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Shahrouz Falahatpishe

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

XVth ISA World Congress of Sociology

The Social World in the Twenty First Century:
Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges

As the world event, the Congress must represent in a balanced manner all aspects of diversity existing in international sociological community, including variety of gender, languages, continental, regional and national traditions. The conveners of the sessions at all levels must keep these considerations in mind.
Guidelines for Programme Coordinators

The programme coordinator of each Research Committee (RC), Working (WG) and Thematic Group (TG) is responsible for organizing high quality sessions programmes. In cooperation with Board Members of your group you shall define sessions themes and choose competent sessions organizers who will assure academic quality expected at a world congress. You and your sessions organizers will then decide on acceptance of papers submitted by Congress participants.

As the programme coordinator you are expected to follow-up closely progress made by each session organizer and decide on a final structure of the programme. It is also very important that sessions organizers and paper givers accepted in your group programme observe congress deadlines concerning pre-registration and submission of abstracts. The success of the congress depends on your work and I am grateful for your involvement in striving for high quality results of this major event for the sociological community.

I would like to remind you of general guidelines and rules concerning sessions by the Research Committees, Working and Thematic Groups, which were approved at the Research Council meeting in Montreal, July 2000.

1. Schedule of the sessions
Afternoons and evenings will be reserved for the activities of the Research Committees (RCs), Working Groups (WGs) and Thematic Groups (TGs). However, the sessions of some national sociological associations and Ad Hoc sessions will have to be held during the same periods. The RCs, WGs, and TGs sessions will last 1 hour 45 minutes and will be held at the following times from July 8 to July 13, 2002:

1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
3:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.

2. Sessions allocation
The number of sessions allocated to RCs and WGs is based on the number of the ISA members in good standing in May 2001, according to the below scheme:

Special Sessions
>100 16 2 18
85-100 14 2 16
70-84 12 2 14
55-69 10 2 12
40-54 8 2 10
25-39 6 2 8

The maximum number of sessions allocated to RCs and WGs is 16 sessions and 2 optional sessions. This includes time for a Business Meeting and for a Dinner.

The maximum number of sessions allocated to TGs is 5 sessions providing that a TG has at least 25 ISA members in good standing.

If, however, at a pre-registration deadline in January 2002, a RC, WG, TG proves to have a higher number of paper givers already registered to the Congress, it will be granted additional regular session(s).

Let me clarify that members in good standing are individual members who have paid both ISA and RC and/or WG, TG membership dues for the current year.

3. Diversification of the form of sessions
RCs, WGs, and TGs are encouraged to diversify the form of their sessions to enhance the often monotonous format of the sessions. It is proposed to organize the following types of sessions during the Congress:

Regular Sessions
It is recommended that each RC, WG, TG regular session uses its 1 hour 45 minutes in order to accommodate four 20-minute presentations and 20 to 25 minutes of collective discussion. All other papers should be listed as distributed papers in their relevant sessions or included in the Poster Sessions. If a participant do not show up, you will be able to ask the first participant listed in the distributed papers to present his/her paper and your participants have to be aware of this possibility.

Distributed papers, as well as papers presented at poster sessions and round-tables, are treated the same way as papers accepted for presentation. They will be listed in the Program Book and their abstracts will be made available (subject to congress registration of authors). Each session chair decides on the number of listed papers.

Special Integrative Sessions
Special Integrative Sessions connecting three to five RCs, around a debate on a common theme, opening an intellectual exchange among committees working in closely related fields. RCs organizing a session of this kind will be allocated one additional special session.

Special Session on the Specific Themes of the Congress
RCs organizing a special session focussing on one of the specific themes of the Congress symposia will be allocated one additional special session.

Featured or Keynote Speaker
A session featuring a leading researcher in one of the RC fields (between 35 and 60 minutes duration). This kind of session can attract more people from outside your group.

Round Tables and Author Meets their Critics sessions
A debate around a current issue of particular importance to the area of research, or around an important recent publication that could be presented by the author(s), with commentators and opening the floor to the audience

Panel Sessions
Some RCs are used to organize panel sessions, which can accommodate a large number of papers around a special theme.

Poster Sessions
Poster sessions allow many participants to present their poster to a small group of persons interested in the subject.

These kinds of sessions enhance the quality of a meeting, especially if the organizers find the right people to participate in them.

I hope you will find the above recommendations and suggestions useful in your important task of coordinating session of your group. Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Arnaud Sales
Vice-President for Research

International Sociological Association