Roller derby book wins top prize

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

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 annual conference.

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.”

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.

For more information on Maddie’s new book and to purchase a copy online, visit:


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