CUSS Digest (February 2020)

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Please find below the February Community & Urban Sociology Section Digest.  Content includes:

  1. Call for Applications for Editor(s) of City & Community
  2. New Book Announcement
  3. Calls for Papers
  4. Conference Announcement

1. Call for Applications, Editor(s) of City & Community

Individual and team applications are invited for the position of editor of City & Community, the journal of the American Sociological Association’s Community and Urban Sociology Section (CUSS)The official term for the new editor (or co-editors) will begin in January 2021. The editorial transition will begin in late 2020 with the first issue of the new editorial team being the March 2021 issue. The editor’s term is for a minimum of three years, until December 2023, with a possible reappointment of up to an additional two years.

City & Community brings together major work and research in urban and community sociology. It is published four times per year.

Editor’s Role: City & Community receives approximately 200 submissions per year. The current journal impact factor is 1.055. The editor is expected to secure timely and appropriate reviews and make the final decision on manuscripts, informing both the author(s) and reviewers of the final disposition. The editor is also responsible for maintaining the high standards of ASA journals, ensuring that issues are filled within the approved annual page allocation, and preventing a long backlog of articles for either review or publication. The editor must show openness to communicating with scholars about diverse ideas and eagerness to continue building the journal’s reputation.

Candidates must be members of both the ASA and the Community and Urban Sociology Section, and hold a tenured position or equivalent in an academic or a non-academic setting. Applications from members of underrepresented groups are encouraged.

In accordance with ASA’s mission to publish high quality scholarship, the following criteria are considered in selecting editors:

  • established record of scholarship,
  • evidence of understanding the mission of the journal and its operation, indicated by experience with the journal across any of a wide variety of activities (submission, reviewing, editorial board experience),
  • assessment of the present state of the journal, its strengths and challenges, and a vision for the journal’s future,
  • openness to different methods, theories, and approaches to sociology,
  • record of responsible service to scholarly publishing, and
  • evidence of organizational skill and intellectual leadership.

The time demands associated with these responsibilities vary, but in general, require one full day per week. The actual costs associated with editing the journal are covered by the publisher, a dedicated portion of section dues, and the editor’s university. Applicants will provide a letter from the administration of their institution assuring a suitable level of financial and in-kind support for the editor, a managing editor (usually a graduate student), and the editorial office.

Selection Process: To facilitate a fair and inclusive process, the CUSS Publications Committee will consider applications in two phases. We first seek succinct Letters of Interest from all candidates, addressing the items below. We will then invite finalists to discuss with the CUSS Publications Committee the trajectory of the journal as well as candidates’ vision and editorial approach. Finalists will then be asked to submit a full application that will be the basis for the decision by CUSS Council and ASA Publications Committee. 

Letters of Interest should address the following in up to 2 pages: 

  • Vision Statement: Set forth your goals and plans for the content of the journal. This may include an assessment of the current strengths, weaknesses, or gaps that you plan to address and how you will carry out your plan.
  • Editor/Co-Editor or Deputy Editor(s) Background Information: The name, affiliation, and other important information about the potential editor and, if applicable, co-editors and/or deputy editor(s) is required. Describe the qualifications and experience of each person that supports their inclusion. Please do not include names of individuals that you would like/plan to include on the larger editorial board. Contacting potential editorial board members can be a time-consuming task that should be done only after an editor is selected.
  • Institutional Support: It is important for candidates to examine the feasibility of serving as editor in light of the resources provided by the publisher, the section, and the home university.
  • CVs for Editors/Co-Editors should accompany the Letter of Interest. 

Letters of Interest are due April 15, 2020. CUSS Publications Committee will interview editorial candidates April 27-30, 2020

Full Applications, due May 30, will address the above in greater detail, speak to the criteria provided by ASA (also above), and, regarding institutional support, will also include a preliminary letter of support from a dean or other appropriate institutional official. (Specific negotiations will of course take place after a new editor is selected. This letter must be included for the application to be considered.)

CUSS Publications Committee will submit a ranked list of candidates to the CUSS Council by June 15, 2020.  The CUSS Council will vote and submit their editor selection back to the CUSS Publications Committee. The recommendation is then forwarded to ASA’s Publications Committee by July 15, 2020. ASA’s Publications Committee will review the selection and forward the recommendation to ASA Council.

