University of Alabama Press, 1991.
The year 1986 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Southern Sociological Society. More than just a professional association of sociologists in the South, the society was originally established to encourage the sociological study of the South and thus to contribute to regionwide processes of social evaluation, planning, and improvement. This collection of original empirical studies, edited by the late Joseph Himes, grew out of a series of research reports given at the society’s 1986 annual meeting, which was designed to assess social change in the South over the past fifty years and to predict likely trends for the next fifty. Perhaps because of the careful planning, beginning in 1983, that went into coordinating these contributions, this collection is far more even and coherent than many of the edited volumes that grow out of conferences. Taken as a whole, the book is a remarkably systematic and comprehensive examination of past trends and future possibilities of social change in the South.