It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the Marxist Sociology Section Awards!
The Winner of the Albert Szymanski-T.R. Young Marxist Sociology Graduate Student Paper is David B, Feldman, for his article, “Beyond the Border Spectacle: Global Capital, Migrant Labor, and the Specter of Liminal Legality,” published in Critical Sociology (2019). This article a timely and original approach to understanding exploitation of migrant workers within the US political, legal, and economic system. Its critical analysis—informed my Marxist State theory—offers new insights into the regulation of a precarious pool of labor and its relationship to sectors of capital and the national security apparatus within the US. It concludes with compelling insights into how demands for migrant and immigrant rights can be embedded within ongoing, grassroots movements for liberation and equity. Honorable Mention goes to Brian Hennigan, for “From Madonna to Marx: Towards a Re-theorisation of Homelessness” (Antipode, 2018). This article offers a rethinking of homelessness, shifting the focus from the more popular approaches that focus on consumption and/or aesthetics as they pertain to the presence of homeless populations, instead directing us towards their relationship to labor and value creation. As such, the author moves beyond past debates on “lumpen” populations and the need for charity, urging us to consider the conditions necessary for organizing the homeless within a larger working class movement.”
Thanks to our awards committee, Jason Mueller, Lorna Zukas, and James Parisot
The Winner of the Outstanding Marxist Sociology Article Award is “The Du Bois Nexus: Intersectionality, Political Economy, and Environmental Injustice in the Peruvian Guano Trade in the 1800s.,” by Brett Clark, Daniel Auerbach, and Karen Xuan Zhang, Environmental Sociology, 2018 4(1): 54-66 . This article makes an important contribution in bridging Marxist sociology with the dynamics of race, class, nation, gender, sexuality and ecological relationships using the writings of W.E.B DuBois. It provides a thoughtful historical case study combining DuBois’ mature theory with Marx’s metabolic rift analysis to further explain the international guano trade in the 1800s. It is a clear, and innovative historical case study, using novel data. The article is notable in pushing the canon forward in important ways
Thanks to our awards committee, Bab Brents, Crystal Jackson, Michael Sukhov, and Camilla Alvarez
There are two winners of the Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award this year. They are Brendan McQuade, assistant professor at the University of Southern Maine, and Intan Suwandi, who will begin her career this fall at Illinois State University. Please offer them your congratulations. Their works were chosen out of eleven eligible recipients and both books are based on extensive fieldwork.
A brief note about each:
Brendan McQuade. Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision. Oakland: University of California Press, 2019. The U.S. Government has poured billions into a network of local, regional, and national intelligence-gathering fusion centers. Most of us have never heard of them. Personal information is vacuumed up with the intent of preventing “all crimes, all threats, and all hazards.” As McQuade demonstrates, the tracking and monitoring of individuals enabled by the institutionalization of intelligence fusion centers allows for a punitive form of decarceration, reducing prison populations without fully addressing the underlying social problems that lead to mass incarceration. Now, intelligence fusion links state and private powers in a new pacification project for the administration of surplus populations beyond incarceration, expanding the “boundaries” of a prison to the entire society.
Intan Suwandi. Value Chains: The New Economic Imperialism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2019. (The book was also winner of the Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy Memorial Award, which honors the founders of the Monthly Review.) Imperialism is alive and well, as Suwandi demonstrates in exploring the opaque world of multinational corporations and their value chains. Value chains are not just about the transfer of material goods from one area of the world to another; they are about the draining of surplus from the Global South through exploitative mechanisms. She carefully demonstrates how little power indigenous suppliers have in negotiating with the powerful multinationals with which they do business. Through means such as flexible production, multinationals constantly pressure their suppliers to push down production costs; in the end, workers in the Global South—whose labor creates the surplus value—are the ones who bear the burden.
Thanks to our awards committee, Scott McNall, Gretchen Purser, Hans Bakker, and Michael Franscisconi
The Winner of the Marxist Sociology Praxis Award is Sam Friedman
For 2020, the Marxist Sociology Praxis Award recognizes Dr. Sam R. Friedman’s outstanding work for the integration of theory and practice. Dr. Friedman’s work embodies the spirit of Marxist sociological praxis. For over forty years, he has applied Marxist theory to the various relevant struggles and issues, including the civil rights, anti-war, labor, and occupy movements. His Marxist sociology has also been translated into praxis in his work on the infectious disease epidemiology of AIDS and HIV and their transmission by intravenous drug use in marginalized ethno-racial minorities. His life and work illustrate the ideas of Marxist sociological praxis in its full sense, both through theoretical application and activism for social change.
Thanks to our awards committee, Vince Montes, Ilaria Riccioni, and Jeff Halley
The Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award is Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy’s work illuminated the impact Marxism can have on our understanding of industrialism, postcolonialism, empire, and capitalism across places and times. He has been influential in developing English-speaking sociological interest in the work of Bourdieu, the ethnography of work, and the study of post-socialist transitions in Eastern Europe. He consistently made great strides in scientific Marxism, which has made it more accepted and easier for work in the Marxist tradition to gain acceptance by the discipline at large. His conceptualization and promotion of public sociology, including in his role as President of the American Sociological Association, raised the profile of the discipline and challenged all of us to bring sociology out of the confines of the university and into our communities.
Thanks to our awards committee, Leontina Hormel, Kristin Plys, Charles Thrope, and Beth Redbird