Professor Lorne Tepperman founds the “Lorne Tepperman Prize in Public Sociology” for Undergraduate students

Professor Lorne Tepperman has created the “Lorne Tepperman Prize in Public Sociology” award to highlight exemplary undergraduate student research. Professor Tepperman is a Professor of Sociology with teaching responsibilities on the St. George campus.

Below is the award description, and a quote from Professor Tepperman on what he hopes to achieve through the award, both from the University of Toronto ArtSci Effect website.


Professor Lorne Tepperman (BA 1965), former chair of U of T’s Department of Sociology, has set up a prize to shine a spotlight on exceptional undergraduate student research.

The $1,000 prize will be awarded to the undergraduate who submits the best paper on a topic of social significance in Canada. The winner will be coached by departmental members on how to prepare the paper for a general audience, and the resulting piece will be pitched as an op-ed to print media and published on the department’s website.

“I’m trying to get students to look at an issue like poverty or mental health, and examine it from a sociological perspective,” Tepperman said. “We live in an unequal society. I want students to investigate the consequences of this inequality.” The top paper will be one that showcases sociological concepts, theories and methods in an effort to promote an understanding among the broader public of what sociologists do.

Tepperman also wants to raise awareness of the contributions that young people make to the field of sociology. “Accolades are often granted to graduate and faculty researchers, and I believe we need to level the playing field,” he said. “So many of these undergraduate students are simply astonishing.”

Professor Lorne Tepperman brings sociology to college

Lorne TeppermanProfessor Lorne Tepperman has decided that it is time to bring academic, university-level sociology to a new audience: namely, to community college students. Doing so requires new writing strategies that include collaboration with community college instructors, easier-to-read writing, and the extensive use of visual aids to communicate complicated sociological ideas in simple ways.

Already, this initiative is starting to bear fruit: last summer, Tepperman’s new book on social inequality (co-authored by Humber College Professor Jennifer Ball) The Stacked Deck, came out. A second book, this one on social problems and co-authored with two University of Toronto graduate students (Cinthya Guzman and Ioana Sendriou), titled Picturing Society, has just come back from review and is being prepared for production. A third book, this one a general introduction to sociology co-authored with Sara Cumming (Professor of Sociology at Sheridan College) and provisionally titled Puzzlebox, is going into revision with a 2018 publication date. All of these books are under contract to Oxford University Press.

The hard work, says Professor Tepperman, lies in finding ways to compress and explain powerful sociological insights in ways that people want to understand. Doing this requires a procedure and mind-set quite different from what we associate with the production of conventional scholarly journal articles; but the process also keeps reminding us of the reasons why sociology was invented in the first place.