Annual Conference

2021 Annual Meeting

“Will America Work? Race, Polarization, and Economic Inequality”

April 7th – April 10th, 2021

Our conference will be held virtually!

President: Adia Harvey Wingfield, Washington University in St. Louis
Program Chairs: Rashawn Ray, University of Maryland and Brandon Jackson, Purdue University

The deadline to submit papers, posters, and sessions has passed. 


The theme for the 2021 meeting is “Will America Work? Race, Polarization, and Economic Inequality.” The year 2020 has produced a global pandemic, political polarization, civil unrest related to police brutality, and another wave of a racial awakening. Economic instability and unemployment have approached Great Depression-era numbers. Black, Latinx, and indigenous people are not only disproportionately more likely to die from COVID-19, the former two groups are also more likely to be “essential, frontline” workers who face greater exposure to the virus. Additionally, COVID-19 has been brutal to minority- and women-owned small businesses. The benefits of the Payment Protection Program from the Small Business Administration were less likely to reach these small businesses, given that they often lack relationships with large banks and face discrimination in the lending process. In the midst of these racial and economic flash points, the US continues to grow increasingly polarized, with widening political, cultural, and social divides.

Sociologists have studied these issues and are well-positioned to examine them in real-time. This conference aims to feature research that highlights the structural and intersectional ways that COVID-19 further exposes systemic inequalities. We also aim to highlight innovative research that speaks to transformative leaps toward racial equality or reducing economic inequality. Accordingly, we welcome papers showcasing the ways that sociologists are aiming to contribute to broader conversations at their universities, communities, and state capitals to help make America work–for everyone.

We’re virtual! 

To keep our membership safe, the annual conference will be held virtually this year! In order to make our first (and hopefully last) virtual meeting worthy of the amazing, engaging, and rejuvenating event that is the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, we contracted with an equally exciting platform. After testing out over a dozen potential products over the Summer and Fall, we are excited that the virtual SSS 2021 will use the All In The Loop interface. For a visual preview of our virtual platform, click here!

Virtual Platform FAQs

How do I access SSS 2021?

Click here for a step by step speaker guide and instructions on accessing our virtual conference.

What if I have a technical issue?

Click here for a technical troubleshooting guide

How can I prepare for my presentation? 

Click here for a detailed presentation guide.

Do I need to register beforehand? 

We highly recommend that you register for our virtual conference as soon as possible. There is a lag between registration and access to our virtual platform. This means that if you wait until the day of your presentation, it will take time for the computer servers to send over your information.

What time zone is the conference taking place in? 

Central Time. The preliminary program and final program PDFs are written in central time. Once you have entered the virtual conference, our platform All in the Loop can adjust the agenda to your local time zone when you fill out your attendee profile.

Call for Papers

  • SSS 2021 Call For Papers

    The deadline to submit to our 2021 conference has passed. Check back here for our preliminary program in February 2021!

Conference Program

Conference Registration Fees

Per SSS Policy, all conference participants must also be current dues-paying members. As our 2021 conference will be held virtually, conference registration fees have been adjusted. Register for the conference here!

Membership Type In Person Pre-Registration (on or before 3/1/2021) In Person Onsite Registration (after 3/1/2021) Virtual Pre-Registration (on or before 3/1/2021) Virtual Onsite Registration (after 3/1/2021)
Regular/Tenure-Track Faculty $75 $100 $55 $75
Student (Graduate and Undergraduate) $35 $45 $10 $15
Unemployed/Non-Tenure Track $35 $45 $15 $20
Undergraduate Observer $20 $25 Use student rate Use student rate
Non-Member/Non-Academic $125 $165 $80 $100
Emeritus/Emerita $25 $35 $10 $15

Note: Refunds only issued for cancellation requests that occur on or before the Pre-Registration Deadline (March 1st). Contact the Executive Officer to make a request.

Photos by Dr. Tracy Ore