Please see below for information on conferences, books, graduate programs, and various other resources of interest to section members. These listings are updated upon request.

Please note the new fund for graduate travel! Through the generosity of Diane Kaplan and the Kaplan family, the section has established a new fund: the Howard B. Kaplan Memorial Award in Medical Sociology. Howard was a core member of the section for many years. He not only was an eminent scholar in areas relating to longitudinal studies of the self concept and health but also was instrumental in establishing new journals and a series of handbooks in our field. In honor of Howard's pathbreaking contributions to medical sociology, the Kaplan family has established this award to support graduate students doing research in one of the substantive areas that defined Howard's distinguished academic career. It will provide one graduate student each year funds up to $500 to attend the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Priority will be given to graduate students who are working in Howard's areas of mental health, self concept and health, or deviance. If you would like to nominate one of your students (self-nominations from graduate students will also be accepted), please send a CV and a brief cover letter of nomination to

handbooks & manuscripts

Associations & Grants

Sociology Associations

Grant Opportunities


  • British Sociological Association

    University of Leeds, April 23-25, 2014

  • Canadian Disability Studies Association Conference

    Brock University, St. Catherine's, Ontario, May 28-30, 2014

  • XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology

    Yokohama, 13-19 July 2014

  • Rural Sociology Association ​

    Equity, Democracy, and the Commons: Counter-narratives for Rural Transformation

    July 30-August 3 2014, New Orleans

  • ​Mid South Sociological Association​

     Atlanta, GA, October 23-26, 2013

  • ​American Sociological Association 109th Annual Meeting

    San Francisco, CA; August 16-19, 2014

Graduate Programs

Data & Funding Agencies

New Books

The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging

Margaret Lock

Princeton University Press. Publisher's description: Because of rapidly aging populations, the number of people worldwide experiencing dementia is increasing and the projections are grim. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in medical research, no effective treatment has been discovered for Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. The Alzheimer Conundrum exposes the predicaments embedded in current efforts to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease through early detection of presymptomatic biological changes in healthy individuals. Based on a careful study of the history of Alzheimer's disease and extensive in-depth interviews with clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, geneticists, and others, Margaret Lock highlights the limitations and the dissent implicated in this approach. She stresses that one major difficulty is the well-documented absence of behavioral signs of Alzheimer's disease in a significant proportion of elderly individuals, even when Alzheimer neuropathology is present in their brains. This incongruity makes it difficult to distinguish between what counts as normal versus pathological and, further, makes it evident that social and biological processes contribute inseparably to aging. Lock argues that basic research must continue, but it should be complemented by a realistic public health approach available everywhere that will be more effective and more humane than one focused almost exclusively on an increasingly frenzied search for a cure.

Health Communication and Mass Media: An Integrated Approach to Policy and Practice

Rukhsana Ahmed and Benjamin R. Bates

Ashgate Publishing. Publisher's description: Health Communication and Mass Media is a much-needed resource for those with a professional or academic interest in the field of health communication. The chapters engage and expand upon significant theories informing efforts at mediated health communication and demonstrate the practical utility of these theories in on-going or completed projects. They consider how to balance the ethical and efficacy demands of mediated health communication efforts, and discuss both traditional media and communication systems and new web-based and mobile media. The book's treatment is broad, reflecting the topical and methodological diversity in the field. It offers an integrated approach to communication theory and application. Readers will be able to appreciate the ways that theory shapes health communication applications and how those applications inform the further construction of theory. They will find practical examples of mediated health communication that can serve as models for their own efforts.

Ancestors and Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa.

Claire Laurier Decoteau

University of Chicago Press. Publisher's description: In the years since the end of apartheid, South Africans have enjoyed a progressive constitution, considerable access to social services for the poor and sick, and a booming economy that has made their nation into one of the wealthiest on the continent. At the same time, South Africa experiences extremely unequal income distribution, and its citizens suffer the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu has noted, “AIDS is South Africa’s new apartheid.” In Ancestors and Antiretrovirals, Claire Laurier Decoteau backs up Tutu’s assertion with powerful arguments about how this came to pass. Decoteau traces the historical shifts in health policy after apartheid and describes their effects, detailing, in particular, the changing relationship between biomedical and indigenous health care, both at the national and the local level. Decoteau tells this story from the perspective of those living with and dying from AIDS in Johannesburg’s squatter camps. At the same time, she exposes the complex and often contradictory ways that the South African government has failed to balance the demands of neoliberal capital with the considerable health needs of its population.

Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction

Edited by Paul Farmer, Arthur Kleinman, Jim Kim, and Matthew Basilico

University of California Press. Publisher's description: Bringing together the experience, perspective and expertise of Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Arthur Kleinman, Reimagining Global Health provides an original, compelling introduction to the field of global health. Drawn from a Harvard course developed by their student Matthew Basilico, this work provides an accessible and engaging framework for the study of global health. Insisting on an approach that is historically deep and geographically broad, the authors underline the importance of a transdisciplinary approach, and offer a highly readable distillation of several historical and ethnographic perspectives of contemporary global health problems. The case studies presented throughout Reimagining Global Health bring together ethnographic, theoretical, and historical perspectives into a wholly new and exciting investigation of global health. The interdisciplinary approach outlined in this text should prove useful not only in schools of public health, nursing, and medicine, but also in undergraduate and graduate classes in anthropology, sociology, political economy, and history, among others.