History of SWS

“Feminist professionals certainly know about role conflict. SWS is one organization where the various roles
of sociologist, activist, parent, partner, friend, mentor, teacher, and writer find holistic support and development.
SWS is a home base, a safe house, a launching place. Join the circle.”

— Carla Howery, SWS President (1992)

In 1969, several hundred women gathered at a “counter-convention” at Glide Memorial Church rather than attend the ASA meetings at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco. Sharing feelings of insecurity and stories of initially mystifying experiences as graduate students and faculty, and encouraging each other with applause, they came to see that some of the stresses in being sociologists were not idiosyncratic, but part of the experience of being women. Later that year, some 20 founding women met to build an organization and network. Although SWS was created to redress the plight of women sociologists, SWS has become an organization that also focuses on improving the social position of women in society through feminist sociological research and writing.

SWS is an open door. Connecting with SWS is easy. First, join the organization, and then volunteer to do some work that you think needs doing — organize a task force, work on the publications, discrimination, or career development committees. Any and every sociologist who undertakes to coordinate work for the national SWS is welcome to participate in our governance. We meet twice a year, once with the American Sociological Association meetings in late summer, and then again in late February at various locations.

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