UMass Amherst Professor Joya Misra Elected President of the American Sociological Association : UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy and director of the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been elected the 115th president of the American Sociological Association (ASA).


Founded in 1905, the ASA is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society. Misra will serve as ASA president-elect for one year before ascending to the organization’s leadership role in August 2023.


joya misra

UMass Amherst professor Joya Misra

“I’m so grateful to be elected,” Misra said. “I’m a second-generation immigrant woman who grew up in the South. I have actively made choices throughout my career to do the work that matters most to me. I am truly moved that other sociologists see my work, my practice, as valuable, and hopeful about what this means about where the discipline is moving.”

Misra’s research and teaching primarily focus on social inequality, including inequalities by gender and gender identity, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, citizenship, parenthood status and educational level. In considering how policies may work to both reinforce and lessen inequalities, her aim is to create more equitable societies and workplaces, and much of her work explores different approaches that countries take to addressing inequality.

Her scholarly work has been featured in various professional journals, edited volumes, and books, and she is co-author of the book “Walking Mannequins How Race and Gender Inequalities Shape Retail Clothing Work” (University of California Press 2022), which shows how employers gender reproduced and racist “beauty” standards by regulating workers’ size and look, shedding an important light on the dynamics of retail work in the 21st century. She has also written for and been quoted in many publications and media outlets, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, the BBC, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education.

“The beauty of sociology is in its variety,” Misra says regarding her plans as ASA president. “I hope to do more to honor that variety – by serving as president to all of the sociologists teaching in high schools, community colleges, colleges and universities; all of the applied and public sociologists using sociology to better the world; as well as all of the sociologists doing research across the globe, recognizing that any one sociologist may represent many different aspects of the field. We make better sociology when we feel our work has meaning; I want to highlight those meanings, helping to move ASA beyond primarily a professional organization to a place that people see as supporting their calling.”

Misra has previously held several positions at ASA, including vice president, council member, chair of the Distinguished Book Committee and chair of Sex and Gender, and Race, Gender & Class sections. She has also served as an editor of the journal Gender & Society.

Leave a Comment