International Sociological Association

The SSD of UNESCO founded the International Sociological Association, a non-profit organization, in 1949 for sociological studies.
International Sociological Association

History of the International Sociological Association

The Social Science Department of UNESCO founded the International Sociological Association (ISA), a non-profit organization, in 1949 for sociological research objectives.

On October 14, 1948, a group of sociologists gathered in Paris at the invitation of SSD to investigate the viability of a subject-based organization. At the UNESCO General Conference in Beirut, the Preparatory Committee proposed the proposal of a new organization, and then the resolution got approved.

At the Constituent Congress, which took place in Oslo, Norway, from September 5–11, 1949, the Association received legal formation status, and the Statutes were first enacted.

Subsequently, the Statutes were modified in 1970 at the ISA Council meeting in Varna and later had several modifications during world congress sessions.

For official purposes, the ISA recognizes three languages: English, French, and Spanish. The Association uses English as its administrative language.

Predecessor of ISA

The International Institute of Sociology was established in Paris in 1893, and the International Sociological Association is its successor. The main distinction between IIS and ISA is that IIS was made up of members, while ISA is made up of associations at the national level.

Mission of ISA

  • ISA’s goal is to represent sociologists worldwide, independent of their philosophical or scientific orientations.
  • The ISA works with similar organizations of social scientists to enhance sociological knowledge in all parts of the globe, support sociologists’ goals, and encourage sociology’s autonomous existence.

Activities of ISA

  • ISA fosters professional and social connections between sociologists and other social sciences worldwide.
  • The ISA promotes research studies transmission and trade of sociological information globally.
  • International training and research are facilitated and promoted by ISA.
  • ISA holds regular meetings and planned international congresses, and ISA also supports publications in various social science disciplines.

International Sociological Association

Research Committees of International Sociological Association

Research Committees (RCs) encourage global collaboration and advancement in conceptual and empirical sociological research in various sociological subfields.

  • RC01 Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution
  • RC02 Economy and Society
  • RC03 Community Research
  • RC04 Sociology of Education
  • RC05 Racism, Nationalism, Indigeneity, and Ethnicity
  • RC06 Family Research
  • RC07 Futures Research
  • RC08 History of Sociology
  • RC09 Social Transformations and Sociology of Development
  • RC10 Participation, Organizational Democracy, and Self-Management
  • RC11 Sociology of Aging
  • RC12 Sociology of Law
  • RC13 Sociology of Leisure
  • RC14 Sociology of Communication, Knowledge, and Culture
  • RC15 Sociology of Health
  • RC16 Sociological Theory
  • RC17 Sociology of Organizations
  • RC18 Political Sociology
  • RC19 Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy
  • RC20 Comparative Sociology
  • RC21 Urban and Regional Development
  • RC22 Sociology of Religion
  • RC23 Sociology of Science and Technology
  • RC24 Environment and Society
  • RC25 Language and Society
  • RC26 Sociotechnics – Sociological Practice
  • RC27 Sociology of Sport
  • RC28 Social Stratification
  • RC29 Deviance and Social Control
  • RC30 Sociology of Work
  • RC31 Sociology of Migration
  • RC32 Women, Gender, and Society
  • RC33 Logic and Methodology
  • RC34 Sociology of Youth
  • RC35 Conceptual and Terminological Analysis
  • RC36 Alienation Theory and Research
  • RC37 Sociology of Arts
  • RC38 Biography and Society
  • RC39 Sociology of Disasters
  • RC40 Sociology of Agriculture and Food
  • RC41 Sociology of Population
  • RC42 Social Psychology
  • RC43 Housing and Built Environment
  • RC44 Labour Movements
  • RC45 Rational Choice
  • RC46 Clinical Sociology
  • RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements
  • RC48 Social Movements, Collective Action, and Social Change
  • RC49 Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
  • RC50 International Tourism
  • RC51 Sociocybernetics
  • RC52 Sociology of Professional Groups
  • RC53 Sociology of Childhood
  • RC54 The Body in the Social Sciences
  • RC55 Social Indicators
  • RC56 Historical Sociology
  • RC57 Visual Sociology

ISA Membership

The following are the ISA membership types.

Regular collective membership

  • Regular participants in the collective include national sociological organizations.

Affiliated collective membership

  • Universities, research institutes, groups cantered in sociology, and associated institutions are eligible to apply.

Temporary regular collective membership

  • A collection of nations not covered by Article 3.2 is granted provisional regular collective member status.
  • Following a resolution of the Executive Committee (EC), new admittance to the regular collective, provisional collective, and affiliated collective membership is granted, subject to approval by the Board of National Associations.

