Call for Papers: Special Issue of Contexts Magazine on the Global Impact of the Coronavirus

Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public
Call for Papers for a Special Issue: The Global Impact of the Coronavirus

In early 2020, it became very clear that a new contagion had entered the human population and was spreading across the globe. The novel coronavirus, first appearing in China, has now spread throughout the world and threatens to kill thousands, possibly millions, of people. Consistent with our mission of bringing sociology to the public, Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public is issuing a call for papers that address the spread of this disease from a social science perspective. We are particularly interested in hearing from scholars across the world facing nuanced challenges in their own countries at the local, state, and national level.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • How public agencies discover and monitor epidemics like the coronavirus.
  • How specific organizations, such as hospitals and departments of health, are coping with the epidemic.
  • The economic implications of the coronavirus epidemic.
  • How popular culture and news organizations discuss and frame the virus.
  • The politics of how health services are funded and provide services during epidemics.
  • Innovations in how businesses, non-profits, and educational organizations are positioned to solve unique problems related to COVID-19.
  • The impact of coronavirus on specific cities and neighborhoods.
  • The social impact of “social distancing” and other methods of reducing transmission.
  • Public attitudes on outbreaks and health crises like coronavirus.
  • How social networks facilitate or reduce transmission of the coronavirus.
  • Inequalities in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Global comparisons of how different nations responded to the epidemic.

We ask that authors send the editors an opinion piece of 500-1000 words by March 20, 2020 at 5pm to We have a preference for pieces that employ empirical data and/or policy approaches to illustrate how the rise of coronavirus impacts society and how social behaviors change the spread of the virus.

Member Publication: The Death of Idealism: Development and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps

Please check out the recent publication by OOW member Meghan E Kallman. 2020. The Death of Idealism: Development and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps. Columbia University Press.

Here is a short description of the book:

Peace Corps volunteers seem to exemplify the desire to make the world a better place. Yet despite being one of history’s clearest cases of organized idealism, the Peace Corps has, in practice, ended up cultivating very different outcomes among its volunteers. By the time they return from the Peace Corps, volunteers exhibit surprising shifts in their political and professional consciousness. Rather than developing a systemic perspective on development and poverty, they tend instead to focus on individual behavior; they see professions as the only legitimate source of political and social power. They have lost their idealism, and their convictions and beliefs have been reshaped along the way.

The Death of Idealism uses the case of the Peace Corps to explain why and how participation in a bureaucratic organization changes people’s ideals and politics. Meghan Elizabeth Kallman offers an innovative institutional analysis of the role of idealism in development organizations. She details the combination of social forces and organizational pressures that depoliticizes Peace Corps volunteers, channels their idealism toward professionalization, and leads to cynicism or disengagement. Kallman sheds light on the structural reasons for the persistent failure of development organizations and the consequences for the people involved. Based on interviews with over 140 current and returned Peace Corps volunteers, field observations, and a large-scale survey, this deeply researched, theoretically rigorous book offers a novel perspective on how people lose their idealism, and why that matters.

For further information and to purchase the book, visit Columbia University Press’ website or Amazon.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Poetics

Catastrophes, Meanings, and Politics in a Global World: Toward a Cultural Sociology of Disasters
Special Issue of Poetics

Poetics, a leading journal of sociology of culture, media, and the arts, is issuing a call for papers for a special issue in 2021. Dedicated to “Catastrophes, Meanings, and Politics in a Global World: Toward a Cultural Sociology of Disasters,” this special issue will be guest edited by Bin Xu, Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University and Ming-Cheng M. Lo, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis.

Natural and technological disasters not only cause chaos and casualties but also compel individual and collective actors to engage in making sense of profound life, death, and suffering. Such meaning-making processes inevitably involve clashes of multiple symbolic systems. While mainstream sociology of disaster has produced abundant and rigorous studies of social aspects of disasters, it has yet to develop a systematic research agenda centered on the cultural aspect of disasters. The overarching goal of this special issue is to explore and established how disasters are fundamentally cultural.

This special issue attempts to advance this agenda by making some new moves. First, this special issue seeks to address multiple dimensions of culture, including public discourses, symbolic practices, institutional cognitive schemata, individual interpretations, and so on. Second, this issue aims to enhance reflexive self-positioning by denaturalizing the lingering Euro-America-centric biases in our discipline. Finally, this issue aims to provide fecund grounds for the cross-fertilization of the sociology of disaster and cultural sociology.

We are looking for papers that advance this agenda through theoretically illuminating and empirically rigorous research. While we welcome various regional foci, topics, and perspectives, we are particularly interested in papers that address the following issues:

  • Disasters or related processes with global impacts
  • Disasters in the global South, especially Africa and Latin America
  • Long-term disasters such as climate change
  • Recent and historical pandemics such as the SARS, Ebola, and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks

Interested authors need to submit an abstract of about 500 words to the guest editors (Xu and Lo) by May 15, 2020. The guest editors will notify the authors with their decisions by June 1, 2020. The authors whose abstracts are accepted will need to submit the full papers to the guest editors first for internal reviews by September 1, 2020. After addressing the guest editors’ feedback, these authors will submit their revised papers to Poetics through its on-line submission system by December 1, 2020.  These submissions will then be subject to the journal’s anonymous review process for additional revisions and the final editorial decisions.

