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ASA Centennial Will Honor Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues

In keeping with Past-President Michael Burawoy’s 2004 focus on the importance of directing sociological research outward from the “academy” toward its application to societal problems and issues (i.e., public sociology) is the creation of ASA’s newest award, the Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues. The first award will be presented during the 2005 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Burawoy proposed this award, which was approved by the ASA Council.

The award is intended to recognize an individual (e.g., writer, producer, editor) for consistent work across time or for a body of work that highlights for the broader public the importance of sociological issues and research. Its purpose is not to recognize a single published piece but rather is to recognize a portfolio. Thus nominators should provide “an account of the nominee’s major contributions to furthering the public appreciation of sociology....” See the complete call for nominations below.

Award Nominee Solicitation

The American Sociological Association is pleased to announce the launch of an award for excellence in the reporting of social issues. This award honors individuals for their promotion of sociological findings and a broader vision of sociology.  

Purpose: The ASA would like to recognize the contributions of those who have been especially effective in disseminating sociological perspectives and research. The ASA is cognizant of the fact that there are many professionals (e.g., journalists, filmmakers) whose job it is to translate and interpret a wide range of information, including sociological perspectives and research, for the general public. This award is intended to promote a broader vision of sociology, and to gain public support for the sociological discipline.

Rules of Eligibility: A nominee must have made noteworthy contributions through any medium of public communication to increase the understanding of sociology. He or she cannot be a professional sociologist and membership in ASA is therefore not required.

Award Selection Committee: The Award Selection Committee, composed of nine member sociologists, invites nominations from both sociologists as well as media personnel themselves. Nominations should be submitted to the American Sociological Association via e-mail to or by mail to the ASA at 1307 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the first award, to be given at the 2005 Annual Meeting, is November 30, 2004. In subsequent years, nominations will be due by June 1 each year.

Nominations: Nomination should include an account of the nominee’s major contributions to furthering the public appreciation of sociology; examples (e.g., video, printed matter) may be included with the nomination.

For further information, see