Research Committees


Article I. Nature

The RC was officially established in January 1963 in accordance with Article XI of the ISA Statutes.  The RC, originally named as “The Research Committee on Medical Sociology” has been re-named as “The Research Committee on the Sociology of Health” since 1986.

The RC shall raise its own funds from membership subscriptions and other sources.  The funds shall be administered by the RC in accordance with Article XI of the ISA Statutes.

Article II. Objectives

The RC’s overall objective is to promote health for all people.  It is the health of people rather than the medical service in itself that is of primary concern to the RC.  Specific objectives include

  1. promoting the development of concepts, theories and practices of the sociology of health,
  2. improving research person power and encouraging empirical research on sociological aspects of health,
  3. promoting information exchange and scientific meetings in the field of the sociology of health at all national, regional and international levels, and
  4. developing and uniting the professional qualities, social consciousness and experience of its members for work on sociological problems related to health throughout the world.

Article III. Activities

The RC shall work with all kinds of individuals and organisations that are interested in the promotion of health for all people.  Activities to be engaged by the RC include information exchange in between members, international scientific communication, cross-national research projects, training programmes for developing research personnel in the sociology of health with particular emphasis in countries where such personnel is lacking, and sponsorship or co-sponsorship of workshops and conferences wherever and whenever.

Article IV. Membership

Membership of the RC shall be restricted to individuals.  Members shall have rights to vote, to participate in all activities of the RC, and to receive the Newsletter of the RC free of charge. However, members are obliged to observe the Statutes of the RC, to report relevant activities through the RC’s Newsletter, and to carry out any tasks entrusted to them by the business meeting or the Steering Board of the RC.  Members are also required to pay membership dues to the amount of  U.S $60 (there is a discount rate of $20 for members residing in countries classified as B or C) for a four year period (January to December). Membership dues should be paid to the ISA. Members who do not pay up their dues shall  be dropped from the membership list after two years.

Article V. Governing Body

The RC shall be governed by a Steering Board consisting of eight members to be elected by the membership at large.  Four members shall retire at the end of the year in which each ISA Congress is held.

Article VI. Electoral Procedures, Casual Vacancies and Non-performance of Duties

  1. The Steering Board shall have eight members elected by the membership at large.  Four members shall be elected in the year of each ISA Congress to serve for a term of eight years expiring on 30 December of the eighth year, being a year in which the Congress is held.
  2. Not less than four weeks before the Business Meeting at the World Congress, the Secretary-Treasurer shall by email or otherwise invite all members in good standing to submit nominations, including self-nominations, for membership of the Steering Board. Nominations may also be submitted at the Business Meeting.  In making nominations, members are encouraged to consider the desirability of promoting diversity in the membership of the Steering Board, to include, but not be restricted to, diversity in region of origin, language and gender. Retiring members of the Steering Board shall be eligible for re-election, provided that no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms.
  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall ascertain that each nominee is willing to stand for election and shall then conduct a postal or electronic ballot among all paid-up members of the RC.  Each elector may vote for up to four candidates, without ranking or transfer.
  4. The electoral process shall be completed by 1 December of the year in which the ISA Congress is held.  The four candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall become members of the Steering Board from 1 January following.
  5. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall draw lots to determine who should be elected.
  6. Should any member of the Steering Board become inactive for whatever reason or wish to resign or retire, the vacant place shall be offered successively for the remainder of the term to the candidate with the next highest number of votes.  If a member fails to perform the duties properly assigned by the Chairperson, they may be removed from office by the Chairperson with the assent of at least two other members of the Steering Board and the vacant place shall be offered successively for the remainder of the term to the candidate with the next highest number of votes.  In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall draw lots to determine who should first be offered the position.

Article VII. Officers

  1. The Steering Board shall, at the time of each ISA Congress, elect from among its own members a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary-Treasurer to serve until the conclusion of the Business Meeting at the next following Congress.
  2. The Steering Board shall also elect or appoint by co-option a Newsletter Editor and a Liaison Representative to represent the ISA to the World Health Organization. If these offices are filled by co-option, the holders shall become full members of the Steering Board with voting rights.
  3. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall work with other members of the Steering Board to provide leadership for the RC. The Chairperson shall be the RC delegate to the Research Council and the Vice-Chairperson shall be the alternate. In the event that either is unavailable to attend a meeting of the Research Council, the Chairperson may delegate another member of the RC Steering Board to act as delegate.’
  4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for duties including but not restricted to maintaining the membership list, preparing a balance sheet to be presented at each Business Meeting at each ISA Congress, maintaining correspondence with the ISA Secretariat and related bodies, conducting postal or electronic ballots for the election of Board members and for amendment to statutes, assisting the Chairperson in the preparation of reports.
  5. The retiring chairperson shall remain a member ex officio of the Steering Board until the mid-term conference next following the expiry of their term of office.

Article VIII. Amendments and Transitional Provisions

  1. The present Statutes were adopted at the RC15 Business Meeting held at the ISA Congress in Durban on 25 July 2006. They replace those adopted by postal ballot in July 2003.
  2. Changes or amendments in the Statutes may be made by a simple majority of the paid-up members present at the Business Meeting held at each ISA Congress or by a simple majority of RC members voting in a postal or electronic ballot.
  3. Proposals for changes or amendments may be put forward by the Steering Board or by a petition signed by at least ten paid-up members of the RC and addressed to the Chairperson of the RC. The Chairperson is required to ensure that a ballot is conducted within three months of the receipt of such a petition unless the petitioners withdraw or agree to an alternative arrangement.
  4. In order to allow this revision to come into effect without undue delay, current Steering Board members will be invited to volunteer to terminate their period of office on 30 December 2006, enabling a new ballot for four places to take place following the Business Meeting at the 2006 ISA Congress. Members so volunteering will be eligible for re-election on this occasion regardless of the number of consecutive terms previously served.  In the event that the number of volunteers does not match the number of vacancies required, the Chairperson shall draw lots to determine whose term shall be considered to have expired.