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 www.asanet.org and click on Elections. See page "Background on Proposed Name Change
for ASAs Distinguished Scholarship Award" for background.