Presidential speeches and teaching sociology (2009 MSSA presidential address)

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In this address, I review available published presidential addresses written by presidents of various sociological organizations as a way of thinking about sociology and what sociologists may find important. Using Eller's categorizations, I divide the articles into three types including (1) query of the profession in which the author discussed the history of sociology or its future; (2) a call for new directions in methodologies or theories within sociology; and (3) a focus on the author=president's research. Then, I focus on what is missing in most presidential addresses given by sociologists: sociologists' role as educators and the impact we have upon students. I find that most presidential addresses do not include any or only passing nods to our responsibilities as teachers. I end the address with a call to consider our responsibilities and impact as teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-638
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Spectrum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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