Who does the best job conveying a public understanding of culture? The nominations for the ASA “Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues” are due in a month (Jan 31, 2012) and I’d like it if we had a few suggestions of folks on the culture side of things.

John Sayles? Sasha Frere-Jones? Philip Glass? Kembrew McLeod?

Think creatively about what might count, and send in your nomination. And if you want a co-signatory, or someone to help with the writing, let me know. Here’s the award statement:

Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues

The Award for Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues honors individuals for their promotion of sociological findings and a broader vision of sociology. The ASA would like to recognize the contributions of those who have been especially effective in disseminating sociological perspectives and research. The ASA is cognizant of the fact that there are many professionals (e.g., journalists, filmmakers) whose job it is to translate and interpret a wide range of information, including sociological perspectives and research, for the general public. This award is intended to promote a broader vision of sociology, and to gain public support for the sociological discipline.

A nominee must have made noteworthy contributions through any medium of public communication to increase the understanding of sociology. He or she cannot be a professional sociologist and membership in ASA is therefore not required.

Nomination letters should include an account of the nominee’s contributions to furthering the public appreciation of sociology and/or ways in which the nominee makes use of sociological research. The committee will consider the cumulative (rather than merely episodic) nature of the nominee’s work and the breadth of audiences addressed (impact). Strong nomination packets would include the nomination letter, supporting materials (such as copies of newspaper columns, magazine articles and blogs; links to videos), and demonstrate broad support for the nominee. Nominators are encouraged to re-nominate individuals who were not selected for the award in any given year.  Send nominating letters to: American Sociological Association, c/o Governance, 1430 K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 383-9005; fax: (202) 638-0882; e-mail The deadline for nominations for the award is January 31, 2012.


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