Section Awards

Click the following link for the 2018 call for papers:

2017 Award Winners

Mary Douglas Award (Best Book)


Michaela DeSoucey, Contested Tastes. Foie Gras and the Politics of Food. (2017, Princeton University Press)


Nicole Gonzalez van Cleve, Crook County. Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court. (2016, Stanford University Press)

Clifford Geertz Award (Best Article)

Winner: Daniel Winchester for “A Hunger for God: Embodied Metaphor as Cultural Cognition in Action.” (2016, in Social Forces 95(2): 585-606)

Honorable mention: Chana Teeger, “‘Both Sides of the Story’: History Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” (2015, in American Sociological Review 80(6): 1175-1200)

Richard A. Peterson Award (Best Student Paper)

Winner: Matthew Clair (Harvard University), “Resources, Navigation, and Punishment in the Criminal Courts”

Honorable mention: Mary Beth Fallin Hunzaker (Duke University), “Cultural Sentiments and Schema-Consistency Bias in Information Transmission”

Previous Award Winners

*work in progress*

Mary Douglas Award (Best Book)

  • 2016: Lauren Rivera, How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Princeton University Press
  • 2015: Fatma Müge Göçek, Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009. Oxford University Press
  • 2014: Virag Molnar, Building the State: Architecture, Politics, and State formation in Postwar Central Europe. Routledge 2013
  • 2013: Lynette Spillman, Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations. University of Chicago Press
  • 2012: Claudio Benzecry, The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession. University of Chicago Press
  • 2011, co-winner:  Teresa Gowan, Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco. University of Minnesota Press
  • 2011, co-winner: David Garland, Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition. Harvard University Press.
  • 2010, co-winner: Marion Fourcade, Economists and Societies: Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s. Princeton University Press
  • 2010, co-winner: Allison Pugh, Parents, Children and Consumer Culture. University of California Press

Clifford Geertz Award (Best Article)

  • 2017: Daniel Winchester, “A Hunger for God: Embodied Metaphor as Cultural Cognition in Action,” 2016. Social Forces 95(2): 585-606.
  • 2016, co-winner: Paul Lichterman and Nina Eliasoph, “Civic Action,”  2014. American Journal of Sociology, 120(3):798-863
  • 2016, co-winner: Ruth Braunstein, Brad R. Fulton, and Richard L. Wood, “The Role of Bridging Cultural Practices in Racially and Socioeconomically Diverse Civic Organizations” 2014. American Sociological Review, 79(4), 705-725
  • 2015: Matthew Norton, “Classification and Coercion: The Destruction of Piracy in the English Maritime System,” 2014. American Journal of Sociology, 119 (6): 1537-1575
  • 2014, co-winner: Iddo Tavory and Nina Eliasoph, “Coordinating Futures: Toward a Theory of Anticipation,” 2014. American Journal of Sociology, 118(4), 2013, pp. 908-942.
  • 2014, co-winner: Iddo Tavory and Nina Eliasoph, “Coordinating Futures: Toward a Theory of Anticipation,” 2013. American Journal of Sociology, 118(4):908-942.
  • 2014, co-winner: Arnout van de Rijt, Eran Shor, Charles Ward and Steven Skienaa, “Only 15 Minutes? The Social Stratification of Fame in Printed Media,” 2013. American Sociological Review, 78(2):266–289.
  • 2013: Lauren Rivera, “Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms,” 2012. American Sociological Review 77(6):

Richard A. Peterson Award (Best Student Paper)
**Changed from the Suzanne Langer award in 2011.**

  • 2016:
  • 2015: Monica C. Bell, “Situational Trust: How Disadvantaged Mothers Reconceive Legal Cynicism.”
  • 2014, co-winner: Hassan El Menyawi, “The Great Reversal”
  • 2014, co-winner: Laura K. Nelson, “Enduring Cultural/Cognitive Structures: Political Logics as Cultural ‘Memory.’”
  • 2013, co-winner: Charles Seguin, “The Mathematics of Superstars: Two Theories of Cultural Consumption”
  • 2013, co-winner: Phillipa K. Chong, “Legitimate Judgment in Art, The Scientific World Reversed?: Critical Distance in Evaluation.”
  • 2012: Christina Simko,  “Rhetorics of Suffering: September 11 Commemorations as Theodicy.”
  • 2011: Avi Astor, “Memory, Community, and Opposition to Mosques: The Case of Badalona.” Theory and Society.
  • 2010:  Iddo Tavory, “Everyday Morality–Street Danger and Moral Density in a Jewish Orthodox Neighborhood”
  • 2009: Anna Paretskaya, “The Soviet Communist Party and the Other Spirit of Capitalism.”
  • 2008: Gabriel Abend, “Two Main Problems in the Sociology of Morality.” in Theory and Society, 37(2):87-125.
  • 2007: Hiro Saito, “Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma.” in Sociological Theory, 24(4):353-376.
  • 2006, co-winner: Jason Matt, “The Cultural pragmatics of Event-ness: The Clinton/Lewinsky Affair”
  • 2006, co-winner: Kim Babon, “Composition: Coherence, and Attachment: The Critical Role of Context in Reception”
  • 2005: Gregoire Mallard, “Communities of Interpreters and Their Technical Instruments,” American Sociological Review. 70:992-1010. 
  • 2004: Virag Molnar, “Cultural Politics and Modernist Architecture: The Tulip Debate in Post-War Hungary”
  • 2003: Karen Danna Lynch, “The Good Mother: Ideologies of Motherhood 1950-1998”
  • 2002: Genevieve Zubrzycki, “We the Polish Nation: Ethnic and Civic Visions of Nationhood in Post-Communist Constitutional Debates”
  • 2001, co-winner: Jamie Mullaney,  “Like A Virgin: Temptation, Resistance, and the Construction of Identities Based on ‘Not Doings’”
  • 2001, co-winner: Shyon Baumann, “Intellectualizing Discourse and Art World Development: The Case of Film in the United States”
  • 2000: Gabriella Fried, “On Remembering and Silencing the Past: The Adult Children of the Disappeared of Argentina and Uruguay in Comparative Perspective”
  • 1999: Kari Lerum, “Twelve-Step Feminism Makes Sex Workers Sick: How the State and the Recovery Movement Turn Radical Women into ‘Useless Citizens’”
  • 1998: Kristen Purcell, “A League of Their Own: Mental Leveling and the Creation of Social Comparability in Sport”
  • 1997: Wayne Brekhus, “Social Marking and the Mental Coloring of Identity: Sexual Identity Construction and Maintenance in the United States”
  • 1996: Ronald N. Jacobs, “Civil Society and Crisis: Culture, Discourse, and the Rodney King Beating”
  • 1995, co-winner: Bethany Bryson, “Anything but Heavy Metal: Identity and Exclusion in Musical Taste”
  • 1995, co-winner: Stephen Ellingson, ”Understanding the Dialectic of Discourse and Collective Action: Public Debate and Rioting in Ante-bellum Cincinnati”
  • 1994: Matthew P. Lawson,  “Free to Choose: Submission in the Lives of Catholic Charismatics”
  • 1993: Timothy Dowd, “The Song Remains the Same? The Musical Diversity and Industry Context of Number One Songs, 1955-1988”
  • 1992: Christiana Nippert-Eng, [unknown]
  • 1991: Ann Bowler, [unknown]
  • 1990: Ken Dauber, [unknown]