The German Sociological Association (GSA) is a non-profit organization, whose main objectives are to discuss sociological problems, to promote scholarly communication amongst its members, and the participation in the dissemination and deepening of sociological knowledge. The GSA participates in the clarification of questions about sociology as a discipline, as well as about the study of this discipline, and maintains relations with sociology abroad. Every two years, the GSA organizes the ›Conference of the German Sociological Association‹, in which several thousand participants have recently participated. The lectures from over one hundred years are published in edited volumes. Since 2017 those volumes are published in Open Access.
The GSA is the national subject association for scientifically qualified sociologists of Germany. Today it has about 3,400 members. About four-fifths of all doctoral sociologists in Germany are members of the GSA. Membership is open to any person who has been scientifically qualified through study, research, teaching or publishing in the field of sociology.
The GSA was founded in 1909, among others by ›classics‹ of sociology such as Ferdinand Tönnies, Max Weber and Georg Simmel. Even at the time of the Weimar Republic conferences were held regularly. During the period of National Socialism, the activities were largely stopped. Already in 1946, the GSA was re-launched. Since then it has grown from a small scholarly association to a large academic society. Since the first ›Sociology Day‹, which took place in Frankfurt in 1910, a total of 40 sociological conferences have been organized. They were usually determined by the issues and controversies of the times. Strong contrasts appeared in the year of the student revolt in 1968. The GSA made every effort to contribute to the consolidation of sociology in teaching and research in all its periods of existence. Even today this constitutes the main concern of the Association. The members of the GSA have adopted a code of ethics. It provides guidelines for more integrity within the sociological profession.
The organizational tasks of the GSA are carried out by the Executive Board and special research Sections. The Council constitutes the parliamentary control mechanism. New elections are held every two years. So far, 36 Sections and several working groups have been formed within the major fields of sociological research. Every year, they hold numerous conferences whose results are often published.