Kathryn M. Dudley

2000 Margaret Mead Award Recipient

Kathryn M. Dudley is the recipient of the 2000 Margaret Mead Award. Kathryn Dudley received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1991 and is currently an Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Yale University. Dr. Dudley is recognized in particular for her book, The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Postindustrial America (1994, University of Chicago Press), which examines the impact of the closing of auto plants in the Midwest. Dr. Dudley situates the economic restructuring, and the ideology and meaning surrounding this restructuring, that has had such an impact on American society into a discussion accessible both to her anthropological peers and a broader public audience. This is evidenced by the wide range of letters in her nominating materials, including not only anthropologists, but also labor historians, rural activists, and Union leaders. Dr. Dudley follows in the footsteps of Margaret Mead's efforts to understand her own society and explicitly ties her work to the tradition set by Mead. Dr. Dudley also has assumed a leadership role in the American Anthropological Association's effort to set an agenda for future work on the American middle class, editing with Margaret Mary Overby, Anthropology and Middle Class Working Families: A Future Research Agenda (2000, American Anthropological Association). As one of her nominating letters noted, Dr. Dudley has "a particular gift for understanding American culture in all its contradictory glory."