Undergraduate Research

The Pacific Sociological Association (PSA)

The Pacific Sociological Association was established in October 1929 by a small group of sociologists called together by Emory S. Bogardus of the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California for the purpose of organizing the Society.

The charter members agreed that they had been in isolation at their respective institutions long enough. They embraced the idea of colleague Earle E. Eubank who said, "Where there is contact of human minds, there an association exits; where there is no contact, there is a state of isolation." So the charter members decided to illustrate one of sociology's basic concepts, "social interaction." As stated in the original constitution, the purpose of the Society was the promotion of both sociological research and the teaching of sociology in universities, colleges, community colleges, and high schools in the Pacific area. The first Annual Meeting was held on January 25, 1930 in Los Angeles at the Alexandria Hotel.

Today the PSA is the professional association of sociologists in the Pacific Region of North America: Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and Baja California Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico. Membership includes professors and students working at colleges and universities across the United States, Mexico, and Canada, but especially those who live in the western region of those countries. Many Association members work as consultants, researchers, and administrators. Some members have government jobs and others own businesses. A significant number are graduate students.

The Association holds an annual meeting in late March or early April and publishes a newsletter, The Pacific Sociologist, and a journal, Sociological Perspectives. You can access these documents, as well as application materials, at the PSA website.

Each fall and spring, the Department of Sociology at Gonzaga University provides training and support for undergraduates who seek to present their research at the PSAs.

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