New ASA task force on social media

The American Sociological Association has a new task force on social media that will meet during the 2013 ASA meetings in New York City:

According to Tapia, the ASA has “worked hard to keep pace with the changes in social media” by adopting practices such as maintaining a Facebook page and working with Twitter. However, she added, many sociologists lack the experience and knowledge to fully utilize social media. While in graduate school, sociology students are required to read an extensive amount of literature that goes back hundreds of years but do not receive comparable training in using online tools.

“The purpose of the task force is to think more broadly about ways in which we can help to shine a bright light on sociology,” she said. “For example, many members are eager to promote their books. But some members don’t quite know how to go about it.”…

The Task Force on Social Media will hold its first face-to-face meeting at the ASA Annual Meeting in New York City on Aug. 10. The bulk of the task force work will be done by sub-committees operating electronically and by conference calls over the next 18 months. There will be a second face-to-face meeting in August 2014 at the ASA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

As a discipline, sociology could use more positive exposure through social media. According to a posting earlier this year, the full name of the group is the Task Force on Using Social Media to Increase the Visibility of Sociological Research. At the same time, Twitter and Facebook and other places don’t always lend themselves to nuanced scientific explanation of the social world…

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