Section Awards

2020 Call for Award Nominations


2019 Award Winners

Mary Douglas Award (Best Book)

  • Karida Brown, University of California, Los Angeles, for: Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia.  University of North Carolina Press.
  • Committee members: Clayton Childress (co-chair), Bin Xu (co-chair), Kelsy Burke, Eva Illouz, Richard Ocejo.

Clifford Geertz Award (Best Article)

Richard A. Peterson Award (Best Student Paper)

  • Winner: Jacqui Frost, University of Minnesota, for “The Meaning of Uncertainty: Navigating States of Certainty and Uncertainty in Nonreligious Narratives”
  • Honorable Mention: Yağmur Karakaya, University of Minnesota, for “The Conquest of Hearts: the Central Role of Ottoman Nostalgia within Contemporary Turkish Populism” American Journal of Cultural Sociology, (forthcoming).
  • Committee members: Anya Degenshein (chair), Alison Gerber, Fiona Greenland, Svetlana Kharchenkova, Hannah Wohl.

2018 Award Winners

Mary Douglas Award (Best Book)


Clayton Childress Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel.
(Princeton, 2017)


Bin Xu The Politics of Compassion: The Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China. (Stanford, 2017)

Clifford Geertz Award (Best Article)

Joosse, Paul. 2017. “Max Weber’s Disciples: Theorizing the Charismatic Aristocracy.” Sociological Theory 35(4): 334-358.

Honorable mention: Frye, Margaret. 2017. “Cultural Meanings and the Aggregation of Actions: The Case of Sex and Schooling in Malawi.” American Sociological Review 82(5): 945-976

Richard A. Peterson Award (Best Student Paper)

Winner: Anya Degenshein, Northwestern University “Strategies of Valuation: Repertoires of Worth at the Financial Margins”

Honorable mention: Lily Liang,  Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison “No Room for Respectability: Boundary Work in Interaction at a Shanghai Rental”

Honorable mention: Talia Shiff,  Northwestern University “Evaluating the Case: Encounters of Schematic Accordance and Discordance in Asylum Adjudications.”

Previous Award Winners

*work in progress*

Mary Douglas Award (Best Book)

  • 2017, co-winner: Michaela DeSoucey, Contested Tastes. Foie Gras and the Politics of Food. (2017, Princeton University Press)
  • 2017, co-winner: Nicole Gonzalez van Cleve, Crook County. Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court. (2016, Stanford University Press)
  • 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.
  • 2017, 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)
  • 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,” 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.**

  • 2017: Matthew Clair (Harvard University), “Resources, Navigation, and Punishment in the Criminal Courts”
  • 2017, honorable mention: Mary Beth Fallin Hunzaker (Duke University), “Cultural Sentiments and Schema-Consistency Bias in Information Transmission”
  • 2016: co-winner: Holly Campeau (University of Toronto)  “‘The Right Way, the
    Wrong Way, and the Blueville Way’: How Cultural Match Matters for
    Standardization in the Police Organization.”
  • 2016: co-winner: Hannah Wohl (Northwestern University) “Community Sense: The
    Cohesive Power of Aesthetic Judgment”
  • 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]