Research Committees

Richard Peterson Lifetime Achievement Prize in the Sociology of Art

This award is of special significance as it commemorates the long-standing contribution of Professor Richard (Pete) Peterson to the Sociology of the Arts Research Committee (1986-2006). Professor Peterson was one of the founding members of the RC37, a former President of the RC, as well as a board member. 

This award is granted to a living scholar who has made a significant contribution to the sociology of art over two decades at least. It is intended to recognize long-term achievement rather than the excellence of an individual book or single idea. The winner of the prize will be a scholar held in high standing by sociologists of the arts worldwide. A condition of acceptance of the award is that the winner will attend the World Congress of Sociology to accept the award and where s/he will give a presentation.


Any living sociologist or social scientist, whether or not he or she is a member of RC37 and/or of the ISA, is eligible. Award Subcommittee members and serving RC37 board members are not eligible to receive the award. 


Nominations will be solicited from RC37 members through the RC37 Newsletter, normally, at least eighteen months before the corresponding ISA’s World Congress, to ensure that the winner will be given sufficient notice of the award and will thus be able to make arrangements to attend the Congress. Nominators will be expected to provide a short justification of the nomination.

Selection process

All nominations will be reviewed by an Award Subcommittee, consisting of three RC37 Board members who will be expected to have the necessary linguistic expertise between them to evaluate the entries. The Subcommittee will normally be elected at the RC37 interim meeting scheduled two years before each World Congress of Sociology after the first iteration of the award. Members of the Subcommittee will also solicit the opinions of their peers within the international sociological community. The Award Subcommittee will report its decision to the RC37 President, Secretary and Board Members, whilst the President will report to the ISA Executive Committee. The selection process will be completed in time for the winner to undertake early registration for the World Congress.