipers, University of Montana
PROGRAM CHAIR: Sharon Davis, University of La Verne
ABOUT THE THEME:
This year we celebrate the Pacific Sociological Association’s 90th year by focusing on our commitment to the development and care of the future generation of sociologists. This year we also want to celebrate the millennial generation in line with the Pacific Sociological Association mission to advance scholarly research on all social processes and areas of social life; to promote high quality teaching of sociological knowledge and to mentor the next generation of sociologists. In fact, The Pacific Sociological Association’s annual meeting has provided an informal setting in which millennials can meet people—future sociologists who are moving into or moving up in their careers.
I am drawn to this population of 18 to 32-year-olds for several reasons. This generation is the largest population compared with earlier generations. It is also the most progressive generations since the 1960s. In 2008, millennials helped to elect the first black president. Millennials are also the most racially diverse generation in American history. My research indicate that we are facing a new generation of voters and the prospects for a political realignment. We have had many opportunities to talk about power, diversity and social change when we teach them in our classes or attend their campus events.
We also have much to learn from these future sociologists, especially now when this country appears to be greatly divided by political stands on race, ethnicity, culture and sexism.
We can learn how to look on at popular culture from their perspective.
My research on millennials’ reaction to Beyoncé’s Formation video is a great example of how we can use cultural materialism to show the force of this generation.
Millennials can teach us how to use social media as a powerful tool to communicate with people around the world. This tool gives us the opportunity to share our ideas with others and to mentor those who are not close by. Millennials can tell us how to use a musical genre like Hip-Hop, to teach powerful political history lessons. For example, the Hip-Hop musical, based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant and illegitimate son of married woman who was called a “whore” is a robust story that captures the hearts and minds of people of all ages. How did they convey that message? If Hip-Hop can tell the dramatic story of the American Revolution, it can tell any story in the world. This musical’s most important breakthrough, however, is proving to audiences who may be unfamiliar with the genre of hip-hop that it can convey adult realism as effectively as adolescent fantasy. Most important, the musical Hamilton, specifically reflects the diversity of this society: black, Latino and white actors were casted as the founding fathers: Hamilton, Burr, Washington, Jefferson, to mention a few of the many characters.
The Theme’s message for Pacific Sociologists 90th year: “ENGAGING MILLENNIALS: RESEARCHING AND TEACHING ABOUT POWER, DIVERSITY AND CHANGE,” We can bring the past to millennials and they can bring us into the future.
Please join us, March, 2019, in Oakland, California, for sessions on a full range of sociological topics, and a program showcasing discussions of the challenges facing 21st century Millennials, Sociologists, and others. We invite you to explore the stories and experiences of ordinary people who are confronting a society that has been deeply divided by ideology, race, class and gender.
–President Elaine Bell Kaplan