Grassroots sociology and the future of the discipline

Research paper by Catherine Harris, Michael Wise

Indexed on: 01 Dec '98Published on: 01 Dec '98Published in: The American sociologist


It has become a truism to say that the sociological enterprise is in disarray. The sociological niche is neither self-evident nor safe. Given the problems facing sociology, it is imperative that the discipline begins to plan to protect is assets and to project its capabitlities into the twenty-first century. State sociological assocations could be major components of such a plan. The state sociological association is, however, a largely unknown entity. The present study presents the result of a survey of the officers of state assocations to determine the demographic makeup of their membership, concerns addressed by their associations and their strategies for dealing with these concerns. The findings suggest that state socioclogical associations are in an excellent position to build community in the discipline by breaking down the lines of stratification separating the organizational levels of the sociological enterprise and the different needs of our academic and applied endeavors.