In an effort to contribute meaningfully to social change and development in the Caribbean through the active use of sociology, a group of sociologists yesterday launched the Caribbean Sociological Association (CASA) at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
The mission of CASA is to demonstrate the value of sociology in interpreting, understanding and resolving development problems in the Caribbean to improve quality of life through research, teaching policy intervention, and advocacy.
According to Dr Orville Taylor, sociologist and head of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, the mission of the CASA lines up seamlessly with what Radio Jamaica 94 is now doing – taking a stand and being active for the good of the nation.
Dr Taylor noted that the intention is to bring research and scholarship to a greater understanding of societal issues in the region and thus offer solutions.
Professor Ian Boxill, deputy principal of the UWI, Mona campus, said the launch of the association is a momentous occasion for the region for two reasons.
“One, because this is the first time we have a group of sociologists who come together in a professional organisation to consolidate skills and tackle very important social issues that we currently face; and second we believe that at times of difficulty, developmentally and otherwise, having a group of sociologists would add a different perspective to the narrative, which often ignores or subsumes social development under different types of development,” he noted.
Cedric Taylor, president of the Michigan Sociological Assoication, said sociology is the bedrock of the social sciences.
“We have to be more proactive as a discipline. sociology has so much more to offer, we have to make our contributions and our insights more public – it means speaking beyond the ivory tower,” said Taylor, who is a graduate of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work at The UWI, Mona.