QMU lecturer crowned one of the UK’s top sociology authors of the year

By Press Office

A Public Sociology lecturer from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has been crowned one of the UK’s top sociology authors of 2016 by the British Sociological Association (BSA).

Dr Maddie Breeze’s book, Seriousness in Women’s Roller Derby: Gender, Organization, and Ambivalence, won the Phillip Abrams Memorial Prize, which is awarded annually for the best first sole-authored monograph in Sociology at the BSA’s recent annual conference in Birmingham.

Maddie was made joint winner of the award from a shortlist of four other sociology authors from across the country.

Maddie’s book is based on ethnographic research with a women’s roller derby league in Edinburgh, and explores questions of gender and sporting legitimacy, developing a sociological account of what is at stake in ‘getting taken seriously’, as skaters work together to achieve recognition for their sport, and retain its unique grassroots and do-it-yourself character.

Commenting on her award from the BSA, Maddie said: “I’m really delighted with the prize, and especially to be in such prestigious company along with the other nominees. I hope that the book sparks debate on broader questions about how we participate in the organizations and institutions that frame our daily lives, and that readers are inspired to discover more about both roller derby and Public Sociology.”

The judges said: “This is an outstanding work which demonstrates fully how the women skaters responded to the challenge of trying to achieve legitimacy for this aggressive, tactical, competitive and complicated sport.”

Since winning the prestigious title, Maddie has been invited to speak at a BSA event about using research in sociology teaching in July. She has also been invited to speak about her new book at the Portobello Book Fair near Edinburgh in October.

An online version of the book can be found on Springer Link.

The prize, of £1,000, is given annually to the best first sole-authored sociology book.

It was set up in memory of Professor Abrams, who died in 1981 aged 48 and whose work contributed substantially to sociology and social policy research.

QMU is the first university in Scotland to offer an undergraduate degree in Public Sociology. The BSc (Hons) Public Sociology is encouraging students to engage with a diverse range of communities and social debates. It is also looking at creative ways to deal with some of society’s most pressing social issues such as developing information which will inform policies on poverty, social exclusion, equality and diversity.

The QMU sociology team offers two Sociology degree programmes - the BSc single honours programme in Public Sociology and the BSc joint honours programme in Psychology & Sociology. 

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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