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Best Sociology Paper 2019-2020: Ethnic Inequality and Belonging in the German School System

#wisoimpact – Robert K. Merton Award for WiSo Researcher

“The article offers an excellent balance between theoretical ambition, demanding empirical analysis and disciplinary relevance. It is not only a very good example of analytical sociology but also one that can appeal to a wider audience.” This is how the Award committee described the award-winning article "More than a Sorting Machine: Ethnic Boundary Making in a Stratified School System."

For the article published in the American Journal of Sociology in 2019, WiSo Professor Clemens Kroneberg (ISS) and his colleague Hanno Kruse (University of Amsterdam) received the renowned Robert K. Merton Award from the International Network of Analytical Sociology (INAS). Combining administrative spatial data on all secondary schools in Germany with survey data on identities and friendship networks, the scientists show how ethnic inequality in access to prestigious schools affects minority students’ identities and social relationships with their classmates. The study was carried out as part of the European Research Council-funded project SOCIALBOND.

The Robert K. Merton Award is given out annually by a committee of leading scientists of the INAS. Robert K. Merton was one of the mentors of analytical sociology and his work on the principles and meaning of middle-range theory, as well as the self-fulfilling prophecy and the Matthew effect, were sources of inspiration for the emergence of analytical sociology.

Clemens Kroneberg and Hanno Kruse already received the award for the best paper in analytical sociology in 2019-2020 at this year’s INAS conference at the end of May.

Congratulations on this special award!