Mikkel Kruger Krenchel Receives Mildred Priest Frank Prize

May 26, 2009


Congratulations to Mikkel Kruger Krenchel ‘09, majoring in sociology and International Studies, who received the 2009 Mildred Priest Frank Prize. The Mildred Priest Frank Memorial Prize was established by Adam R. Rose, ‘81, in honor of his maternal grandmother. It is awarded each year to the graduating senior whose work in the Department of Sociology reflects the standards of excellence and love of people that characterize Mildred Priest Frank. Mikkel is also this year’s winner of the WREXHAM-HEINZ PRIZE which is awarded for the best senior essay or other substantial piece of writing in the field of the social sciences. In his senior essay “Unthreatened Nation: Swedish Attitudes Towards Immigrants in Comparative Perspective” Mikkel shows that Sweden is an outlier in the Western hemisphere with respect to the extraordinary tolerance towards immigrants among ordinary Swedes. The essay aims at explaining this instance of “Swedish exceptionalism”. Mikkel devised an analytic strategy, in the tradition of the best case-comparative work, of examining Sweden in the context of countries which show less tolerance but are otherwise maximally similar, namely, Norway and Denmark. Quantitative analysis with survey data is used to isolate the factors that are most likely to explain differences in tolerance. These factors are in turn evaluated with a qualitative approach that locates the explanation in a unique configuration of historical circumstances that lead to the development of an inclusive national identity in Sweden.