Sanford F. Schram
Sanford Francis Schram (born January 18, 1949) is a noted American political scientist and author.
In 2012, Schram received the Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association (New Political Science Section) which is given each year to "a progressive political scientist who has had a long successful career as a writer, teacher, and activist". Jamie Peck, the Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography, at the University of British Columbia, has stated: "There are few, if any, better guides to the tortuous politics of welfare reform than Sanford Schram. His path-breaking contributions bear comparison to those of [Frances Fox] Piven and [Richard] Cloward. I can think of no higher recommendation" .
Schram received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in Government in 1971 from St. Lawrence University, which awarded him a distinguished alumnus award in 2008 and his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1978 from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University of Albany, State University of New York, which also awarded him a distinguished alumnus award in 1988.
From 1997 until 2013, Schram was visiting professor of social theory and policy in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College. He also taught undergraduate courses in political science and sociology at Bryn Mawr and occasionally Haverford Colleges. Schram currently is professor of political science at Hunter College (CUNY) where he also teaches public policy in Roosevelt House. He is an affiliate of the National Poverty Center. He has lectured throughout the world on issues of social welfare, including the University of Vienna, Austria, Yale University, USA, University of Strasbourg, France, University of Aarhus, Denmark, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Haifa University, Israel, and other schools. In the summer of 2013 he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on public-private partnerships at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark; and in the spring semester 2014 he will be a visiting fellow at the US Study Centre, University of Sydney, in Australia.
Schram's research and scholarship are focused on the politics of welfare and poverty. His work is interdisciplinary, if primarily located in Political Science, Sociology, Public Affairs, Social Work and related disciplines especially as it relates to issues of social welfare policy, poverty studies, race, gender and class relations (subaltern studies). In Political Science his research bridges the sub-fields of Public Policy, American Politics, Political Behavior, Race and Ethnic Politics, Gender Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, and Political Economy.
Schram is the author of 5 books and co-author or co-editor of 7 others. He is the only person to have twice received the American Political Science Association's Michael Harrington award--for his books Words of Welfare: The Poverty of Social Science and the Social Science of Poverty (University of Minnesota Press, 1995) and Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race, co-authored with Joe Soss and Richard C. Fording (University of Chicago Press, 2011) . Disciplining the Poor has also won the 2012 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award from the American Sociological Association for the best book for combating racism  and was selected as a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine . Rose Ernst, writing in Perspectives in Politics in 2012, said regarding Disciplining the Poor: "As an admirer of the authors’ individual and collective work on welfare over the years, it is gratifying to see the culmination of these efforts in a book that is so comprehensive and far-reaching in its significance to scholars, activists, and policymakers".
Schram's 2013 book is Becoming a Footnote: An Activist-Scholar Finds His Voice, Learns to Write, and Survives Academia (Albany: SUNY Press, 2013), about which it is written:
“For those who know of the author’s work, this book provides a revealing glimpse into the man behind the reputation. But, even for those unfamiliar with it, Becoming a Footnote is a highly readable and engaging account of a life’s work that would be of interest to anyone pursuing an academic position, including those who wonder how to remain real and relevant from inside academia.” — Vicki Lens, Columbia University.
“This book drew me in and works as a narrative on two levels. First, it is disarmingly and convincingly self-deprecating about the struggle to become a critical thinker, to write well, and to devise research programs that would shed light on major questions. Second, it is a valuable history of the central debates around social welfare policy, neoliberalism, and racial stigma.” — James Scott, author of The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia.
His current book project is a collection of essays entitled The Return of Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy.
Throughout his career as an academic, Schram has sought to combine scholarship with activism working with various groups to promote welfare rights. Most prominently, he has testified about his research before Congress on welfare reform and his published empirical research on “welfare migration” was used before the U.S Supreme Court in the case Saenz v. Roe, which overturned state and national residency requirements for welfare recipients. Since 2011, he has been active in the Occupy movement.