Rules of procedure

The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth (ASA) is a professional association. It exists to support and promote the teaching, research and professional practice of social anthropology.

1. Membership

a) Membership is conferred by invitation of the Association.

b) Membership shall be restricted to people who, by virtue of their training, posts held and published works, can be recognised as professional social anthropologists.

c) Save in exceptional circumstances, a person to be considered eligible for membership must:

i) have a postgraduate research degree in social anthropology or

ii) have published significant work in social anthropology (which may include film, exhibitions and other forms of publication that embody professional applications of social anthropology),


i) hold or have held a teaching or research appointment in social anthropology or

ii) hold or have held other employment using his or her training in social anthropology or

iii) have been unavoidably unemployed for more than a calendar year after his or her training in social anthropology at a university or comparable institution of higher education.

d) Persons considered eligible for election to membership may either be proposed by a member or apply for election. A nomination or application must include information about the applicant’s employment to date; a list of publications (articles, books, edited volumes, visual media etc.), and the names and email addresses of two professional anthropologists who the applicant has ascertained are willing to act as referees. Nominations and applications can be submitted at any time and approval will be sought from the ASA members via the Association’s regular communications with them. Applicants or their nominators must complete the form on the membership page.

e) At the Annual General Meeting the ASA Committee will present a list of the new members accepted during the year.

f) There will be no discussion of candidates who do not appear on the Committee’s list, but the Committee will supply to the proposer or applicant, on written request to the Chair, reasons why particular candidates are not considered eligible.

2. Associate Membership

a) Associate membership of the ASA is open to

i) Postgraduate research students in social anthropology

ii) Postgraduate research students in related disciplines if social anthropology was a major part of an earlier degree.

iii) Persons holding a Master’s research degree in social anthropology.

b) Persons eligible for Associate membership must provide evidence of their status.

c) Associate membership

i) Does not convey voting rights.

ii) Is available for a maximum of six years.

iii) Does not automatically lead to full membership; this has to be applied for in the normal way.

d) Associate joint Membership of the ASA and RAI is available to both taught and research postgraduate students in social anthropology. Postgraduate students becoming Associates of the ASA in this manner must provide evidence of their status to the RAI which handles membership applications. Associate joint Membership of the ASA/RAI does not convey voting rights. Students attaining their Doctoral degrees are warmly encouraged to apply for full professional membership.

3. Subscription

Subscriptions at the current rates shall become due on 1 January of each year.

a) Any member who does not pay a subscription for two consecutive years, or when their arrears amounts to two or more consecutive years’ subscription, shall after enquiry by the Secretary, and with the approval of the Committee, be regarded as having terminated their membership. Membership can be reactivated by contacting membership(at)

b) Members who reach retirement or who expect to be out of regular employment for at least one year may, on application to the Honorary Secretary or the Honorary Treasurer, pay an annual subscription at a reduced rate.

4. Officers

a) The Officers of the Association shall include the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and at least six Committee members.

b) All officers are elected or appointed for a term of two years and are eligible for re-election for a further term after which they are not eligible for further office for four years except that an officer, after serving a term on the committee, may be elected Chair, Secretary or Treasurer for two years with an optional re-election for a further term of two years. No officer may serve for more than six consecutive years.

c) The Chair, Secretary and Treasurer will be elected. The elections shall take place via secret ballot online. The candidates with the greatest number of votes will be declared elected. The results of elections will be announced via email to all members. Formal objections can be raised at any point in the election process and will be treated in confidence. If no objections are raised, the election or appointment will then be considered to be ratified. Should a formal objection be made and sustained, then the ratification will be delayed pending discussion at the next AGM.

d) Other posts will be advertised to all ASA Members when they become/are due to become vacant. . Appointments will be made by the Executive Committee and ratified as in (c) above. Appointments will be made by the Executive Committee and presented at the Annual General Meeting for ratification. Nominations or applications to offices should be made, in writing, to the Secretary by the published deadline. Nominations will imply that the proposer has the candidate’s consent; obtaining such consent will be the responsibility of the proposer.

e) The Committee will meet at least three times per annum.

5. Meetings

a) The Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting to conduct its business and for the discussion of papers. The Committee at its discretion may convene further meetings for the discussion of papers, on the proposal of not fewer than five members.

b) Notice of meetings shall be circulated at least six weeks beforehand.

c) Attendance at the business section of meetings is restricted to members of the Association.

6. Affiliation

The Association may affiliate to, or disaffiliate from, any appropriate body or scholarly society on the recommendation of the Committee and with the agreement of a two-thirds majority of the members present at an official meeting of the Association.