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American Sociological Association
ASA Economic Sociology Section | Section Awards

Section Awards

The awards cycle is open! Below please find the description of each of our section awards, along with information about how to submit nominations. We urge you to nominate books, articles, and papers (in the case of graduate student work). It makes our process much more robust when we have a good, healthy selection of competitive materials from which to choose.

Ronald Burt Outstanding Student Paper Award

The Economic Sociology Section invites nominations for the 2013 Ronald Burt Outstanding Student Paper Award for a paper written by a graduate student in the field of economic sociology. Papers must have been authored by students who have not received their Ph.D. by March 1, 2013. Students are free to nominate their own work. Hard copies of the letter of nomination and the paper should be sent no later than March 1, 2013 to all three members of the Burt Award Committee (listed below). Please direct any inquiries to Chair Lynn Spillman (

Committee Members:
Lynn Spillman (
Department of Sociology
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Adam Goldstein
Department of Sociology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1980

Harland Prechel (
Department of Sociology
Texas A & M University
311 Academic Bldg.
College Station, TX 77843-4351

Granovetter Prize for Best Article

The Economic Sociology Section invites nominations for the 2013 Granovetter Prize for an outstanding article published in the field of economic sociology. Eligible articles must be published in the 2011/2012 calendar years. Authors are free to nominate their own work. A letter of nomination and three copies of the article (or an electronic copy) should be sent no later than March 1, 2013 to all three members of the Granovetter Award Committee. Please direct any inquiries to Chair Sarah Quinn (

Committee Members:
Sarah Quinn (
Department of Sociology
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3340

Ashley Mears (
Department of Sociology
Boston University
96-100 Cummington Street, Room 260
Boston, MA 02215

Ofer Sharone (
Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02142

Viviana Zelizer Award for Best Book

The Economic Sociology Section invites nominations for the 2013 Zelizer Award for an outstanding book published in the field of economic sociology. Eligible books must have a 2011 or 2012 publication date. Authors are welcome to nominate their own work. To nominate a book, please send a copy of the book to each of the three committee members listed below by February 1, 2013. Letters of nomination are not required. Please direct any inquiries to Chair Frank Dobbin (

Committee Members:
Frank Dobbin (
Department of Sociology
William James Hall, Sixth Floor
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Stephanie Mudge (
Department of Politics
Northumberland Road
Sheffield S10 2TU, United Kingdom

Fred Wherry (
Department of Sociology
Columbia University
Knox Hall, 606 West 122nd Street
MC 9649
New York, NY 10027

2011 Viviana Zelizer Award Winners Announced

The Viviana Zelizer Award Committee, consisting of Martin Ruef (chair), Rene Almeling, and Paul Mclean, is pleased to announce that the winners of this year's prize for best article are Balazs Vedres (Central European University) and David Stark (Columbia). Their paper on ""Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups" appeared last year in the American Journal of Sociology.

The Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention to Cheris Chan, University of Hong Kong, for her paper, "Invigorating the Content in Social Embeddedness: An Ethnography of Life Insurance Transactions in China", which appeared in AJS in 2009.

The awards will be made at the Section's Reception on Monday, August 22nd, at 6:00 P.M.

2011 Ronald S Burt Award Winner Announced

The Ronald S. Burt Graduate Paper Award Committee, chaired by Monica Prasad andwith Sandra Smith and Min Zhou as members, has just announced this year'swinners. He is Christopher Yenkey of Cornell University for his paper "BuildingMarkets from Ethnically Fractionalized Networks".

The Committee also granted Honorable Mention to Pablo Gaston, University ofCalifornia-Berkeley, for his paper, "The Industrial Determinants ofOrganizing".

The awards will be made at the Section's Reception on Monday, August 22nd, at6:00 P.M.

Place to be announced.


The Council has unanimously approved the creation of a new award for articles only, beginning in 2011-12. The award will be called the Mark Granovetter Prize in honor of one of the founders of the field.

In the past, the existing Viviana Zelizer Prize rotated year by year between books and articles. In the future, it will be reserved for books only.

Because the current year corresponds to articles, the Zelizer Prize will be given to an article for the last time in 2011. Thereafter, the Section will award both an article and a book prize every year. This will bring us in line with practice in most large ASA sections.


Viviana Zelizer Distinguished Scholarship Award
Best book published in economic sociology over the past two years.

Bankrupt examines formulation, dissemination and adoption of global bankruptcy laws. In the process, it does an exemplary job of examining the ways in which both global and local processes interact to produce variable and unanticipated outcomes.

One portion of the book focuses on the formulation of what eventually become globally accepted legal norms of bankruptcy. Here the emphasis is on showing that the emergence of these global norms is a contested and recursive process that requires substantial intermediation between global and local levels. As this process of intermediation goes through multiple iterations over time, the content and nature of these bankruptcy laws changes. This is no automatic adoption of a dominant U.S. or Western model, and it is not in any simple sense a dissemination of a rationalized global script.

A second portion of the book focuses on the implementation of global bankruptcy law in the wake of the 1997 Asian economic crisis. The authors use Korea, Indonesia and China as case studies to examine how local variations in implementation mea that even when global law is on the books, it can have very different outcomes when inserted into different situations and institutional conditions.

Bankrupt gives us a great deal of insight into the evolution of global bankruptcy law. At a more general level, it provides us with better tools with which to conceptualize the interaction between global and local interests and actors when carrying out any type of broad institutional project.

-- Bob Freeland, Committee chair

Co-winners of the Ronald Burt Outstanding Student Paper Award

On behalf of the Ron Burt Award Committee, comprised of myself, John-Paul Ferguson, and Tim Bartley -- I am pleased to announce the Ron Burt Award for Best Graduate Student Paper in the field of Economic Sociology. We received many outstanding papers this year, but two papers stood out for this committee,and we have designated them co-winners of the award.

The first of these papers by Michaela DeSoucey of Northwestern University appears in a recent issue of the American Sociological Review. This ambitious paper examines what the author calls "gastronationalism" to refer to nations' attempts to enforce exclusive claims to specialty food items such as feta cheese or foie gras in the international marketplace. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis, the paper tracks the prevalence of this phenomenon and explores its micro-dynamics, complexifying the picture of a homogenizing global market by examining an important countertendency. The paper brings to economic sociology an emphasis on meaning making in markets,and a view of market processes as deeply integrated with processes of state formation. The committee admired the paper especially for its originality and creativity -- I guarantee it's unlike any other paper you will read in the ASR this year. Our congratulations to Michaela.

Our second winning paper by Min Zhou of Harvard University has recently been published in Social Forces. Min's paper also deals with processes associated with globalization, attempting to adjudicate between competing understandings of the growth of global trade in the postwar period. Min's counterintuitive finding is that as global trade has increased, the factors that have traditionally depressed trade flows such as geographic distance, political difference, and cultural dissimilarity have not diminished in importance, and in some cases have actually intensified in their effects. The result, Min observes, is a global trading system that is highly fragmented along geographic and cultural lines. From a very different theoretical and methodological orientation, then, this paper complements Michaela's paper in challenging an overly homogenized view of global markets. The committee admired the paper for its conceptual clarity, methodological rigor, and comprehensive treatment of a complex issue. Congratulations, Min!

-- Greta Krippner, Committee chair