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International Sociological Association
Thematic Group on Visual Sociology TG05

Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology

Established: 2010

Next edition in 2014. Details to be announced

The purpose of the Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology is to honor the memory of Rachel Tanur by encouraging students to incorporate visual elements in their study and understanding of Sociology. The prize has been instituted in 2010 and will be awarded by the Thematic Group on Visual Sociology (TG05) of the International Sociological Association. 

The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in the social sciences. Students must be currently enrolled or have received their degrees no earlier than the end of the last regular session of their institution before the meeting of the World Forum of Sociology or the World Congress of Sociology at which the prize is to be awarded.  Applicants need not be members of ISA. 

The prizes will consist of a commemorative plaque and a cash award ($2500 for the first prize, $1500 for t he second prize, and $500 for the third prize).

The competition will be through self-nomination, after notice of the competition is disseminated as widely and as early as possible. Each entry will entail two commentaries. One commentary is to be based on one or more of the photos by Rachel Tanur, which can be viewed at

The commentary should not exceed 750 words. The other commentary is to be based on a photograph taken by the entrant and must also not exceed 750 words. Both commentaries and the entrant’s original photo are to be posted to the website according to the directions listed on the site by the deadline announced on the site.  Each commentary is expected to give a social science analysis of the visual using the language and all available means of theoretical and applied social science. In addition, each contestant must submit a letter from his/her advisor certifying to his/her student status. That letter should also be submitted through the website.  Although entries are solicited from nationals of any country, the commentaries must be in English, as that is the language in which Rachel Tanur worked; the social science content on the commentary rather than felicity of language will be the criterion of excellence.

Selection Process
Judging of the contest will be through a jury appointed by the Executive Committee of the Thematic Group on Visual Sociology (TG05).  The criteria for judging will be the photographic excellence of the picture submitted as well as the social science content of the commentaries.  Winners will be announced on the website when the jury has chosen them. 

Costs of the competition will include the amount of the prizes and the cost of maintaining the website.  Funding is being provided by the Mark Family Fund to cover these costs. 

Time Table
The prize will be awarded every 2 years in conjunction with the meeting of the World Forum of Sociology or the World Congress of Sociology at a session sponsored by TG05 after the winners are chosen in accordance with the procedures specified above. Solicitation of entries will begin as early as possible, but no later than 6 months before the submission deadline, which will be at least 3 months before the relevant ISA meeting.  Winners will be announced at least 2 months before the relevant ISA meeting in order to permit attendance at the meeting.

International Sociological Association