Center for Social Inquiry hosts ‘Relevance of Water’ symposium

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 12, 2011

The Center for Social Inquiry at Texas State University-San Marcos will present “Sociology, the Environment and Sustainability: The Humanistic and Scientific Relevance of Water” April 13.

The symposium will run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Wittliff Collections on the 7th floor of the Alkek Library on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Andrew Szasz, of the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Santa Cruz will deliver the keynote address, “From Toxics in the Body to National Security--A Sociologist Considers the Future of Water in American Society.”

The symposium will explore the sociological relevance of water to the vision of the Center for Social Inquiry, ongoing scholarship in the Department of Sociology and the essential value of interdisciplinary collaboration for framing and addressing basic and applied research agenda. The discussion will focus on water as a feature of everyday social life and also in terms of sustainability.

Other presentations include Sally Caldwell, Department of Sociology, “The Blue Hole Project: The Sociologist as Activist in Small-Town Community Development”; Joseph A. Kotarba, Department of Sociology, “Water as a Defining Trope in our Everyday Lives: A Visual Ethnography of the Texas Hill Country”; and a panel discussion on water and sustainability featuring Deborah Harris, Department of Sociology, J.P. Bach, Freeman Ranch manager, Craig Hanks, Department of Philosophy, Vicente Lopes, Department of Biology, Bob Price, Department of Sociology, and Chad Smith, Department of Sociology.

For more information, contact Joseph A. Kotarba at (512) 245-8905 or via email at

About the Center for Social Inquiry

The Center for Social Inquiry offers comprehensive research services to the private and public sectors of the Central Texas region. The center’s faculty are actively engaged in methodologically-sound and policy-relevant research on topics ranging from the environment, health and police activities to aging, community development and cultural activities.

All members of the Center work together to:

  • Generate the knowledge and insights needed to formulate solutions to social program in the area
  • Contribute to the quality of life in rural and urban communities in Central Texas
  • Provide a home for the management of grants and contracts awarded to community groups and agencies
  • Provide the empirical data and policy analysis needed for social, cultural and economic development in the region

In addition to basic research, the center can provide practical and applied research services, specifically needs assessment and evaluation studies.