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Originally proposed by former President Herbert J. Gans as an ASA Sociology in the Media Award, the award was officially established by Council on August 23, 1995 as the Award for Public Understanding of Sociology. A call for nominations was circulated in 1995 and 1996 and the first award was presented at the Annual Meeting in August 1997.
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.
A new timeline for reviewing nominations and selecting winners will be implemented beginning in 2021. To transition to the new timeline, no nominations will be accepted in 2020.
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.
|Michael O. Emerson||1/1/2019||12/31/2019||Chair|
|Julie A. Dowling||1/1/2019||12/31/2019||Member|
|William Darity, Jr.||1/1/2018||12/31/2020||Member|
|Elaine Alma Draper||1/1/2019||12/31/2021||Member|
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
2009 - Jack Levin
2007 - Andrew Beveridge
2006 - Diane Vaughan
2005 - Pepper Schwartz
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