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BC Sociologists Honored for Career Contributions

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (September 2012) – Two Boston College sociologists have been honored by professional organizations for their noteworthy careers of scholarship and outstanding contributions to the field.

Sociology Professor David Karp received the George Herbert Mead Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, an international professional organization of scholars interested in the study of a wide range of social issues with an emphasis on identity, everyday practice and language. The American Sociological Association presented Professor Emeritus William Gamson with the 2012 W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, which honors scholars who have shown outstanding commitment to the profession and whose cumulative work has contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline.


Karp, who specializes in social psychology, joined the University’s Sociology Department in 1971. His early work on cities, everyday life and aging focused on determining how people invest their daily lives with meaning. His more recent work has examined the issue of mental illness and its relationship with both patients and their caregivers. He has written several books, including Is It Me or My Meds?: Living with Antidepressants, The Burden of Sympathy: How Families Cope with Mental Illness and Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness, which won the Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.


Gamson, whose expertise is in political sociology, particularly political discourse, social movements and the media, has been a member of the University’s Sociology Department since 1982. He retired from full-time teaching in 2000, but remains a part-time faculty member. Gamson is the author of the award-winning book Talking Politics and has been honored with the McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements and a Merit Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Discipline by the Eastern Sociological Society.


-- Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs,