The American Sociological Association is wrapping up its 110th Annual Meeting, which happened to be in Chicago this year. In addition to all of the thematic sessions, round tables, and book fair, one of the best things that happens at ASA’s Meeting are the plenary talks. These are usually longer talks (1 hour +) on big topics. These talks offer a nice status update of the field, but also of the big players in the field.
This year, the theme of the meeting was Sexualities in the Social World- so the plenary talks were on Abortion in America, The Politics of Same Sex Marriage, Modern Romance, The Rise of Nonmarital Births, and Internet Dating. This could be a really useful tool for teaching big topics outside our research areas. The really exciting thing is that ASA has an archive of talks going back to 2002.
Here are some of the more “accessible” talks:
An Evening with Malcom Gladwell from the 2014 Meeting with the theme Hard Times:The Impact of Economic Inequality on Families and Individuals.
Plenary Session: How is Inequality in the United States Changing? from the 2013 Meeting with the theme: Interrogating Inequality: Linking Micro and Macro.
Democracy from the 2012 Meeting with the theme Real Utopias: Emancipatory Projects, Institutional Designs, Possible Futures.