Please feel free to circulate this call for papers. We are looking forward to reading your submission. Should you have any questions, feel free to email the guest editors Bin Xu ( and Ming-Cheng M. Lo ( 

Job Posting: TT Assistant Professor Position at California State University-San Marcos

The California State University-San Marcos is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor position who has content area expertise in domestic and/or transnational immigration or “crimmigration” with a focus on US-Mexico-Central America and youth and families.

More information can be found here:

Call for Papers: Diversity and Work Atmosphere in Research Organisations

Call for Papers: Diversity and Work Atmosphere in Research Organisations

For an edited collection, we ask you to submit contributions that present empirical findings of a qualitative or quantitative nature on the relationship between an individual’s diversity characteristics and his or her perception of working environment in research organisations worldwide.

Contributions are welcomed that show, 

 (1) how being perceived as or identifying as belonging to particular social categorizations and identities (gender, race, sexuality, religion, dis/ability, nationality, parenthood, etc.), influences employees experience and perception of their working atmosphere and culture (including the relationship to superiors), in particular experiences of bullying, discrimination and harassment in research workplaces;

(2) how the specific framework conditions in research organisations, e.g. different disciplinary cultures, fixed-term employment relationships or gender relations at the workplace, affect the relationship between the characteristics of an individuum and its perception of working atmosphere; and

(3) what measures are effective to successfully support the integration of a diverse workforce into research institutions.

The edited collection has a special interest in contributions discussing phenomena of bullying, discrimination and harassment in research environments. In general, contributions on group atmosphere, leadership culture or organisational commitment are welcomed. Only contributions that deal with the working environment of research organisations are relevant. A broad understanding of research organisations is applied, encompassing universities, private research departments and institutions, and other non-university research. In the case of universities, only results on the employees are to be considered, not those exclusively on students. Preference is given to contributions that take an intersectional approach. This refers to contributions that deal with interaction effects between different social categories. Exemplary questions are whether harassment particularly affects women scientists of foreign origin or if all scientists with children or only male scientists benefit from a work-life-balance measure?

Please send your abstract (200 – 300 words) to Dr. Clemens Striebing at Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering ( by 22 April 2020. In the abstract, explain the research question, relevance and data used. A scopus listing for each individual contribution is aimed at.


Deadline Abstracts – 22 April 2020

Feedback Abstracts – until 15 May, 2020

Deadline Manuscript & Start Review – 30 September, 2020

Call for Proposals: NSF Funding Opportunities

Message from Joseph Whitmeyer, Program Director at NSF:

Dear ASA Section Chair:

I am contacting you to ask you to distribute this information concerning two new NSF funding opportunities to your section members, who may be interested in one or both of them.  They both appeared within the past week and both have relatively close deadlines.  The Build and Broaden Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) has a deadline of May 1, and the General Social Survey competition has a Letter of Intent due June 1.

Briefly, the Build and Broaden DCL ( is to support conferences to foster collaborations among institutions that include at least one Minority-Serving Institution.

The General Social Survey has been substantially supported by the NSF since its inception.  The last recompetition was in 2008 and a lot has changed since then, which should enable some strong, innovative proposals this time.  This solicitation ( concerns two cycles of the survey, in 2022 and 2024.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Thank you in advance for this assistance!

Joseph Whitmeyer
Program Director
SBE/SES/Sociology and
CISE/Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure 
National Science Foundation
Phone:  703-292-7808

Job Posting: Assistant Project Scientist in Technology Management

The Technology Management Program at UC Santa Barbara seeks applications for an Assistant Project Scientist position. This Assistant Project Scientist will assist Prof. Matt Beane with a field-based research project. The project scientist will do research, data collection, and project analysis independently and in conjunction with Prof. Beane on this and potentially other projects of mutual interest.

The project that this position will be working on is a multi-year, multi-method research study of the implications of AI-enabled robotic systems for workers and organizations in high-mix, repetitive, manual work. Phase one centers on hypothesis generation, and involves fieldwork across numerous pick-and-pack driven (e.g. secondary fulfillment) facilities distributed around the US that are automating this work via AI-enabled robotic systems. As part of this fieldwork we are collecting and producing a significant body of quantitative data on organizational performance. Phase two of this work will involve testing these hypotheses via the US Census, and phase three will involve field experiments.

The minimum qualification is having a doctorate or equivalent at time of application. Preferred qualifications include having experience conducting research on work involving complex technology. Preference will be given to applicants with research interests in learning and labor relations, familiarity with production data and who are empirically focused on AI and/or robotics. The successful candidate will demonstrate competencies indicating that they will be able to contribute high-level skills to the projects at hand, and enable, plan, or execute research alongside TMP faculty. This appointment is 100% time for one year, with possibility of extension based upon performance/availability of funds.

To apply, please go to the following link:

Applicants should submit curriculum vitae, statement of research experience, and contact information for 3 references. Complete and submit your application by 3/16/2020 for primary consideration. Ideally, we are looking for someone to start early May 2020.

The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.