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Names Change for Two ASA Awards

W.E.B. DuBois Name Is Directly Related to Scholarship

As the result of a major petition drive, including signatures from two-thirds of the ASA Council and 13 ASA presidents and the necessary number of votes in the May 2006 ASA election, ASA announces the change in name of two of its major awards: the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award is now the W.E.B. DuBois Career Award for Distinguished Scholarship, and the DuBois-Johnson- Frazier Award is now the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award. The latter award is named after sociologists Oliver Cox, the first recipient of the award back in 1971, Charles Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. This is the second change to the ASA major award program in the past two years after the addition of the Excellence in Reporting of Social Issues Award.

Aldon Morris (Northwestern University) and Michael Schwartz (Stony Brook University), who wrote the petition for the changes in both award names, believed it was important to make connections between the history of the discipline and those who are practitioners today (see May/June 2006 Footnotes).

In addition, Morris and Schwartz said in their petition, “If the award is named after someone whose visibility extends well beyond the profession, it allows the profession to borrow this visibility, and to project our winners to an audience well beyond the profession. For sociology, we believe that this is particularly important, since we aspire as a profession to reach an audience beyond the confines of our discipline with insights that can hopefully make a difference in social life.”

Because of such needed publicity, Morris and Schwartz believed DuBois was a perfect fit for the Distinguished Scholarship Award. “DuBois was the consummate public intellectual. . . . He fought for the rights of people of color, not just in the United States, but also around the world. He fought for women’s rights, worker’s rights, Jewish freedom, a peaceful world without nuclear weapons, and for human dignity and democracy across the globe.” They continued, “. . . because of his singular role as public intellectual, his name would confer a more appropriate luster to the award than other, also worthy, choices.”

While the names of the two awards have changed, the criteria and purposes of these prestigious awards remain the same. For more information about this award and all ASA awards, see "Call for ASA Award Nominations" of this issue of Footnotes.

The changes in award names went into effect in September 2006 after ASA’s Annual Meeting in Montréal. Any members who would like to send in a nomination for these awards, or one of the other ASA major awards, can do so via email to To find out more about ASA’s major award program, visit our website at


“Congratulations” to the 2006 ASA Section Award Winners!

ASA is proud to announce the winners of the various awards given by ASA’s special interest sections. Not all 44 sections give awards, but the vast majority of sections have now reported their 2006 award winners to ASA, and they are listed on the ASA website under “Sections.” A hearty congratulations is extended to each of these outstanding scholars and ASA members!