Honors & Awards

Joseph Berger

Joseph Berger

JOSEPH BERGER, sociology professor emeritus, has been honored with the 2007 W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award by the American Sociological Association for his lifetime contributions to the field. "Joseph Berger's long-standing investment in research on the causes and consequences of status hierarchies, and his continuing efforts to promote the growth of sociological theories, have paid enormous dividends to [the] discipline," the citation said. "From his earliest writings on status characteristics and expectation states through his statements on the importance of theoretical research programs to the advancement of the discipline, Berger has pioneered an approach to sociology characterized by rigorous scientific theorizing accompanied by systematic empirical research. His influence has spread beyond his intellectual home in social psychology to many other subfields of our discipline." His work also has influenced psychology, law and criminology, organizational behavior and education.

Berger, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and former chairman of the Department of Sociology, is most strongly identified with expectation states theory. The citation described this as "a set of interrelated theories that focus on the conditions and processes by which status characteristics affect evaluations of competence and performance expectations, the maintenance of those expectations, and the consequences of those expectations for interpersonal behaviors, such as assertion, deference and influence."