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William Julius Wilson Award Statement

William Julius Wilson is recognized for his continuing scholarly contributions to improve society’s understanding and appreciation of sociology by refocusing public debated and social science research on urban inequality and macroeconomics policy. A prolific scholar, Wilson is best known for the widely read The Declining Significance of Race, The Truly Disadvantaged, and When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. Wilson’s distinguished career and contributions to bringing sociology to the public are partly reflection numerous honors and awards he received (such as the MacArthur Prize Fellow, the Seidman Award in Political Economy, the ASA Dubois-Johnson-Frazier Award, and 27 honorary degrees).

In addition to serving as ASA President in 1990, Wilson has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society. Wilson is also a member of numerous national boards and commissions, including the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the National Urban League, The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavior Sciences, and the Russell Sage Foundation. A 1991 Washington Post article named Wilson the “most influential sociologist of his generation.” In June 1996, he was elected by Time magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential People.