David A. Snow, Distinguished Professor of sociology, received the George Herbert Mead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction at its annual meeting in Seattle in August. The award is given annually to recognize a scholar's contribution to the field of symbolic interactionism, a major sociological perspective that has influenced many sociological sub-fields – including Snow’s areas of expertise.

Based on his research on religious movements and conversion processes in the 1970s and on homeless movements in the early 80s, Snow developed a new theory for better understanding how the interests and views of social movement leaders and participants align for the purposes of collective mobilization. Coined as “frame alignment,” his theory led to the now widely influential framing perspective on social movements, which has been applied in sociology, political science, public policy and organizational studies as a way to better understand collective mobilization of all kinds.

He has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles and chapters and eight books, including most recently, as lead co-editor, the three volume Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements which includes 450 entries from some of the field’s most prominent international authors.

A past president of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction and the Pacific Sociological Association and past vice president of the American Sociological Association, Snow has been lauded for his work. In 2008, the Society for the Study of Social Problems awarded him the Lee Founders Award for career contributions to the study of social problems. In 2011, he earned UCI’s highest campus-level distinction for faculty – the title of Distinguished Professor, and in 2012, the UCI Alumni Association named him the 2012 Lauds & Laurels Outstanding Faculty. A year later, he received the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior. Awarded by the University of Notre Dame Center for the Study of Social Movements, the honor recognized Snow for his extraordinary achievements in social movement research and mentorship of interdisciplinary scholars. 


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