In our role as the editors of Contexts magazine, we come across a lot of great — some might say excellent — writing. So this year, with the blessing of Contexts’ founding editor, we established the Claude S. Fischer Awards for Excellence in Contexts to recognize some of the most accessible and engaging pieces from the magazine. The nominees were hand-picked by the Minnesota graduate student board, and the winners were selected by Contexts’ editorial board, comprised of esteemed sociologists from around the world.

At Contexts’ editorial board’s annual meeting this past Monday, we had the pleasure of announcing the inaugural winners of “The Claudes.” Please join us in heaping praise on these authors, who have done so much to help bring sociological insights to the wider world, and in recalling some of the great Contexts content from 2008 and 2009.

And the winners are…

Best Feature:
Rethinking Crime and Immigration,” by Robert J. Sampson. Winter 2008.

Best Photo Essay: It’s a tie!
“Smoke Damage,” by Michael Schwalbe. Spring 2008.
Looking for a Way Home,” by Jennifer Whitney. Summer 2008.

Best Culture Review:
Peeing in Public,” by Harvey Molotch. Spring 2008.

Best Book Review:
The Most Dangerous Crime Rankings,” by Richard Rosenfeld and Janet L. Lauritsen. Winter 2008.

Best “One Thing I Know”:
Immigration’s Complexities, Assimilation’s Discontents,” by RubĂ©n G. Rumbaut. Winter 2008.