Patricia Leavy is an acclaimed pop-feminist author and expert commentator as well as a leading researcher with more than a dozen books to her credit. After receiving several prestigious awards and fellowships Dr. Leavy earned her PhD in Sociology at Boston College in 2002. Dr. Leavy was a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology at Stonehill College from 2002-2012 where she also served as Founding Director of the Gender Studies Program and the Chairperson of the Sociology & Criminology Department. Dr. Leavy previously taught at Boston College, Northeastern University and Curry College. She now writes full-time and offers a variety of book talks, invited lectures and workshops.
As a pop culture and women’s studies expert, Dr. Leavy has spent over a decade conducting interview research with women on topics including sexuality, relationships and body image. She is the author of the novel American Circumstance (2013) which explores appearance versus reality– how people’s live and relationships look versus how they are– and how social class shapes identity in complex ways. Her previous novel, Low-Fat Love (2011) explores women’s identity-development in the context of popular culture, why some women are attracted to men who withhold their support and the psychology of unhealthy relationships (including with one’s self). Low-Fat Love was nominated for numerous book awards and was Sense Publishers #1 selling book in 2012 (and their best selling title to date). She is also the author of Iconic Events: Media, Politics and Power in Retelling History (2007) which investigates the collective memory practices surrounding Titanic, the Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Pearl Harbor, the Columbine High School Shootings and September 11th. Iconic Events emphasizes the gendered nature of the media reporting, political appropriations and pop culture adaptations of these events. For example, the book unpacks the use of Titanic in the women’s suffrage movement. Dr. Leavy is also the coauthor of Feminist Research Practice: A Primer (2007) and co-editor of Hybrid Identities: Theoretical and Empirical Examinations (2008).
As a sociologist, pop culture and women’s studies expert Dr. Leavy has appeared on national and local television (for example, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs Tonight) and is regularly quoted in international, national and local print news (for example, The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The LA Times). She regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and other news media.
Dr. Leavy is also a leading qualitative and arts-based researcher and has published many cutting-edge research methods books. She is the author of Fiction as Research Practice (2013), Essentials of Transdisciplinary Research Practice: Using Problem-Centered Methodologies (2011), Oral History: Understanding Qualitative Research (2011) and Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice (2009). She is the coauthor of The Practice of Qualitative Research 1st and 2nd editions (2005, 2011) and she is co-editor of the Handbook of Emergent Methods (2008), Emergent Methods in Social Research (2006) and Approaches to Qualitative Research: A Reader on Theory and Practice (2004). She is also the editor for the prestigious Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research (forthcoming). Dr. Leavy’s books have been very well reviewed, received numerous accolades and have been nominated for several book awards. Method Meets Art is a bestseller.
Oxford University Press hand-picked Dr. Leavy to serve as series editor for their book series Understanding Qualitative Research. Dr. Leavy is also the series editor for the cutting-edge Sense Publishers book series Social Fictions which publishes novels, plays and short story collections that are informed by research and teaching experiences. She recently announced the development of two other book series she will be editing: Teaching Gender and Teaching Race & Ethnicity (also with Sense Publishers).
In recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the discipline of sociology The New England Sociological Association named Leavy the 2010 “New England Sociologist of the Year.” Dr. Leavy has also been nominated for the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry’s Lifetime Achievement Award as well as a Special Achievement Award by the American Creativity Association, both for her work advancing arts-based research.