Congratulations to Professor Clayton Childress whose book, Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel, was recently awarded the 2018 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture. Professor Childress is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. His research focuses on the creation, production, and consumption of culture, with books and book publishing as a frequent site of study. Current projects include data on the long-term consequences of the rewards system for the Booker Prize for Fiction, the creation and production of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs, the relationship between category blending and popularity for musicians and bands, and the generalizability of omnivorous tastes.
Published by Princeton University Press, Under the Cover follows a single novel from its inception to its consumption as a cultural object. In presenting the award, the committee described the book as “epic and broad in scope without cheating readers of attention to detail and rich illustrations of the ideas.” The committee went on to say that they “all felt that this book will have a lasting impact and should shape the sociological study of culture and cultural sociology for a long time to come.” The Mary Douglas Prize has been presented annually by the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Culture Section since 1990.