International Sociological Association
Logo of the ISA
The International Sociological Association (ISA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to scientific purposes in the field of sociology and social sciences. It is an international sociological body, gathering both individuals and national sociological organizations. The ISA was founded in 1949 under UNESCO and it has about 5000 individual and 62 collective members, hailing from 129 countries. Its purpose is to "represent sociologists everywhere, regardless of their school of thought, scientific approaches or ideological opinion" and its objective is to "advance sociological knowledge throughout the world". ISA is a member of the International Social Science Council with the status of the Non-Governmental Organization in formal associate relations with UNESCO and special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Activities
- 3 ISA Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups
- 4 Membership
- 5 Publications
- 6 Organization
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The history of ISA can be traced to the 1948 initiative of UNESCO's Social Science Department. The initiative was part of a larger plan aiming together to reform the social sciences worldwide, by improving the ties between scholars worldwide "to promote research in fields crucial to establishments of a peaceful world order". At the same time, parallel worldwide associations in economics, law and political sciences were founded and were soon combined in the International Social Science Council (ISSC). As of 1949, sociological associations existed only in Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA, with about twenty four more countries having sociologist represented in a different type of an institution. The Institut International de Sociologie (IIS), founded in 1893, an elite body of individual members, was deemed too limited, and it was decided that a new organization needs to be created. In the end, representatives from 21 countries were invited for a Constituent Congress, held in Oslo on 5–11 September 1949. The original stated purpose of the organization was "to advance sociological knowledge throughout the world" through measures including developing "personal contacts between sociologists" in different regions and encouraging "international dissemination and exchange of information". A provisional Council was appointed, as were an Executive Secretary, Treasurer, and the Secretariat personnel; statutes were adopted. The first ISA conference was planned for 1950.
ISA World Congress of Sociology
ISA World Congress of Sociology has been organized since 1950. Since 1962 it has taken place every four years. The most recent Congress took place in Yokohama, Japan (2014), and the next one will be held in Toronto, Canada, in July 2018. Each Congress offers some 1,000 sessions on various sociological topics and represents a unique opportunity for scholars from all parts of the world to meet, to exchange their ideas on work of common interest and to establish contacts for future collaboration and exchange.
List of ISA World Congresses
- Zurich, Switzerland (1950). Sociological Research in its Bearing on International Relations
- Liège, Belgium (1953). Social Stratification and Social Mobility
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1956). Problems of Social Science in the 20th Century
- Stresa, Italy (1959). Society and Sociological Knowledge
- Washington D.C., USA (1962). The Sociology of Development
- Évian, France (1966). Unity and Diversity in Sociology: Sociology of International Relations
- Varna, Bulgaria (1970). Contemporary and Future Societies: Prediction and Social Planning
- Toronto, Canada (1974). Science and Revolution in Contemporary Societies
- Uppsala, Sweden (1978). Paths of Social Development
- Mexico City, Mexico (1982). Sociological Theory and Social Practice
- New Delhi, India (1986). Social Change: Problems and Perspectives
- Madrid, Spain (1990). Sociology for One World: Unity and Diversity
- Bielefeld, Germany (1994). Contested Boundaries and Shifting Solidarities
- Montreal, Canada (1998). Social Knowledge: Heritage, Challenges, Perspectives
- Brisbane, Australia (2002). The Social World in the Twenty First Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges
- Durban, South Africa (2006). The Quality of Social Existence in a Globalising World
- Gothenburg, Sweden (2010). Sociology on the Move
- Yokohama, Japan (2014). Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology
- The forthcoming XIX World Congress of Sociology is scheduled for July 2018 in Toronto, Canada.
ISA Forum of Sociology
ISA Forum of Sociology, a mid-term meeting of Research Committees, Working Groups and Thematic Groups combined with the Business Meeting of the ISA Research Council, has been organized since 2008.
List of ISA Forums
- Barcelona, Spain (2008). Sociological Research and Public Debate
- Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012). Social Justice and Democratization
The forthcoming Third ISA Forum of Sociology will take place in Vienna, Austria, July 10-14, 2016.
ISA conferences of national and regional associations
ISA conferences of national and regional associations were organized in 1996-1998 by Immanuel Wallerstein, ISA President 1994-1998, in preparation for the 14th ISA World Congress of Sociology (1998). Resulting from these conferences, ten Regional Volumes on Social Knowledge: Heritage, Challenges, Perspectives were published .
The initiative of national associations’ meeting has been re-instated in 2005 when ISA Council of National Associations conference was organized in Miami, Florida, USA. Since then it has been held every four years.
ISA Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups
Research committees, working and thematic groups of the International Sociological Association organize their activities which include seminars and conference as well as publications and research projects.
At ISA’s formation in 1949, the system of national association membership of the ISA followed the general United Nations model of representation, with all nations treated equally. Where there were no associations, other affiliates such as department sand research institutes were admitted.
It had been agreed that where there was no appropriate national body individual membership would need to be permitted. This was intended to be the exception, and numbers remained very low until the Statutes changed in 1970 and general individual membership was introduced.
Currently ISA has
Open to scholars and professionals of sociological teaching, research or practice. At present there are about 5,000 members from 167 countries.
Divided into two categories
- Regular collective members: countrywide associations of sociology duly established for scientific purposes which are open to all active sociologists. They are admitted by a decision of the Executive Committee, subject to ratification by the Council of National Associations.
- Affiliated collective members: research institutions and universities or their departments, as well as other associations of sociologists active in the field of sociology.
ISA series of books
ISA Digital Worlds
- Global Dialogue
- Social Justice & Democratization Space
- Global Courses
- Journeys through Sociology
- Universities in Crisis
- Abstracts of PhD Dissertation
Most influential works in sociology
In 1997, ISA conducted a survey of its membership to identify the 20th century's most influential books in sociology. Members were asked to name the five books that had the most influence on their own professional work. There were 455 respondents (16% of ISA's members), of whom 20.9% named Economy and Society by Max Weber, placing it first on the ISA list. The list was unveiled at the 1998 ISA congress, the organization's last major conference in the 20th century, also marking ISA's 50th anniversary. Germov and Skrbis described the list as representing "sociology as a truly international, yet Western (and masculine) discipline".
The complete list of the top ten works in sociology, each of which was named by at least 5 percent of respondents, was:
- Max Weber, Economy and Society
- Charles Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination
- Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure
- Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
- Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality
- Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste
- Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process
- Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action
- Talcott Parsons, The Structure of Social Action
- Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
The statues of ISA were first amended during the World Congress at Varna, and were subsequently amended again in 1974 at Toronto, 1978 at Uppsala, 1982 at Mexico City, 1986 at New Delhi, 1994 at Bielefeld and 2010 at Gothenburg.
At first, the governing body of ISA was the council of national representatives. The council elected the Executive Committee, which was composed of a President, three Vice-presidents, an Executive Secretary, and six other members. In 1970 ISA allowed general individual membership (previously it focused on organizational membership). Since then, ISA has both individual and collective members. Currently, the Council of National Associations is supplemented by the Research Council, which is composed individual representatives of all Research Committees. The two Councils hold the Assembly of Councils at the Congresses every four years, electing the President and other officials.
Scientific activities of the ISA occur under the auspices of research committees that gather sociologists interested in similar subfields or topics within sociology. As of 1997 there were 59 such groups with a total membership of 4442 individuals. The two largest groups at that time were Migration and Social Stratification. As of July 2012, ISA webpages listed 55 Research Committees, 3 Working Groups and 5 Thematic Groups. As of 1994, ISA had 45 national associations as its members. Currently its members come from 167 countries.
ISA offices have changed their location several times; since 1987 they are located are in Madrid, Spain. Although at its beginning, the ISA's budget consisted mainly of UNESCO funds, the modern ISA budget is primarily (90%) composed of from membership dues and sales of publications; only 10% comes from grants of UNESCO/ISSC.
The ISA is a member of the International Social Science Council with the status of the non-governmental organization in formal associate relations with UNESCO and special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
The recognized languages of the ISA are English, French and Spanish; English is the organization's administrative language.
List of ISA Presidents
- 1949-1952 Louis Wirth, USA
- 1953-1956 Robert C. Angell, USA
- 1956-1959 Georges Friedmann, France
- 1959-1962 Thomas Marshall, UK
- 1962-1966 René König, Germany
- 1966-1970 Jan Szczepański, Poland
- 1970-1974 Reuben Hill, USA
- 1974-1978 Thomas Bottomore, UK
- 1978-1982 Ulf Himmelstrand, Sweden
- 1982-1986 Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Brazil
- 1986-1990 Margaret Archer, UK
- 1990-1994 T.K. Oommen, India
- 1994-1998 Immanuel Wallerstein, USA
- 1998-2002 Alberto Martinelli, Italy
- 2002-2006 Piotr Sztompka, Poland
- 2006-2010 Michel Wieviorka, France
- 2010-2014 Michael Burawoy, USA
- 2014-2018 Margaret Abraham, USA
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 13. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 15. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 14. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 16. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "ISA Statutes". UNESCO. 1950.
- Jose I. Reguera. "Statutes of the International Sociological Association". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "Books of the Century". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Department Activities, CSUDH Sociology". California State University, Dominguez Hills. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Top Ten Books of the Century". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "ISA - International Sociological Association: Books of the Century". International Sociological Association. 1998. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- Germov, John; Zlatko Skrbis (1 September 2004). "The Most Influential books in Australian sociology (MIBAS), 1963-2003". Journal of Sociology 40 (3): 283–303. doi:10.1177/1440783304046282. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 17. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 31. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 59. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Jose I. Reguera. "ISA - International Sociological Association: Internal Organization". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- Delbert C. Miller; Neil J. Salkind (16 January 2002). Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement. SAGE. p. 744. ISBN 978-0-7619-2046-5. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 39. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Jose I. Reguera. "ISA - Research Committees". International Sociological Association: Research Committees. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 60. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Platt, Jennifer (1998). "History of ISA: 1948-1997". International Sociological Association. p. 44. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Member Associations and Unions". International Social Science Council. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Jose I. Reguera. "ISA - International Sociological Association: International Sociology Review of Books Call for Books". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "ISA Presidents". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 2012-07-25.