Regular individual membership

  • Scholars or professionals involved in sociological teaching, research, or activity can join this membership category. All individuals who frequently participate in ISA activities must have an individual membership.

Affiliated individual membership

  • Applicants other than those listed in Article 3.4 of the ISA statute, which a decision of the Executive Committee may accept, are referred to as individual affiliated members.

ISA Research Council

The Research Council is the ISA’s official representative of the Research Committees, Working Groups, and Thematic Groups. The Research Council (RC) organizes the activities of Research Committees, Working Groups, and Thematic Groups and provides recommendations for the ISA’s general policy.

ISA Working Groups

WGs serve as the foundation of scientific investigation, intellectual discourse, and professional interchange by bringing together academics who desire to conduct a comparative study on a global scale.

  • WG01 Sociology on Local-Global Relations
  • WG05 Famine and Society
  • WG06 Institutional Ethnography
  • WG08 Society and Emotions

ISA Thematic Groups

By forming theme-based groups, the ISA decentralizes its ongoing research operations.

  • TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice
  • TG04 Sociology of Risk and Uncertainty
  • TG07 Senses and Society
  • TG09 Sociological Teaching
  • TG10 Digital Sociology
  • TG11 Violence and Society

ISA Assembly of Councils 

The President and Vice Presidents are chosen by the Assembly of Councils, along with decisions about the Association’s overall policy and membership dues.

ISA Executive Committee

The Executive Committee’s duties include submitting policy proposals to the Assembly of Councils and implementing the policies set by the Assembly. Periodically, EC updates the Council of National Associations, the Research Council, and the Assembly of Councils on its operations.

International Collaborations of ISA

  • The International Social Science Association is an NGO member of the International Social Science Council.
  • ISA has strong connections with UNESCO.
  • ISA has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
  • ISA regularly interacts with the European Sociological Association and other connected international collective partners in social research activities and discipline growth.

ISA Code of Ethics

The ISA Code of Ethics consists of a Preamble and four sets of Ethical Standards to which members must comply. The fundamental purpose of the Code of Ethics is to safeguard the welfare of the organizations and persons with whom sociologists work, as well as those who engage in sociologists’ research endeavors. A second purpose of the Code of Ethics is to direct the conduct of ISA members, both inside the organization and toward the larger community.

International Sociological Association Awards/Competitions

ISA Award for Excellence in Research and Practice

Since March 2013, the ISA has presented this prize to a sociologist who develops and advances sociological knowledge and understanding via exceptional contributions to the field, the profession, and the ISA. The prize is granted at the ISA World Congress awards event once in four years.

Foundation Mattei Dogan Prize

Foundation Mattei Dogan Prize in Sociology is given to a sociologist in acknowledgment of their life’s work. The prize granted every four years during the ISA World Congress of Sociology has three winners so far. Since the 2010 conference, the award has been discontinued.

ISA Worldwide Competition for Junior Sociologists

In this competition, junior sociologists working in social research are awarded a prize.

International Sociological Association Journals

International Sociology

International Sociology is a peer-reviewed magazine debuted in 1986 by the ISA to reflect the theoretical and empirical range of that discipline. Empirical studies using both qualitative and quantitative sociological methods are accepted in this publication.

The emphasis is on papers examining current social issues and changes influencing global society and advancing international sociological theory and insights.

Submissions may be presented in any language for which qualified reviewers may be found, including English, French, and Spanish. The journals’ articles, however, are exclusively published in English.

International Sociology Reviews

The biannual publication of International Sociology Reviews, or ISR, aims to broaden the sociological imagination, mainly through advancing sociology’s status as a multicultural, international field.

ISR examines sociological works written in languages other than English to comprehend viewpoints on sociology as a discipline and examine worldviews regarding social structures formed in various parts of the globe.

Current Sociology

Current Sociology, an authorized publication of the International Sociological Association, is one of the oldest and most-cited sociology publications. Submissions may be provided in any vernacular for which qualified reviewers may be identified. However, only English articles will be published in the journal.

ISA Digital Publications

Global Mapping of Sociologists

To help sociologists who face many political and economic constraints that create obstacles in global exchanges, GMS has created a worldwide database of sociologists to determine, integrate, and facilitate international collaborations in sociology.

ISAGRAM newsletter

It is the ISA’s monthly newsletter; in it, current events such as job openings, conferences, seminars, and project partnerships and announcements are detailed.

Global Dialogue

This ISA open access, the multilingual digital journal, gives insights regarding sociological foundations that provide transnational data.