For questions and further information about the application process, please contact:  Krista Paulsen, Boise State University, or Japonica Brown-Saracino, Boston University,

Letters of Interest may be emailed as PDFs to Krista Paulsen, Chair CUSS Publications

2. New Book Announcement

Beyond the Case: The Logics and Practices of Comparative Ethnography

Oxford University Press 2020 (Paperback and Cloth)

Edited by Corey M. Abramson and Neil Gong


“This stimulative book will make its readers think anew about the pitfalls, profits, and promise of comparison in ethnography.” — Loïc Wacquant, author of Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer

“An exciting and much needed volume, Beyond the Case is the first major work in decades to spot-light comparative ethnography and the wide-ranging pluralistic developments over time. Chapter contributors-both the legendary and the new generations-pass on insights, techniques, methods, and logics of various approaches. Both beginners and experienced ethnographers will be inspired by the theoretical potential of comparative casing” — Diane Vaughan, Columbia University

“An essential and usable volume for reconnecting today the ethnographic case study to the historic ambitions for it in designs of broad scale comparison.” — George E. Marcus, author of Ethnography Through Thick and Thin

“Perhaps the hottest topic in contemporary ethnographic research is the possibility, the value, and the drawbacks of comparative ethnography. In Beyond the Case, Corey Abramson and Neil Gong and their well-chosen authors provide a diverse set of explanations for how and when comparative ethnographies advance description, theory, and policy analysis. This is a book that will stand the methodological test of time and every field researcher will wish to consider its arguments for their own projects and for those of their students.” — Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University 


The social sciences have seen a substantial increase in comparative and multi-sited ethnographic projects over the last three-decades. Yet, at present, researchers seeking to design comparative field studies have few scholarly works detailing how various ethnographic schools approach comparison. In Beyond the Case, Corey M. Abramson and Neil Gong gather expert field researchers working in a variety of ethnographic traditions such as phenomenology, grounded theory, positivism, the extended case method, and interpretivism, to explain both the logic behind and practice of comparison in their works. The contributors connect the long history of comparative (and anti-comparative) ethnographic approaches to their contemporary uses. By honing in on how ethnographers render sites, groups, or cases analytically commensurable and comparable, Beyond the Case offers a new lens for examining the assumptions, payoffs, and potential drawbacks of different forms of comparative ethnography.


  • Corey M. Abramson
  • Alissa Bernstein
  • Lynn S. Chancer
  • Aaron V. Cicourel
  • Claire Laurier Decoteau
  • Thomas DeGloma
  • Daniel Dohan
  • Neil Gong
  • Ching Kwan Lee
  • Max Papadantonakis
  • Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
  • Iddo Tavory
  • Stefan Timmermans

Order online at with discount code ASFLYQ6 to save 30%.

3. Calls for Papers

A. Essays on The Sociology of Housing

In this edited volume, we seek to take stock of the current field of scholarship and provide new directions for the sociological study of housing. The collection of essays aims to both organize current research, highlight important aspects of the subfield, and provide a roadmap for sociological studies of housing. We expect authors to draw on diverse methodological approaches, present unique field sites and data sources, and foreground sociological theory to understanding contemporary housing issues. Chapter by chapter, we anticipate that the volume will generate promising directions for the sociological analysis of housing.

Proposals are due on March 13th. Additional submission details can be found at:


Brian McCabe and Eva Rosen

B. call for papers: ethnographies of the global south

by Victoria Reyes and Marco Garrido |

Contexts is a quarterly magazine that makes cutting-edge social research accessible to general readers. The magazine is issuing a call for papers for its Winter 2021 issue, dedicated to “Ethnographies of the Global South.” This special issue will be guest edited by Victoria Reyes, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California-Riverside, and Marco Garrido, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago.

In recent years, there has been a blossoming of ethnographies on the Global South within sociology; this represents something new. Historically, American ethnographers within the discipline have plied their trade almost exclusively within the U.S. context. Casting our eye south has produced a vivid description of “foreign” social worlds.

These descriptions have proven to be a goldmine theoretically. They challenge and compel us to revise many of the analytical categories we largely take for granted, from race and segregation, to state and civil society. In making “foreign” contexts familiar, the new ethnographies of the Global South are expanding our sociological imagination in exciting ways.

We are looking for papers that embody a deeper engagement with Southern contexts. We are seeking robust descriptions of everyday life rooted in these contexts. The papers should demonstrate how detailed descriptions serve to extend not only just the empirical but also the conceptual boundaries of sociology.

We are asking that potential authors submit a two-page proposal by March 1, 2020. The editorial team will notify all authors of our decision by April 2, 2020. Authors whose proposals are accepted will need to return a full submission of approximately 3,000 words by June 1, 2020 for peer review. Articles that pass peer review will be further revised by the editorial team with final text due by September 1, 2020. Authors interested in submitting a piece are highly encouraged to read our submission guidelines.


