Call for Papers: The End of the World as We Know It?

The End of the World as We Know It?

2017 Annual Meeting


Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown

February 23-26, 2017


The online abstract submission system for the ESS annual meeting is now open at  or through the website at The ESS welcomes submissions, drawing on every methodology, addressing any and all issues of interest to sociologists.  In addition, ESS president John Torpey (CUNY Graduate Center) has proposed that the 2017 meeting will focus on the theme “The End of the World as We Know It?”:

Our world is caught up in rapid but ambiguous change.  With improvements in health care and nutrition, global populations are both growing and aging; by 2050, the world is expected to have some 9 billion people or more, perhaps a quarter of whom will be over 60 years of age.  More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, a proportion expected to rise to two-thirds by 2050.  Interstate violence has been declining for decades.  Technology is revolutionizing everyday life: powerful hand-held computers are ubiquitous, communications are much easier, and commercial drones will soon fill the skies.  Yet the consequences for social life are contradictory.  People can be in touch with many more people, yet they are often not fully present in personal interaction.  Racism and class inequality persist or worsen.  The life-long career with one employer may be giving way to a “gig economy,” in which people offer their own assets or temporary labor for hire.  Social safety nets and public education systems — the bedrock of social citizenship — are under challenge.  Climate change threatens global patterns of habitation and livelihood, and indeed life on the planet itself.  Sociologists know a lot about these developments, as well as about their dark underside.  How are different social groups affected by these changes?  What measures should be taken to mitigate the negative effects of these changes and to maximize their usefulness to people?  Are we as sociologists paying attention to the right things?  What do our analyses of society tell us about where we go from here?

We hope that scholars who participate in the meeting will bring a broad range of additional questions and approaches to issues raised by a focus on major social change.  Although the ESS particularly encourages submissions related to this year’s theme, we welcome submissions on all sociological topics, drawing on all methods and formats, including:

  • Individual papers (please include abstracts of 250 words or less; longer drafts are also  welcome via email to the program committee)
  • Wholly constituted sessions (with names and affiliations of all presenters)
  • Thematic conversations (panels of two or more scholars engaged in debate or exchange)
  • Workshops on specific topics and techniques
  • Special sessions organized around prominent scholars and their work
  • Roundtable and poster session presentations

Proposals for mini-conferences are encouraged by August 15, 2016 and should be sent to

Paper submissions and session proposals are due by October 15, 2016 and should be submitted through our abstract system,

Questions should be sent to

Program Committee Chair:  Richard E. Ocejo, CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Categories: Conferences

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