American Sociological Association

2018 ASA Award Recipients

The ASA awards are conferred on sociologists for outstanding scholarship, teaching, practice, and advancing the public understanding of sociology. The ASA proudly announces the recipients of the awards for 2018. Congratulations to the following honorees:

Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award

Joe R. Feagin, Texas A&M University

The Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award honors the intellectual traditions and contributions of Oliver Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. The award is given either to a sociologist for 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.

Joe Feagin is the 2018 recipient of the ASA Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award. Feagin continues and mirrors the legacy of Oliver Cromwell Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier of civically engaged academic scholarship in the service of social justice. Through his research, teaching, and service across the profession with international acclaim, Joe Feagin expands and represents the important disciplinary tradition of critical racial analysis of inequality, race, ethnicity and power. As both public sociologist and social justice advocate, he brings path-breaking analysis and theory to bear on the problems and issues that divide society, particularly race and political power, to forge collective pathways to a more diverse and just world.

Joe Feagin earned his AB in History/Philosophy from Baylor University (1960), BD in Social Ethics (1962) and PhD in sociology from Harvard University (1966). Currently, he is the Ella C. McFadden Professor in Sociology and Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University. Over his illustrious career, Feagin has also served on the faculty of the University of Florida, University of Texas-Austin, and the University of California-Riverside. Indeed, his public sociology is matched by his career-long commitment to public schools of higher education.

For more than a half century, Joe Feagin has created a career built on dynamic mentorship and scholarship that has changed the many fields of sociology. Time and again, Feagin's scholarship reveals the continued influence of anti-Blackness, White supremacy, and capitalism on the lives and politics of oppressed and marginalized communities. Always attentive to the how Whiteness is historically, politically, and socially constructed as an apparatus of power and disenfranchisement, Feagin's engaging scholarship illustrates the importance and ability of sociology to influence and impact public policy, science, and democracy.

Feagin is author of more than 70 books, 200 articles, reviews and chapters, including the classic works Subsidizing the Poor: A Boston Housing Experiment (1972), Discrimination American Style: Institutional Racism and Sexism (2001), White Racism: The Basics (1995), The White Racial Frame (2010) and How Black Built America (2016). He is also the author of Racial and Ethnic Relations, a go-to text for classes and educators the world over, first printed in 1978 and now in its ninth edition. In addition, his phenomenal work as a mentor, advisor, and teacher highlight his deep commitment to the discipline and service, rendering him an invaluable and undeniable scholar par excellence.

The Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award Committee unanimously and emphatically commends Professor Feagin for his path-breaking intellectual agenda and uncompromising commitment to social and racial justice and sociology. World-renowned and a pioneering sociologist and continued ally in movements of social justice, Feagin and his work are a testament to his vision of the consequential role of sociology and critical race scholarship to a more equitable, freer, and just society. His research, mentorship, and activism continue the legacy of this award’s namesakes and serves as an example to us all.

Dissertation Award

Juliette Galonnier, Northwestern University, for “Choosing Faith and Facing Race: Converting to Islam in France and the United States”

The 2018 ASA Best Dissertation Award goes to Juliette Galonnier for “Choosing Faith and Facing Race: Converting to Islam in France and the United States,” completed at Northwestern University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (SciencesPo). Dr. Galonnier’s dissertation is a path-breaking examination of religious conversion based on more than three years of comparative ethnographic fieldwork with white convert Muslim communities in Chicago and Paris, and in-depth interviews with white and non-white converts in the United States and France. Investigating the interpretative processes arising from the mixing of antithetical racial and religious categories, she uncovers the normative assumptions behind and important interactions between these defining social statuses in each locale. The committee was struck by the rich and evocative portrait painted by these exceptionally detailed data, demonstrating Galonnier’s masterful skills and sensitivity as an ethnographer. Galonnier’s outstanding dissertation makes a distinct contribution to our discipline.


Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology

Kristin Anderson Moore, Child Trends

This award honors outstanding contributions to sociological practice. The award recognizes work that has facilitated or served as a model for the work of others, work that has significantly advanced the utility of one or more specialty areas in sociology and, by so doing, has elevated the professional status or public image of the field as whole, or work that has been honored or widely recognized outside the discipline for its significant impacts, particularly in advancing human welfare.

