Statutes & By-laws

Statutes of the committee on family research (RC06)

As revised in 2020


The purpose of the Committee on Family Research (CFR) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) is to encourage family research of high quality within and between countries.


A. To fulfill this purpose the CFR engages in the following activities:

  1. It organizes the sessions on family at the meetings of the ISA.
  2. It sponsors international seminars (at least one between ISA world congresses) on topics of theoretical, methodological or substantive importance as well as international training seminars to add to the skills of family researchers.
  3. It arranges for the publication of matters of importance in the research area of family.
  4. It provides an international roster of family sociologists for individuals and organizations seeking consultation or research associates.
  5. It seeks to keep its members informed of CFR activities.
  6. It engages in additional activities approved by the Executive officers with the consent of the membership.
  7. It provides a newsletter to the membership at least twice annually.


A. A distinction is made between two types of individual membership: 1. ‘Regular members in good standing’, defined as financial members of both the CFR and the ISA, 2. ‘Affiliated members’, defined as financial members of the CFR only.

B. Regular, affiliated or student membership of the committee is open to all members of national sociological societies, members of research institutes affiliated with the ISA, research oriented members of national and international family organizations, as well as non-affiliated individual scholars who have demonstrated interest in the area through teaching or research activities.

C. The CFR offers Life Membership to those who are 65 years older and who are regular members in good standing.

D. The individual becomes a member upon payment of dues. Non-payment of dues will lead to loss of membership six months after the final period paid for.

E. Dues are payable to the CFR secretariat; the amount is decided at the business meeting for the coming four year period for regular as well as for student membership.

F. All regular and affiliated members of the CFR shall be entitled to vote as individual members in the discussions about organisational matters at the General Meetings according to the principle “one member, one vote” that means that one institution also has one vote.

Membership of its Board, throughout the four years of the Board’s mandate, is restricted to the committee’s regular members in good standing.
H. All regular and affiliated members shall be entitled to:

1. participate in the scientific activities of the CFR
2. receive the newsletter issued by the CFR free of charge

I. All regular and affiliated members shall be obliged to:

1. uphold the present Statutes of the CFR and to adhere to the stipulations of the 
present Statutes
2. conscientiously fulfill the tasks entrusted to them by the General Meeting or other 
bodies of the CFR
3. pay their fee for the respective period (i.e., 4 years).


A. There will be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary/Treasurer, two Communications officers, and three officers at-large.

B. They will be elected from and by the membership and will constitute the executive Board of the CFR.

C. Each member of the Board must at all times be:
1. a member in good standing of the ISA in accordance with the ISA Statutes, and
2. a member in good standing of the CFR.

D. Temporary vacancies in the Board between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the President, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5.

E. The places of any Board member not in good standing with either the ISA or the CFR may be declared temporarily vacant by the President, at the President’s discretion, and the vacancy filled according to paragraph IV (D).

F. Should the President fail to carry out his/her presidential responsibilities or allow his/her membership to lapse, the Secretary/Treasurer is required to inform the Board and to serve a six-month period of grace notice on the President. Should the irregularity not be resolved by the end of this period, the Secretary/Treasurer is required to inform the Board and to refer the matter to the ISA Secretariat. One of the Board members, identified by the Board, will assume the responsibilities of the President of the Board in the case of the death, incapacitation, resignation, or other inability of the incumbent to carry out the responsibilities of the office of the President.


A. Any proposal for amendments to the Statutes may be made by any member of the Board, or by any five members in good standing of the CFR.

B. Such a proposal must be received by the Board at least one year before the World Congress.

C. The proposal will be circulated among all CFR members, together with an explanation of its rationale, at least six months before the next World Congress. The Board will be entitled to propose amendments, to be circulated at least two months before the World Congress.

D. The proposed amendments will be put to the General Meeting, and adopted if approved by a two-thirds majority.


A. Elections of officers will be held by mail or electronic ballet once every four years in the year prior to the ISA world congress.

B. Ballots will be sent to the members on the Secretary/Treasurer’s list of members.

C. Nominations will be made by the Nominations Sub-Committee with write-in nominations possible.

D. Nominated candidates shall be regular members of the CFR. They shall confirm their preparedness to accept the respective position on the Board in case they are elected and to remain a regular member in good standing for the duration of their mandate, and shall return the nomination form to the Nominations Sub-Committee, together with relevant biographical information.

E. There are usually two nominations for each office or at least one more than offices to be filled.

F. The Nominations Sub-Committee shall prepare a ballot listing all nominated candidates and space for write-in nominations along with the respective positions on the Board. In case of several nominations for the same position, the nominated candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order by surname. The ballot shall be sent to all regular and affiliated members of the CFR at least ten weeks before the election day.

G. If there is only one candidate for a particular office, the candidate will need 50% plus one vote in the ballots returned to be elected.

H. Receiving a majority of the votes cast will constitute election for President, Vice- President, and Secretary/Treasurer.

