American Sociological Association

Distinguished Scholarly Book Award


Created in 1979, this award was initially called the ASA Award for a Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship. On September 6, 1986, Council voted to rename the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award Selection Committee to the “Committee for the Award for a Distinguished Scholarly Publication.” In August 2005, the name of the award was changed from Scholarly “Publication” to Scholarly “Book.”

Selection Criteria and Eligibility

The ASA Distinguished Scholarly Book Award is presented annually to an ASA member for the best single book published in the two calendar years preceding the year the book is nominated. However, because of the transition to a new selection timeline and no nominations being accepted in 2020, books published in the preceding three years will be considered for the 2021 and 2022 award cycles rather than the usual two years. So for the 2021 award, nominations will be due on January 1, 2021, for books with copyright years of 2018, 2019, or 2020.

Nomination Procedures 

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

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.

Name Begin End Position
Denise A. Segura 1/1/2019 12/31/2019 Chair
Lingxin Hao 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Tukufu Zuberi 1/15/2019 12/31/2019 Member
John B. Diamond 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Ruth Milkman 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Saskia Sassen 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Carolina Bank Munoz 1/1/2019 12/31/2021 Member
Marc Dixon 1/1/2019 12/31/2021 Member
Victor M. Rios 1/1/2019 12/31/2021 Member


2019 - Nicole Gonzalez Van CleveCrook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court (Stanford University Press, 2016)

2018 - Lauren B. EdelmanWorking Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

2017 - David Cook-Martin and David Scott FitzGeraldCulling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racial Immigration Policy in the Americas
(Harvard University Press, 2014)

2016 - Sanyu A. Mojola, Love, Money, and HIV: Becoming a Modern African Woman in the Age of AIDS (University of California Press, 2014).

2015 - Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton, Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2013).

2014 - Monica Prasad, The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty (Harvard University Press, 2012) Honorable Mention: Claudio E. Benzecry, The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

2014 - Robert  J. Sampson, Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect (University of Chicago Press, 20120). Honorable Mention: Claudio E. Benzecray, The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

2013 - Greta R. Krippner, Capitalizing on Crisis: the Political Origins of the Rise of Finance (Harvard University Press). Honorable Mention: David Garland, Peculiar Institution: America's Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).

2012 - Frank Dobbin, Inventing in Equal Opportunity (Princeton University Press); and Chandra Mukerji, Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology) [Princeton University Press]

2011 - Randall Collins, Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory (Princeton University Press); and Marion Fourcade, Economists and Societies: Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain and France, 1890s to 1990s (Princeton University Press)

2010 - Philip Kasinitz, John H. Mollenkopf, Mary C. Waters, Jennifer Holdaway, Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008)

2009 - Steven Epstein, Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research (University of Chicago Press, 2007)

2008 - Robert Courtney Smith, Mexican New York: Transnational Lives of New Immigrants (University of California Press, 2006)

2007 - Patricia Hill Collins, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism (Routlege, 2005) and Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

2006 - Edward Telles, Race in Another America:The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil (Princeton University Press, 2004) and Vivek Chibber, Honorable Mention: Locked in Place : State-Building and Late Industrialization in India (Princeton University Press, 2003)

2005 - Beverly J. Silver, Forces of Labor: Workers' Movements and Globalization since 1870 (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

2004 - Mounira M. Charrad, States and Women’s Rights: The Making of Postcolonial Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (University of California Press, 2001)

2003 - Richard Lachmann, Capitalists in Spite of Themselves: Elite Conflict and Economic Transitions in Early Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2000)

2002 - Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut, Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation (University of California Press and Russell Sage Foundation, 2001)

2001 - William P. Bridges and Robert L. Nelson, Legalizing Gender Inequality: Courts, Markets, and Unequal Pay for Women in America (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

2000 - Charles Tilly, Durable Inequality (University of California Press, 1998)

1999 - Randal Collins, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 1998)

1998 - John Markoff, Abolition of Feudalism: Peasants, Lords and Legislators in the French Revolution (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996) Honorable Mention: Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein, Making Ends Meet (Russell Sage Foundation, 1997); Sharon Hays, The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood (Yale University Press, 1996); Erik Olin Wright, Class Counts (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

1997 - Melvin L. Oliver and Thomas M. Shapiro, Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality (Routledge, 1995) Honorable Mention: Diane Vaughan, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA (University of Chicago Press, 1996)

1996 - Murray Milner, Jr., Status and Sacredness: A General Theory of Status Relations and an Analysis of Indian Culture (Oxford University Press, 1994)

1995 - Nancy A. Denton and Douglas S. Massey, American Apartheid (Harvard University Press, 1993); and James B. McKee, Sociology and the Race Problem (University of Illinois Press, 1993)

1994 - Mitchell Duneier, Slim's Table (University of Chicago Press, 1992)

1993 - Jack Goldstone, Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (University of California Press, 1990)

1992 - James S. Coleman, Foundations of Social Theory (Harvard University Press, 1990)

1991 - Andrew Abbott, The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor (University of Chicago Press, 1988)

1990 - John R. Logan and Harvey L. Molotch, Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place (University of California Press, 1987) Special Recognition to Kim Scheppele, Legal Secrets: Equality and Efficiency in the Common Law (University of Chicago Press, 1988)

1989 - Charles Tilly, The Contentious French (Harvard University Press, 1986)

1988 - Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 1 (Cambridge University Press, 1986)

1987 - Andrew G. Walder, Communist Neo-Traditionalism: Work and Authority in Chinese Industry (University of California Press, 1986)

1986 - Aldon D. Morris, Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change (Free Press, 1984); and Lenore J. Weitzman, The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in American (Free Press, 1985)

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