The ASA presented its nine awards for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and practice at the 2017 ASA Annual Meeting in Montréal. Award recipients are selected by committees appointed by the ASA Council based on recommendations of the Committee on Committees. The diverse group of recipients included five women, three of whom are women of color. Read further for details about the awards and awardees. Click here for photos from the ceremony and scroll down to watch the video of the ceremony.
W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award
Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland)
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.
Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology, is the recipient of the 2017 W.E.B. Dubois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award. Hill Collins’ development of Black Feminist Theory and her contribution with Kimberle Crenshaw to the concept of intersectionality have allowed the unification of disparate categories – race, gender, class, sexual orientation - to be considered together. In the spirit of DuBois, Dr. Hill Collins has reoriented the field of sociology towards complexity. Her work has impacted a multitude of other disciplines, transcending sociology through her impressive record of publications and work as an intellectual activist.
In her address, Dr. Collins mentioned the sociologist after whom the award was named as an inspiration for her own work saying she "read William E.B. Du Bois as an exemplar of what a sociological imagination can do if we decide to place our intellectual work in service to social justice... Those of us who engage in this challenging work do not expect to be thanked, and most often we are not. We recognize that doing the intellectual work that fosters social justice requires creating the conditions that make this work possible. So today I stand here to thank you for your contributions to this larger endeavor."
Distinguished Book Award
David Cook-Martin (Grinnell College) and David Scott FitzGerald (University of California-San Diego) for Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas
This award is given for a single book or monograph published in the three preceding calendar years. David Scott Fitzgerald and David Cook-Martin analyze the long history of race-based immigration policies in Culling the Masses, a monumental work spanning 22 countries in the Western Hemisphere over the period 1790-2010. They show that democratic regimes were quicker to impose and slower to relax Euro-centric immigration policies than were their authoritarian counterparts in Latin America. In this sense, 2017 is far from unique. Their book also reviews the global advance of anti-racism after the end of the Second World War. Democracies have embraced racist exclusionary policies, but democracies can and have rejected racism in the past, and, hopefully, will do so again.
Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology
Heidi Hartmann (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
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. Heidi Hartmann’s pioneering research opened new intellectual space for the exploration of gender inequality. Dr. Hartmann’s ability to engage with the political establishment set her apart, at an early date, from feminist scholars situated exclusively in academia. Her work with the National Research Council, which included coauthoring Women, Work, and Wages: Equal Pay for Jobs of Equal Value, helped shape national and state policies supporting pay equity. Hartmann went on to found, fund-raise for, and become the guiding star of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Hartmann has maintained forceful intellectual engagement with academic researchers. It is truly hard to imagine where gender studies in the U.S. today would be without her.
Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award
Howard Aldrich (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
This award is given to honor outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and learning of sociology that improve the quality of teaching. The award may recognize a career contribution or a specific product. For over four decades, Howard Aldrich has taught well-regarded graduate teaching seminars, published more than a dozen scholarly articles on teaching and learning, and mentored generations of future sociology faculty. His illustrious career has modeled an exemplary dedication to both generating knowledge as an organizational sociologist and to working tirelessly to advance effective teaching. Professor Aldrich’s scholarship on teaching and learning and his lasting impact on graduate students who were transformed by his commitment to scholarly teaching attest to a continuing career most worthy of this award.
Mary Romero (Arizona State University)
This award honors the intellectual tradition of Oliver Cox, Charles S. Johnson, and E. Franklin Frazier. The award is given for either 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. Mary Romero extends and reflects the legacy of Oliver Cromwell Cox, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier in the relentless use of academic scholarship in service of social justice. Through her research, teaching, and service across the profession and the globe, Dr. Romero embodies the tradition of critical racial analysis of inequality, race, ethnicity and citizenship. As a public sociologist and proponent of social justice, she brings rigorous analysis and theory to bear on the problems gripping modern society, and she communicates the insights of her analysis through both her work and actions to a professional and lay audience.
Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues Award
Michael Moore (Documentary Filmmaker)
The Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues honors individuals for their promotion of sociological findings and a broader vision of sociology. Michael Moore is a filmmaker, writer, and activist. He was elected to the Davison school board when he was 18, at the time the youngest person to hold an elected position. His first documentary, Roger and Me, was about GM’s factory closings and its effects on Flint, Michigan residents, a film all-too-relevant today. He won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, and Fahrenheit 9/11 won the top prize at Cannes. His body of film consistently shows a deep sociological understanding of how various American social institutions operate.
Jessie Bernard Award
Raewyn Connell (University of Sydney)
The Jessie Bernard Award is given in recognition of a body of scholarly work that has enlarged the horizons of sociology to encompass fully the role of women in society. The winner of the 2017 Jessie Bernard Award is Raewyn Connell, Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney. Dr. Connell is one of the most important theorists of gender relations in the world. Her theoretical work on gender has moved the field beyond the “sex roles” framework to a multilevel theory situated in a critical analysis of power. Her work on hegemonic masculinity is foundational to the study of gender and gender regimes. She has a longstanding commitment to social justice in education and has recently pushed gender studies in global directions, emphasizing the significance of standpoints in the global south..
Public Understanding of Sociology Award
Victor Rios (University of California-Santa Barbara)
This award is given to a person or persons who have made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public. The award may recognize a contribution in the preceding year or for a longer career of such contributions. Victor Rios received the 2017 Public Understanding of Sociology Award for his significant contributions to expanding the public understanding of sociology. Dr. Rios is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In the past decade, his research on juvenile justice, social control, and educational equity has placed him in conversation with multiple and diverse audiences, including high school students, gang-affiliated youth, protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Vice President Joe Biden, as well as members of the Obama administration.
Karida Brown (Brown University)
This award honors the dissertation for a calendar year from among those submitted by advisors and mentors in the discipline. The Dissertation Award went to Karida Brown for, “Before they were Diamonds: The Intergenerational Migration of Kentucky’s Coal Camp Blacks,” completed at Brown University. In the tradition of Du Bois, Brown’s interpretive social history considers what it means to be Black in America. Brown focuses on an African American community that was displaced from Alabama to Kentucky to the urban Northeast during the Great Migration. She employs a sophisticated historical analysis and engages theories of race, diaspora and cultural trauma to uncover black migrant subjectivities in the context of desegregation and civil rights. Dr. Brown’s outstanding dissertation makes a unique contribution to our field.