Claudio Sopranzetti, assistant professor at CEU’s Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, won the 2019 Margaret Mead Award for his monograph titled Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, and Politics in Bangkok.
The Margaret Mead Award, offered jointly by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), is presented to a younger scholar for a particular accomplishment, such as a book, film, monograph, or service, which interprets anthropological data and principles in ways that make them meaningful to a broadly concerned public.
“Receiving the Margaret Mead award is particularly meaningful to me because it is not just a testament to my scholarship but also to the role that knowledge can, and does, play as a tool for political struggles and mobilizations” said Claudio Sopranzetti.
“Unfortunately, it is often conservative forces who understand this better than us and therefore persecute, attack, or exile knowledge-producers, in universities and outside of them. This prize is an acknowledgement, as significant as any, that we can, and I would argue we should, produce careful academic research that aims not just at describing society but also at changing it” he added.
Claudio Sopranzetti's research interests sit at the nexus of theorizations of capitalism, urbanism, and social movements in Southeast Asia and Southern Europe. He received his PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 2013 and, before moving to CEU, held a postdoctoral research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford University.
He is the author of two academic books, Red Journeys: Inside the Thai Red Shirts Movement (Silkworm and Washington University Press, 2012) and Owners of the Map: Motorcycle Taxi Drivers, Mobility, and Politics in Bangkok (University of California Press 2018).
In 2019 he published King of Bangkok (ADD Editore) his first anthropological graphic novel, in collaboration with visual artist Sara Fabbri and editor Chiara Natalucci. Claudio also writes regularly for Al Jazeera and other international media outlets and activists publications.
Currently, he is conducting a new research project on class fragmentation and recomposition in Italy, titled The Making of the Italian Precariat.
Cover image: Claudio Sopranzetti doing field work in Bangkok