Asa Dissertation Award

Award Description

The Public Understanding of Sociology Award is given annually to an ASA member, 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. 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. The nominator must also include additionally three to four nomination letters within their nomination before sending the nomination to ASA. The nominator may also include the evidence supporting the claims made in the nomination letter(s). If these above requirements are not met the committee will not be able to accept the nomination.

Send nominations email to The deadline for the 2019 award is January 31, 2018.

Selection Committee Members


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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