2018 Marxist Section Election Results


-Allison Hurst, Oregon State University

Council Member

-Crystal Jackson, John Jay College-City University of New York

-Lorna Zukas, National University

2018 Marxist Section award winners

Marxist Sociology Lifetime Achievement Award

Erik Olin Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Lifetime Achievement Award committee chose Erik Olin Wright because of his contributions to Marxist Sociology as a scholar, teacher, and activist. As a past president of the American Sociological Association, Wright helped to advance the institutional position of Marxist Sociology within the ASA. While Wright’s 15 books and 100s of scholarly journal articles are impressive, his most remarkable impact on the field is felt through the 59 dissertations that he has directed over his career. His sustained commitment to Marxism makes Wright’s lifetime achievements worthy of recognition by our section.

The Lifetime Achievement Award Committee consisted of Michael Sukhov (independent scholar), David Arditi (University of Texas at Arlington) and Anita Waters (Denison University).

Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award

The award committee is pleased to announce that this year we have two winners of the Paul Sweezy Marxist Book Award.  They are:

Andy Clarno. 2017. Neoliberal Apartheid: Palestine/Israel and South Africa after 1994. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Andy is an associate professor of sociology and African American studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  As the title suggests, his book provides a critique of apartheid in both Israel and South Africa and argues that it has taken a new and deadly form—a combination of racial capitalism and colonialism.

Michael A. McCarthy. 2017. Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal. Cornell: Cornell University Press.

Michael is an assistant professor of sociology at Marquette University.  As Fred Block has noted, “McCarthy develops a powerful framework to explain the rise and fall of solidaristic pensions in the United States since World War II.”  Whereas early pension funds were controlled by unions for purposes of solidarity, e.g., housing for workers, capitalists feared the political power unions might gain through the control of these large funds and began to erode union’s ability to control them.  Hence, our 401k’s represent the final step in weakening worker control—the financialization of pensions by Wall Street.

A total of 15 works were submitted for consideration this year. The committee felt privileged to have the opportunity to review so many fine contributions.  We each learned a great deal and concluded that Marxist scholarship is alive and well.

The Sweezy Award Committee consisted of Jason Allen (North Carolina State University) Hans Bakker (University of Guelph) and Scott G. McNall (University of Montana).

Outstanding Marxist Sociology Article Award

The award committee is pleased to announce the winner of the Outstanding Marxist Sociology Article Award:

Gretchen Purser. 2016. “The Circle of Dispossession: Evicting the Urban Poor in Baltimore,” Critical Sociology 42,3.

Gretchen is an assistant professor of sociology at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.  Her article examines tenant evictions using participant observation on eviction crews in Baltimore.  The resultant analysis is that the homeless are used to enforce the cycle of poverty in evicting individuals in equally underclass situations.  This examination of the paradigm of “propertied citizenship” enables us to understand the depopulation of a major city and day labor as a form of enabling eviction toward marginally poor social classes.

The Marxist Sociology Article Award committee consisted of Lloyd Klein (LaGuardia Community College), Brendan McQuade (SUNY-Cortland) and Roxanne Gerbrandt (Austin Peay State University).

Albert Szymanski-T.R. Young/Critical Sociology Marxist Sociology Graduate Student Paper Award

The committee is pleased to announce the winners of the Albert Szymanski-T.R. Young/Critical Sociology Marxist Sociology Graduate Student Paper Award.  The award will be shared by:

Alvin Camba, “From Colonialism to Neoliberalism: Critical Reflections on Philippine Mining in the ‘Long Twentieth Century’,” The Extractive Industries and Society 2, no. 2 (2015): 287–301.

Alvin as graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. His paper provides a richly documented examination of mining regimes in the Philippines, its ecological dimension and its colonial and capitalist underpinnings. Putting forward a critical socio-ecological framework he shows the ways capitalist enterprises appropriated nature on the cheap to subsidize successive accumulation regimes. More importantly, drawing on Marx’s concept of value he also shows the contradictions and limits of this nature-appropriating strategy.

Mushahid Hussain, “Contesting, (Re)producing or Surviving Precarity? Debates on Precarious Work and Informal Labor Reexamined,” International Critical Thought 8, no. 1 (2017): 105–126.

Mushahid is a graduate student in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. In his paper he engages critically the scholarly uses of the notion of precarity. He argues that precarious labor should be examined in a world-historical perspective, beyond the standard notion of precarity as the successor regime to a somewhat romanticized Fordist labor regime. The uneven development of global north and global south, he argues, provide insights into the differentiated experiences of precarity in distinct regions of the world-system. Through this world-historical re-examination of informalization and precariousness, we can understand what is new and distinctive to the contemporary moment of increasing neoliberal undermining of labor’s conditions of reproduction.

This year we received 8 nominations for the award. The different subjects examined by the papers show the diverse fields in which graduate students are implementing Marxist analysis. The committee was impressed with the overall quality and creativity evidenced by the papers.

The Albert Szymanski-T.R. Young/Critical Sociology Marxist Sociology Graduate Student Paper Award committee for this year included Roberto Ortiz (Binghamton University), Sanjiv Gutpa (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Lauren Langman (Loyola University of Chicago).