Kristin Anderson Moore has devoted her career to the scientific study of and programmatic efforts to improve the well-being of families. She is Senior Director of Youth Development and a Senior Scholar at Child Trends, a think tank founded specifically to study children. She joined Child Trends in 1983 when it was a small organization. Moore’s persuasive abilities, academic credentials, and research skills led Child Trends to expand, turning into a major player in research on children and families in the Washington area. Moore became Research Director in 1991, Executive Director in 1992, and President in 1997. Child Trends currently has more than 50 researchers and support staff. As head of the Youth Development research area, she works to expand information on effective programs, implementation approaches, and rigorous evaluations, as well as working to share knowledge with practitioners, funders, journalists, and policymakers.

Moore has devoted much of her career to one important and thankless area: improving national data collection efforts. She has been tireless and persistent in participating on advisory groups that advise data collectors on how and what questions to ask about child well-being. She has served as an advisor on teenage pregnancy and family issues for the National Survey of Family Growth, the National Survey of Families and Households, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, the Data Archive on Adolescent Pregnancy and Pregnancy Prevention, and the Technical Review Group for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort panel. In the early 1990s, Moore worked closely with the National Commission on Children, headed by Jay Rockefeller. In 1990 and 1991, Moore assisted the National Commission on Children to design, implement, and analyze two national surveys. Moore also directed, with James Peterson, the third wave of the National Survey of Children.

Moore’s contributions to understanding children and families in the context of public policy are essential. Without her we would not have child indicators, indicators of fathers and fathering, and questions about children and parenting on most large-scale national surveys. As befits an organization called Child Trends, Moore is tireless in working to rationalize indicators of child well-being. The volume of indicators, “America’s Children,” was first created by Child Trends in 1997 and in subsequent years was produced by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.

Moore has been widely recognized for her accomplishments. In 1991, Moore received the Presidential Award from the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting. She was named Researcher of the Year by the Healthy Teen Network in 2010. Moore received Hammer Awards in 1998 and 1999 from Vice President Gore for work on a major public-private initiative to improve data on fathers and for work on the report, “America’s Children.” Moore received the 1999 Foundation for Child Development Centennial Award for linking research on children’s development to policies that serve the public interest. Also, the Awards Committee for the Society for Adolescent Medicine selected her as the 2002 SAM Visiting Professor in Adolescent Research. She was awarded the Distinguished Contribution Award from the ASA Sociology of Children and Youth Section (2005) and the William Foote Whyte Award from the ASA Sociological Practice and Public Sociology Section (2009). In 2013 the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) conferred its prestigious Fellow status on Kristin Moore.

Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award

Daniel F. Chambliss, Hamilton College

This award honors outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and learning of sociology, which improve the quality of teaching.

Daniel F. Chambliss, the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, is the 2018 recipient of the ASA Distinguished Teaching Award. Chambliss earned his BA degree in sociology at New College, and his MA and PhD degrees in sociology at Yale University. His dissertation on “The Bounds of Responsibility: A Study in the Social Psychology of Nursing Ethics” was awarded the Medical Sociology Dissertation Prize of the American Sociological Association.

At Hamilton College since 1981, Chambliss is recognized for his outstanding contributions to teaching, as well as for his scholarship on teaching and learning. He was the 1997-2007 Sidney Wertimer Professor of Sociology, which was a position awarded for exceptional mentoring of students and fellow faculty. He also was the 2002-2005 Christian A. Johnson “Excellence in Teaching” Professor of Sociology, a position awarded for exceptional commitment to, and interest in, undergraduate education. Presently, he is the inaugural holder of the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology. This position was created to recognize a member of the faculty who has distinguished himself/herself as an educator, as evidenced by innovative teaching techniques, and demonstrating a commitment to and concern for students beyond the classroom setting.  

Chambliss has authored many influential publications related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Recently, his well-received book, How College Works (co-authored with Christopher G. Takacs), was awarded the 2015 Contributions to Scholarship Prize from the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning and the 2014 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize from Harvard University Press as the outstanding book of the year on education and society. Its appeal and influence went well beyond our discipline in that it became one of the “Top 10 Books on Teaching” listed in the Chronicle of Higher Education, made its way onto the College Admission Counselors’ “Summer Reading List” identified by the Washington Post, as well as an education reading list from Bill Gates published by Inside Higher Education. Currently, How College Works is being translated into Korean.

Chambliss’s methodological contributions to student learning are also significant and long-lasting. His co-authored book with Russell Schutt, Making Sense of the Social World: Methods of Investigation (2003), is now in its fifth edition in the U.S., with its first Chinese edition published in 2015.

