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The history of the British Sociological Association
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 06:52 authored by Jennifer Platt
The British Sociological Association (BSA) was founded when British sociology was very small, but it grew rapidly as higher education expanded, and many BSA activities responded to this. Membership has always been open. In the 1950s, younger members wanted more professionalization, and founded a separate group for ‘professional sociologists’; this soon became a section of the BSA, and then was closed as no longer needed. Other groups too which had felt their interests required independence have been absorbed. The professionalizing group took over the leadership, only to be challenged in turn by the women’s movement; this made gender issues salient, and led to a policy of gender equality. The politicized period of the late 1960s and 1970s, student unrest, and governmental attacks on the social sciences, created many issues which involved the BSA. Internally, policy was egalitarian on several fronts; some senior men objected to this. Activities have grown considerably, and include journals, conferences, codes of practice, study groups, an academic press and a summer school; recently it has also often been necessary to represent sociology in relation to governmental initiatives for higher education. The external environment is now quieter and the discipline has become older and more established, but despite increased professionalization the BSA remains egalitarian and inclusive.
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- Sociology and Criminology Publications
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