Soli Dubash awarded 2023 Daniel G. Hill prize

November 24, 2023 by Juanita Lam

Congratulations to Soli Dubash, recipient of the 2023 Daniel G. Hill prize for the Best Graduate Paper in Sociology. The Daniel G. Hill prize is awarded annually to the strongest graduate student paper published in an academic journal between July and June of the award year. Dubash’s winning article, “The Sociocognitive Origins of Personal Mastery” (co-authored with Gordon Brett), examines the relationship between cognitive processing and mastery. In the paper, Dubash and Brett use quantitative methods to test the idea that deliberate thinking is correlated with a greater sense of control over one’s life; they further explore how this relationship differs across individuals’ social positions. Findings suggest a positive relationship between deliberate cognitive dispositions and personal mastery. Read the full article in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Soli's dissertation focuses on understanding and modelling how social networks and the contexts in which they are enacted shape, and are shaped by, health across the life course. He is particularly interested in examining how our health changes when our relationships change, how our relationships change as our health changes, and how network change contributes to inequality. Soli's research agenda integrates quantitative, computational, and survey methodology to study health and stress processes, social network dynamics, culture, and life course inequalities. His scholarly agenda is dedicated to producing research that (1) can help people make evidence-based decisions about their health and their community members’; (2) holds practical implications for policy design and targeted interventions; and (3) clearly presents results in ways which are publicly accessible, can inform future research design, and facilitate meta-analyses. Soli strongly values open science principles and transparent research practices. By doing so, he aims to both make people aware of the possible effects of their personal ties to influence their health, behaviour, and well-being (and vice versa); and, to allow readers to reach their own decisions as to how he came to these results and their consequences.

Gordon Brett was a graduate student when this paper was written. Gordon is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong. Broadly, his research examines how cognitive processes and social and cultural life interrelate. This includes examining how cognition shapes creativity and human behavior in social contexts, how people develop patterns of thought, perception, and action, and how the cognitive sciences can improve sociological theory and research. His dissertation, “Creativity on Demand: Cognition, Materiality, and Sociality in Improvisation” examines how improvisational theatre troupes create new jokes, characters, stories and scenes in real-time, drawing on interview and observational data with experienced improvisers from the Toronto improv scene. His research has been published in Sociological Science, Sociological Theory, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Psychology Quarterly, Poetics, and Sociological Forum, among others.