Award Winning Authors at 2017 ASA Conference

Congratulations to our authors for the following illustrious award wins! We are so honored to partner with authors whose works foster a deeper understanding of our world and can change how people think, plan, and govern.

Roberto Gonzales, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America

  • 2016 C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • 2016 Pierre Bourdieu Award for the Best Book in Sociology of Education
  • 2017 Outstanding Book Award, American Educational Research Association
  • 2017 Latina and Latino Anthropologists Book Award, Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists
  • 2017 Herbert Jacob Book Prize, Law and Society Association

Roberto’s book was chosen as the 2016 Common Read at Tufts University. He continues to serve as champion to immigrant children and has recently discussed how DACA has affected their mental health and well-being.

Aldon Morris, The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

  • 2016 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, American Sociological Association
  • 2016 William Julius Wilson Award, Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
  • 2016 R.R. Hawkins Award, PROSE Award for Excellence
  • 2016 Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award, Association for Humanist Sociology

Aldon has inspired sociologists to reconsider the roots of sociology. He has spoken often about Du Bois’ legacy, from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter.

Joanna Dreby, Everyday Illegal: When Policies Undermine Immigrant Families

  • 2017 Distinguished Contribution to Research Award, Section for Latina/o Sociology, American Sociological Association

Joanna adamantly serves as a voice for children who experience an economic and emotional toll when their undocumented parents are deported.


Steve Viscelli, The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

  • 2017 Outstanding Book Award, Section for Labor and Labor Movements, American Sociological Association

Steve continues to shed light on one of the most grueling jobs in the United States while simultaneously dissecting the employment practices of the trucking industry.

Kelsy Burke, Christians under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet

  • 2017 Distinguished Book Award, Section on Sociology of Religion, American Sociological Association

Kelsy considers the contentious relationship between religion and sexuality.


Joachim Savelsberg, Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur, available as open access on Luminos

  • 2017 Albert J. Reiss Distinguished Scholarship Award, Section for Crime, Law, and Deviance, American Sociological Association
  • 2017 William J. Chambliss Lifetime Achievement Award, Law and Society Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems

Joachim is active in speaking out against genocide, including the Armenian genocide, and the role of international criminal justice in mass atrocities.

Mary Patrice Erdmans and Timothy Black, On Becoming a Teen Mom: Life Before Pregnancy

  • 2017 Distinguished Book Award, Section on Race, Gender and Class, American Sociological Association

Mary Patrice shares her thoughts on the how society views young mothers today.

See these books, as well as some of last year’s award-winning books, at Booth #709 at the Exhibit Hall. While there, request an exam copy for your course. And online, you can purchase a copy for your personal library—use Code 17E9971 to get a 40% discount. The discount code expires August 29, 2017.

Christians under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet

by Kelsy Burke, author of Christians under Covers: Evangelicals and Sexual Pleasure on the Internet

This guest post is published in advance of the American Sociological Association conference in Seattle. Check back every week for new posts through the end of the conference on August 23rd.

What are Christian sexuality websites and why did you want to study them?

Christian sexuality websites attempt to counter negative religious messages about sex—which are the messages we usually hear about in popular media and academic research—with ones that appear more sex-positive. Website creators and users believe that God created sexual intimacy to be enjoyed frequently and enthusiastically by straight, married, monogamous couples. There are bloggers who write about maneuvering various sexual positions and biblical passages they interpret to support sex practices like oral sex. There are message boards where members ask others for advice on a wide range of topics, like how to communicate an unusual sexual interest to a spouse or how to achieve orgasm. There are online stores that sell “marital enhancements,” like vibrators, lubricants, and fuzzy handcuffs.

These online spaces are endlessly surprising to me and as a sociologist, they offer important insight into sexuality and culture. Sex isn’t intuitive. Even though we often think of it as a private, personal and natural act, we actually come to understand and experience sex from implicit and explicit lessons taught by our social world. For website creators and users, Christian sexuality websites shape what sex is and should be. This online community is full of sexual possibilities and limits—encouraging sexual exploration and experimentation for those who are straight, married, and monogamous but condemning sex that takes place in any other context.

How can virtual ethnography add to our understanding of religion in the 21st century?

Certainly virtual ethnography offers a glimpse of religion that isn’t afforded to one studying church congregations. I interviewed housewives whose part-time online businesses sell sex toys and observed online discussions among evangelical men who enjoy wearing their wife’s undergarments, all in the name of Jesus. The stories found on Christian sexuality websites repeatedly challenge predominant evangelical sexual stereotypes.

These stories don’t just serve as provocative anecdotes, though. Collectively, they reveal the efforts of conservative Christianity to both maintain its distinction from broader secular culture while adapting to a changing world. Online dialogue allows laypeople to present sexuality in ways evangelical authors or preachers likely did not anticipate. One way to think about this is to imagine a city park. In the park, there are both paved sidewalks and what urban designers call “desire paths,” those trails that have been worn by people over time, determined by where they tend to walk. If the paved sidewalks are established religious authorities—the prescriptive rules found in Christian sex advice books or carefully drafted sermons—the desire paths are blogs, message boards, and online stores created and used by ordinary believers. At times, these paths run parallel to the sidewalks. At other times, they appear to go in an entirely different direction. Either way, they become a part of the landscape.

Religion and sexuality are often contentious issues in contemporary culture and politics. What does your book tell us about the relationship between the two?

One of the recurring themes in Christians under Covers is a contradictory religious logic about sexuality. Website creators and users overwhelmingly oppose sex outside of marriage and homosexuality, but they support a wide range of sex practices within monogamous, heterosexual marriages, like women’s pursuits of pleasure and even sex practices deemed “kinky” (like male anal play). Yet as Christian sexuality website users may push the boundaries of gender and sexual norms in their own marriages, they lose the ability to rely on those norms to justify heterosexuality as exclusively normal and natural. They write about sexuality in an era of legalized gay marriage in which monogamous, married lifestyles are not the sole territory of heterosexuals. Religion provides a foundation for heterosexuality, which has largely lost its other familiar attributes: gender, monogamy, and marriage. This may mean that religious conservatives will hold steadfast in their exclusive support for heterosexuality, or it may mean that they may gradually accept non-heterosexual practices and identities. Christian sexuality websites are one place where this future unfolds.

Kelsy Burke is Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Nebraska – Lincoln.