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Sheldon Stryker
Department of Sociology

Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009

IU's Stryker receives distinguished scholarship award

Jan. 29, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Sheldon Stryker, Distinguished Professor of sociology at Indiana University, has won the W.E.B. Dubois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association.

Sheldon Stryker

Sheldon Stryker

The W.E.B. DuBois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award honors scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline. The body of lifetime work may include theoretical and/or methodological contributions.

The award selection committee is particularly interested in work that substantially reorients the field in general or in a particular sub field. Stryker will receive the award at the 104 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association on Aug. 9, in San Francisco.

Stryker first came to IU in 1950. He joined the faculty as an instructor in 1951 and has been in Bloomington ever since, except for three years during which he held prestigious fellowships. Stryker's principal theoretical and research interests are in social psychology, particularly in the development of identity theory, which seeks to formulate and extend insights of Mead in a theory that is testable using rigorous empirical methods.

Most recently, his theoretical and research writings have centered on extending identity theory, on applying that theory to social movement phenomena, and on advancing the project of meeting the responsibility of a sociological social psychology to examine social psychological processes in their social structural contexts.

Stryker was chair of the Department of Sociology, which is in the College of Arts and Sciences, from 1969-1975. He also served as director of the Schuessler Institute of Social Research, and he was the director of National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Training Program in Social Psychology from 1977-2000. He has received the Cooley-Mead Award for Lifetime Contributions to Social Psychology from the section on Social Psychology of the American Sociological Association, and the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Scholarship from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

Stryker has edited the American Sociological Association's Rose Monograph series, Sociometry (now Social Psychological Quarterly), and the American Sociological Review. His published work includes monographs, edited volumes, journal articles, chapters in edited books, and encyclopedia articles, and occurs through six decades at this point and could well be seven.