CSA members are now entitled to a 30% discount off all Canadian Scholars' Press book purchases when you order through cspi.org. To take advantage of your discount, email the title and ISBN of your requested book to email@example.com and mention your CSA membership. CSPI will automatically invoice you at 30% off the cover price. Orders can also be placed by phone at 416-929-2774 ext. 10. To view the Canadian Scholars' Press catalog, visit www.cspi.org.
Message from the President
CSA-SCS President 2015-2016
Dr. Terry Wotherspoon
The approach of a new academic year presents opportunities to reflect on both the past and the future. This has been a particularly good year for the Canadian Sociological Association. We have had a very successful annual conference at the University of Ottawa, with sessions revealing the tremendous scope of the discipline and revealing the significant contributions made by those connected with the discipline in Canada (extending well beyond the nation and the academy to encompass those who work with government agencies, NGOs and many other organizations). The conference also provided us with an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments our annual award recipients (who are identified elsewhere on this website). The recent introduction of research clusters (which now number 25) has made it possible to focus sessions in many key areas while fostering a wide range of innovative ideas and connections among members both within the association and through bridges with other communities. Reception has been very strong to the updated version of Opportunities in Sociology, produced through collaboration between the association and the Sociology Department at UBC. A French language version of the document will be available in the coming months.
Planning is underway for next year’s annual conference, which will be at the University of Calgary in late May and early June. I encourage all members to participate, and look forward to a strong response to the calls for sessions and papers that will be coming out shortly. Looking further ahead, preparations are also advancing for the next congress of the International Sociological Association which will be held in Toronto in July, 2018. Because of the extensive planning and high levels of commitment associated with this important event, the CSA, as host organization, will not be part of Congress for that one year only. Although the event is still three years away, it is crucial for us to consider in a thorough manner the implications these arrangements may have for our association. As the Executive Committee explores various options for keeping members connected to the CSA in a year in which our regular annual event will not take place, we encourage members and Department representatives to provide input and express any preferences that they may have with respect to these issues.
The association is also continuing to strengthen connections among diverse segments of the sociological community in recognition that sociologists and sociological practice extend well beyond universities and community colleges. These connections have become especially significant in a context in which the need to ‘commit sociology’ is becoming increasingly more evident in recognition of complex challenges associated with the intricacies of contemporary social environments. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which held its closing events in conjunction with the release of its findings and recommendations during the same week that the CSA was meeting in Ottawa, reminds us of our responsibilities to consider how we can best integrate these findings, working towards objectives to acknowledge the truth of Canada’s history of colonization of indigenous people as the nation moves towards new relationships built on mutual respect, in the course of our own teaching, research and other relevant activities. The federal election campaign offers many opportunities for members of the sociological community to pose questions to candidates and wider publics about matters that are important to our work, studies and broader interests. These include both specific issues - notably the loss of the long form census and serious erosion of other important data sources and the need to ensure strong support for research activity and equitable access to higher education – as well as more general concerns about the kinds of communities and societies in which we want to live. Problems such as increasing economic insecurity and income polarization, stronger evidence about the prolonged impact that human activities are having on the environment and climate, and displacement of populations fleeing from conflict and other forms of turmoil as they seek places in which to live, present to us regular reminders that the sociological imagination and the ends to which it is oriented remain vitally important even if they reveal no readily apparent pathways to follow. I look forward to a year in which all CSA members and others who are part of the sociological community will contribute to our capacity to understand these and other important issues through their research and scholarship, academic studies, and other forms of work and engagement with broader communities.