Junior Sociologists

ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

The International Sociological Association organizes every four years a ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior Scholars (under 35 years of age) engaged in social research. Participants should hold a Master’s degree, or an equivalent graduate diploma, in sociology or in a related discipline.

Participants must send an original paper (that has not been previously published anywhere) focusing on socially relevant issues. The phenomena examined may be social, economic, political, cultural or of any other kind, but their interpretation or analysis must show a sociological orientation (for instance, through the identification of social processes underlying the phenomena under scrutiny, critique of commonsense interpretations or of well-established theories, etc.). Empirical research papers must go beyond descriptive reporting of results to broader, analytical interpretations.

Papers are judged according to perceptiveness with which issues are treated, the quality of empirical materials presented, the consistency with which an analytic framework is used, the originality of ideas, and the clarity of style. Extensiveness of referencing or the use of advanced statistical methods are of only secondary importance, so as to provide participants throughout the world with as equal an opportunity as possible.

Initially, a jury considers which papers reach a sufficiently high standard to be issued with a letter of official commendation and be listed on ISA website. Then, the selected finalists receive Merit Award Certificates, a four-year membership in the ISA, and an invitation to participate in an ISA World Congress of Sociology. Out of the preselected finalists, a Grand Jury chaired by the ISA President selects up to five winning papers. Their authors are invited, all expenses paid, to participate in the World Congress. The winners’ papers are considered for publication, subject to editorial decision and revision, in one of the ISA’s journals.

ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists was launched by the International Sociological Association in 1990. The seventh Competition was completed on the occasion of the XIX ISA World Congress in Toronto, July 2018.

The details of the next Competition, which will end at the forthcoming XX ISA World Congress in Melbourne, Canada, July 2022, will be announced in 2019.



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