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ASA Award Recipients Honored in San Francisco

The 2004 recipients of the major ASA awards were honored on August 15 at the Awards Ceremony during the Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Victor Nee, Chair of the ASA Committee on Awards, presided over the ceremony, which was attended by a standing-room-only crowd of Annual Meeting participants, friends, family, and colleagues of the award recipients.

The ASA awards are the highest honors that the Association confers, with selections made by award selection committees who work, in some cases, for many months to make their final selection. Information on the awards and the 2004 recipients is presented below; additional detail (where available) will be published on the ASA website ( See page 10 of this Footnotes issue for information on ASA Section award winners for 2004.

Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award

This annual award honors a scholar who has shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. The body of lifetime work may include theoretical and/or methodological contributions, particularly work that substantially reorients the field in general or in a particular subfield.

Arthur Stinchcombe, Northwestern University, received this award in 2004. After earning his PhD from the University of California-Berkeley in 1960, Stinchcombe went on to become one of the founding figures of what came to be known as the “theory construction movement.” While many people had criticized Talcott Parsons for proposing “grand theories” rather than theories of the “middle range,” it remained very difficult to formulate empirical tests of the big ideas from functionalist sociology or from conflict theory. Through powerful syntheses and empirical studies ranging over school conflicts, police practices, craft organization, industrial efficiency, farm management, offshore oil exploration, financial markets, and Caribbean slavery, Stinchcombe has both set the agenda and provided major theoretical directions for much of the last four decades’ work on organizational processes.

Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award

This award is presented annually for a single book or monograph published in the three preceding calendar years. The winner of this award gives the Sorokin Lecture at a meeting of a regional or state sociological association.

Mounira M. Charrad, University of Texas-Austin, received this award in 2004 for her publication States and Women’s Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, which offers a new framework to understand the history of non-western societies. Charrad examines the situation of women’s rights and family law in the three Maghribi states of unisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Linking the condition of women to the structure of kin-based political groups and objectives of family law, Charrad makes significant contributions to the sociological understanding of nation building and the status of women.

Jessie Bernard Award

The Jessie Bernard Award is given annually in recognition of a body of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society.

Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison, has enlarged the discipline’s understanding of gender issues through an impressive body of work on women. What distinguishes her career is both the breadth of themes in her scholarship and her efforts to have us attend to the intersection of gender, race, and class. Her contributions to expanding the inclusion of women in sociology go well beyond her scholarship. She champions the cause of women within and outside the discipline and around the globe; she mentors many newer gender scholars; she has served as an elected official in ASA and the Society for Women in Sociology; and received numerous awards for her scholarship and mentoring. Myra Marx Ferree is truly a scholar whose career embodies the spirit of Jessie Bernard.

DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award

This annual award honors the intellectual traditions of W.E.B. DuBois, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. The award is given for either a lifetime of research, teaching, and service to the community, or to an academic institution for its work in assisting the development of scholarly efforts in this tradition.

Over the last 50 years the Sociology Department at Washington State University has exemplified the spirit of the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award (D-J-F) by actively recruiting, mentoring, and producing outstanding African American scholars. In what remains an unmatched level of accomplishment, Washington State University’s Sociology Department has graduated more than 25 African American PhDs. In classic D-J-F tradition, an overwhelming number of these scholar/activists have gone on to profoundly shape race and inequality scholarship and have attained key leadership roles in non-profits, government agencies, and our regional and national professional organizations. The cumulative impact that this institution has had on shaping African American scholarship has been an absolutely monumental and a living tribute to the pioneering scholarship and social activism of W.E.B DuBois, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier.

Public Understanding of Sociology Award

This award is given annually to a person or persons who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public. The award may recognize a contribution in the preceding year or for a longer career of such contributions.

The 2004 ASA Public Understanding of Sociology Award is presented to Jerome Scott, Project South, and Walda Katz Fishman, Howard University, for their work on Project South and numerous other projects that have contributed to a public understanding of sociology among those who can most benefit from sociology’s empowering knowledge. Jerome Scott and Walda Katz Fishman have provided leadership for “Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide” since its inception in 1986. Project South is a national, community-based membership organization conducting popular political and economic education and action research for leadership development and movement building for fundamental social change.

Jerome Scott, Director of the Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, grew up in working class Detroit. He has spent his adult life participating in and educating about economic development, policy, and popular movements with a focus on those related to the southern United States and African Americans. His message is “Justice and equality is only for those who get organized and fight for it!” Walda Katz Fishman, Professor of Sociology, grew up in the south, the daughter of parents who were active in the civil rights movement, in civic and Jewish organizations, and in the Democratic Party. From an early age, Walda became aware of the inequalities of race, class, and gender. Sociology offered her the tools for understanding and practically transforming the world.

Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award

This award is given annually to honor outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and learning of sociology, which improve the quality of teaching. The award may recognize either a career contribution or a specific product.

Jeanne Ballantine, Wright State University, has dedicated her career to advancing our knowledge of, and elevating the status of teaching in, the discipline. This is evident in her work in the scholarship of teaching and learning and in the sociology of education. Wright State University, the North Central Sociological Association, and the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning have honored her for her contributions to teaching. She is a member of the ASA Department Resources Group, has served as the ASA Field Coordinator, and has directed Wright State University’s Center for Teaching. At the 2004 ASA Annual Meeting, she led a pre-conference workshop to help graduate students improve their teaching, showing her dedication to advancing teaching sociology and sharing that knowledge with the next generation of sociologists.

Dissertation Award

The Dissertation Award honors the best PhD dissertation for a calendar year from among those submitted by advisors and mentors in the discipline.

The award selection committee selected two recipients for the 2004 ASA Dissertation Award: Brian Gifford, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, for his States, Soldiers, and Social Welfare: Military Personnel and the Welfare State in the Advanced Industrial Democracies, and Greta Krippner, for her The Fictitious Economy: Financialization, the State, and Contemporary Capitalism.

Brian Gifford, a postdoctoral fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, worked on States, Soldiers, and Social Welfare at New York University; the chair of his dissertation committee was Dalton Conley. The committee members believe that this dissertation exemplifies careful research and lucid writing in comparative, historical, and political sociology. Looking across countries and within the United States, Gifford finds that countries that support large military forces create the smallest welfare states. Even controlling for economic and demographic variables, states with the most men and women serving in the military offer the fewest direct social welfare benefits. Gifford plans to use these findings to write a more general book on the development of the welfare state in the United States.

Greta Krippner, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles, wrote The Fictitious Economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the joint sponsorship of Jane Collins and Erik Olin Wright. The committee members believe that her work shows economic sociology at its concrete best, using quantitative and qualitative data to rewrite the history of the recent era of globalization, stock market booms and busts, and shifts in economic policy between presidential administrations. The Fictitious Economy leads to a more subtle view of the state’s role in economic policy-making, emphasizing the inconsistencies and oppositions among seemingly like-minded state actors as well as their ideological commitment to the discourse of the free market. Krippner plans to broaden her research and publish the dissertation as a book.