The R25 Research Education grant mechanism only supports educational activities focused on basic behavioral and social sciences research, and may not be used to support non-research clinical train-ing. Nevertheless, one may be use this mechanism to provide b-BSSR research education to scien-tists in clinical training or in a clinical research track within a clinical training program or from bio-medical or other fields of research. Formats may vary to include single or multiple short courses, seminars, workshops, or structured short-term research experiences; or curriculum development, design, implementation and evaluation.
ASA 2012: Real Utopias
Erik Olin Wright submitted a memo encouraging Children & Youth Section members to submit pro-posals for thematic panels for the 2012 ASA meetings. The theme for the 2012 Annual meeting of the ASA is “Real Utopias: Emancipatory projects, institutional designs, possible futures.” He writes:
I am hoping that many of the sections of the American Sociological Association will be enthusiastic about engaging this theme in some of the sessions which they directly organize, but I also hope that members of different ASA sections will submit proposals to the program committee for thematic pan-els which explore the problem of real utopias within their subfield.
The problem of children and youth raises fundamental normative questions about the meaning of social justice and sociological questions about how alternative designs of social institutions impact the lives of children. In classical liberalism, children were virtually ignored in discussions of social justice, but in at least some contemporary understandings of social justice, they play a pivotal role. The idea of “equality of opportunity” as the core principle of justice, for example, has its greatest salience when it is posed about the lives of children. There are, however, other issues around childhood that get much less attention in theories of justice, namely the value of the quality of life of children independently of how this might affect their “opportunities” later in life. Too often, in my judgment, discussions of pov-erty, inequality and social justice largely treat the lives of children instrumentally in terms of conse-quences for their lives as adults rather than as a morally salient problem in its own right. Once this wider set of normative issues is raised, the real utopia question then becomes: what kinds of institutions best promote flourishing lives for children? Are there tensions and trade-offs between the institutional conditions for equality of opportunity and the conditions for a high quality of life in childhood? How important is it that conditions for flourishing be promoted through the family, or can institutional arrangements outside of the family effectively compensate for deficits in the family’s provision of flour-ishing? These and many other questions (including many issues I have not thought about!) are the kinds of things that can be explored under the rubric of real utopias.
My hope is that there are people in the Children and Youth section who will creatively elabo-rate proposals for panels at the 2012 meeting. Information about submitting proposals for the meeting can be found at: http://www.asanet.org/footnotes/septoct10/2012_0910.html.