Society for the Anthropology of Work



2014 Conrad Arensberg Award

The winner of the 2014 Arensberg Award is the Baltimore-based organization, United Workers, which describes itself as “a human rights organization led by low-wage workers [ . . .]  leading the fight for fair development, which respects human rights, maximizes public benefits and is sustainable.”  They have been active in labor issues in Maryland since their inception at a homeless shelter in Baltimore in 2002, and, through their work, fight for human rights in the context of labor, neighborhood development, health care and other issues.  In many ways, United Workers represents the wide focus and engagement of the Society for the Anthropology of Work, and this Arensberg Award recognizes both their activism and their anthropological sensibility.  

The CONRAD ARENSBERG AWARD was established by the Society for the Anthropology of Work in 1991 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field.

Past recipients of the Conrad Arensberg Award: Conrad Arensberg (1991), June Nash (1992), Karen Brodkin (1993), Louise Lamphere (1994), Frederick Gamst (1995), Karen Tranberg Hansen (1998), Eliot Chapple (2000), Herb Appelbaum (2001), Judith-Maria Buechler and Hans Buechler (2002), Susan George (2004), Arlie Hochschild (2006), Marietta Baba (2008), Beverly Wright (2010) and Frances Rothstein (2012).


The winner of this year’s book prize is “Street Economies in the Urban Global South” (School for Advanced Research Press, 2013), edited by Karen Tranberg Hansen, Walter Little, and B. Lynne Milgram.  As you know, this year the prize goes to an edited collection judged to be the best in the field of the anthropology of work published in the past three years.

The criteria are the significance of the research, relevance for the anthropology of work, clarity and effectiveness of the presentation, and appeal to a wider audience in anthropology and beyond. Preference is given to books based on fieldwork and which have not received another award or prize. One year out of three the prize goes to an edited collection.