'Working for Respect' Wins 2019 Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award
Sociology Professors Adam Reich and Peter Bearman are honored for their book examining the obstacles and opportunities low-wage workers face at such places like Walmart and how the modern workplace contributes to debates on social and economic justice, labor and inequality.
September 27, 2019
Columbia University Press, in conjunction with the Office of the Provost, honored Adam Reich, an associate professor of sociology, and Peter Bearman, the Cole Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theories and Empirics, for their publication Working for Respect:Community and Conflict at Walmart at the fifth annual Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award ceremony. The authorsreceived a certificate and a cash award of $5,000 each during a ceremony held at the Casa Italiana. Endangered Economies: How the Neglect of Nature Threatens Our Prosperity by Geoffrey Heal, Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, was the runner-up.
“This is an important book not only because it engages with an important problem that has extraordinarily high visibility but also because of the way it handles its material. …We might have expected a simple denunciation and a simple solution: Walmart exploits its workers, they need a union to protect them. But the goal of Working for Respect is also to help us understand why people work at Walmart, how the company gets considerable efforts from them at shockingly low pay, and why there is not a union representing them. This is a wonderful book on a very important topic,” said Professor Jane Gaines, co-chair of the Distinguished Book Award Jury and chair of Columbia University Press’ Faculty Publication Committee.
The Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award is given to the Columbia University faculty member(s) whose book published by the Press in the two years prior brings the highest distinction to the University and the Press for its outstanding contribution to academic and public discourse. The winner is selected by a jury composed of the current members of the Press’ Faculty Publication Committee along with several guest jurors from the Columbia faculty.