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2021 Mitofsky Award Announcement

May 12, 2021

The Board of Directors of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University is pleased to announce Lawrence D. Bobo, Dean of Social Science and the W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, as the recipient of the 2021 Warren J. Mitofsky Award for Excellence in Public Opinion Research. This award recognizes Bobo’s scholarly contributions to our understanding of public opinion, in particular the opinions of and about African Americans, as well as his extensive use of data from the Roper archive, most notably in his coauthored and influential book, Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations.

Originally published in 1985 and revised and updated in 1997, Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations, coauthored with Charlotte Steeh, Maria Krysan, and 2017 Mitofsky Award winner Howard Schuman, remains one of the most important and comprehensive presentations and interpretations of trends in American racial attitudes – among both whites and blacks – since the 1940s. In the preface to the 1997 edition, Bobo and his colleagues thank the Roper Center for quickly making the curated 1996 General Social Survey data available, allowing them to extend their trend analyses an additional two years.

In addition to Racial Attitudes in America: Trends and Interpretations, Bobo is coauthor or coeditor of other influential volumes addressing issues at the intersection of public opinion, social psychology, social inequality, politics, and race, including Prejudice in Politics: Group Position, Public Opinion, and the Wisconsin Treaty Rights Dispute; Race, Racism, and Discrimination: Bridging Problems, Methods, and Theory in Social Psychological Research; Urban Inequality: Evidence from Four Cities; Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles; Racialized Politics: The Debate about Racism in America; and Race, Public Opinion, and the Social Sphere. His research has also appeared in leading journals such as American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Public Opinion Quarterly.

Bobo is a founding editor of the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, and an elected member of the National Academy of Science. His many Fellowships include those with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. He is the recipient of the 2020 AAPOR Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.

Bobo, who received a B.A. in Sociology from Loyola Marymount University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, has held tenured faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the University of California Los Angeles, Stanford University (where he was Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity), and, currently, Harvard University in the Departments of Sociology and African and African American Studies. In 2018 he was appointed as Harvard’s Dean of Social Science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

In recognition of Lawrence D. Bobo’s numerous contributions to understanding American public opinion generally and the dynamics of race and public opinion more specifically, this award is given.


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