College of Liberal Arts

UT Austin Sociologist Aims to “Improve People’s Lives” as New ASA President

Thu, Jun 7, 2018
Williams participates in the 2017 March for Science.
Williams participates in the 2017 March for Science.

Sociologist Christine Williams was elected president of the American Sociological Association (ASA). She is the first from The University of Texas at Austin to be chosen for the position.

“I am happy to represent The University of Texas at Austin in this role, home to one of the best sociology departments in the country,” said Williams, who holds the Elsie and Stanley E. (Skinny) Adams, Sr. Centennial Professorship.

ASA, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. The association is led by dedicated professionals who work at the national and international levels to articulate policy and implement programs likely to have the broadest possible impact for sociology now and in the future.

“Sociologists address some of the world’s most pressing social problems, including economic inequality, gender and race discrimination, and political violence and oppression,” said Williams. “Becoming ASA President is an opportunity to showcase the excellent research being done on these topics and its potential to explain and improve people’s lives.”

Also on faculty with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Williams' research focuses on gender, race and class inequality in the workplace, including sexuality, homophobia and sexual harassment in a wide variety of workplace settings. Her most recent publications analyze gender inequality and diversity culture in the oil and gas industry. And her most recent book, Inside Toyland: Working, Shopping, and Social Inequality, exposes how the social inequalities of gender, race and class are embedded within consumer culture through an examination of low-wage retail work.

In addition to the honor of serving as ASA President, Williams has been the recipient of the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award, a lifetime achievement award “in recognition of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society,” as well as the Distinguished Lecturer Award and the Feminist Mentor Award given by Sociologists for Women in Society. 

A complete list of 2018 ASA election results are available on the association’s website.

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