American Sociological Association

Dissertation Award

Selection Criteria and Eligibility

The ASA Dissertation Award honors the best PhD dissertation from among those submitted by advisers and mentors in the discipline. Dissertations from PhD recipients with degrees awarded in the current year will be eligible for consideration for the following year’s award. (e.g. PhD recipients with degrees awarded in the 2020 calendar year will be eligible for consideration for the 2021 ASA Dissertation Award.)

To be eligible for the ASA Dissertation Award, nominees' dissertations must be publicly available in Dissertation Abstracts International or a comparable outlet. Dissertations that are not available in this fashion will not be considered for the award.

Nomination Procedures

Nominations must be received from the member student’s adviser or the scholar most familiar with the student's research. Nominations should explain the precise nature and merits of the work. Nominations should include a digital copy of the dissertation (acceptable forms of digital copy, DOC, DOCX and PDF) attached in an email. 

If a dissertation is selected for the ASA Dissertation Award, as a condition of receiving the award, the author must agree to archiving the dissertation on the ASA website.

In addition to the nomination materials described above, complete and submit the required nomination form

All awardees must be current ASA members at the time of the award ceremony at the Annual Meeting.  One need not be a member to be nominated for an award. All nominators must be current members.  

Submit nominations for the 2021 award to by January 1, 2021

2021 Selection Committee Members

The selection committee is composed of twelve members, each serving a staggered three-year term. Members are appointed from among the Association membership by the Council based on the recommendation of the Committee on Committees.

Alyasah “Ali” Sewell, Chair
Karida Brown
Jessica Calarco
Kate Choi
Ivy Ken
Dustin Kidd
Ellis Monk
Stephanie Mudge
Irene Padavic
Yung-Yi Diana Pan 
Anju Paul
Patricia Warren


Past Recipients 

2020 Christina Cross, University of Michigan, for "The Color, Class, and Context of Family Structure and Its Association with Children's Educational Performance"
Honorable Mention: Christof Brandtner, "Cities in Action: City Climate Action, Civil Society, and the Organization of Cities"

2019 Anjuli N. Fahlberg, Tufts University, for “Activism Under Fire: Violence, Poverty, and Collective Action in Rio de Janeiro”
Honorable Mention: Josh Seim, “Working on the Poor: Ambulance Labor in the Polarized City.” 

2018 - Juliette Galonnier "Choosing Faith and Facing Race: Converting to Islam in France and the United States"

2017 - Karida Brown "Before they were Diamonds: The Intergenerational Migration of Kentucky's Coal Camp Blacks"
Honorable mention: Maude Pugliese,  “Socio-Economic Disparities in Portfolio Composition: Historical Causes and Consequences for Inequality in America” 

2016 -  Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz "Temporal Politics of the Future: National Latino Civil Rights Advocacy, Demographic Statistics, and the ‘Browning’ of America"

2015 - Christopher Michael Muller "Historical Origins of Racial Inequality in Incarceration in the United States"

2014 - Ya-Wen Lei "Uncovering the Roots of the Nationwide Counter-public Sphere in China”

2014 - Yan Long "Constructing Transnational Actorhood: The Emergence and Transformation of the AIDS Movement in China, 1989-2012"

2013 - Larissa Buchholz "The Global Rules of Art"

2013 - Daniel Menchik "The Practices of Medicine"

2012 - Kimberly Kay Hoang "New Economies of Sex and Intimacy in Vietnam"

2011 - Alice Goffman, "On the Run"
Honorable Mention: Laura Hamilton, "Strategies for Success: Parental Funding, College Achievement, and the Transition to Adulthood"
Joanna Robinson, "Contested Water: Anti-Water Privatization Movements in Canada and the United States"

2010 - G. Cristina Mora, "De Muchos, Uno: The Institutionalization of Latino Panethnicity, 1960-1990"
Honorable Mention: Sophia Krzys Acord, "Beyond the Code: Unpacking Tacit Knowledge and Embodied Cognition in the Practical Action of Curating Contemporary Art"

2009 - Claire Laurier Decoteau, "The Bio-Politics of HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa."

2008 - Helen Beckler Marrow, "Southern Becoming: Immigrant Incorporation and Race Relations in the Rural U.S. South."

2007 - Wendy Roth, "Caribbean Race and American Dreams: How Migration Shapes Dominicans' and Puerto Ricans' Racial Identities and Its Impact on Socioeconomic Mobility"

2006 - Jason Beckfield, "The Consequences of regional, Poiltical and Economic Integration for Inequality and the Welfare state in Western Europe," and Amy Hanser, "Counter Strategies: Service Work and the Production of Distinction in Urban China"

2005 - Ann Morning, "The Nature of Race: Teaching and Learning About Human Difference," and Amélie Quesnell-Vallée, "Pathways from Status Attainment to Adult Health: The Contribution of Health Insurance to Socioeconomic Inequities in Health in the U.S."

2004 - Brian Gifford, "States, Soldiers, and Social Welfare: Military Personnel and the Welfare State in the Advanced Industrial Democracies," and Greta Krippner, "The Fictitious Economy: Financialization, the State, and Contemporary Capitalism"

2003 - Devah Pager, "The Mark of a Criminal Record"

2002 - Kieran Healy, "Exchange in Blood and Organs"

2001 - Jeremy Freese, "What Should Sociology Do About Darwin?: Evaluating Some Potential Contributions of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology to Sociology"

2000 - Wan He, "Choice and Constraints: Explaining Chinese Americans' Low Fertility"

1999 - Sarah L. Babb, "The Evolution of Economic Expertise in a Developing Country: Mexican Economics, 1929-1998

1998 - Douglas Guthrie, "Strategy and Structure in Chinese Firms: Organizational Action and Institutional Change in Industrial Shanghai

1997 - Dalton Clark Conley, "Being Black, Living in the Red: Wealth and the Cycle of Racial Inequality"

1996 - Jeffrey Lee Manza, "Policy Experts and Political Change during the New Deal"

1995 - Wilma Dunaway, "The Incorporation of Southern Appalachia into the Capitalist World Economy, 1700-1860"

1994 - Steven Epstein, "Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge"

1993 - Ronen Shamir, "Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal"

1992 - Elizabeth Mitchell, "The Interpenetration of Class and Ethnicity in the Perpetuation of Conflict in Northern Ireland"

1991 - Rogers Brubaker, "Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany"

1990 - Vedat Milor, "A Comparative Study of Planning and Economic Development in Turkey and France: Bringing the State Back In"

1989 - Richard Biernacki, "The Cultural Construction of Labor: A Comparison of Late Nineteenth Century German and British Textile Mills"

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