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Department of Sociology

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Department of Sociology
London School of Economics
Houghton Street

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 7309


See Who's who for a complete list of all people working in the Department and how to contact them. 


We are based on the first floor of St Clement's Building.


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Related research centres and British Journal of Sociology

Welcome to the Department of Sociology, which has played a key role in establishing and developing the discipline since 1904. Today we remain committed to providing top quality teaching, and to research and scholarship which is leading the evolution of the social sciences into new intellectual areas and the study of the social problems and ethical dilemmas facing a cosmopolitan and fractured society.

QS World University Rankings 2017 puts the Department second in Europe and fourth in the world for sociology.

Sam Friedman

Alumni from Britain’s top public schools 94 times more likely to reach elite positions

Dr Aaron Reeves and Dr Sam Friedman this week published a new article in the American Sociological Review examining the past and present power of Britain’s most prestigious private schools in propelling their ‘old boys’ into the elite. Drawing on 120 years of data from Who’s Who, they find that while the power of elite schools has diminished over time, their alumni remain 94 times more likely to reach the most powerful elite positions than those who attended any other school. The article is available here and you can also read articles about the study in The Guardian, The Telegraph  and the Times Higher.

barry eidlin

Lecture: Labor and the Class Idea in the United States and Canada

Wednesday 6 December 2017 | 18.30-20.00 | Robert McKenzie Room (S219), St Clements Building

Speaker: Professor Barry Eidlin (McGill)

In this lecture, Professor Eidlin will explore why unions are weaker in the U.S. than in Canada, despite the socio-economic similarities between the two countries.

This lecture is open to LSE staff and students only. Please email Emma Glassey to register: e.glassey@lse.ac.uk

Suzanne Hall

Congratulations Dr Suzanne Hall - Winner of a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2017

Dr Suzanne Hall has won a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017); valued at £100,000, this award was set up by the Leverhulme Trust to "recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising”.

Suzanne's winning submission consisted of a proposal to extend her ‘ordinary streets’ project to South Africa. It will be fascinating to see how her core research question – how migrants inhabit the city – plays out in urban centres of the global South, particularly with the complex political and social history of Cape Town.

Congratulations Suzanne!

Claire Moon - use this photo

Congratulations Dr Claire Moon - Winner of an LSE Excellence in Education Award 2016-17

For the second year running, Dr Claire Moon, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, has won an LSE Excellence in Education Award (2016-17). 

Designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’ (LSE Strategy 2020), the Excellence in Education Awards are made, on the recommendations of Heads of Department, to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.

Congratulations Claire!


LSE Human Rights 

Important and exciting changes are planned for the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, LSE.  In Michaelmas Term 2017, the Centre will move to the Department of Sociology and be relaunched as LSE Human Rights.  LSE Human Rights will be the key focal point at LSE for interdisciplinary human rights teaching, research, and public engagement. LSE Human Rights will benefit considerably from the strong support and commitment of the Department of Sociology and other departments at LSE, including the Department of Law. LSE Human Rights will relocate to a new dedicated cluster space within the Department of Sociology and will develop further its engagement with new academic colleagues working in human rights areas. The new organisational structure of LSE Human Rights will improve its academic capacity to better meet the challenges of human rights today. The Stan Cohen Library will be housed in Sociology in recognition of a key founder of the Centre and renowned sociologist, the late Stan Cohen, a former colleague in the Department. 

Current Centre activities will continue in LSE Human Rights, and new activities are planned in several areas. These include the development of a new human rights Executive Masters programme, potentially a second Masters in Politics and Human Rights, and further high profile public engagement activities and research projects.  LSE Human Rights will also offer two new short courses in 2018 in migration and in cybersecurity, and these will join the existing portfolio of six short courses on international human rights, war, women’s rights, children’s rights, advocacy and business. LSE Human Rights will remain committed to public engagement, including through its highly successful public events programme, the human rights blog, newsletter, social media, and other planned activities. The Scholars at Risk programme will continue to be managed by LSE Human Rights and will expand its fundraising capacity to assist more scholars in the future.  Current Centre funding and research staff will remain in place under the umbrella of LSE Human Rights, overseen by and under the governance of the Department of Sociology. LSE Human Rights will have its own Strategy Committee, comprised of a subset of current Advisory Board members along with Department staff representatives and other interested collaborative partners internal to the LSE. 

