The deadline to nominate books for the 2021 C. Wright Mills Award is December 15, 2021.


The C. Wright Mills Award, established in 1964, is one of the most prestigious book awards in sociology. It is awarded annually and carries with it a stipend of $1,000 for the author(s) of the winning book. SSSP annually gives its prestigious C. Wright Mills Award to the author of what the committee considers to be the most outstanding book written in the tradition of C. Wright Mills and his dedication to a search for a sophisticated understanding of the individual and society. Past winners of this award can be found here.


Edited volumes, textbooks, fiction and self-published works are not eligible. Eligible books must be first edition (not a reprint or later edition) and bear a 2021 copyright date. Exceptions may be made for a book bearing a 2020 copyright, but that was not released until 2021 for the first time.

C. Wright Mills wrote in The Power Elite that: “Only when mind has an autonomous basis, independent of power, but powerfully related to it, can mind exert its force in the shaping of human affairs. This is democratically possible only when there exists a free and knowledgeable public, to which [people] of knowledge may address themselves, and to which [people] of power are truly responsible.” Consistent with Mills’ dedication to a search for a sophisticated understanding of the individual and society, the award will be given for that book with a 2021 copyright date that most effectively:

1)         critically addresses an issue of contemporary public importance,

2)         brings to the topic a fresh, imaginative perspective,

3)         advances social scientific understanding of the topic,

4)         displays a theoretically informed view and empirical orientation,

5)         evinces quality in style of writing,

6)         explicitly or implicitly contains implications for courses of action


Members of the Society are encouraged (but not required) to submit letters of nomination for this prestigious annual award. Self nominations are acceptable. Authors and/or nominators do not need to be current members of SSSP.

Please submit online nominations, including a cover letter (two pages maximum) explaining how the nominated book addresses each of the criteria for the award.

All online nominations must be submitted no later than December 15, 2021. The 2021 award will be presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA, August 5-7, 2022.

Please address all questions to:

Dr. Tsedale M. Melaku, Chair
C. Wright Mills Award Committee