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Department of Sociology

How to contact us

Department of Sociology
London School of Economics
Houghton Street

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7106 1426

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 second 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 2015 puts the Department first in Europe and fifth in the world for sociology.

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Crisis at Work: identity and the end of career

This new book by Dr Jesse Potter explores how we make sense of ourselves when work is precarious and intrinsically alienating.  Based on the narratives of men and women who underwent extraordinary work–life changes, Crisis at Work (Palgrave Macmillan, June 2015) examines how we negotiate greater meaning and fulfilment when our productive lives fail to sustain and satisfy. Follow link above for book details.


Three Myths and Facts about the Great British Class Survey

The BBC’s Great British Class Survey (GBCS) generated an unprecedented amount of media interest when the first study from the survey was published in April 2013. Since that time, many sociologists, journalists, and members of the public have responded to both the press coverage and to the actual research. A  special issue of The Sociological Review has just been released, showcasing further research conducted using the data, and Dr Daniel Laurison takes this opportunity to clear up a few myths or misunderstandings of the GBCS data and project. Follow link above to his blogpost.

Dr Lisa Mckenzie on BBC Radio 4’s 'Thinking Allowed': The Precariat

Dr Lisa Mckenzie joins Laurie Taylor and Professor Guy Standing on BBC Radio 4’s 'Thinking Allowed' to discuss the concept of the 'Preciariat' in the Great British Class Survey (GBCS). The Precariat was first introduced in Professor Standing’s highly influential 2011 book as an emerging mass class, characterized by inequality and insecurity. Follow link above to listen to the interview.

Undergraduate Open Day 1 July

Interested in studying sociology with us?  The Open Day will enable you to come and experience the unique atmosphere of the School.  You will have the opportunity to:

  • listen to subject talks from academic staff
  • meet current LSE students
  • visit some of our student accommodation
  • ask your questions directly to staff from departments such as Financial Support and Undergraduate Admissions

Follow link above for more info (this is now fully booked but find out about other opportunites to visit LSE).

Invitation to take part in one-on-one interviews

PhD student Katharina Hecht is recruiting interviewees for her research project, 'Economically successful individuals’ perspectives on top incomes and wealth'. Follow link above to find out more (PDF).

Thomas Piketty at LSE 11 May 2015

Thomas Piketty to join LSE

Professor Piketty (pictured at the conference on 'Inequality in the 21st Century' hosted by LSE's new International Inequalities Institute with the Department of Sociology and the British Journal of Sociology on 11 May), has been appointed Centennial Professor at the International Inequalities Institute.  Professor Mike Savage, co-director of the III with Professor John Hills, said:  'Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century has revolutionised our understanding of inequality through demonstrating how fundamental historical shifts towards escalating capital accumulation disproportionately enhance those who are already wealthy... This is a fantastic opportunity to establish the III and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him.'

Follow link above to read the article in Times Higher Education online.

Watch and listen to the event video and podcast.


Elites and Urban dynamics: New Perspectives

A one-day seminar at LSE on 22 July 2015,  funded by the ESRC Alpha Territory project, in association with the LSE International Inequalities Institute, organised by Rowland Atkinson (University of Sheffield), Roger Burrows (Goldsmiths) and Mike Savage (LSE).  For more information follow link above to programme (PDF).

The Gearty Grilling: Judy Wajcman on the impact of digital technology

 Follow link above to watch the video.

The Gearty Grilling, a weekly series of short, to-the-point video debates from LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) on key issues affecting the world today. Conor Gearty, Director of the IPA and Professor of Human Rights Law, subjects academics to a five-minute grilling to showcase the School's world class research and faculty (recently Bridget Hutter, Professor of Risk Regulation, discussed why extensive regulation is not always a good idea).

Conference Call for Papers: Changing elites in Europe

 LSE, London 26-27 November 2015

A collaboration between LSE Sociology and the Department of Sociology, University of Bergen, Norway, sponsored by the Research Council of Norway. The aim of the conference is to contribute to the understanding of changes among elites in and across European nation-states. It seeks to stimulate a debate about the causes and the consequences of historical and contemporary evolutions among political, economic, cultural, academic and other elites.  Follow link above to first call for papers.

For information on all our programmes, including the new MSc Inequalities and Social Science, please see our Study pages.

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


Democratizing Inequalities: dilemmas of the new public participation

Edited by Caroline W. Lee, Michael McQuarrie and Edward T. Walker

Foreword by Craig Calhoun

NYU Press, January 2015

"Democratizing Inequalities is a timely and provocative compilation that demonstrates how participatory practices across a range of expected and unexpected locations cut both ways—opening up avenues for citizen engagement while also limiting the democratic potential assumed to follow... an important resource for researchers and practitioners interested in the democratic possibilities of the 'new public participation.'" —Debra Minkoff, author of Organizing for Equality.  