4. Conference Announcement

Call for Session Organizers: “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (SMUS Conference) 15 – 21.03.2021 (Deadline: 31.03.2020)

“1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (SMUS Conference) and “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana”
in cooperation with ESA RN21 “Quantitative Methods”
15 – 21.03.2021, Gaborone, Botswana

Call for Session Organizers (Deadline: 31.03.2020)

Dear Colleagues,

we are happy to announce that the “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) together with the Research Committee on “Logic and Methodology in Sociology” (RC33) of the “International Sociology Association” (ISA) and the Research Network “Quantitative Methods” (RN21) of the European Sociology Association” (ESA) will organize a “1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (“SMUS Conference”) which will at the same time be the “1st RC33 Regional Conference – Africa: Botswana” from Monday 15.03 – Sunday 21.03.2021, hosted by the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. The main conference days will be from Thursday 18.03. – Saturday 20.03.2021. There will be travel grants GCSMUS members and African scholars can apply for.

The seven-days conference aims at promoting a global dialogue on methods and should attract methodologists from all over the world and all social and spatial sciences (e.g. area studies, architecture, communication studies, educational sciences, geography, historical sciences, humanities, landscape planning, philosophy, psychology, sociology, urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning). Additionally, the conference programme will include advanced methodological training courses, Ph.D. workshops and a social programme. Thus, the conference will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles.

With this mission, we invite scholars of all social and spatial sciences and other scholars who are interested into methodological discussions to suggest a session topic. Conference sessions should mainly address a methodological problem. All sessions on general issues of social science methodology and epistemology as well as on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches are equally welcome. In addition, we especially invite scholars to suggest session topics on one of the following issues:

‒         spatial methods and analysis

‒         cross-cultural methods and issues of comparability

‒         decolonizing social science methodology

‒         methods of and for the Global South

‒         methodological issues relevant for specific world regions (e.g. Africa, America, Asia, Europe)

‒         monitoring and evaluation methods and analysis

‒         applied research methods on urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning

‒         arts- and design-based methods

‒         participatory and action research methods

‒         interdisciplinary and collaborative research methods

‒         big data, digital methods and cross-disciplinary research

‒         methods for values research, global wellbeing and sustainability

‒         methods for analysis of space and social inequality (e.g. space and class, gendered spaces, space and age, space and race)

If you are interested in organizing a session, please submit an abstract containing the following information to ( by 31.03.2020:

‒       Session Title

‒       Session Organizers (Name, Email-Address, Institutional Affiliation)

‒       Session Abstract (containing a short description of the session and the type of papers you want to be submitted to the session).

If you do not receive an acknowledgement of submission within three working days, please resend your submission. The conference organizers will inform you, if your session has been accepted, by 13.04.2020. Please note that all sessions apply to the rules of session organization named in the RC33 statutes and GCSMUS Objectives (see below).

Please find more information on the above institutions on the following websites:

‒         “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS):

‒         ISA RC33:

‒         ESA RN21:

‒         University of Botswana in Gaborone:

If you are interested in getting further information on the conference (such as Calls for Abstracts) and other GCSMUS activities, please subscribe to the GCSMUS newsletter by registering via the following website:

Please also kindly forward this information to anybody to whom it might be of interest.

Best wishes,

Nina Baur                                                                                      Gabriel Faimau

GCSMUS Speaker and RC33 Past President                              GCSMUS Botswana Lead Partner

Technische Universität Berlin                                                        University of Botswana

Germany                                                                                        Botswana

Rules for Session Organization
(According to GCSMUS Objectives and RC 33 Statutes)

1.       There will be no conference fees.

2.       The session organizers and speakers will be expected to cover the costs of their accommodation and travel expenses themselves. However, members of GCSMUS partner institutions will be able to apply for a travel grant via their home institution. In addition, there will be travel grants for non-GCSMUS scholars from Africa who present a paper or organize a session. Travel grants will cover travel costs and living expenses. Details on the application process will follow later this year.

3.       The conference language is English. All papers therefore need to be presented in English.

4.       All sessions have to be international: Each session should have speakers from at least two countries (exceptions will need good reasons).

5.       Each paper must contain a methodological problem (any area, qualitative or quantitative).

6.       There will be several calls for abstracts via the GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 Newsletters. To begin with, session organizers can prepare a call for abstracts on their own initiative, then at a different time, there will be a common call for abstracts, and session organizers can ask anybody to submit a paper.

7.       GCSMUS, RC33 and RN21 members may distribute these calls via other channels. GCSMUS members and session organizers are expected to actively advertise their session in their respective scientific communities.

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