Fair trade coffee book takes prestigious prize

VANCOUVER – An assistant professor of Sociology at WSU Vancouver, has been awarded the 2007 C. Wright Mills Book Award, for his book, “Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival.”
Daniel Jaffee is the first Sociology faculty member at WSU to win this award.  He was recently honored at the SSSP Annual Meetings in Boston.
“My work looks at the effects of ‘free’ trade and neoliberal economic policies on the options for rural people to determine their own models for sustainable livelihoods,” said Jaffee. “I’m also a dedicated coffee drinker, and like an increasing number of people, I was concerned about the social and environmental impacts of my consumption choices.  I became interested in fair trade as a positive model for trading under an alternative set of rules, which has the potential to escape the most harmful effects of volatile global commodity markets.”
The prestigious book award, established by the Society for the Study of Social Problems in honor of the eminent sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), has been in existence since 1964. The C. Wright Mills Award is given to the best book in the tradition of Mills’ scholarship that:

-Critically addresses an issue of contemporary public importance

-Brings to the topic a fresh, imaginative perspective

-Advances social science understanding of the topic

-Displays a theoretically informed view and empirical orientation

-Evinces quality in style of writing

-Implicitly or explicitly contains implications for courses of action
C. Wright Mills wrote in “The Power Elite” that: “Only when mind has an autonomous basis, independent of power, but powerfully related to it, can mind exert its force in the shaping of human affairs. This is democratically possible only when there exists a free and knowledgeable public, to which [people] of knowledge may address themselves, and to which [people] of power are truly responsible.”

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