American Sociological Association

Public Understanding of Sociology Award

Selection Criteria

The Public Understanding of Sociology Award is given annually to an ASA member or group of members, who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public. This may include, but is not limited to, any of the following: community work, public engagement, contributing to policy and practices, and/or translating sociological knowledge into broader publics. The award may recognize a contribution in the preceding year or for a longer career of such contributions. 

Nomination Procedures

Nominations should include the nominee's vita and a detailed one to two-page nomination statement that describes how the person's work has contributed to increasing the public understanding and knowledge of sociology. Additionally, the nominator must also include two to three letters of recommendation. The nominator may also include the evidence supporting the claims made in the nomination letter. 

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

Nominations can be considered for five years. However, nominations are not automatically renewed. Each year, nominators will be asked if they wish to renew their nominations for consideration. If a renewal is requested, nominators will be invited to submit updated information or additional materials and are required to respond again to the ethics question. 

Self-nominations are encouraged. 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 nine 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.

Elaine Draper, Chair
Silvia Dominguez
Marshall Ganz
Janice McCabe
Anna Mueller
Whitney Pirtle
Victor Ray
Grace Yukich

Past Recipients 

2020 - Tressie McMillan Cottom

2019 - Joe Feagin

2018 - Adia M. Harvey Wingfield

2017 - Victor Rios

2016 - Joel Best

2015 - Katherine Shelley Newman

2014 - Juliet B. Schor

2013 - Ruth Milkman

2012 - Douglas S. Massey

2011 - Barbara Risman

2010 - Valerie Jenness

           Doris Wilkinson

2009 - Jack Levin

2008 - David Segal

           Shirley Laska

2007 - Andrew Beveridge

2006 - Diane Vaughan

2005 - Pepper Schwartz

2004 - Jerome Scott and Walda Katz Fishman

2003 - Frances Fox Piven

2002 - No award presented

2001 - Alan Wolfe

2000 - Arlie Hochschild

1999 - Herbert J. Gans

1998 - William Julius Wilson

1997 - Charles Moskos

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