Geoff Harkness, assistant professor of sociology, received the 2015-2016 Midwest Sociological Society Distinguished Book Award for his book “Chicago Hustle and Flow: Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class.”
Geoff Harkness, assistant professor of sociology at Morningside College, recently received the 2015-2016 Midwest Sociological Society Distinguished Book Award for his book “Chicago Hustle and Flow: Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class.”
The award is presented annually to a single book that makes an exemplary, original and substantive contribution to sociological understanding. Harkness will receive the award in March at the Midwest Sociological Society annual meeting in Chicago.
“We were deeply impressed by Harkness’s attention to transitions into and out of both gang life and music,” said a representative of the book award committee. “Social class is a central concern of the book, but in a deeply nuanced way. Harkness explores the delicate interplay between aspirations for success, work ethic, and the need to keep street-bred authenticity.”
“Chicago Hustle and Flow: Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class” explores the relationship between gang membership, gangsta rap and social class in Chicago’s underground rap music scene. Based on six years of ethnographic research, the book takes readers into this world and offers an up-close account of the connections between street gang and gangsta rap culture.
In addition to winning the award, the book was positively reviewed in several scholarly journals, including Ethnic and Racial Studies, Popular Music and Society, and American Journal of Sociology.
Harkness has taught sociology at Morningside College since the fall of 2014. He received his doctorate from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.