The American Sociologist

, 40:332

First online:

A Nobel Trinity: Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch and Alva Myrdal

  • Barbara A. MisztalAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of Leicester Email author 

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The aim of the paper is to present unusual achievements of three women sociologists who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Its goal is also to contribute to a long standing discussion of the role sociologists as public intellectuals. By focusing on Addams, Balch and Myrdal’s scholarly and public life, the paper demonstrates what social scientists can offer in the role of public intellectuals and debates what are the source of intellectuals’ public standing. The paper concludes by arguing that these three intellectuals’ successful achievement of their goals was possible because of their professional credential and because of their courage to take on risky actions for purposes to institutionalise social or cultural change.


Addams Myrdal Balch Nobel Public intellectuals Sociology