In a virtual ceremony on 30 June, the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism (SSSI) presented Robert Dingwall with its George Herbert Mead award for Lifetime Contribution to the field.
This award is named after GH Mead, a philosopher who worked at the University of Chicago from 1894 until his death in 1931. Mead’s ideas about ontology, epistemology and language are the basis of the symbolic interactionist approach to sociology. The SSSI created this award in 1978 to recognize the most distinguished scholars continuing to work broadly within this tradition.
Accepting the award, Robert noted that it had been a privilege to learn from so many smart, kind and generous colleagues over the thirty years or so since he first attended a SSSI meeting. He thanked his successive graduate students for doing so much to keep him honest and up to speed with new ideas. He also noted how was especially touched by this affirmation from the scholarly community at this time. Trying to be a voice for sociology in pandemic policy-making could be a bruising experience and it was helpful to be reassured that there were people who valued the contribution he was trying to make.
All being well, he promised to do his best to be in Chicago next summer to deliver the lecture that was traditionally given by the award-winner.