ISA Online publications portal

The ISA online publishing portal unites three crucial websites, e-Symposium, Social Justice & Democratization, and Sociopedia-ISA, into a single digital gateway.

Global sociology and the coronavirus

This section contains critical evaluations and viewpoints on pandemic studies from many angles across continents.

Universities in Crisis

This ISA blog intends to report on universities in a dilemma and to make sure that their concerns involving the academic aspects are brought to the world’s attention.

ISA Videos

The ISA videos area includes videos from global courses, journeys through sociology videos, and ISA conferences.

International Sociological Association Forums

ISA forum is a gathering with two different types of programs. One is a generic program designed as a conversation between Research Committees comprising the presentations submitted at the Research Council symposium by the RCs’ representatives. The second program is the counterpart programs of RCs that they bring together.

1st: First ISA Forum of Sociology

  • The theme of the Forum: Sociological Research and Public Debate
  • Location of Forum: Barcelona, Spain
  • Year of Forum: 2008

2nd Second ISA Forum of Sociology

  • The theme of the Forum: Social Justice and Democratization
  • Location of Forum: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Year of Forum: 2012

3rd Third ISA Forum of Sociology

  • The theme of the Forum: The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World
  • Location of Forum: Vienna, Austria
  • Year of Forum: 2016

4th Fourth ISA Forum of Sociology

  • The theme of the Forum: Challenges of the 21st Century: Democracy, Environment, Inequalities, Intersectionality
  • Location of Forum: Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Year of Forum: 2021

Council of National Associations of International Sociological Association

The ISA’s general policy is proposed by the Council of National Organisations, representing other collective members and national associations.

Conferences of the Council of National Associations

First ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations

  • The theme of the CNA Conference: Local, Regional, and Global Sociologies: Contexts, Perspectives, and Practices
  • Location of CNA Conference: Miami, USA
  • Year of CNA Conference: August 9-11, 2005

Second ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations

  • The theme of the CNA Conference: Challenges for Sociology in an Unequal World
  • Location of CNA Conference: Taipei, Taiwan
  • Year of CNA Conference: March 23-25, 2009

Third ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations

  • The theme of the CNA Conference: Sociology in Times of Turmoil: Comparative Approaches
  • Location of CNA Conference: Ankara, Turkey,
  • Year of CNA Conference: May 13-16, 2013

Fourth ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations

  • The theme of the CNA Conference: Sociologies in Dialogue
  • Location of CNA Conference: Taipei, Taiwan,
  • Year of CNA Conference: May 8-11, 2017

Fifth ISA Conference of the Council of National Associations

  • The theme of the CNA Conference: Social Transformations and Sociology: Dispossessions and Empowerment
  • Location of CNA Conference: Nova Gorica, Slovenia
  • Year of CNA Conference: November 21-24, 2022

List of National Associations

  1. Albanian Sociological Association
  2. American Sociological Association
  3. Armenian Sociological Association
  4. Association for Friends of Sociology Moroccan Sociology Network
  5. Association of Sociologists and Anthropologists of Benin
  6. Association of Sociologists and Demographers of the Republic of Moldova
  7. Association of Sociologists of Kazakhstan
  8. Association of Sociologists of the Argentine Republic
  9. Association of Sociologists of the Republic of Macedonia
  10. Austrian Association for Sociology
  11. Azerbaijan Sociological Association
  12. Bangladesh Sociological Society
  13. Brazilian Society of Sociology
  14. British Sociological Association
  15. Bulgarian Sociological Association
  16. Canadian Sociological Association
  17. Colombian Sociological Association
  18. Croatian Sociological Association
  19. Cyprus Sociological Association
  20. Czech Sociological Association
  21. Danish Sociological Association 
  22. Ecuadorian Sociologists Federation
  23. Estonian Association of Sociologists
  24. Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers, and Anthropologists 
  25. Flemish Sociological Association
  26. French Sociological Association
  27. German Sociological Association
  28. Hellenic Sociological Society of Greece
  29. Hungarian Sociological Association
  30. Indian Sociological Society
  31. Iranian Sociological Association
  32. Israeli Sociological Society
  33. Italian Sociological Association
  34. Japan Sociological Society
  35. Korean Sociological Association
  36. Lebanese Sociological Association
  37. Lithuanian Sociological Association
  38. Mexican Sociological Society
  39. Nepal Sociological Association
  40. Netherlands Sociological Association
  41. Norwegian Sociological Association
  42. Palestinian Sociological and Anthropological Association
  43. Paraguayan Sociological Association and Paraguayan Sociological Society
  44. Philippine Sociological Society
  45. Polish Sociological Association
  46. Portuguese Sociological Association
  47. Romanian Sociological Association
  48. Russian Society of Sociologists
  49. Serbian Sociological Society
  50. Slovak Sociological Society
  51. Slovene Sociological Association
  52. Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand
  53. Sociological Association of Ireland
  54. Sociological Association of Pakistan
  55. Sociological Association of Ukraine
  56. South African Sociological Association
  57. Spanish Federation of Sociology
  58. Swedish Sociological Association
  59. Swiss Sociological Association
  60. Syrian Association for the Social Sciences
  61. Taiwanese Sociological Association
  62. Tanzanian Association of Sociologists
  63. The Australian Sociological Association
  64. Turkish Social Sciences Association
  65. Uganda Sociological and Anthropological Association
  66. Venezuelan Sociological Association
  67. Vietnam Sociological Association
  68. Westermarck Society of Finnish Sociologists

