Mary Romero, Arizona State University
Mary Romero extends and reflects the legacies of Oliver Cromwell Cox, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier in the relentless use of academic scholarship in the service of social justice. Through her research, teaching, and service across the profession and the globe, Mary Romero embodies the tradition of critical racial analysis of inequality, immigration, and citizenship. As a public sociologist and proponent of social justice, she brings rigorous analysis and theory to bear on the problems gripping modern society, and she communicates the insights of her analysis to professional and lay audiences.
Professor of Justice Studies and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University and Affiliate of Women and Gender Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies and African and African American Studies, Professor Romero has crafted a career that demonstrates the ability of sociology to influence changes in policy, science, democracy and social consciousness.
Especially attuned to the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, class and immigration, time and again Romero has demonstrated powerful insights about the social world gleaned when we understand it from the perspectives of women of color, especially immigrant women. Romero’s contributions to the study of racial inequality and immigration have been transformational both within and outside of sociology. Her pioneering research combines intersectional approaches with traditional sociological methods to provide new insights about the lives of women of color as they navigate issues of citizenship, home, migration, and work.
Romero is author of more than 70 articles, reviews and chapters, including edited volumes in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Teaching Sociology and Latino Studies. She is also author and editor of nearly a dozen books, including the landmark works Women and Work: Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Class (coedited with Elizabeth Higginbotham), Maid in the U.S.A (Routledge 1992, 2002), and The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream (NYU Press, 2011). Additionally, her tremendous work as a mentor, advisor, and teacher provide an even richer sense of her contribution.
Internationally acclaimed and a pioneering woman-sociologist-professor-of-color, Romero is a disciplinary treasure. Her commitment to scholarship, mentorship, and activism continues the legacy of this award’s namesakes and serves as an example to us all.
Karida Brown, Brown University
Maude Pugliese, McGill University (Honorable Mention)
We recognize for honorable mention Maude Pugliese’s excellent dissertation “Socio-Economic Disparities in Portfolio Composition: Historical Causes and Consequences for Inequality in America.” Pugliese demonstrates that U.S. wealth inequality can be traced to a shift in working class investments from financial to real estate assets, a consequence of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Heidi Hartmann’s pioneering research opened new intellectual space for the exploration of gender inequality. Hartmann’s ability to engage with the political establishment set her apart, at an early date, from feminist scholars situated exclusively in academia. Her work with the National Research Council, which included coauthoring Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Pay for Jobs of Equal Value, helped shape national and state policies supporting pay equity. Hartmann went on to found, fund-raise for, and become the guiding star of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Hartmann has maintained forceful intellectual engagement with academic researchers. It is truly hard to imagine where gender studies in the U.S. today would be without her.
Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
For over four decades, Howard Aldrich has taught well-regarded graduate teaching seminars, published more than a dozen scholarly articles on teaching and learning, and mentored generations of future sociology faculty. This illustrious career has modeled an exemplary dedication to both generating knowledge as an organizational sociologist and to working tirelessly to advance effective teaching. Professor Aldrich’s scholarship on teaching and learning and his lasting impact on graduate students who were transformed by his commitment to scholarly teaching attest to a continuing career most worthy of this award.
David Scott FitzGerald & David Cook-Martin, Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racial Immigration Policy in the Americas, Harvard University Press, 2014
This Award is presented for a single book or monograph published in the three preceding calendar years.
Michael Moore, Documentary Filmmaker
Michael Moore is a filmmaker, writer, and activist. His first documentary, Roger and Me, was about GM’s factory closings and its effects on Flint, MI residents. He won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, and Fahrenheit 9/11 won the top prize at Cannes. His body of film consistently shows a deep sociological understanding of how various American social institutions operate.
Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney
The winner of the 2016 Jessie Bernard Award is Raewyn Connell, Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney. Raewyn Connell is one of the most important theorists of gender relations in the world. Her theoretical work on gender has moved the field beyond the “sex roles” framework to a multilevel theory situated in a critical analysis of power. Her work on hegemonic masculinity is foundational to the study of gender and gender regimes. She has a longstanding commitment to social justice in education and has recently pushed gender studies in global directions, emphasizing the significance of standpoints in the global south.
Victor Rio, University of California, Santa Barbara
In the past decade, Professor Rio's research on juvenile justice, social control, and educational equity has placed him in conversation with multiple and diverse audiences, including high school students, gang-affiliated youth, protestors in Ferguson, MO, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Vice President Joe Biden, and other members of the Obama administration.
Professor Rios’s scholarly accomplishments are best represented by his award-winning book, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, which received multiple awards and honorable mentions from ASA sections. It has sold over 30,000 copies and is used in many introductory sociology and criminology courses in the U.S. and abroad. Punished originates in Professor Rios’s youth in Oakland, CA, in the 1980s and 90s where he was a gang member and a high school dropout. After redirecting his life from violence in his teens, Rios earned his BA at California State University-Hayward and a PhD at University of California-Berkeley. He returned to his hometown to study how inner city young Latino and African American boys develop their sense of self amidst crime and intense policing. Punished examines how these young men navigate what he terms the “youth control complex.” This is the combination of punitive policies in the young men’s schools, communities, and by law enforcement officials in a world where they are constantly policed and stigmatized. Professor Rios’ deep knowledge of his research subject uniquely positioned him to inform the US public about the origins of one of its most troubling and persistent social problems, institutionalized racism.
Punished was just the beginning of Professor Rios’s dialogue with the public. He was disappointed that Punished did not speak to the young men that lived the experience of hyper-criminalization, so he wrote another book just for them called, Street Life: Poverty, Gangs and a Ph.D. He travels with extra copies of this book to give to the “at promise” youth that he meets.
“At promise” youth is a term Rios introduced to invert the taken for granted understanding of the term “at risk youth.” He uses labelling theory to educate educators, policy makers, journalists and the very youth who are “at promise” but may not yet realize it. Professor Rios is committed to mentoring “at promise” youth. Before returning to graduate school, he worked as a Youth Programs Director in San Francisco, and he continues to work with local school districts to assist teachers and administrators in avoiding punitive justice and encouraging school discipline policy reforms. He organizes mentoring programs with gang-affiliated youth in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, teaching them how to conduct community action research and inspiring them to pursue higher education.
Professor Rios has made a powerful impact in a post-graduate career of just eleven years, and there is more to come. A forthcoming book, Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Culture of Control, is anticipated to deepen a national conversation about the school-to-prison pipeline. Rios is also featured in a new PBS documentary, entitled The Push Outs, in which he examines the roots of America’s “dropout” crisis.
Patricia Hill Collins, University of Maryland
Patricia Hill Collins’ development of Black Feminist Theory and her contribution, with Kimberle Crenshaw, to the concept of intersectionality have allowed the unification of disparate categories—race, gender, class, sexual orientation—to be considered together. In the spirit of DuBois, Dr. Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology, has reoriented the field of sociology toward complexity. Dr. Hill Collins’ work has impacted a multitude of other disciplines, transcending sociology through her impressive record of publication and work as an intellectual activist.