Skip to main content

ASU sociologist honored with Lee Founders lifetime-achievement award

ASU professor Nancy Jurik

Nancy Jurik, sociologist and professor of justice and social inquiry in ASU’s School of Social Transformation, was recently awarded the Lee Founders lifetime-achievement award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

October 15, 2015

Arizona State University professor Nancy Jurik’s work, with a focus on social justice and gender and work issues, has drawn praise over the years that continues with her latest honor, the Lee Founders Award.

Established in 1981, this award, from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, is made in recognition of significant career achievements that demonstrate continuing devotion to the sociological tradition of the society’s founders.

Jurik, a sociologist and professor of justice and social inquiry in ASU’s School of Social Transformation, has been active in community projects identifying and promoting organizational reforms to reduce workplace discrimination and harassment. From 1992 to 2006, she helped to develop a nonprofit microenterprise lending and training program targeting low-income women and men in the Phoenix area. 

Her current research focuses on analyzing race, gender and regional barriers faced by entrepreneurs who manage small businesses. Jurik has expanded this research by collaborating with sociologists in the Czech Republic. She also teaches courses in economic justice and theories of justice. 

James Messerschmidt, professor of sociology and women and gender studies, nominated Jurik for the Lee Founders Award. He wrote: “I have very high regard for her and believe that her unique blend of scholarship, service and teaching exemplifies the ideals of the founders of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.”

Jurik said she was honored to receive the award.

“I have been a member of this organization since I was a graduate student and believe very strongly in its focus on teaching, service and scholarship in pursuit of a just society,” she said. 

Her interests also focus on media constructions of gender and work. Her books include “Doing Justice, Doing Gender: Women in Legal and Criminal Justice Occupations” (Sage, 1996, 2007), “Bootstrap Dreams: U.S. Microenterprise Development in an Era of Welfare Reform” (Cornell University Press, 2005), and “Provocateur for Justice: Jane Tennison and Policing in ‘Prime Suspect’ ” (University of Illinois Press, 2012). “Doing Justice, Doing Gender” was awarded the 1997 Myers Center Book Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America.

Jurik is a 2009 Distinguished Faculty winner in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the 2007 Gary S. Krahenbuhl Difference Maker Award by the college. She was also recognized by the Sociologists for Women in Society with their 2014 Feminist Mentor Award.