Katie Fitzpatrick receives top Book Award

17 December 2013
Katie Fitzpatrick receives her award from Toni Bruce, Past-President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport.

Dr. Katie Fitzpatrick recently received the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Outstanding Book Award (2013).

Her book “Critical Pedagogy, Physical Education and Urban Schooling” (Peter Lang, New York) was chosen from a field of 14 nominated sole-authored books. It is a critical ethnography of health, physical education and the schooling experiences of South Auckland youth. The book explores the complex potential for health and physical education as subjects that are both politically fraught and also spaces of hope for Māori and Pasifika youth in New Zealand.

The NASSS Book Award Committee included a citation with the following comments:

The book “emulates classic texts in critical education, such as Learning to Labor, applying Bourdieu’s theories of social reproduction to an in depth critical ethnographic analysis of one secondary school.”

“This book stood out for its methodological rigor and the author’s commitment to critical interrogation of power through the process of conceptualization… data gathering and writing…. The research is theoretically sophisticated, deeply rooted in critical theory that draws the relationship between local practices, national policies…and the effects of neo-liberalism globally.”

“With her trans-disciplinary approach, the author draws upon knowledge from a variety of geographical and philosophical locations to produce a book that offers compelling arguments for the field of sport sociology and further inspires methodological, theoretical and practical questions.”

One committee member concluded, “This is a timely, relevant book for our field, no question. Given public policy as it relates to health and physical activity (especially in schools, especially as related to access to physical activity) in the present moment, this book offers us a way forward with re-centering the terms of those debates, and shining a critical eye to the cultural pedagogy at play in such debates.”

Katie says that, “crucially, the book centralises the perspectives of South Auckland youth. While the issues it explores will resonate across different international contexts, the young people whose experiences are documented and theorised in this book rarely get listened to in education and policy debates. This book highlights their strengths, challenges and the complex cultural contexts they inhabit”.

NASSS Past President, Associate Professor Toni Bruce, say the highly competitive award reflects the superb quality of Katie’s research and its broad reach.

“It also demonstrates the relevance of New Zealand work to the rest of the world. Katie is thoroughly deserving of this international recognition of her work.”