STANFORD—The American Sociological Association announced recently that Hoover Institution senior fellow Joseph Berger and professor emeritus of the sociology department of Stanford University is the recipient of the 2007 W.E.B. DuBois Award. This is the highest award granted by the association in recognition of a career of scholarly achievements in sociology.
Berger is a founder of “Expectation States Theory,” a theoretical research program originally developed at Stanford University. One of the major theories within this construct concerns how individuals use status information to form expectations of one another and how those expectations determine their interpersonal behavior. The theory has been applied to the study of biracial, mixed-gender, and multiethnic groups and has also been used as a basis of social interventions aimed at reducing social inequalities in behavior.
Berger recently compiled (with M. Zelditch) a collection of theoretical papers in the volume New Directions in Contemporary Sociological Theory (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002). He has coauthored and coedited many scholarly books including Status, Power, and Legitimacy; Theoretical Research Programs; Status Characteristics and Social Interaction; and Sociological Theories in Progress, volumes 1–3.
Berger has published numerous articles in academic journal, including "Gender and Interpersonal Task Behaviors," Sociological Perspectives, 1997; "Status Inconsistency in Task Situations," American Sociological Review, 1992; "Do Sociological Theories Grow?" American Journal of Sociology, 1986; and "Diffuse Status Characteristics and the Spread of Status Value,” American Journal of Sociology, 2006.
He also received the 1991 Cooley-Mead Award, which is awarded by the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociological Association to honor long-term distinguished contributions to the intellectual and scientific advancement of social psychology.
Berger came to Stanford University in 1959 as assistant professor of sociology, was appointed associate professor of sociology in 1962, and became director of the Laboratory for Social Research in 1968. He held that post until 1970. He held the directorship again from 1971 to 1974.
In 1968, Berger was appointed a professor of sociology and in 1976 became vice chairman of the Department of Sociology. He was chairman of the department from 1977 to 1983 and then again from 1985 to 1989. He joined the Hoover Institution as a senior research fellow in 1986.