There, I said it. I love ASA. When I don’t get to go to as much of it as I would have liked, I miss it. I know we’re supposed to be cynical about how half-*ssed the papers can be, how much posing is said to go on, and so on. But I love a gathering of several thousand oriented toward thinking, in some way, sociologically. I love the receptions and the thoughtful self-congratulations of the section business meetings. I love the students feeling like they’re part of something big, I love noticing that a big name is a real person, I love meeting somebody new whose work I find interesting, I love reconnecting with my discipline and its foibles. I love wandering through the book exhibit and feeling overwhelmed with how much I’d like to read, not to mention picking up pens and pads and little bags of M&Ms. I love the presidential plenary and the awards and the “in memoriam” moment of silence. I love the Coser Award lecture and the Swarthmore Alumni in Sociology dinner and the Berkeley party (which I had to miss this year :( ). I love seeing friends I won’t see for another year and students whose dissertations I chaired beginning faculty jobs (two of ’em this time around! woo-hoo!).
There, I said it.