Chambliss’s contributions to teaching and learning extend to giving hundreds of talks to a range of academic and community-based audiences, and he has appeared on more than 100 radio and television programs. He has also served as a manuscript reviewer for major presses (University of Chicago, University of California Press, and Harvard University Press, McGraw-Hill) and sociology journals. His service record to our discipline, and the educational process more broadly, is too extensive to list but, as one of his nominators put it, his influence over the years has been “transformative.”

Chambliss remains active, presenting and working on professional journal and popular press articles on academic administration, assessment issues, and methodological problems in higher education research.

The nominators praised Chambliss for his distinguished and far-reaching contributions to teaching, and the scholarship related to teaching, over 40 years and counting. They commend him for his mastery of being able to make complex sociological concepts accessible across the spectrum of student learning as well as to non-sociological audiences. As one of the members of the Award Committee for the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching noted, “in bringing a sociological lens to higher education itself, Chambliss’s work uses a unique perspective of our discipline to inspire innovation far beyond sociology departments. His career profoundly exemplifies distinguished contributions to teaching.”

Distinguished Scholarly Book Award

Lauren B. Edelman, University of California-Berkeley, for Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights

This annual award is given for the best single book or monograph published in the two preceding calendar years.

Lauren Edelman’s Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights provides a thorough, comprehensive, and well-integrated analysis of the fate of equal employment opportunity law and its realization since the adoption of the relevant statutes during the Civil Rights Era. Based on her own extensive research and with numerous collaborators, she develops the idea that the processes and personnel associated with the implementation of EEO law have led to what she calls “legal endogeneity.” By this she means that law is not only the external force that it is often portrayed as being; rather, law is also an “upward” force, resulting in the perception by courts and judges that laws are being carried out if organizations say they are implementing them. The actual outcomes regarding the objectives of civil rights law may be ignored because the courts tend to side with the employers, as long as they say they are doing what they are supposed to do.

The analysis surveys the activities of a range of actors involved in the (non-)realization of equal employment opportunity, such as corporate managers, human relations personnel, diversity officers, employment discrimination lawyers, judges, and others. She reminds us of the powerful fact that remedies for violations of EEO law depend first and foremost on the “mobilization of rights” by those wronged, and that there are many, many obstacles to the legal remedies for employment discrimination making it overwhelming to those wronged to even make the attempt. There are personal reasons to avoid suing, such as seeming like a troublemaker in the workplace, as well as reasons of cost, as plaintiffs are typically not as well-heeled as the companies they wish to challenge. Should a plaintiff undergo the rigors of a suit, Edelman shows that their chances are not especially good. They must overcome corporations’ proclivity to move for summary judgment (i.e., decisions based on prima facie evidence, such as a company’s stated EEO policies) in order to avoid trials, where plaintiffs tend to do better. Because of “legal endogeneity,” those who suffer employment discrimination are frequently deprived of the opportunity to find a remedy for their victimization.

Edelman’s book is exceptionally well constructed, demonstrating the ways in which each of the elements of the equal employment opportunity enforcement structure tends to undermine the achievement of the laws’ goals. In what may well prove a controversial perspective, Edelman argues that the recent vogue for diversity has contributed to the unsatisfactory realization of EEO objectives because it has permitted employers to expand the concept willy-nilly and claim that it is achieving EEO purposes. She argues for a return to the original understanding of civil rights law as prohibiting discrimination in employment against groups singled out for protection and affirmative action based on their race, creed, color, national origin, and, later, sex (gender). But she is generally under no illusions that the anti-civil rights bent of EEO law and its implementation are likely to change for the better in the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless, Edelman has achieved a rarity in sociological scholarship: she has written a compelling, readable analysis of a problem of far-reaching scope. While the book may not reach that notional “general audience” that many sociologists seem to want to address, it is reasonable to think that the book will influence scholars of law and society as well as judges and other important legal decisionmakers. The book reflects a lifetime of meticulous scholarship illuminating the challenges facing the real-world implementation of the idealistic vision underlying equal employment opportunity law.

We believe that Working Law will be regarded as a landmark in the sociology of law as well as a book that makes a genuine difference in the way EEO cases are treated in our flawed and anti-egalitarian legal system. We are therefore pleased to award the book the 2018 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award.

Public Understanding of Sociology Award

Adia M. Harvey Wingfield, Washington University in St. Louis

This award honors a person or persons who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public.

Adia Harvey Wingfield is Professor of Sociology at Washington University at St. Louis. Wingfield is a distinguished scholar and the author of four books and over two dozen articles. Her publications have won numerous awards, including distinguished book and article awards from sections of the ASA. Her book No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work received the Distinguished Book Award from the ASA Race, Gender, and Class Section.  

