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Professor Penny Edgell Named New AMSS Chair

June 2, 2021

UMN Sociology Professor Penny Edgell has been named the 2021 Chair of the American Sociological Association's Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity (AMSS) Section

AMSS Section activities are directed towards establishing the study of altruism, morality, and social solidarity as a recognized field of theoretical development and empirical research within the discipline of sociology. These activities include the following: providing for regular exchanges of information through the section Newsletter and the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association; formally recognizing outstanding theoretical, empirical, and applied work in the field of altruism, morality, and social solidarity through annual awards; and linking with other scientific groups working on genetic, psychological, and cultural aspects of these phenomena.

Professor Edgell is a cultural sociologist who studies religion and non-religion in the United States.  She aims to understand how religion, non-religion, and spirituality influence moral culture -- for example, our shared understandings of right and wrong, ideals of family life, how we think about race and racial equality, and understandings of good citizenship.  She also wants to understand the growing group of Americans who are non-religious, including the varieties of non-religious identities and experiences, as well as the organizations through which non-religious Americans come together to socialize and create meaningful identities, or to lobby for legal protections, fight anti-atheist sentiment, or work on political or policy-oriented goals. Learn more about Professor Edgell and her groundbreaking work on her website