Viviana Zelizer to be honored by the American Sociological Association

The American Sociological Association (ASA) will honor Viviana Zelizer with the 2023 W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award and the 2023 Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, both given during the Association’s annual conference in August.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the Association’s highest honor, recognizes scholars who, “have shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline.”

In announcing the Zelizer’s receipt of the award, the ASA noted, “Prof. Zelizer has, over a career spanning more than four decades, made field-defining and generative contributions to various areas, including Economic Sociology, the Sociology of Childhood, the Sociology of Intimacy, and perhaps most fundamentally, the Sociology of Money…. Zelizer’s scholarship has not simply added to existing lines of inquiry in these fields; in all cases, Zelizer’s work constituted veritable intellectual revolutions, generating whole lines of scholarship where there were virtually none.”

In announcing the Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology, the committee hailed Zelizer for exemplifying, “how a distinguished career in the practice of sociology can make measurable impacts on public discussions and policy.”

Viviana Zelizer is the Lloyd Cotsen ’50 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University and the author of numerous books exploring the complex intersections of money and social forces. With Princeton University Press (PUP), these include Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy, which elucidates how shared cultural understandings and interpersonal relations shape everyday economic activities, and The Purchase of Intimacy, which explores the intersection of economic processes and our private lives.

In 2010, PUP published a new paperback edition of Zelizer’s Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children, a landmark account of how sentimental criteria came to determine children’s monetary worth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 2017, the Press released new editions, in paperback and ebook, of Zelizer’s award-winning The Social Meaning of Money: Pin Money, Paychecks, Poor Relief, and Other Currencies, an account of the many ways people have invented currencies, earmarked money in ways baffling to market theorists, incorporated funds into friendships and family relations, and generally prescribed previously unimaginable social meaning to money. Writing in GQ magazine, James Surowiecki praised the book as “one of the richest and most thoughtful investigations of [money’s] weirdness.”

In addition to her authored books, Zelizer is coeditor, along with Nina Bandelj and Frederick F. Wherry, of Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works. Published by PUP in 2017, with a paperback edition released in 2020, the collection offers a wide range of unexpected explanations for how social relations, emotions, moral concerns, and institutions shape how we create, mark, and use money.

Zelizer is a former member of Princeton University Press’s Board of Trustees (2012–2016) and the recipient of many honors, including election to the American Philosophical Society and American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She has also received awards from Princeton University for her work as a faculty advisor and mentor.

Princeton University Press extends our congratulations to Viviana Zelizer, a valued author and advisor, on these most recent, richly deserved recognitions of her field-defining work.