American Sociological Association

Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology


Established in 1985, the Council approved the award on the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on an Award for a Career of Distinguished Contributions to the Application of Sociological Knowledge (see August 1985 Footnotes page 23).  The committee sought to establish an award to recognize work that has facilitated, or served as a model for, the work of others engaged in sociological practice.  The Committee further recommended that the ASA award also recognize work that has significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in sociology, and work that has been honored or widely recognized outside the discipline.

Selection Criteria and Eligibility

This award honors ASA members’ outstanding contributions to sociological practice. The award may recognize work that has facilitated or served as a model for the work of others; work that has significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in sociology and, by so doing, has elevated the professional status or public image of the field as a whole; or work that has been honored or widely recognized outside the discipline for its significant impacts, particularly in advancing human welfare. The recipient of this award will have spent at least a decade of full-time work involving research, administrative, or operational responsibilities as a member of or consultant to private or public organizations, agencies, or associations, or as a solo practitioner.

Nomination Procedures

Nominations should include a one to two-page statement, the vita of the nominee, and three to four letters of support. 

In addition to the nomination materials described above, complete and submit the required nomination form available for download as a Word file here. Send complete nomination packets via email to with the name of the award and nominee in the subject line. The deadline for nominations for the 2020 award is January 31, 2019.

Selection Committee Members

The selection committee is composed of nine members, each serving a staggered three-year term. Members are appointed from among the Association membership by the Council based on the recommendation of the Committee on Committees.

Name Begin End Position
Douglas S. Massey 1/1/2018 12/31/2018 Chair
Elizabeth A. Armstrong 1/1/2018 12/31/2018 Member
Juliana M Blome 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Lynne M. Casper 1/1/2016 12/31/2018 Member
Rola El-Husseini 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Elisa Facio 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Sara Goldrick-Rab 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Eleanor Lyon 1/1/2016 12/31/2018 Member
Edward Murguia 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Christopher R. Tamborini 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member

Recipients of Distinguished Career ASA Major Award for the Practice of Sociology

2018 - Kristin Anderson Moore

2017Heidi Hartmann

2016 - Hugh Mehan

2015 - Eleanor Lyon

2014 - Harry Perlstadt

2013 - Donald Light

2012 - Judith Blau

2011 - Henry J. Steadman

2010 - Ross Koppel & Jan Fritz (co-winners)

2009 - S.M. Miller

2008 - John McKinlay

2007 - Robert Dentler

2006 - Arthur Shostak

2005 - William Kornblum

2004 - no recipient selected

2003 - Lewis Yablonsky

2002 - Lloyd H. Rogler

2001 - David Mechanic

2000 - Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward

1999 - Peter H. Rossi

1998 - Leonard I. Pearlin

1997 - Irwin Deutscher

1996 - Albert E. Gollin

1995 - Albert D. Biderman

1994 - Nelson Foote

1993 - Grace M. Barnes

1992 - Elliot Liebow and Matilda White Riley

1991 - Charles G. Gomillion

1990 - Elizabeth Briant Lee and Alfred McClung Lee

1989 - David L. Sills

1988 - Paul C. Glick

1987 - John W. Riley

1986 - Conrad Taeuber

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