Unit of Assessment
Research Assessment Exercise 2008



By percentage of research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard

UOA 41 Sociology

FTE Cat A Staff submitted for assessment






London School of Economics and Political Science







Men who work as bouncers and the creation of Dolly the sheep are the subjects of two of the many research papers submitted to the sociology panel of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise| by LSE sociologists.

Professor Dick Hobbs, whose research on bouncers and organised crime has helped reinforce LSE Sociology's reputation in the sociology of crime, is head of the department. He said: 'We are working to reinvigorate LSE's international reputation in sociology through a process of recruiting new staff to enhance our research culture and develop new research priorities. '

New research priorities in bioscience, human rights, and race have added new dimensions to LSE's core offerings in sociology. 

BIOS, founded in 2003 by Professor Nik Rose, is an LSE research centre focussing on social and policy aspects of the life sciences and biomedicine. A wide variety of contemporary social issues are put under examination. For example, Professor Sarah Franklin's research on Dolly the sheep culminated in a thought-provoking book, Dolly Mixtures, which looks beyond the much-rehearsed controversies about human cloning to other reasons why Dolly's birth and death were so significant.

In the area of human rights, Dr Claire Moon assessed South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and produced a wide-ranging analysis in the book, Narrating Political Reconciliation. And in race, racism and ethnicity, Professor Paul Gilroy's Black Britain: A Photographic History is a substantial achievement chronicling the black presence in Britain since the 1860s.

Other highlights of LSE Sociology's research include Professor Paul Rock's work on victims' rights, Dr Robin Archer's work on labour politics in the US and Dr Patrick McGovern's research on market, class and employment. These areas enhance the department's traditional core specialisms of crime, deviance and criminal justice, and economic and political sociology.

The department's research often reaches out to a wider audience. Professor Richard Sennett's book, Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality, opens with a personal memoir of growing up in Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green housing project before turning to a more theoretical investigation of the factors that undermine mutual respect and a proposal for a welfare system based on greater respect for those in need.

20 per cent of the department's work is deemed 'world leading' in terms of originality, significance and rigour and 25 per cent internationally excellent. Sociology at LSE is rated, on this measure, in the UK's top 20 sociology departments.

Professor Hobbs concluded: 'LSE Sociology's international research culture is strengthened by the regular engagement of internationally renowned scholars such as Professors Ed Soja and Saskia Sassen. We have also seen the development of young researchers such as Dr Claire Moon and Dr Alastair Cochrane.'

See Definitions of Quality| 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* and u/c

See RAE 2008 Analysis of Results| in the RPDD website for more detailed information.