The March 2011 issue of the Journal of Social Issues, devoted to the history of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), Division 9 of the American Psychological Association, has just been released online. This special issue, edited by Alexandra Rutherford, Frances Cherry, and Rhoda Unger, has been assembled to mark the 75th anniversary of SPSSI and examines the organization’s efforts to effect social change. Articles in this special issue address work on morale during WWII, housing and race in postwar America, the sociological social psychology of Marie Jahoda, SPSSI’s quest for value neutrality in the 1930s through the 1960s, the organization’s Task Force on Sexual Orientation in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and much more. Full titles, authors, and abstracts for the issue follow below.
“‘Society Very Definitely Needs Our Aid’: Reflecting on SPSSI in History,” by Alexandra Rutherford, Frances Cherry, and Rhoda Unger. The abstract reads,
The year 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). One of the primary reasons SPSSI was established was the desire, on the part of its founders, to use scientific research for social action and to bring the insights of social science into national-level debates about social issues. This anniversary affords us the opportunity to examine when, where, why, and how SPSSI has been more and less successful in its efforts to impact society. Historical analyses focusing on the long-standing tension between scientific objectivity and political advocacy are used as a lens through which to examine SPSSI’s legacy and to provide a more informed basis for future action. Continue reading Special Issue: History of SPSSI