American Sociological Association honors S. Philip Morgan


Phil Morgan

S. Philip Morgan and co-authors Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Christine Bachrach and Hans Peter Kohler have received the 2012 Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Demography.

Morgan is a professor in UNC’s sociology department and director of the Carolina Population Center (CPC).

The award was presented to Morgan by the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Population at the ASA annual meeting, held in Denver. The Otis Dudley Duncan Award honors the author of a recent book that has made significant contributions to social demography. ASA recognizes Morgan’s contributions to the book Understanding Family Change and Variation: Toward a Theory of Conjunctural Action. The book was published by Springer in 2011.

The book draws on research findings from diverse research areas, such as cognitive science and social history, to provide a framework for understanding the change and diversity of contemporary family life. Specifically, Morgan and his colleagues argue that family research relies too heavily on rational choice models and ignores the explosion of findings and insights from cognitive science about the importance of non-deliberative mental processes. The book also challenges the micro-level focus of much family research and urges greater attention to the impact of the social environment — its impact on the development of neural networks in the brain, on the constraints and opportunities persons face, on how persons perceive particular situations, and ultimately, on observed family-related behaviors.

Morgan received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and has co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books, in addition to Understanding Family Change and Variation. In 2011, the ASA Family Section honored Morgan with a Distinguished Career Award and the ASA Population Section awarded Morgan and colleagues (Ronald Rindfuss, David Guilkey and Oystein Kravdal) its 2011 Award for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship in Population (for their article examining the impact of day care availability on Norwegian fertility).

Past recipients of the Otis Dudley Duncan award are listed here. Learn more about Phil Morgan in this announcement about him becoming CPC director in July 2012.