The Association for Humanist Sociology (AHS) seeks graduate and undergraduate student papers that advocate for more humanistic workplaces. Papers may critically evaluate current forms of economic and workplace organization that repress the potential of people through inequality, bias, discrimination based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, and other bases of exploitation/domination. Papers may also address political and economic changes, initiatives, and policies, which occur away from workplaces, but have significant consequences for conditions of work and workers. Examples include critiques of the global economy, outsourcing, and effects of austerity measures. Paper topics can also address how people resist dehumanizing conditions and create more humanistic alternatives, such as worker owned co-operatives, socially and environmentally responsible businesses, non-profit and/or grass roots activist organizations, and instances where workers and/or unions have organized to win higher wages and/or improved working conditions.

The author of the most outstanding paper will be invited to present her/his work at the annual meetings of AHS and will receive a $250 honorarium to defray travel expenses and a free year of membership in AHS. The winning paper will also be formally reviewed and cultivated for possible publication in the journal of the AHS, Humanity and Society.

Deadline: Papers must be submitted by May 30th. Winners will be announced August 15th

Papers already accepted for publication in Humanity and Society are not eligible to receive the award.  

For more information or to submit please send three copies of your paper to “AHS Paper Competition Chair” to


Frank Lindenfeld, a long-time member and dear friend to AHS, passed away on June 8, 2008. He was a husband and father, scholar, visionary advocate for democracy, and tireless worker for social and economic justice. As a scholar-activist, Frank was a leading authority on worker cooperatives and the co-founder of Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO), a decentralized collective of educators, researchers and grassroots activists working to promote an economy based on democratic participation, worker and community ownership, social and economic justice, and ecological sustainability. Frank's wisdom, kindness, dedication and gentle manner touched the lives of many people and his spirit will live on in the work that we do together to build a better world. Toward this end the AHS Frank Lindenfeld Memorial fund was established and makes possible this paper competition.

2013 Winner

Kacey Henricks, "Passing the Buck: Race and the Role of State Lotteries in America's Changing Tax Composition," Loyola University of Chicago

2012 Winner

Jean Boucher, “Social Capital in Adversity: An Autoethnographic Approach,” George Mason University

[Honorable mention] Junpeng Li, “The Religion of the Nonreligious and the Politics of the Apolitical: Transformation of the Falun Gong from a Healing Practice to a Political Movement,” Columbia University

[Honorable mention] Kasey Henricks and Victoria Brocket, “Counter-Revolutions in the Name of Emancipation: The Regressive Character of Race and Gender Progress,”  Loyola University of Chicago


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