Commenting on the relaunch of LSE Human Rights incoming Director of the LSE, Dame Minouche Shafik said: “During this period of escalating attacks on human rights in many parts of the world and on many of the freedoms we take for granted, I am delighted to affirm LSE’s commitment to human rights, ones that are key to LSE’s mission of international education, research and public engagement. I warmly support the transition of LSE Human Rights into the Department of Sociology, a transition that will expand its interdisciplinary activities and increase further the profile of human rights across and outside the School.  I look forward to working with LSE Human Rights colleagues and wish it every success for the future.”



New and recent publications by LSE Sociology faculty (scroll down for articles and reports):

suzi book

SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City

Edited by Suzanne Hall and Ricky Burdett (2017)

This newly published inter-disciplinary handbook for all academics and researchers interested in contemporary urban studies. The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City focuses on the dynamics and disruptions of the contemporary city in relation to capricious processes of global urbanisation, mutation and resistance.

The handbook is organised around nine key themes, through which familiar analytic categories of race, gender and class, as well as binaries such as the urban/rural, are readdressed. These thematic sections together capture the volatile processes and intricacies of urbanisation, across the world, revealing the turbulent nature of our early twenty-first century.

The handbook brings together the work of many LSE scholars, including David Madden, Fran Tonkiss and Mike Savage from the Department of Sociology, Austin Zeiderman from the Department of Geography and Julia King from LSE Cities.

Bridget Hutter

Risk, Resilience, Inequality and Environmental Law

Bridget Hutter, Edward Elgar Publishing (2017)

This newly published book considers how the law has adapted to the environmental challenges of the 21st Century and the ways in which it might be used to cope with environmental risks and uncertainties whilst promoting resilience and greater equality.

These issues are considered in social context by contributors from different disciplines who examine some of the experiments tried in different parts of the world to govern the environment, improve the available legal tools and give voice to more diverse groups.

    Social Theory Now

Social Theory Now

Edited by Monika Krause, Claudio E. Benzecry and Isaac Ariail Reed, University of Chicago Press (2017)

The landscape of social theory has changed significantly over the three decades since the publication of Anthony Giddens and Jonathan Turner’s seminal Social Theory Today. Sociologists in the twenty-first century desperately need a new agenda centered around central questions of social theory. In Social Theory Now, Claudio E. Benzecry, Monika Krause, and Isaac Ariail Reed set a new course for sociologists, bringing together contributions from the most distinctive sociological traditions in an ambitious survey of where social theory is today and where it might be going.

The book provides a strategic window onto social theory based on current research, examining trends in classical traditions and the cutting edge of more recent approaches. From distinctive theoretical positions, contributors address questions about how social order is accomplished; the role of materiality, practice, and meaning; as well as the conditions for the knowledge of the social world. 

Regulatory Crisis cover

Regulatory Crisis: negotiating the consequences of risk, disasters and crises

Bridget Hutter and Sally Lloyd-Bostock, Cambridge University Press (2017)

Using a new concept - 'regulatory crisis' - this book examines how major crises may or may not affect regulation. The authors provide a detailed analysis of selected well-known disasters, tracing multiple interwoven sources of influence and competing narratives shaping crises and their impact. Their findings challenge currently influential ideas about 'regulatory failure', 'risk society' and the process of learning from disasters.  Follow link above to read more and order a copy from the publisher's webpage.

‘All future scholars of disaster, natural or otherwise, will have to consult this wide-ranging comparative study of the complex and multiple forces that aim to ignore, remediate or exploit this crucial species of public troubles. I know of no work that matches it in terms of thorough documentation and range across so wide variety of cases.’ Harvey Molotch, New York University.


