Just because I’m in Australia doesn’t mean I’m not following the news back home. Here is the Chicago Tribune’s writeup of ASA announcing it isn’t going to Chicago. Critic tho’ I often am of ASA, I think we come across pretty well here, actually.

ASA can’t have the possibility of a one-day or multi-day strike during its conference. Can you imagine? I do not want whether I attend an 8:30 session — already, anymore, a dubious proposition — to turn into an ethical dilemma. Granted, when the graduate students had a two-day walkout when I was a professor at Madison, it was fun arranging a church basement to hold my class in and to work from home a couple days. So, I don’t know, maybe we could have had sessions in Millenium Park and communicated the revised program by Twitter and everybody could have crashed in my condo. Still, presumably, bedlam.

I feel bad for the people organizing mini-conferences associated with the Chicago meetings, especially as at least one was to be held at my university, but it doesn’t sound like ASA had much alternatives for itself and ASA can’t be responsible for satellite events. AAA already showed circa 2005 what happens when you wait until nearer to the last minute to try and switch venues, and it completely destroyed a year of their annual meetings (and, if memory serves, ended up compromising another), and I have no doubt had AAA decided to stay the course and not switch, enough people would have bailed and renounced those who didn’t that it would have been a disaster of a different sort.

Apparently the plan is for the “Regional Spotlight” sections of the program to still be held as planned. So, “Sexuality in the Second City” is still on and so forth. Seems like there would be enough time to revise this part of the program, and, well, I already don’t know who goes to such sessions but, why would people go to a series of sessions on Chicago if we are in Austin or Minneapolis or Seattle?

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

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