Igniting change through sociology at Congress 2022

Blog
March 8, 2022
Author(s):
Dr. Daniel Kudla, Memorial University

This year’s Congress theme of Transitions asks us to reflect on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to lead conversations to help us understand and shape our changing reality. This theme resonates with sociologists, as understanding our social realities and advocating for change are key aspects of our disciplinary canon.  

The Canadian Sociological Association's conference theme of Igniting Change Through Sociology asks sociologists to reflect on how the pandemic has revealed inequalities of existing social structures and institutions and how we can move forward to create just, democratic, tolerant, and flourishing societies. The last few years have certainly revealed a multitude of challenges in a complex social environment characterized by political, social, and cultural polarization.

The task of sociology is not to offer over-simplified solutions to contemporary social problems, but to offer nuanced, rich, and sophisticated explanations and answers to pressing social issues such as environmental degradation, demographic challenges, political oppression, economic inequality, and racial and religious discrimination, among many others.  

Our conference provides a forum for sociologists to exchange ideas about these pressing issues and advocate for change through scholarship. Our keynote speakers, for example, will address issues ranging from racial inequalities in healthcare and hiring discrimination faced by ethnic minorities, to unequal relations between Indigenous and settler populations, inequalities in educational attainment, and conceptualizing “change” in the pandemic era.      

Outside of our conference programming, our association is also taking action to address colonialism, racism, and oppressions. One of our most significant recent initiatives is the formation of the CSA’s Black Caucus, which has taken leadership in addressing anti-Black racism in academia and works to connect and promote Black sociologists. Our Equity Subcommittee, Decolonization Subcommittee, and Black Caucus are currently drafting a governance document that will set out overarching decolonization and anti-racism expectations for our association. Simply put, the CSA is committed to enhancing equity and inclusion for all of our members.     

With over 30 plenary and 170 research paper presentation sessions at this year’s conference, our goal is to encourage all of our members to exchange ideas and in doing so, inspire change.  

Register for the CSA’s conference at Congress here. The CSA will open a number of sessions to the public. Check back to purchase your community pass in April 2022!