Safe with Self-Injury

Kay Inckle, PCCS Books, 2016

This book is an essential resource for anyone who has a supporting role or relationship with someone who hurts themself. It is equally useful for people who self-injure, to help them to explore their experiences and to keep themselves safe. Based on interviews with people who self-injure and frontline practitioners who work with them, it explores why people hurt themselves, debunks myths and misconceptions and explains self-injury in the contexts of human embodiment and a social model approach to distress.
Sociology of Speed cover

The Sociology of Speed

Digital, Organizational, and Social Temporalities

Edited by Judy Wajcman and Nigel Dodd, OUP, December 2016

Pulls together and extends the most important theoretical and empirical innovations across the social sciences, with contributions by leading scholars from the US and Europe.


In Defence of Housing: the politics of crisis

David Madden and Peter Marcuse, Verso, 2016

In every major city in the world there is a housing crisis. How did this happen and what can we do about it? Everyone needs and deserves housing. But today our homes are being transformed into commodities, making the inequalities of the city ever more acute. Profit has become more important than social need.

In Defense of Housing is the definitive statement by leading urban planner Peter Marcuse and sociologist David Madden (LSE Sociology).


Recent articles, reports and other publications include:

Chant S., Klett-Davies M. & J. Ramalho (2017) Young Female Adolescents in Urban Areas of the Global South, The Challenges of Slums and Potential Solutions - Rapid Evidence Review, London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

An article by Dr Suzanne Hall on ‘Mooring “super-diversity” to a brutal migration milieu’ published in Ethnic and Racial Studies 40th anniversary celebration (2017), which explores processes of subordination that underpin the European migration system: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2017.1300296

An article by Dr Claire Moon entitled ‘Human rights, human remains: forensic humanitarianism and the human rights of the dead’ in a special issue of International Social Science Journal: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/issj.12071/abstract).

A paper published in the journal Sociology by Dr Sam Friedman, Dr Daniel Laurison (LSE Sociology) and Dr David O’Brien (Goldsmiths) using data from the Great British Class Survey which reveals the extent to which actors from relatively wealthy backgrounds are dominating the theatre and film industry: Like Skydiving without a Parachute’: How Class Origin Shapes Occupational Trajectories in British Acting.

A report by Dr Martina Klett-Davies anaylysing trends and characteristics associated with single parents in the UK from 1997 to 2015 published by the Bertelsmann Foundation as part of their Families and Education programme: Under Pressure? Single parents in the UK (PDF).

Suzanne Hall’s article on ‘Migrant Urbanisms: Ordinary Cities and everyday resistance’  in the journal Sociology on their special issue on Sociologies of Everyday Life (vol 49 (5): 853-869). The article explores how migrants are active in the making of urban space and urban politics: http://soc.sagepub.com/content/49/5/853.full.pdf+html

A chapter by Dr Suzanne Hall on ‘Designing Public Space in Austerity Britain’ recently published in an edited book on Economy and Architecture by Odgers, McVicar and Kite (Routledge, 2015): http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/63143/

An article by Dr Ayça Çubukçu (2015), “On the Exception of Hannah Arendt,” in Law, Culture and the Humanities, DOI: 10.1177/1743872115588442.


Event: Strangers in Their Own Land: bridging a growing divide



Speaker: Professor Emerita Arlie Russell Hochschild (Berkeley)

30 October 2017


Event: British Journal of Sociology Annual Lecture - The Social Life of DNA: racial reconciliation and institutional morality


Podcast, video and PowerPoint Slides


Speaker: Professor Alondra Nelson (President, SSRC)

26 October 2017

What is Housing For-5665

Event: What is Housing For?

Podcast, video and PowerPoint Slides

Speakers: David Madden (LSE), Anna Minton (UEL) and Alex Vasudevan (Oxford)

23 October 2017

For more events, past and forthcoming, plus podcasts and videos, please see our Events and Past Events pages.