Society for Cross-Cultural Research Newletter

Volume 25, Number 1

Spring, 1997

In This Issue

Message from the President -Susan Abbot Nominating Committee
Message from Incoming President -Uwe Gielen Membership
On Galton's Problem -by Lew Hendrix Meeting Programs & Participation
Treasurer's Report Sage contract
SCCR Website Newsletter - Leigh Minturn
Future meeting sites Books by SCCR members
Election and Poll results Meetings
Obituary - Ruth Munroe -by Mel and Carol Ember Officers (link outside of Newsletter)
Summer Institute Abstracts of 1997 Meeting

Newsletter: Leigh Minturn

In order to have a logo that is suitable for e-mail, I have returned to the one created by the late Stanley R. Witkowski, and copied it in typewriter characters. I have asked twice for assistance in desiging an e-mail logo, and I would still appreciate contributions from members more skilled at this than I.

Newsletter costs have been reduced because of e-mail distribution to approximately half the membership, and the use of my xeroxing allotment to prepare hardcopy. The C.U. mailroom misskeyed the mailing bill for the spring issue so we were never charged for it. That issues was a "freebe."

However I am having trouble sending the abstracts and newsletter as attachments to a number of members. Bill Gabrenya's prediction that e-mail would be more trouble than it is worth is currently correct. I have spend more time in the last two weeks trying to locate bad addresses than in formatting the newsletter. It would be very helpful if you would all adopt an e-mail address that clearly identifies your last name. I have several bad addresses whose owners I cannot identify.

You will be receiving an e-mail message from a Jon Roberts, one of our computor experts, to subscribe to a SCCR e-mail membership. Jon says this method will make it much easier to send out future issues by e-mail.



As I assume my duties as President of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research for 1997/98, I find myself reflecting on our past accomplishments and future prospects. I would like to share some of these thoughts with you.

Our society has now been in existence for twenty- six years as a viable multidisciplinary society which brings together scholars who share an interest in comparative research. Many of us are motivated to participate because we value the opportunity this society provides for meeting with scholars who share an interest in similar research problems but who come from different disciplinary backgrounds. We have created a rare forum for civilized, stimulating intellectual exchange despite disciplinary impediments that so often prevent this exchange.

Over the past quarter century, some changes are evident in our organization. Leigh Minturn's research on membership patterns illustrates one of the changes. For example, the proportion of membership who are anthropologists and psychologists has reversed. When the organization was founded, 53% of the membership were anthropologists, and 27% were psychologists. Today, 52% are psychologists, while 30% are anthropologists. Other social scientists, including sociologists, political scientists, educationists and so forth made up the remaining 19% in 1970, distributed between sociology with 12% of the membership and 7% -- a mixed bag of "other". These disciplines have also shifted; today only 5% of our membership are sociologists, but 13% are "other".

In part the changes in membership between anthropologists and psychologists reflect the facts that 1) there are many more psychologists in the world than anthropologists, and 2) there has been a significant growth in the number of psychologists actively interesting themselves in questions of cultural difference who are attracted to a society that promotes comparative research. It may also reflect shifts in emphasis in anthropology during the same period. The influence of post-modernist and post- structuralist theorists who find objectionable the kind of empirical, scientific research favored by most anthropologists who do comparative work, has been substantial in some quarters. This may also have affected sociologists in a similar way, but our sociological membership can probably comment on their membership shift more knowledgeably than I. In the meantime, many scholars in education and family studies have discovered us, and are now participating on a regular basis. I am encouraged that our society has a solid future though processes of social and cultural change are shifting our membership distribution.

Another bright spot is the adoption of CROSS- CULTURAL RESEARCH as the official journal of the SCCR. Mel Ember is continuing as editor. He reports that subscriptions have increased since Sage took over as publisher. The power of their advertising ability is beginning to be felt.

We now want to move forward with some new ideas that can both strengthen the journal while further benefiting SCCR's membership. Beginning with the 1998 Annual Meeting, we will schedule an annual key symposium which will be published as a special issue of CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH in the year following the meeting. I want to encourage all of you to go to work and organize an exciting, timely session for a future meeting that gets selected as a key symposium and ends up as a thematic issue of our journal. The details for submission of a key symposium proposal are found in another section of this newsletter.

Another idea I want to promote for future meetings is a special session that addresses a current problem of interest from multidisciplinary perspectives. The session will be designed to include scholars from different disciplines who will discuss the problem from their diverse disciplinary perspectives. Sessions of this kind can stimulate creative new thinking that rests firmly on our unique membership composition.

During the coming year, your officers will be working hard to make sure the organization is on solid financial and organizational footing. To do this we are promoting several initiatives including the following:

1) We are institutionalizing the selection of meeting sites at least two years in advance. You can now plan for your professional travel well in advance by marking your calendars for our meetings next February in Florida, and for Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1999. Both these sites should be popular.

2) We are going to require earlier registration for our annual meeting which will be a great help to meeting organizers in the future. Be sure to note this change in the call for papers in this newsletter.

3) We pledge to carry out elections in a timely manner.

4) We want to encourage everyone to recruit one new member for the SCCR. We've printed attractive new brochures designed by Bill Divale which you can use in your recruitment efforts. You can obtain these from Lew Hendrix. Just request a few.

I am looking forward to a good meeting next February on the beach in Florida. President-elect and Program Chair Uwe Gielen has already begun working on next year's meeting. See you all there!

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