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04/23/91

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Joseph Berger wins Cooley-Mead Award for distinguished contributions to social psychology

STANFORD -- Joseph Berger, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor of sociology at Stanford, has been awarded the 1991 Cooley-Mead Award for his distinguished contributions to the intellectual and scientific advancement of social psychology.

The Cooley-Mead Award is the highest honor conferred by the Social Psychology section of the American Sociological Association to honor long-term contributions of a sociologist to the field of social psychology.

"I am very pleased to receive this award," said Berger, "particularly because it is an award from my peers. Also, I regard it to be not only an evaluation of my research but also the research of colleagues with whom I have worked."

The award will be made at the American Sociological convention in August and Berger will deliver a special address to the assembly.

One of Berger's principal research interests over many years has involved constructing theories of status characteristics and expectation states. These theories describe how individuals who differ in major social categories -- such as gender, race or ethnicity -- form expectations of each other, and how these expectations determine interactive behavior between individuals.

Contemporary sociological research in this area originated at Stanford with the work of Berger and Stanford researchers Morris Zelditch Jr., B.P. Cohen and E.G. Cohen. In the past 20 years, an extensive body of theoretical and empirical knowledge on status processes and on related social processes has emerged.

Berger also has conducted extensive research on social conceptions of justice and injustice, and on the growth of theoretical knowledge in sociology.

He holds a doctorate from Harvard and subsequently taught at Dartmouth College. He joined the Sociology Department of Stanford in 1959 and was named chairman of the department for three separate terms.

Berger is the instructor of a highly regarded Stanford undergraduate course titled "Status, Friendships and Social Pressures." He has published extensively in academic journals and has coauthored numerous books in the field.

Berger has three children (Adam, Rachel and Gideon) and lives on the Stanford campus with his wife, Theory.

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