Aha, you want a page from The Secret History of Social Network Analysis

Soon after I founded INSNA, the networking sociologists actively
considered forming an American Sociological Association section.
(This was in the late 1970s.) At that time, I believe it took 200 members
to constitute a section. We probably could have made those numbers.

We held a special meeting (probably at the ASA annual meeting) to discuss
it. After lively but friendly discussion the consensus was that we should
not try to form a section.

The reasoning was that as social network analysis was a generalized
approach rather than a substantive topic, we would be best Not to
ghettoize ourselves in a section. Rather, we should exercise thought
leadership in all/most sections. Although it is theoretically possible to
do both, the fear was that once we formed a section, the network analysts
would gravitate to it, and other parts of the ASA wouldn't be as
interested in having us present papers or organize sessions. (I remember
who was the leader in this discssion, but will let this senior prof speak
for himself.)

Mike Johnson's question does contain an inaccuracy. Only a chunk (I'd
guess a third) of ASA sessions are organized by sections. Most sections
get 2 or 3 sessions alloted during the entire 4-day conference. (I speak
as an emeritus Community section chair.) Most sessions are organized by an
ASA Program Committee, under the leadership of the President-Elect. In
practice, successful sessions are often continued from year to year
(although with different session organizers). Also, hopeful organizers can
often be successful in proposing new sessions to the Program Committee. I
believe they have almost all of the 2003 sessions chosen, and a new
committee will start soon on 2004. So get your request pencil sharpened,

Note, that that the ASA requires that almost all sessions be competitively
populated, rather than be panels constituted by the proposer. A call for
papers for 2003 will go out in fall 2002, and almost always papers are due
in early January 2003. As I said, these are competitive, with refereeing
done by the session organizer.


  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
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  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162

On Thu, 22 Aug 2002, JOHNSTON,MICHAEL FRANCIS wrote:

> Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 17:09:17 -0700
> From: "JOHNSTON,MICHAEL FRANCIS" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: The ASA and Social Networks
> Hi all,
> Why is it that there is no section about social networks in the
> American Sociological Association?
> For what reason are there social network panels at the ASA?
> I was under the impression that only sessions could sponsor panels.
> best regards,
> Michael