The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


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APA 2008

Ray Paloutzian (Program Chair)

The planning for the SPSSI program at the APA convention in Boston, August 14-17, 2008, turned out excellently; we’ve got a potent, memorable set of events on tap. Attend, listen, participate, and learn from these expert-crafted symposia, papers, and conversation hours. 

They cover the ground on some of the most important issues of our time:  Hate crimes, international perspectives on torture, trauma after 9/11, racism and mental health, public health issues, dialogue processes in peacebuilding, transitional societies, cultural worldview breach, poverty and socioeconomic status, ethnic and religious prejudice and identity in cross-cultural perspective, social activism, implications of memorials (e.g., post 9/11) for public policy, peace and forgiveness-reconciliation processes, the Oregon right to die issue, findings from Iraq combat veterans … the list goes on.  These and the poster topics represent the full range of SPSSI-oriented concerns.  The full program will later appear on the SPSSI website.

There is a mix of seasoned and young scholars, global and local focus, national and international topics and presenters, negative-looking (e.g., violence) and positive-looking (e.g., peace) themes, topics with both a worldview level (global belief systems) and an individual level (religious and racial identity) psychological processes at issue, and the special SPSSI participation in a mini-convention on Hate Crime.  But an alert: this list is but a sample.

We’ve got a great time planned for the social hour held jointly with Division 8, a joint SPSSI –SPSP graduate student conversation time, and of course an array of posters. Especially important, our contributions to the APA convention continue the long-established prominence that SPSSI has demonstrated in leading the field of psychology on social issues research.  Taken as a whole, our SPSSI program at APA is compelling.

The members of the program committee -- Joan Chrisler, Donald Edmondson, Amy Eshleman, and Art Olguin -- were wonderful in their thoughtful and clear contributions. I thank them on behalf of the SPSSI membership.

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin