MSS News

Every year:

  • 1200-1300 members invigorate MSS with their energy and enthusiasm.
  • 800-1000 members convene at the MSS annual meeting.
  • 200 members step up as volunteers, serving on the Board of Directors,15 standing committees, and assorted work groups, award committees and task forces.
  • 160-170 MSS members enjoy support from MSS through research grants, competitive prize awards, and more than 150 student and adjunct grants for travel to the annual meeting.

MSS is……people.   Read some people stories, below.


2018 MSS Theme Announced

“Sociology and the Public’s Health”
2018 MSS Annual Meeting
March 22-25
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN


Public health connects us all…

healthy communities – involuntary immigration/migration (national and global) – gun violence – obesity – diabetes – chronic disease & infectious diseases – environmental health – health inequities/inequities – prescription abuse – social justice and more…

We sociologists discuss and debate public sociology and sociology’s publics, and rightly so.  But seldom do we engage in organized, public sociological discussions and debates about the public’s health.  Hence, the 2018 MSS program theme “Sociology and the Public’s Health.”

Public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations – as small as a local neighborhood, as big as an entire country or region of the world.

Public health? What is it? Who’s responsible? Take a listen.

Public health links seamlessly with many of sociology’s professional conceptual roots – race, ethnicity, gender, political economy, global development, education, family, and more. One of public health’s primary functions – social justice – fits hand-in-glove with sociology.  Public health is broad enough that a person would be hard pressed not to find a topic that captures what you do as a sociologist – in your research, teaching, community engagement.

– Marlynn May, 2018 Program Chair & President-Elect
– Julia Mendes, 2018 Student Director

MSWS Founding Mothers’ Awardees recognized at 2017 MSS Annual Meeting

The Midwest Sociologists for Women in Society (MSWS) presented the Founding Mothers’ Award during their business meeting at the 2017 MSS Annual Meeting. The award recipients included Dr. Jean Karlen (2016) and Dr. Barbara Keating (2017).

2017 MSS Awardees

Congratulations to the 2017 MSS awardees!

Each year, we are proud and privileged to present a variety of awards to MSS members. This year was no exception. From stellar writing to longstanding commitment to the organization, we thank each of our awardees for their contribution to the field of sociology and their communities.

Student Paper Competition: Undergraduate Students

Student Paper Competition: Graduate Students

Life Members

Life Memberships were awarded to Jean Karlen, Helen Moore, Ron Berger, Shirley Scritchfield, Susan Stall and Peter Parilla.

Jean Karlen, MSS President Deb White, Peter ParillaJean Karlen, MSS President Deb White, Peter Parilla

Midwest Sociological Society Distinguished Book Award

Culling the Masses

Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas 
(Harvard University Press, 2014)
David Cook Martin, Grinnell College,
and David Scott Fitzgerald, University of California San Diego

Social Action Award

For the work they do in their communities, MSS recognized Sojourner Family Peace Center (Milwaukee) and La Causa, Inc. (Milwaukee). Thank you for your commitment to your community!

Social Action Awardees


2017 Annual Meeting Highlights

It’s been over a month since the 2017 Annual Meeting of the MSS adjourned – a perfect time to reflect back on highlights from the conference. This is the first in a series of TMS News pieces that will appear on the website about the Annual Meeting. Other articles to look forward to include 2017 Award Winners and the recognition of new Life Members, an introduction to the new MSS president-elect Marlynn May, and a re-cap of the plenary events and town hall meeting. Many thanks to all who helped to make the 2017 meetings a success!

Check out the new MSS Photo Gallery for more pictures!

First Night Welcome

The traditional welcome party, held the first evening of the annual meeting, saw participants greeting old friends and colleagues and meeting new ones. MSS State Directors welcomed conference attendees from their states.

Ice Cream Social

Record-breaking attendance at the Ice Cream Social again this year should have resulted in our running out of ice cream – but we didn’t! Could you tell that we ordered extra ice cream and toppings? Some people even came back for seconds! Check out the MSS Photo Gallery to see MSS Past Presidents Barbara Keating, Diane Pike, Peter Kivisto, and Doug Hartmann dish up chocolate and vanilla.

Trivia Night

Trivia Night was a big hit again this year! Many thanks to Vicky Herbal, Trivia Organizer Extraordinaire for another great night of fun and competition!


The Commons

The Commons was host to a number of book publishers and departments from a variety of schools in the Midwest region as well as several poster sessions this year. Hope you got to check out some of the amazing work from MSS students and regular members.

2017 MSS Distinguished Book Award Announced

Congratulations to the 2017 MSS Distinguished Book Award winner and three honorable mentions!

2017 MSS Distinguished Book Award Winner:

Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas 
Harvard University Press, 2014
David Cook Martin, Grinnell College, and David Scott Fitzgerald, University of California San Diego

2017 Honorable Mentions:
Organizing Organic: Conflict and Compromise in an Emerging Market
Stanford University Press
Michael Haedicke

Engines of Anxiety: Academic Rankings, Reputation, and Accountability
The Russell State Foundation
Wendy Nelson Espeland and Michael Sauder

Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston
The University of Chicago Press
Mary Barr

Thank you to the 2017 MSS Book Award Committee, consisting of Lee Vigilant, Michael Hughey, and Joel Powell.  All are professors of sociology at Minnesota State University Moorhead.