She is an engaged scholar who has served in elected office as President and Vice President of SWS, ASA Council Member at-Large, and Chair of the ASA section on Race, Gender, and Class. Adia’s body of scholarship, primarily focusing on racial and gendered inequalities in professional occupations, has made profound contributions on our understanding of race and gender at work, the need for diversity, and the ways that sociologists can provide solutions. She has written articles using an intersectional feminist lens that focuses on a wide variety of topics such as: workplace inequality, segregation and discrimination, class differences between marriage partners; the ongoing relevance of race and race dialogue in the contemporary era, gender inequality in the corporate world; neighborhood segregation and its relevance; the Black Lives Matter movement; and the emotional work that takes a toll on women in the labor force.

She is lauded by colleagues for her contributions as a public voice that has “consistently engaged public audiences and that bridges academic and popular dialogue in a manner that lays bare the centrality of sociology and sociological research on important social and policy issues.” In this vein, her work has had an impact on a wider non-academic audience as a contributing writer for The Atlantic, Work in Progress, Fortune, and Inside Higher Ed. In addition, she is quoted widely on NPR and in papers including the Christian Science Monitor, Pacific Standard, the Guardian, the New York Times, and The Chicago Sun Times among others.  

In addition to being able to communicate sociological research to mass audiences, Adia has devoted substantial attention to the contributions of other researchers whose works have had important implications for contemporary social issues.

W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award

Elijah Anderson, Yale University

The W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award honors scholars who have 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. The award selection committee looks for work that substantially reorients the field in general or in a particular subfield.

The 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award recognizes the monumental scholarship of Professor Elijah Anderson. The W.E.B DuBois Award honors scholars who show outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work contribute to the advancement of the discipline. The body of a lifetime of work includes theoretical and/or methodological contributions that substantially reorient the field of study. Professor Elijah Anderson shines in all these areas of W.E.B. DuBois Award.  

Anderson has produced a prolific body of scholarship that crosses over academic disciplines and that appears in media outlets beyond academic ones. The citation of his work makes major academic waves. Further, his service in leadership and scholarly activities and his dedication to teaching and mentoring students demonstrate an amazing commitment to the profession. He is an unselfish and transformative mentor who is kind and giving. He has many professional recognitions: ASA Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Robin M. Williams Jr. Distinguished Lecturer Award, the Graven Award from Wartburg College, induction to the South Bend Hall of fame, and others. His books Code of the Street won the Komarovsky Award and Streetwise won ASA’s Robert E. Park Award. Anderson’s accomplishments are more spectacular when one places them in work environments that have at times been hostile and racist to him and his work.

His cumulative scholarship on understanding racial hierarchies and inequalities in urban spaces are “unparalleled” (Charles Gallagher) and commonly mandatory readings for all students. His ethnography captures the complexity of racial identities and interactions in racially oppressive spaces. His scholarly insights make his books trans-disciplinary and “instant classics” (Eduardo Bonilla-Silva), such as A Place on the Corner; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community; Code of the Street; The Cosmopolitan Canopy; and others. He illuminates the nature and depth of racial inequalities, and as a public sociologist he moves forward a humanistic agenda that seeks to reduce racial oppression in America. He is described as “the most powerful sociological mind of a generation” (Alice Goffman).

Anderson is one of the most recognized ethnographers of urban spaces and the Black experience. For over four decades he has documented how race operates on a daily basis, and demonstrates how African Americans negotiate and renegotiate their existence in public spaces, street, work, and so on. Anderson masterfully earns the trust of participants, and, with his “thick description” and accessible language, he helps comprehend Black lives from their own lived experiences. These standpoints are grounded in the histories and systemic abuses that shape the Black experience. His theoretical concepts emerge from the field of study and guide many other scholars across disciplines and specializations, e.g., code of the street, the N moment, the white space, the cosmopolitan canopy, and so on.

Historically, the hope and push for social justice comes from those at margins of society, who experience oppression first-hand and understand it as intolerable. Emancipatory knowledge production, however, suffers in so-called liberal spaces of academia, where policing, gatekeeping, and border enforcing exclude and devalue those who historically have been imagined as not belonging to the nation. Anderson not only survived in these spaces but produced an impactful amount of distinguished scholarship, mentored and empowered future scholars, and re-oriented sociology from being one-sided quantitative to a more balanced and qualitative study of people struggling to live with dignity, equity, and humanity under a very unfair playing field of social stratification. Professor Elijah Anderson exemplifies the spirit of W.E.B. DuBois Lifetime Distinguished Career of Scholarship Award.