MSSA 2011 Annual Meeting Theme


MSSA Forum: January

Greetings members of the Mid-South Sociological Association. 

  • First – I wanted to remind everyone that the MSSA Executive Committee will be meeting in Little Rock on February 5th.  So, if there is something that you think the committee needs to discuss, please drop a note to MSSA President Roma Hanks at
  • Second, in case you missed it, MSSA member Dr. David Knottnerus has two new publications:
    • Ulsperger, Jason and J. David Knottnerus.  2011.  Elder Care Catastrophe: Rituals of Abuse in Nursing Homes – and What You can Do About It.  Paradigm Publishers.
    • Knottnerus, J. David.  2011.  Rituals as a Missing Link: Sociology, Structural Ritualization Theory, and Research.  Paradigm Publishers.
  • If you have any publications, awards or events you would like us to announce, please just drop me a note and I’ll include it in the next posting.
  • Finally, below you will find a discussin of the 2011 MSSA Annual Meeting theme provided by President-Elect and Program Chair Dr. Mark Konty.  Please be sure to pay attention to the discussion about how papers are to be submitted for the conference.

2011 MSSA Annual Meeting

October 26-29, 2011 – Doubletree Hotel – Little Rock, AR

Southern Exceptionalism:
The Good, the Bad, and the “Peculiar”

Compare the southern states to any other region in the United States, and by nearly every quantitative and qualitative indicator The South is exceptional – ranking either at the top or the bottom of the comparison.  Some of these are “good”.  Every uniquely American musical form – blues, jazz, bluegrass, country, rock-n-roll – has its roots in The South.  The South is known for its unique cuisines that influence American cooking.  The South is also a very spiritual and patriotic region, reporting the highest rates of religious and military participation.  With the good goes the “bad”.  The South ranks highest in poverty, crime, incarceration, unemployment, and divorce.  Then there is the “peculiar” – that which is or has been unique – beginning with what used to be called The South’s “peculiar institution”: southern slavery.  Sociologists such as Loïc Wacquant and David Garland explore how The South’s institution of slavery spun off further “peculiar institutions” such as Jim Crow, segregation, the urban ghetto, incarceration and modern capital punishment.  With Southern Exceptionalism, how much of what is peculiar to The South explains the good and the bad?

 Keynote: Heidi Beirich, Ph.D.,
Director of Research, Southern Poverty Law Center 

This year, paper submissions should be sent to topic organizers who will collect all the papers submitted on their broad topic area and arrange them into individual sessions. Below is a list of the topics and the topic organizers.  There will also be some Presidential Panels on music and non-profit organizations.  Any suggestions for other panels or topics are welcome.  

If anyone is unsure of where their paper fits, they can contact the topic organizers or contact me, Dr. Mark Konty, at and we will find a place for it.  

I still need organizers for Inequality/Stratification and for Race/Ethnicity.  So please contact me at if you are interested in organizing.

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