1. An important priority is to strengthen communication and collaboration among the Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups. The ISA Forum provides not only an excellent venue for the different Research Committees and groups to hold their respective interim meetings but also an important opportunity to help foster greater synergies between research committees and also between the research committees, working groups and national associations.

    The discussions and dialogues that ensue at the various sessions can promote paths to collaborate on comparative research projects between scholars from countries in Global North and Global South on a spectrum of issues.

  2. To expand the avenues to ensure increased diversity in perspectives and participation of members at ISA conferences, especially of under represented groups by selecting conference locations that are relatively affordable, and by creatively addressing language barriers that impede participation. 

    As an international body of sociologists we need to pay greater attention to the sources of power and privilege based on nation state status, regions, citizenship, ethnicity, race, class, gender, and language that shape the flow of knowledge production, information dissemination, and consumption of sociological research. Many of us in ISA have talked about the ways to creatively strengthen the aspect of regional diversity in ISA efforts to promote our mission and organizational goals to advance sociological knowledge throughout the world.

    The ISA Forum of Sociology provides us a wonderful opportunity to do this and the selection of Buenos Aires as the site for 2012 is a small but important step in enhancing regional diversity and expanding our sociological lens.

  3. To establish more opportunities for junior scholars to participate in ISA activities and also to meet and collaborate with senior international scholars. We need to expand such spaces for junior sociologists and the ISA Forum 2012 hopes to provide one such opportunity by creating a session specifically dedicated to bring together a number of junior and senior scholars.

  4. To help facilitate ISA build better bridges between sociologists and activists in promoting social justice, through rigorous research that informs policy and practice at the local, national, transnational, and global levels.

The times in which we live, require a greater commitment by sociologists to engage in research that is grounded in sociology but draws upon other disciplines to address some critical issues. The problems, challenges and possibilities to resolve poverty, unequal access to education, global inequities, environmental degradation, ongoing wars, erosion of democracy and human rights violations are just some examples of issues that the ISA can address and that can help us strengthen links between Sociology and the public sphere.

Here, once again, the ISA Forum can provide an excellent platform for us as sociologists and as members of RCs, WGs and TGs to be more proactively engaged in the international dissemination, exchange of information and global dialogue that can contribute to transformative change.

Margaret Abraham
ISA Vice-President, Research Council
ISA Forum President

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International Sociological Association
September 2012