CORVALLIS - A new Oregon State University faculty member has received the Bancroft Award from Columbia University, given annually for the best dissertation on American history.
Jeff Sklansky, an assistant professor of history at OSU, was honored for his dissertation tracing a revolution in American social thought. It was titled, "Socializing the Psyche: The Fall of Political Economy and the Rise of Social Psychology in the United States, 1830-1930."
In his dissertation, Sklansky argues that professional, academic sociology and psychology were the twin disciplines that established a new scientific understanding of American society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The previous social-scientific model - founded upon labor power, will power and individual ownership - gave way to a science of society predicated on consumption, assimilation and the socialization of habit and desire.