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The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology

The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) was the first professional organization to forge a partnership with Applied Worldwide. In the late Fall of 2019, we were lucky enough to work with the association’s immediate past president, Gary David, and current president, Karen Albright, to collect profile interview of their members. Those profile interviews became the valuable content that kickstarted our Profiles in Applied & Clinical Sociology series.

The Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology

AACS is a non-profit, professional organization with a mission to promote the application of social scientific knowledge and methods to develop constructive solutions. Within their network, they offer educational, programmatic, mentoring, networking, and policy resources in a supportive professional community. Their vision is to be a resource promoting integrative approaches and systems perspectives for analyzing complex problems and developing creative, practical solutions.

As a member of AACS, you have full access to all live and recorded virtual conference activities along with professional development videos such as “Crafting your Sociological Brand” and “Program Evaluation 101.” AACS members also receive a subscription to the Journal of Applied Social Science, the organization’s official peer-reviewed journal. Their members-only website,, is also a wonderful resource full of mentorship and professional development opportunities for AACS members.

Attend AACS’ Conference

AACS hosts their annual conference in the US in the Fall, typically during the month of October. For the past two years (2020 and 2021) the organization held their annual conference virtually via their members-only site. Perhaps the most unique-to-AACS experience you will find at their annual conference is the Client Problem Solving Competition (CPSC). The CPSC is a student team competition in which a representative from a community organization in the area where the conference is held presents a problem for students to solve.

Over the weekend, student teams apply their sociological skills to evaluate the problem and present a solution to the client. After student teams present their solution to the client, AACS awards one team the winner of the competition.

What is Applied Sociology?

Applied Sociology is the use of sociological skills and knowledge to improve the well-being of society. There is much more context to the question, “What is Applied Sociology?”, though.

Applied sociology has a long and interesting history, including the many challenges applied sociologists have faced. But, many professional opportunities remain despite those challenges.

Be sure to check out Applied Worldwide’s article on Applied Sociology where we address the history and current state, including examples of applied sociology and valuable sociological skills.

What is Clinical Sociology?

Clinical Sociology is the use of sociological theories, methods, and other skills to design, implement, and evaluate interventions that improve outcomes and solve organizational challenges.

Understanding clinical sociology can be challenging. Often, when I am questioned about clinical sociology I use a comparison to social work. If a person needs access to resources that will help improve their lives, they can seek or be united with a social worker. A clinical sociologist is like a social worker for organizations. When an organization needs an intervention in order to improve its outcomes, clinical sociology offers the skills and knowledge to provide solutions.

Be sure to read Applied Worldwide’s article on Clinical Sociology where we have written in greater detail about how to become a clinical sociologist with some examples

Connect with the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology

To learn more about becoming a member of AACS, you can visit their website