International Sociological Association

International Sociological Association

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International Sociological Association is a non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 dedicated to scientific purposes in the field of sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and social sciences. The ISA was founded in 1949 under UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 and currently its members come from 167 countries.

Its mission is to "represent sociologists everywhere, regardless of their school of thought, scientific approaches or ideological opinion, and to advance sociological knowledge throughout the world."

The ISA is a member of the International Social Science Council
International Social Science Council
The International Social Science Council is an international organisation that aims to promote the social and behavioural sciences. It was founded in 1952, under the auspices of UNESCO.-External links:* **...

 with the status of the Non-Governmental Organization in formal associate relations with UNESCO and special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council
United Nations Economic and Social Council
The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations constitutes one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and it is responsible for the coordination of the economic, social and related work of 14 UN specialized agencies, its functional commissions and five regional commissions...

 of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...


The ISA congress is held every four years, the last of which, the 17th congress, was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. The new President (2010-2014) is Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy is a British, sociological Marxist, best known as author of Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process under Monopoly Capitalisma study on work and organizations that has been translated into a number of languagesand as the leading proponent of public sociology...

, USA.

List of ISA Congresses

The most visible activity of the ISA is the World Congress which takes place every four years. Its programme and the number of participants have grown rapidly since the first Congress met in Zurich, Switzerland (1950) with just over 100 participants.

The subsequent world congresses were held in
  • Liège, Belgium (1953)
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1956)
  • Stresa, Italy (1959)
  • Washington D.C., USA (1962)
  • Evian, France (1966)
  • Varna, Bulgaria (1970)
  • Toronto, Canada (1974)
  • Uppsala, Sweden (1978)
  • Mexico City, Mexico (1982)
  • New Delhi, India (1986)
  • Madrid, Spain (1990)
  • Bielefeld, Germany (1994)
  • Montreal, Canada (1998)
  • Brisbane, Australia (2002)
  • Durban, South Africa (2006)
  • Gothenburg, Sweden (2010)

The forthcoming XVIII World Congress of Sociology is scheduled for July 2014 in Yokohama, Japan.