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Patricia Yancey Martin Award Statement


Patricia Yancey Martin, Professor of Sociology and Department Chair, at Florida State University, is the 2007 recipient of ASA’s Jessie Bernard Career Award.

Pat Martin has a terrific and well-deserved reputation as an activist, mentor, and scholar, whose work is at the forefront of studies of gender. Her career has been path-breaking in helping us to understand gender as an institution, rather than as simply a form of stratification. Martin’s research on masculinity in her studies of fraternal gang rape and her writings on gender and complex organizations stand as classics in the field.She has tirelessly nurtured several generations of future scholars, has established a reputation as a particularly active mentor of women scholars even of her own generation, has fought for pay equity for women in her own university, and has promoted gender equity through her service to a wide range of regional and national professional organizations. Martin has also been an active contributor to public sociology through consulting with numerous agencies focused on sexual violence, and her research illustrates that it is possible to combine the advancement of basic knowledge with a commitment to social justice.

In the 1970s, she led the way in studies of what were then called sex role attitudes; in the 1980s she broke ground in studying the conditions that foster violence against women; in the 1990s, she became a leader in studying organizational process, gender relations and identity. Her work on gender has also long been noted for the inclusion of studying men as being at least as important as studying women. Her current research on masculinity as used in corporate settings for a variety of collective goals is a continuation of this interest. Looking at how men in groups do not “see” women in the way that women perceive and accommodate to men and their interests gives rise to a variety of interesting new questions about gender perceptions and organizational processes.

Her newest book, Rape Work is an outgrowth of her decades of study of rape processing in organizations, assessing the factors that contribute to making local communities more responsive to the victims in rape cases. Pat Martin shows how the organization of hospitals, police stations and courts has unanticipated consequences. Those few hospitals who use nurse-practitioners to administer the rape kit are therefore more responsive to rape victims’ needs, not because of the gender of the care-giver (women doctors are often least responsive), but because the organizational factors allow prompter responses and more time with the victim.

Martin has been recognized nationally for her gender work. In 2006 she received the Feminist Activism Award, from Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), and in 2001 she was awarded the Distinguished Feminist Lecturer Award, also from SWS.She has an accomplished service record in the American Sociological Association, has served as President of the Southern Sociological Society in 2002-2003, and is a prominent and well-regarded member of SWS, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the International Sociological Association.She also has an admirable record of service at the university, community and state level.

Pat Martin’s teaching contributions to gender scholarship have been tremendous. She has helped to prepare a new generation of feminist scholars, not only at her own institution but by mentoring and supporting young scholars around the country. At Florida State, for example, Martin has chaired 20 dissertation committees and served on over 50 others; she has also chaired 9 thesis committees, and served on over 20 additional ones. With four university-wide teaching awards under her belt, she clearly knows how to teach, but note also that this acclaimed teaching comes in both research methods and gender courses and at both the graduate and undergraduate level. She frequently publishes with her students and continues to support them as junior faculty in other schools. Junior faculty members report that Martin congratulates them whenever she sees progress they have made, and has always been willing to assist them, despite her own busy research, teaching, and administrative life.

Patricia Yancey Martin is the sort of eminent gender scholar whose entire career has demonstrated the depth of her commitment to feminist ideals. Her scholarship on the gender practices of both men and women, on the politics of rape, and on the organizational contexts in which male dominance is institutionalized (and yet can still be challenged) has been at the forefront of the field for thirty years and remains the gold standard. Her teaching, mentoring and community activism at the state and university level have been crucial in improving women’s lives. Martin’s career reflects the generosity of spirit, the personal integrity, and the commitment to public sociology for which Jessie Bernard stood. Jessie would certainly have been proud of her.