IASPM Code of Conduct

Dear IASPM members,

Please find below the final version of the Code of Conduct.

Notes on changes to new version

The committee would like to thank all members who made comments on the draft, and give this overview of what changes were made and other suggestions that have not been adopted, for transparency.

A number of Elizabeth Turner’s suggestions have been adopted. In some instances we chose to keep the original wording where sentences were shorter, for clarity. We thank Elizabeth for her careful reading of the document.

The Benelux branch also sent detailed feedback. We thank them for picking up on some repetition within the document that has now been removed, and on their suggestion we have removed a reference to ‘participants’ at events and restricted the scope of the document to members. 

‘Class’ has been added to the list of identity markers.

A suggestion made via private email to delimit the contact for a complaint to one person among the EC or to set up a dedicated email address has not been taken up. The committee thinks it may be beneficial for a person to have a choice about who to take a complaint to (eg, they may feel more comfortable speaking to someone of the same gender), and a separate email account may not be checked as regularly as would be ideal to ensure responsiveness.

A suggestion to remove or amend the section on ‘unwanted contact’ due to this being too broad was not taken up. The committee would like to keep this as is, as there should not need to be verbal warnings to someone (and sometimes someone may not feel as though they can do this), and it does not need to be persistent either. The complaints procedure should ensure that trivial or frivolous complaints are not taken seriously.

Finally, a number of members suggested incorporating a reference to the UN Charter of Human Rights into this document. The committee has not taken this up, as our statutes already contain the following:

2.3 The Association as a matter of policy condemns the violation of human rights, as defined by the United Nations charter, of any individual, group or nation.

The repetition of a reference to this charter seems unnecessary to the committee, and would detract from the purpose of this specific document.

Please note that the finalisation of this Code is the first stage of a multi-stage process that also involves determining a reporting process and other elements. As such, the work of the committee on this project is ongoing. We thank members for their patience while this continues.

All the best,

The IASPM Ethics Committee

IASPM Code of Conduct

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music expects integrity and professional conduct from all its members. We are committed to creating a space where people feel encouraged and supported to take intellectual and creative risks as they share ideas and engage in debate without fear of any form of discrimination or abuse. We recognise that there are structural and institutional imbalances of power within the academy along many lines of difference including (but not limited to) race, class, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual identity, disability, economic status, employment status, religion, and age. We commit to countering the negative effects of these imbalances and to treating each other equitably. In working to ensure an inclusive climate, we value differences, respect boundaries, and choose to support one another. 

Each IASPM member is responsible for maintaining a healthy, professional culture in our organization. Correspondingly, every member of IASPM should expect to be able to participate in the organization without undue restrictions to their full potential. 

IASPM will not tolerate behaviours that violate these principles. Examples of unacceptable behaviours include (but are not limited to):

  • Non-consensual sexual attention and objectification
  • Physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence 
  • Shaming, bullying, or intimidation, whether physical or otherwise
  • Unwanted contact, whether physical or otherwise
  • Stalking 
  • Harassment (broadly defined as unwanted physical or verbal conduct that may be based on the victim’s race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual identity, disability, economic status, employment status, religion, age, or other categories)
  • Discriminatory behaviour
  • Professional misconduct, such as plagiarism or professional exploitation.

All members must agree to abide by the Code of Conduct in all IASPM activities, including (but not limited to): conferences, journals, and social media conversations, both international and branch-related, as well as in ancillary events and social gatherings. Members are encouraged to intervene or seek help if they witness violations of the code [links to active bystander sheet and other procedural documents to be included here when ready].

Breaches of the Code 

Participants are encouraged to report violations of this Code to any member of the Executive Committee, who will ensure that the complaint is addressed in accordance with the Association’s complaint procedures [complaints procedure will be linked here when ready]. Responses to reports will be framed by a victim-centred approach and treated with sensitivity. 

Violations of this Code may lead to actions not limited to but including cancellation of membership of IASPM, notification of the behaviour to an offender’s home institution, and notification to local authorities.