UWS student wins prestigious sociology award

Xiaoying Sheila Qi

A graduate from the University of Western Sydney’s Institute for Culture and Society, Xiaoying Sheila Qi, has received the prestigious Jean Martin Award for her thesis examining how ideas and knowledge move between cultures.

The Jean Martin Award is a biennial prize from the Australian Sociological Association awarded to ‘the best PhD thesis in sociology in Australia’.

Dr Qi’s thesis developed the concept of the intellectual entrepreneur, who not only selects alien ideas but negotiates the resistance of the receiving culture, thereby changing both the original ideas and the culture that incorporates them.

She says the list of previous award recipients is very impressive, and it is a great thrill to be now included in their company.

“Jean Martin pioneered the sociological understanding of migration, including Asian migration to Australia, and I’m sure she would have seen the appropriateness of a female Asian migrant sociologist receiving the Award in 2013,” Dr Qi says.

“This is excellent recognition of my research and writing by the representative organization of Australian sociology. I appreciate being an honoured member of the community of sociologists.”

Dr Qi paid tribute to the Institute for Culture and Society for giving her the freedom to pursue what she believed was important in the thesis.

“I enjoyed my time at the University of Western Sydney, and I’m especially grateful to the University for providing me with a full scholarship, which really made the whole thing possible,” she says.

“I want to acknowledge the support of my supervisors, Professor Greg Noble and Professor Peter Hutchings, the Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts.”


19 February 2014

Contact: Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer