Theme: New Social Realities: Meaning-Making and the Transformation of Politics, Protest, & the Pandemic
About the Virtual Meeting
The 2021 NYSSA Annual Meeting was an entirely virtual event hosted by Hilbert College. In addition to the typical full program of presentations and panel discussions, the virtual meeting experience provided opportunities for the engagement and learning, similar to the in-person format.
The theme of the meeting was, New Social Realities: Meaning-Making and the Transformation of Politics, Protest, & the Pandemic. The final program for the event is available for download.
Dr. Ellen Berrey was the meeting's Keynote Speaker. She is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and an affiliated scholar of the American Bar Foundation.
Her talk, How Should We Explain Movements and Policy Motivated by Conspiracy Theory? A Conversation on the Empirics and Ethics of Studying Trumpism invited participants into a conversation about our responsibilities, as sociologists, when analyzing contemporary far-right politics based on unfounded conspiracy theories and other forms of misinformation.
Dr. Berrey introduced research findings on a wave of social movement organizing that precipitated the rise of Trumpism. In the early 2010s, older White homeowners mobilized to try to shut down local sustainability planning, often citing a (farcical) threat of sinister global governmental infiltration through “U.N Agenda 21.” Government officials in many communities and states supported the mobilizations by ending or modifying sustainability plans and passing anti-Agenda 21 bills. The presentation served as a springboard for an interactive conversation about our obligations as scholars to document and explain (mis)truth claims and their political consequences.
More about Dr. Berrey
Her work examines the crossroads of law, organizations, social movements, racism, culture, and inequality in the United States and, increasingly, Canada. She is the author of two award-winning books: The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice and, with Robert Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen, Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality. Her Salon article, “Diversity Is for White People,” has been circulated on social media more that 33,000 times. Her study of anti-Agenda 21 political mobilization is in collaboration with Fatima Al Saadie, a University of Toronto undergraduate student and recipient of the Mitacs Award and the University of Toronto Excellent Award. See also: ellenberrey.com and rightsontrial.com