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The NCSA Annual Meeting will be held at the Crown Plaza at Historic Union Station in Indianapolis, IN, on April 4 - 7, 2013. The theme of the event is: "In Defense of Theory." Our title, “In Defense of Theory,” is an attempt to push NCSA members to consider the central, overarching role that theory plays in defining and developing the field of Sociology in the human sciences. Over the last few decades, concerns have arisen regarding the declining significance of theory in the development and application of scholarly research as well as its’ role in sociological training for the coming generation of scholars that will shape Sociology and distinguish it from other fields of inquiry. Does theory need to be defended? And, if so, defended against what? This year we invite contributors to engage important questions regarding the state of sociology today and push the presence of theory beyond the first slide in the power point and the first page of the literature review. Am ong the kinds of topics and questions we want to focus on during this conference are the following:What are the most important and exciting new directions in sociological theory?How can sociologists better engage with and build theory with their empirical work?How can sociologists best apply and approach, methodologically, broad approaches such as postmodernism, feminism, and symbolic interactionism?How to integrated theory within sub-disciplines?How to bridging the gap between large traditions such as positivism and relativism? We welcome contributors to this year’s conference to consider broadly the ways that sociological theory contributes to and shapes our discipline, specifically the way in which theory helps set sociology apart from other explorations of knowledge. While this year’s theme highlights theory we welcome a broad range of substantive, methodological, and applied sessions. We look forward to an exciting conference in Indianapolis and a stimulating group of discussions.
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