Donation enables new sociology prize

9 September 2016

Uppsala University has received its first donation for sociology to be used for the Hans L. Zetterberg Prize ‘to be awarded yearly to a younger researcher, Swedish or foreign, who, with his/her scientific work in sociology, preferably through fruitful combination of theory and practice, has moved the research front forward’. The monetary value of the prize is SEK 100,000 and it will be awarded for the first time in May 2017.

Hans L. Zetterberg (1927–2014) studied sociology in Uppsala and was one of Torgny Segerstedt’s first students in the new subject which was first taught in Sweden in 1947. He worked at the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University for several years (Licentiate of Arts 1952).

Hans L. Zetterberg was a multifaceted intellectual with deep roots in classic sociology. He was a professor, editor, opinion and values pollster and active in many fields. He spent around 20 years in the USA where he was a professor at Columbia University in New York, head of the department of sociology at Ohio State University and managing director of the publishing house Bedminster Press. After returning to Sweden, he became the first director of The Tri-Centennial Fund of the Bank of Sweden, owner and managing director of the opinion and social research company Sifo and editor-in-chief of Svenska Dagbladet. He was later also the leader of a research project on the Swedish social welfare state at the private City University.

Over the years, Hans L. Zetterberg wrote many books, articles and newspaper columns, most of which combined social theories, methods and practice. When he died, he was engaged on a major theoretical work The Many-Splendored Society which summarised much of the material from his long scientific career and integrated it with classic and established components of sociology. Four of seven planned volumes were published.

Hans L. Zetterberg was president of the World Association for Public Opinion Research and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

‘The prize is a very fine way to show respect for a great sociologist who was active at Uppsala University and who, at the same time, helped to bring forward prominent younger sociologists,’ says Patrik Aspers, professor and head of the Department of Sociology.

The prize will be awarded annually and is to be considered international. The prize committee consists of the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, a member from the university’s Department of Sociology and a member appointed by the Nordic Sociological Association.

The donors are Hans L. Zetterberg’s family: his wife Karin Busch Zetterberg, his son Martin C. Zetterberg and daughter Anne D. Zetterberg. The donation also covers books and furnishing of The Hans L. Zetterberg Room at the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University.

The Hans L. Zetterberg archive:

Last modified: 2021-02-14