Marquette University News Release

Marquette sociologist honored for research excellence

June 12, 2014


Dr. James Holstein, professor of social and cultural sciences at Marquette University, is the 2014 recipient of the university’s Lawrence G. Haggerty Award for Research Excellence. The annual award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated scholarly distinction and an all-encompassing belief in excellence.

As an internationally known sociologist, Holstein’s research and writing projects have addressed tough topics such as social problems, deviance and social control, family and the self, all approached through an analytic lens of the way people make sense of their everyday world. He has served as editor of “Social Problems,” a leading journal in his field, and has published nearly 100 journal articles, 12 books and 28 edited volumes.

Holstein approaches his work with an “interest in how people construct the meaningful contours of their everyday lives through their routine actions and interactions.” He describes his work simply: “For me, sociology deals with how our social surrounding and interactions condition what we see, say, do, feel and who we are.”

Recently, Holstein has begun applying research to his personal life through professional football. Holstein was a dissertation advisor to former Green Bay Packers linebacker Dr. George E. Koonce, and together they expanded on Koonce’s research into the aftermath of football careers. Their new book, “Is There Life After Football? Surviving the NFL,” will be published this fall.

During his 30 years at Marquette, Holstein has earned more than $75,000 in funding and is widely recognized for his contributions to dispute resolution, mental health and social constructionism.

Holstein earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1981, and in 1984 he became a postdoctoral researcher of sociology at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Lawrence George Haggerty graduated from Marquette’s College of Engineering in 1940, with a major in mechanical engineering. A successful entrepreneur, Haggerty served on Marquette’s board of regents and later the board of trustees.

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