I. Election of the officers at-large shall be according to whoever receives the greatest plurality of votes cast.
J. Run-off elections will be held if necessary.
K. Term of office will be for four years with re-election limited to one term.


The President

  1. Shall preside as chief executive of the CFR at the meetings of the CFR and its Board,
  2. Will be responsible for seeing that the sessions of the CFR at the ISA meetings are organized,
  3. Will initiate and carry out policies in conformity to the CFR’s purpose as specified by the Board and the membership,
  4. Is responsible for communicating CFR activities and plans to the members no less often than once a year; these include the time and place as well as the organizers of seminars and workshops and ISA sessions sponsored by the CFR.

The Secretary/Treasurer

  1. Shall report at least annually to the secretariat of the ISA, current and planned activities of the CFR and other current matters of common concern,
  2. is the financial officer of the CFR, makes disbursements under the over-all supervision of the Board, presents a biannual report to the Board, including all transactions itemized, and shall report the committee’s financial affairs to members at least at every World Congress,
  3. shall prepare a membership list to be used for election purposes,
  4. shall announce to the membership the time and place of the general meeting.

The Vice-President

  1. Shall customarily chair the program of the ISA world congress,
  2. shall become Acting President in the event that the President becomes disabled or resigns,
  3. substitutes the President in the representation to the ISA in case of his/her unavailability.

The Communications Officers

  1. Communications Officer 1 shall be responsible for preparing and disseminating two editions annually of the RC06 Gazette, as required by the ISA.
  2. Communications Officer 2 shall maintain the website which will include at least the following:
  • public pages with such information as: How to become a member and dues; announcements including upcoming and planned seminars; statutes; current officers (Board); current circular mails and back lists; abstracts of seminars; links; other information of general interest,
  • internal members’ pages which includes at least: a current up-to-date list of members with expiration date of membership; contact information; institutional affiliation,
  • maintaining/posting on RC06 Facebook, Twitter and any other relevant digital social media platform for RC06.


A. The Board meets at least once every four years before the meeting of the CFR membership to set general policy for the CFR. Board meetings can be face-to-face or electronic.
B. Major new activities undertaken by the CFR must first be approved by the Board.
C. The Board elects one representative and one alternative to the Research Council of the ISA.


A. Nominating and Balloting Sub-Committee

  1. This committee, to be headed by a member of the board with no invested interest into the composition of the next board, is responsible for preparing the list of nominations for CFR officers and members of the Nominating and Balloting Sub-Committee presented to the membership, and for conducting the elections.
  2. The other two members of the Nominating and Balloting Sub-Committee, with no invested interest into the composition of the next board, shall be elected by the 
Board after consultation with members.
  • Its members should seek suggestions for nominations from the membership before the election making use of the Secretary/Treasurer’s mailing to members.
  • Its nominations should reflect the international nature of the membership.
  • B. Program Sub-Committee

    1. The President and the Secretary/Treasurer will constitute a sub-committee to consider offers from CFR members or representatives of other organizations to organize programs such as seminars and workshops under CFR sponsorship or joint sponsorship.
    2. They will decide which offers to accept on the basis of the guidelines set forth in Article X.

    C. Other Sub-Committees

    1. The President, with the consent of the Board, may appoint such other sub-committees as is necessary to carry out the objectives of the CFR.
    2. Terms of office of subcommittee chair and members shall not be longer than the term of office of the President.
    3. Changes in chair must have Board approval.
    4. A standing audit committee will be appointed by the CFR board and will be used to review financial matters as needed.


A. The membership of the occasional training or topic oriented program, such as seminars and workshops sponsored or co-sponsored by the CFR, should reflect its international composition.

B. The opportunity to participate should be made available to as many as possible.

C. Individuals who wish to organize a seminar or workshop may present their ideas to the President or to the Secretary/Treasurer.

D. Members wishing to participate may write to the organizers giving their competencies and interests.

E. Local organizers will have the final decision as to participants.


A. The CFR as an international organization cannot itself engage in research activities.

B. In the rare circumstances when its Board decides that the CFR should depart from a facilitating role and actively sponsor research, a majority of the membership at the general meeting must accept the decision.


A. The general meeting of members shall be held in conjunction with the ISA world congresses.

B. Announcement of the general meeting will be given to members at least three months in advance along with a tentative agenda of business.

C. Action may be taken at any general meeting by a majority of members present and voting except in the case of election of officers. On any issue a majority of members present may request a secret ballot.

D. A written petition of 20 members to the President within six months of the general meeting can institute a mail or electronic ballot to the membership on any issue presented at the general meeting.


A. The CFR welcomes the efforts of other international and national organizations to promote the meeting of family scholars and to encourage their research.

B. The CFR seeks to cooperate with such organizations on issues of common interest through joint program sponsorship or such other activities as will serve to advance its purpose.


A. By-laws may be changed by board recommendation and approval at a formal business meeting at a CFR function.


Historical note: The Constitution was prepared by Joan Aldous and others colleagues; it was adopted in 1972, and it was revised in 1993, 2005, 2010, 2013, and in 2020.