Academic journal article Sociological Viewpoints

Editor's Comments

Academic journal article Sociological Viewpoints

Editor's Comments

Article excerpt

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society and the 25th anniversary of Sociological Viewpoints. Preparing for this special edition of the journal and the recognition that will be given to its founding editor, Dr. Charles E. "Chuck" Babbitt, has been among the highlights of my academic career.

The 60th anniversary is considered the "Diamond Jubilee." The word "diamond" is derived from the Greek word adamas which means "unconquerable and enduring." This phrase describes the Pennsylvania Sociological Society well. At 60 years of age it has certainly been enduring. The Society has had its highs and lows but continues to promote academic excellence through professional camaraderie that brings faculty, practitioners, and students together in fellowship and scholarship.

The Society was formed in 1950. It was most difficult trying to gather information on how and where the PSS was actually developed. Most individuals who held membership in the Society when it was formed have passed away. If they were 30 years of age then, they would be 90 today. There is no archival history of the PSS until the late 1970s. What is currently available is in the form of miscellaneous newsletters and internal documents, such as audits.

The history of the journal, however, is another story. The journal is celebrating its 25th year, also known as the silver anniversary. The founding editor of the journal, Charles E. "Chuck" Babbitt, although retired, is still active in promoting the discipline. His recollection of the journal's beginning is quite interesting. It is also noteworthy that Chuck's wife, Susan, was a driving force in the PSS and actually designed both the PSS seal and the flag. Chuck has left a legacy for the Society to continue.

Part of the impetus Chuck had for developing Sociological Viewpoints was to provide a forum for young authors to be published. This philosophy continues today. In addition to publishing the promising scholarship of talented undergraduate and graduate students, the journal continues to feature works by some of the finest writers in the field. Editing every issue of the journal is a challenge. Without being retired, I doubt I would have the time or energy to devote to the effort, especially when we feature a special spring edition as we did this year. Requests have been received from as far away as Hawaii for past journal articles. The journal is included in libraries in France, Germany, and Great Britain, in addition to more than a dozen states.

In the special spring edition of the journal, a short survey was mailed asking input from our readers. The following is a summary of those results.

Total number of respondents: 22

Q: How long have you been a member of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society?

Less than 2 years: 2 (9%)

2 to 5 years: 2 (9%) M

More than 5, less than 10 years: 8 (36%)

More than 10 years: 10 (46%) responses ranged from 15-40 years

Q: What is the status of your membership?

Regular Member: 14 (64%)

Retired: 8 (36%)

There were no responses from student members or non-members.

Q: In what discipline is the highest degree you hold?

Sociology: 17 (77%)

Other: 5 (23%) Includes criminology, counselor education, leadership interdisciplinary, educational leadership, and public policy.

Q: What is the highest degree you have earned?

Master's: 4 (18%)

Doctorate: 18 (82%)

Q: What is the primary reason you belong to PSS? (Note: Some respondents chose more than one.)

A resumé builder for tenure and promotion: 2 (7%)

Personal interaction with other sociologists and professionals: 16 (57%)

An opportunity to make presentations on my research: 8 (29%)

Other: 2 (7%) Includes interaction with students from across the state.

Q: Over the past five years, how many annual meetings have you attended? …

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