Lori Peek awarded Midwest Sociological Society Distinguished Book Award for Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11

Lori Peek of Colorado State University was awarded the 2012 MSS Distinguished Book Award for Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11, published by Temple University Press.


Behind the Backlash draws on longitudinal hate crime data and ethnographic interviews with 140 Muslim American men and women. Peek’s work presents moving accounts of prejudice and exclusion as Muslim Americans were caught up in an unprecedented wave of post-9/11 backlash violence.


Muslims speak of being subjected to harassment before the terrorist attacks, and recount the discrimination they encountered afterwards. Public discussion reveals that widespread misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Islam persists, despite the striking diversity of the Muslim community. Behind the Backlash seeks to explain why blame and scapegoating occur after a catastrophe. Peek sets the twenty-first century experience of Muslim Americans, who were vilified and victimized, within the context of larger sociological and psychological processes.


A long-time MSS member, Lori Peek is Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University. She has published widely on vulnerable populations in disaster and is coeditor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora. Lori rarely misses an MSS meeting, but she was unable to be present in Minneapolis because of a research commitment to an earthquake risk reduction study in Italy.


She wrote, “Words are never enough in a moment like this, but I hope you can accept my most profound gratitude for the honor that you have bestowed upon me. I am deeply committed to the Midwest as a region and to the MSS as a professional organization. It means the world to me to be recognized in this way. Thank you so much.”

Colorado State University