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May 21, 2003

Contexts Is Among Best New Magazines of 2002

According to Library Journal and the Association of American Publishers

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Sociological Association (ASA) and the University of California Press (UC Press) are pleased to announce that Library Journal has named Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds as one of the ten “Best New Magazines of 2002.” Contexts was selected from among 745 magazines launched last year.
Contexts, published quarterly, is a unique product of contemporary scholarship. Its articles, discoveries, and photo essays blend thought-provoking social science research with accessibility. Since its inception in the winter of 2002, the magazine has quickly garnered attention from the publishing community. In February of this year, the Association of American Publishers’ (AAP) Professional & Scholarly Publishing Division designated Contexts “The Best Journal in the Social Sciences for 2002.” The New York City-based AAP, a national organization of commercial publishers, gave its coveted award to stellar magazines reviewed by its Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division.
The Library Journal recognition, which follows on the heels of the AAP award, further attests to the magazine's overall quality and promise for growth. In response to the recent accolades, ASA Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman remarked, "The conferring of these two prestigious awards in such rapid succession so early in this magazine's life is thrilling. And, the fact that they come from two complementary communities at both ends of the knowledge dissemination process—publishers and publication users—is more than encouraging. We are absolutely delighted to be recognized by both the publishing and professional librarian communities for providing a valuable service to the reading public, students, and scholars alike."
In keeping with the goal that Contexts should be made available to general audience readers and anyone interested in current events and society, Claude Fischer, UC Berkeley professor of sociology and the magazine’s executive editor, said, “Recognition by Library Journal tells us that we are reaching the wider audience we have sought—and doing so with the same quality and energy of other successful, general-interest magazines.”
UC Press Journals Division Director, Rebecca Simon, commented further, “Considering Library Journal’s discerning recommendations for new media and expansive readership, we’re honored to join its line-up of innovative magazines for 2002. We hope that such important recognition will encourage more individuals and libraries to discover what Contexts has to offer.”
With a grand purpose and careful execution by its founding association, publisher, and editorial staff, Contexts has taken shape as a "crossover" publication, in which the latest scholarship is combined with engaging, accessible content. According to Library Journal, “This publication achieves its ambitious goal of delivering sociological research to both social scientists and the general reader.
With fascinating articles on contemporary sociological issues, Contexts . . . takes an accessible yet academic approach to its topics, offering the average reader a look at research without the jargon. Helpful sidebars with quick facts, the inclusion of personal essays, and book reviews are appealing."
Launched in February 2002, the magazine has a fast-growing international subscriber base. Further information on Contexts can be found at The website includes full-text sample articles, tables of contents, press releases about specific articles, and subscription information.

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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

The University of California Press produces 32 journals annually, including Film Quarterly, Social Problems, and the award-winning Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. As one of the oldest scholarly publishers in the United States, the Press commands a distinctive repertoire of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences, with concentrations in sociology, history, cultural studies, musicology, law, and area studies. For additional information, visit
Library Journal, founded in 1876 and published 20 times annually, serves over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and personnel in public, academic, and special libraries. Library Journal combines news, features, and commentary with analyses of pubic policy, technology, and management developments. In addition, approximately 7500 evaluative reviews written by librarians help readers make purchasing decisions for new media.
Media interested in setting up an interview with ASA representatives regarding Contexts, should contact Johanna Ebner in the ASA Public Information Office (202-383-9005 x332, To request a review copy of Contexts (ISSN: 1536-5042), contact Darcy Dapra of UC Press at (510) 642-9736 or e-mail