Aida Tomeh Distinguished Service Award

J. Milton Yinger Lifetime Award: Distinguished Career in Sociology


The J. Milton Yinger Lifetime Award for a Distinguished Career in Sociology is given to an individual who is, or who has been active in the field within the NCSA region (Eastern Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada).

The NCSA Distinguished Lifelong Career Award is named after J. Milton Yinger. During his career, Milt contributed to (1) sociological theory, (2) sociology of religion, (3) race and ethnic relations, and (4) sociology of countercultures. Each area where he did work, he left a legacy. Milt’s Field Theory was one of the early attempts to move sociological theory toward a closer look at social process and at the dynamism of an organism within its complex environment. His book, Toward a Field Theory of Behavior was an important theoretical contribution in the early 1960s. His book The Scientific Study of Religion was the gold standard of texts in the sociology of religion, and he opened doors to new ways of conceptualizing and measuring the essence of religiosity. In The field of Racial and Ethnic Relations, he and Oberlin colleague George Simpson were awarded the Anifield Wolf Award for best scholarly work in 1958. The notion of countercultures is especially interesting, since he quite literally coined the concept. His American Sociological Review article in 1960 was reprinted in 15 anthologies and translated into many languages.

Milt was President of the NCSA and held several elected positions in American Sociological Association. In fact, Milt is the only past President of NCAS to also be elected President of ASA. Further, he is the only person from any region of the country to be elected President of ASA while being employed at a teaching-oriented liberal arts college. He taught at Oberlin College from 1947 to 1987. In the fall of 2006, in his 90th year, he had an article translated and published in Chinese.

Milt Yinger was an academician par excellence, who also advocated for the legitimacy of applied sociology.

The principal criterion for this award is an extraordinary career in some activity that has furthered the work of Sociology as a discipline. A person might be nominated for exemplary work in any one of the areas or for uncommon contributions in two or more of these areas:

Scholarly Contributions—an extraordinary career of scholarship, expressed in publications, editorial work on behalf of sociological journals, and/or consultantships.

Public/Applied Sociology—an extraordinary career of applied sociological or public policy work.

Sociological Teaching and Learning—a lifetime of distinguished contributions to sociological instruction and curriculum development.

Exemplary Service within the Region—such as in doing external departmental reviews.


NOW CLOSED--Recipients Announced in Cincinnati

Have questions? Contact Award Committee Chair

Lynn Ritchey, University of Cincinnati- Blue Ash,

Page Updated October 21, 2018