Michael McQuarrie is Associate Professor in Sociology at LSE.  Craig Calhoun is Director of LSE.

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Getting By: estates, class and culture in austerity Britain

Lisa Mckenzie, Policy Press, January 2015

While the 1% rule, poor neighbourhoods have become the subject of public concern and media scorn, blamed for society's ills. This unique book redresses the balance.

"The stories within this book lay bare what it means to be regarded as inferior and an outcast in your own society. This is a resolutely impressive book written with authenticity and passion."  —Mary O'Hara, journalist and author of Austerity Bites.

Lisa Mckenzie is Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at LSE.

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Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism|

Judy Wajcman, University of Chicago Press, December 2014

"Wajcman integrates the voluminous literatures on time use and technology elegantly and concisely, a great service in itself. But, more important, she wisely leads the reader to new questions, more interesting and fruitful than the ones to which we are accustomed, helping us to think in terms not of quantities (of time or stress, of work or leisure) but of the flows and rhythms that we produce as we interact with technology and with one another. This is an essential addition to any bookshelf or syllabus on the social implications of information technology.”-- Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University

Judy Wajcman is Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology at LSE.

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The Social Life of Money

 Nigel Dodd, Princeton University Press, 2014

 "Nigel Dodd is one of the leading experts on the sociology of money. His excellent new book is a tour de force through sociological, economic, and philosophical theories of money, rich in historical examples and informed by current controversies. Highly original and broad in scope, the book will be a landmark in the sociology of money and will help us to rethink how money is organized in society."--Jens Beckert, director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

 Nigel Dodd is Professor of Sociology at LSE.


Recent articles, reports and other publications include:

The Sociological Review Special Issue: Sociologies of Class: Elites (GBCS) and Critiques: Mike Savage, Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison have all contributed to this Sociological Review special issue on The Great British Class Survey. The work reports new and original analyses on class theory, social mobility, universities and social closure, elites and political engagement and represents the most sustained programme of research on class in the UK in recent years.

Introducing the Class Ceiling: social mobility and Britain's elite occupations
In the first of a new working paper series launched by LSE Sociology,  Dr Daniel Laurison and Dr Sam Friedman argue for a new research agenda in social mobility research that goes beyond the issue of ‘access’ and examines the barriers that those from working-class backgrounds face within elite occupations.  Follow link above to read the paper online (PDF) and read their post for LSE's British Policy and Politics blog.

Dr Suzanne Hall guest edits online journal Discover Society (February 2015) on the topic of immigration, the implications of the UK's Immigration Act 2014, and the immigration talk that provides a focus for the 2015 national election. Other contributors include LSE's Ruben Andersson on 'Border Control is out of Control' and Robin Cohen on 'More Farage, More Immigration'. Focus: Migration and Election 2015.

An article by Dr Lisa Mckenzie in The Guardian (21 Jan 2015) about the background to her new book Getting By: estates, class and culture in austerity Britain:  The estate we’re in: how working class people became the ‘problem’.

A special Symposium edition of the BJS (December 2014) containing eleven original articles discussing various aspects and implications of Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century across sociology as well as other social science disciplines, with an introduction by Professor Nigel Dodd as Editor and an article by Professor Mike Savage: British Journal of Sociology Special Issue: Piketty Symposium.

Mike Savage guest edits online journal Discover Society (Dec 2014) with John Holmwood on the topic of elites, wealth and inequality, and contributes an article: 'Social change in the 21st century: the new sociology of ‘wealth elites.’' Other contributors include Nigel Dodd and LSE Sociology research student Katharina Hecht: The New Sociology of Wealth Elites.

A chapter by Dr Suzanne Hall in Jones, Hannah and Jackson, Emma, (eds.) Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location (Routledge, 2014):  Emotion, location and urban regeneration: the resonance of marginalised cosmopolitanisms.

Race and Class: challenging inequalities

Speakers: Liz Fekete, James Nazroo, Ellie Mae O'Hagan, Debbie Weekes-Bernard

26 May 2015

Link to podcast above

Divided Cities: urban inequalities in the twenty-first century

Speaker: Professor Fran Tonkiss

6 May 2015

Divided Cities video and podcast

Nigel Dodd 2014-crop

Literary Festival 2015: "My Purse, My Person": money and identity

Speakers: David Birch, Nigel Dodd (pictured), Tom Hockenhull, Nicky Marsh

26 February 2015

My Purse My Person podcast


A Tribute to Ulrich Beck: what future for world society?

Speakers: Craig Calhoun, Anthony Giddens, Mary Kaldor, Terhi Rantanen,  Nikolas Rose, Sabine Selchow, Richard Sennett

24 February 2014

A Tribute to Ulrich Beck podcast

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

Research Festival