International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology

Each World Congress venue is determined six years before the event by accepting proposals from all national organization members.

According to the By-Laws, a Programme Committee created by the Executive Committee and a Regional Organizing Committee formed by the regional organizers must work together to arrange the World Congress.

Constituent Congress of ISA

  • ISA Constituent Congress
  • Location of Congress: Oslo, Norway
  • Date of Congress: September 5-10, 1949

1st – First ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • Theme 1 of Congress: Sociological Research in its Bearing on International Relations
  • Theme 2 of Congress: The Role of the Citizen in a Planned Society
  • Theme 3 of Congress: The Role of Minorities in International Affairs
  • Location of Congress: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Year of Congress: 1950

2nd – Second ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • Theme 1 of Congress: Social Stratification and Social Mobility Intergroup
  • Theme 2 of Congress: Conflicts and their Mediation
  • Theme 3 of Congress: Recent Developments in Sociological Research
  • Theme 4 of Congress: The Training, Professional Activities, and Responsibilities of Sociologists
  • Location of Congress: Liege, Belgium
  • Year of Congress: 1953

3rd – Third ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Problems of Social Science in the 20th Century
  • Location of Congress: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Year of Congress: 1956

4th – Fourth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Society and Sociological Knowledge
  • Location of Congress: Milan and Stresa, Italy
  • Year of Congress: 1959

5th – Fifth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: The Sociology of Development
  • Location of Congress: Washington DC, USA
  • Year of Congress: 1962

6th – Sixth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Unity and Diversity in Sociology: Sociology of International Relations
  • Location of Congress: Evian, France
  • Year of Congress: 1966

7th – Seventh ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Contemporary and Future Societies: Prediction and Social Planning
  • Location of Congress: Varna, Bulgaria
  • Year of Congress: 1970

8th – Eighth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Science and Revolution in Contemporary Societies
  • Location of Congress: Toronto, Canada
  • Year of Congress: 1974

9th – Ninth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Paths of Social Development
  • Location of Congress: Uppsala, Sweden
  • Year of Congress: 1978

10th – Tenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Sociological Theory and Social Practice
  • Location of Congress: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Year of Congress: 1982

11th – Eleventh ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Social Change: Problems and Perspectives
  • Location of Congress: New Delhi, India
  • Year of Congress: 1986

12th – Twelfth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Sociology for One World: Unity and Diversity
  • Location of Congress: Madrid, Spain
  • Year of Congress: 1990

13th – Thirteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Contested Boundaries and Shifting Solidarities
  • Location of Congress: Bielefeld, Germany
  • Year of Congress: 1994

14th – Fourteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Social Knowledge: Heritage, Challenges, Perspectives
  • Location of Congress: Montréal, Canada
  • Year of Congress: 1998

15th – Fifteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: The Social World in the Twenty-First Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges
  • Location of Congress: Brisbane, Australia
  • Year of Congress: 2002

16th – Sixteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: The Quality of Social Existence in a Globalising World
  • Location of Congress: Durban, South Africa
  • Year of Congress: 2006

17th – Seventeenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Sociology on the Move
  • Location of Congress: Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Year of Congress: 2010

18th – Eighteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Global Sociology
  • Location of Congress: Yokohama, Japan
  • Year of Congress: 2014

19th – Nineteenth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Power, Violence, and Justice: Reflections, Responses, and Responsibilities
  • Location of Congress: Toronto, Canada
  • Date of Congress: July 15-21, 2018

20th – Twentieth ISA World Congress of Sociology

  • The theme of Congress: Resurgent Authoritarianism: Sociology of New Entanglements of Religions, Politics, and Economies
  • Location of Congress: Melbourne, Australia
  • Date of Congress: June 25-July 1, 2023

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