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Upcoming events

    • March 27, 2025
    • March 30, 2025
    • Parc 55 - San Francisco, CA

    Join us for us for the 96th installment of the Pacific Sociological Association’s Annual Conference (PSA 2025) being held from March 27th – March 30th of 2025 at the beautiful Parc 55 in San Francisco, CA. Please activate/sign-in to your PSA Membership here on Wild Apricot before registering.

    We look forward to seeing you In San Fransico in 2025. Below is more about our conference theme from PSA President Dwaine Plaza. 

    Registration likely to be available on June 1, 2024

    About the 2025 PSA Annual Conference

    Sociology in Crisis: Strategies for Teaching and Researching in a Culture of Anti DEI 

    In the United States, we are confronted with the realities of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and class inequalities, which intersect to present several types of social and sociological challenges. When those in power seek to subordinate  the teaching of critical race theory, remove sociology from the general education curriculum in higher education, ban books that document the atrocities of settler colonial nation projects, and fire teachers who seek to bring a critical perspective to our understanding of history, we are left with one key weapon in our arsenal: critical sociological analysis—a weapon that has two dialectically related parts, theory, and methods.

    In the struggle for equality, we as academics and researchers utilize social context and knowledge to provide perspective; we use history as hindsight to provide insight in order that we might gain foresight.  As T.S. Eliot once noted: “time present and time past are both present in time future.” For we know that history holds the key to understanding society’s structure and functioning, the key to understanding the forces that make for social order, social disorder and social change and therefore the key to fashioning a more equitable society. Thus, in shredding the myth of biological race, Stuart Hall was able to demonstrate just how the racial subordination of Black people has had to do not with what is in their genes, but what was in their histories. Their histories include: colonialism, enslavement, Jim Crow, and Christianity. To ban teachers and books that document these histories is to perpetuate the myth that America was/is the freest, fairest, and most equal democracy in the world. For these reasons I remind you of C. Wright Mills’  observation in The Sociological Imagination that all history worthy of the name is historical sociology.

    This said, my choice of a conference theme, Sociology in Crisis: Strategies for Teaching and Researching in a Culture of Anti DEI, is both timely and pressing for in our divisive times.  The sharp social and political divisions in society mark a stage in which our economic and cultural pursuits clash with the fascist times we live in. To counter divisive ideologies, such as with QAnon conspiracies, replacement theory, White fragility ideologies, and a resurgence of White Supremacy, sociology and sociologists need to rely on historical truths as their main weapon.

    Sociologists have understandably become targets of conservative politicians and their frightened, kneejerk, mindless followers. Using the right-wing media and their loud social media megaphones, these same conservatives have railed against voices of protest and have enlisted a cohort of scared and radicalized followers to engage in hegemonic and/or physical violence to combat opposition voices. In this stand-off that is fueled by hate and fantasies of ultimate White supremacy utopia, violence and intimidation become the weapons of choice in the hands of groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters. Thus, Charlottesville’s White Supremacists and the January 6th insurrectionaries are the conservatives’ answer to sociological truth.

    We must not forget that ours is a capitalist society and there is no such thing as “capitalism with a heart.” As a system of oppression and exploitation, capitalism is founded on the naturalization of social inequality. We cannot all be owners (or the “haves”), for non-owners (or the “have-nots”) are needed to complete the picture. But where problems arise is when the non-owners and the have-nots become sociologically informed to see through their inculcated false consciousness concerning the natural superiority of Whiteness, the normalization of race and gender inequality, the scare tactics aimed at immigrants (only those of color), who come to steal jobs, the congenital degeneracy of Mexicans and Muslims etc. The unmasking of such false consciousness, plus the ideologies of order and control, is the task of sociology and sociologists. And herein lies the source of the manufactured fear that ‘sociology is the subversive science.’

    The discipline of Sociology gives those in power real cause for concern because it removes the ideological fog that casts privilege as natural, and social inequality (whether of a racial, ethnic, gendered, classed, national or economic type) as normal. The Queer community are our allies in the struggle to make this country live up to the image of a pluralistic and peoples’ democracy. The same goes for our Muslim, Jewish, Atheist and Agnostic co-nationals. Teaching through the lens of sociology theory and sociological research methodology are thus activist undertakings. 

    These political and cultural issues spilled into the battle over curriculum content in primary and secondary schools where progressive frontline teachers are denounced as biased for teaching so-called “sensitive” topics and for advancing a so-called “woke” agenda. Similarly, in higher education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion  programs are also under attack (in Florida, Texas and Utah and spreading like a contagion). In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, conservatives see these programs as inciting “wokeism” (aka critical awareness) and limiting free speech, as well as teaching discrimination, hate, and divisiveness.  On January 11, 2024, the New York Times documented an anti-DEI agenda which would reverse the social and cultural progress made in American universities toward addressing fundamental issues of transphobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, class discrimination, and the intersectionality of these factors. DEI programs address not only the obvious forms of discrimination but also the subtle and structural problems that perpetuate exclusion and mistreatment.  DEI programs continue because universities have not traditionally been places where various minority groups have felt welcomed or supported.  As most such institutions are founded on the assumptions of Anglo-conservative, White, male, heterosexual, Christian ideologies, the exclusion of “the other” is deeply embedded in their DNA.

    Not surprisingly, in this growing culture of backlash and revisionism by conservatives, the discipline of sociology has come under concerted attack precisely because of its subversive mandate. Further, sociology is seen as a repository of non-scientific, disaffected, left-wing radicals whose causes are anti-American. And this is where my vision for the 2025 PSA conference theme is born. The main question is, as sociology faculty, researchers, and students, how do we use the tools of theory, and methods at our disposal to rescue, not just sociology, but all critical thinking from the anti-intellectual conservative forces that threaten us? How do we demonstrate that sociological theory and research methods are essential to the general core of higher education curriculum and that all students should have the option of taking these courses? Finally, how do we lead the charge against anti-intellectualism? I invite your input and discussion into these key themes and topics that we will focus on for the 2025 conference in San Francisco.


    Dwaine Plaza Ph.D.

    PSA President 2024-2025

Past events

March 21, 2024 95th Annual PSA Conference (PSA2024)
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