NYU sociologist Richard Sennett won the 2012 Zócalo Book Prize for his recently published Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation (Yale University Press, 2012). The prize, chosen by a jury of eight judges and awarded by Zócalo Public Square, is given to a book “that best deepened our understanding of community.”
The award committee’s judges cited the work for providing “an impressively capacious analysis of the conflict that political philosophers since the Greeks have identified as the central conflict in human history—that between the individual and society.” In Together, Sennett explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics, tracing the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations ranging from socialist groups in Paris to workers on Wall Street.
Sennett, also a professor at the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge, holds the rank of University Professor at NYU. He is the author of: The Craftsman (2008); The Culture of the New Capitalism (2006); Respect in a World of Inequality (2003); The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (1998); Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization (1994); The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities (1990); Authority (1980); and The Fall of Public Man (1977).
Sennett is the founding director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, which was established in 1976.
Zócalo Public Square, a project of the Center for Social Cohesion, aims to connect people to ideas and to each other in an open, accessible, non-partisan, and broad-minded spirit through events and online journalism.
The 2011 prize was award to Peter Lovenheim for In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time.