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Members Propose Resolution to Rename ASA Awards


In 2005 two members submitted a proposal suggesting that ASA rename two existing ASA Awards. Specifically, they proposed renaming the “ASA Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award” the “W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award,” and since the DuBois name already appears on an ASA award, they also proposed renaming the existing DuBois/ Frazier/Johnson Award to the Cox/Frazier/Johnson Award.

Review by Committee on Awards

That proposal was forwarded to the ASA Committee on Awards (COA) for review and recommendation. COA debated the proposal at length in light of existing Council policy (immediately below), ultimately voting to reject the proposed name changes.

Existing Award Policy

For nearly three decades it has been ASA policy that awards should be identified by the reason for the award, not the name of a person. This policy is based upon the principle that many individuals who have been pivotal to the discipline and the Association over the years are worthy of recognition. For more than 25 years Council has consistently opposed using the ASA Awards program as the way to recognize and honor such figures. To some degree the more than 90 section awards have assumed that role; there are now many section awards that honor contemporary as well as historical figures important to sociology. Recent proposals for named ASA awards have been rejected, and awards that were previously named have been given descriptive titles, including the Pitirim A. Sorokin Award, now the ASA Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, and the Samuel A. Stouffer Award, now the ASA Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award.

The Question Now Before the Voting Members

Following rejection by the COA, the two members collected signatures from the required 3 percent of the voting membership supporting their proposal and submitted it to ASA as a member initiated resolution. At the February 2006 meeting, members of the ASA Council considered the resolution. Council did not take a position on the proposed name change for these two awards, but referred the question to the membership along with an explanation of existing association policy regarding awards.

For more information on the issue of the proposed member resolution, see and click on “Elections.” See page "Background on Proposed Name Change for ASA’s Distinguished Scholarship Award" for background.