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LSE Sociology has experienced major rebuilding since 2008, with seventeen new academic appointments, research funding worth over £9 million and one the largest PhD programmes in the UK, proportionate to staff size.

Responding to the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014, Head of Department Mike Savage said: ‘I am delighted that the results show the amount of our world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) activity increasing hugely from 45% to 80% in only six years, making us the most rapidly advancing Sociology Department in the country. I am especially thrilled that the quality of our publications has been rated as amongst the top in the UK, with the Department ranked second in the UK for the percentage of its research receiving the very highest (4*) grade’.

Concerns with growing inequalities and injustices motivate the Department’s research, which focuses on the tensions of global social change. It champions ‘situated theory’, which criticises grand, catch-all theories in favour of ‘middle range’ theory that looks at the detail and complexity of contemporary challenges. Researchers are helping to lead debates on new cosmopolitan approaches to human rights and political conflict, finance and economic change, urbanisation, social stratification and class, and science and technology.

Judy Wajcman, American Sociological prize winner and Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology has attracting glowing reviews for her recent book on digital technology and time acceleration, including from the New York Times.

Professor Mike Savage directed the BBC’s Great British Class Survey , the most popular digital social science research project ever, with 9 million clicks on its ‘class calculator’. In addition to its huge public appeal, the work has helped to re-invigorate the study of class and inequality and made a vital contribution to the creation of LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute. In this, it exemplifies the Department’s commitment to research that is empirically rich and conceptually sophisticated but also socially and politically relevant.

LSE Cities, founded in 2010 to assist in making cities fairer and more sustainable, provides a hub for interests in urban change, culture and connection. Led by Professor Ricky Burdett, its work has had important impacts on planning policies across the UK and in cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen and Portland.

The interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Rights, directed by Professor Chetan Bhatt, provides a focus for research on human rights issues, including in relation to secularism, science and technology, global finance, warfare and violence and global uprisings.

LSE Sociologists share their findings with leading international businesses, NGOs, media and educational organisations, as well as intergovernmental organisations and charities. They also share their expertise with the UK Government and related bodies, including the Bank of England, Treasury and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, often with significant effects on policy. Professor Bridget Hutter’s research on regulatory enforcement and compliance, for example, underpinned recommendations adopted by the UK Food Standards Agency.

Departmental results: Sociology|

Department homepage:|

LSE Impact:|

See also:

The Great British Class Survey – Results|

Impact Case Study Summaries