The deadline to nominate books for the 2020 C. Wright Mills Award is December 15, 2020.


Nominations are now open for the 2020 C. Wright Mills Award. Members of the Society are encouraged (but not required) to submit letters of nomination for this prestigious annual award. Authors and/or nominators do not need to be current members of SSSP. Self nominations are acceptable. 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 2020 copyright date. Exceptions may be made for a book bearing a 2019 copyright, but that was not released until 2020 for the first time.

The C. Wright Mills Award, established in 1964, is awarded annually and carries with it a stipend of $1,000 for the author(s) of the winning book. The deadline for the 2020 award nominations is December 15, 2020. The 2020 award will be presented at the 71st Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, August 6-8, 2021.


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 2020 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


Review the list of past winners of the C. Wright Mills Award.


Please submit online nominations, including a cover letter (two pages maximum) explaining how the nominated book addresses each of the criteria for the award.  In addition, a copy of the book should be sent to each committee member.  Click here for those details.

Please address all questions to:

Dr. Melissa F. Weiner, Chair
C. Wright Mills Award Committee

For further information, contact:

Michele Koontz, Administrative Officer & Meeting Manager
Work: (865) 689-1531; E-mail: