Campus Life

U of L sociologist Kazemipur wins prestigious book award

Dr. Abdie Kazemipur, a University of Lethbridge professor of sociology and the University Scholar research chair in social sciences, has been named by the Canadian Sociological Association (CSA) as this year’s recipient of The John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award for his recent book The Muslim Question in Canada: A Story of Segmented Integration (2014, UBC Press).

“I am deeply honoured to be receiving this award,” says Kazemipur. “It is very encouraging and energizing to see that my modest contribution has been recognized at a national level and I am grateful to the award committee of the CSA for it.”

In his book, Kazemipur addresses the question of how a peaceful and harmonious relationship can be forged between the Muslim minorities and mainstream populations in western liberal democracies. This has been one of the most pressing issues of the past couple of decades and has resulted in a large body of research. The bulk of the existing research, however, has been non-Canadian, non-empirical, and non-sociological; Kazemipur’s book transcends this field of research on all three fronts. First, the book addresses the research question against the backdrop of ‘Canadian exceptionalism’ – the popular belief that the integration of immigrants has been much smoother in Canada than elsewhere. Second, it relies on a vast array of both quantitative and qualitative data including nationwide longitudinal surveys, face-to-face interviews and participant observations. Third, it demonstrates the merits of using a sociological approach to overcome the shortcomings of the existing research, the bulk of which have their disciplinary bases in political philosophy, cultural studies, communication, religious studies, and anthropology.

Each year, the Canadian Sociological Association gives the award to a work that makes a distinguished contribution to the understanding of Canadian society. The work must be relevant to an issue Canadian society is facing and include solid theory, meticulous research, and clear language. The award, named after prominent Canadian sociologist John Porter, was created in 1980 to recognize outstanding published scholarly contributions to the advancement of sociological knowledge in Canada.

“The award is the top award in Canada for a sociologist; it is the crème de la crème,” says Dr. Susan McDaniel, director of the Prentice Institute and Canada Research Chair in Global Population and Life Course. “We at the Prentice Institute and in the Sociology department at the U of L are justly proud to have a scholar of Dr. Kazemipur's stature among us.”

He will receive the honour during the award ceremony of the annual meeting of the CSA at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2015 in Ottawa May 30 to June 5. He has also been invited to deliver a keynote speech at the 2016 (CSA) conference to be held in Calgary.

Kazemipur will also be the featured speaker at Thursday’s (May 7) Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs at noon at Country Kitchen Catering, located on the lower level of The Keg restaurant.