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Department of Sociology

How to contact us

Department of Sociology
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London
WC2A 2AE 

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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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 2016 puts the Department second in Europe and fourth in the world for sociology.

It’s LSE Student Volunteering Week 20-26 February!

Already a volunteer? Considering it?  Or think you are just too busy?  Now's the time to find out about who's doing what, and what you can do.  Follow link above to the Volunteer Centre blog to discover what will be going on, and look out for a new video and blog going live on Monday morning to launch the #justonehour campaign.

Sociologies of Competition

A workshop organized by the Economic Sociology Research Cluster

21 February 2017 | 16:00-18:00 |LSE Kingsway, KSW.2.02

In September 1928, the German Sociological Association held its sixth meeting, and one of the more exciting sessions during that Convention turned to the topic of competition. The prominent speakers on this panel proposed two ideas: First, competition is not some underlying principle of selection but a contingent social form, which co-exists with other such forms. Second, competition not just occurs in the economic realm, but in other contexts too. Famously, Karl Mannheim suggested to apply the analysis of competition to the realm of knowledge.

Despite these early and innovative ideas, competition was largely forgotten as a sociological topic in the following decades. Even economic sociologists failed to pay sufficient attention to this concept, partly because their aim was to disprove the existence of ‘perfectly competitive markets’. But now the time seems ripe to take up the thread again. In a recent paper, Tobias Werron (Bielefeld) traces the historical origins of the ‘competitive spirit’ in the 19th century and shows how this spirit changed the cultures of international politics. And in yet unpublished work, Alex Preda (Kings College) turns to the concept of rivalry in the micro-sociological traditions Simmel and Goffman.

During this workshop, the mentioned two scholars will present their newest ideas. Andrea Mennicken (LSE) and Léonie Hénaut (Sciences Po), themselves experts in the field, will comment on their papers. Our discussion will be framed by the more general question: How can we conceptualise competition and how can we study it with sociological means? Everybody is welcome to attend. If you like to participate, please send an email to l.j.wansleben@lse.ac.uk

**Please note, this is for LSE Staff and Students only.**

Suzi Hall at Teaching Cafe Feb 2017

Suzi Hall at the Teaching Café

On 2 February the Teaching and Learning Centre and Educational Strategy Unit’s Lent Term Teaching Café explored the connection between research and education, focusing on three examples of modules where students are supported to produce their own original research. Dr Suzi Hall from LSE Sociology, pictured here with the publication Infrastructural Urbanism produced by MSc City Design and Social Science students in 2016, talked about the City Design Research Studio course.  Follow link above for more on the story.

 

Sociology and the Gay Liberation Front – Bob Mellors at LSE

On 14 October 1970 the first UK meeting of the Gay Liberation Front was held in an LSE classroom. The room was booked by Bob Mellors, a second year Sociology student.  Read his story in this blogpost by Sue Donnelly (LSE Archivist) for the LSE History blog.

Michael McQuarrie

Sociology Has A Trump problem

says Dr Michael McQuarrie in this post for the Researching Sociology blog. 'And a Brexit problem. And a Populism problem. And a white people problem, and a class problem, and a man problem. What does this mean? Confusion is expected because, unfortunately, sociology has these problems in numerous ways.'  Follow link above to read the full post (from November 2016), and check the blog (above right) for more posts on a range of issues by our sociologists and others.

 

Sociology Research Seminar Series

The Sociology Research Seminar is the main venue for scholars from around the world to present work in progress at the department. It is open to all, and it strives to feature innovative sociological research from a variety of perspectives. The series meets every other week in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, follow link above to programme for more details.  Coming next:

Wednesday 22nd February

Professor Tobias Werron (University of Bielefeld)
Topic: 'Why do we believe in competition? A Historical-sociological View of Competition as a Modern Imaginary'

New research uncovers 'class pay gap' in Britain's professions

People from working class backgrounds who get a professional job are paid an average of £6,800 (17 per cent) less each year than colleagues from more affluent backgrounds, research for the Social Mobility Commission has revealed.

Using extensive data from the UK Labour Force Survey (LFS), Dr Sam Friedman and Dr Daniel Laurison of the Department of Sociology at LSE alongside academics from UCL, examined access to the professions and the impact of socio-economic background on earnings. Follow link above for more on this story.

Ricky Burdett 2015

Ricky Burdett awarded CBE

Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities research centre and Urban Age and Professor of Urban Studies at LSE, has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) as part of the New Year’s Honours List for 2017. The Honours List recognises people who have made achievements in public life and committed themselves to serving and helping Britain. Professor Burdett’s CBE is for services to urban planning and design.

 

Mike Savage shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award 2016

Professor Mike Savage was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education (THE) Award 2016 for outstanding research supervisor of the year. 

The annual THE awards celebrates outstanding examples of best practice in higher education. The award criteria for outstanding research supervisor of the year is for the individual who has created "the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for PhD students”.

Professor Mike Savage

Launch of the International Inequalities Institute Atlantic Fellows programme

Mike Savage, Co-Director of the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute (III) is delighted to announce the launch of the III’s Atlantic Fellows programme, a 20-year programme funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to support leaders tackling inequalities. This is an ambitious programme designed to build a global community of leaders dedicated to changing policy, practice and public dialogue around inequalities. Follow the link above to read more.

The Atlantic Fellows programme at the III is created with a grant of £64.4m from The Atlantic Philanthropies.This grant, the largest ever in the history of the LSE, will do much to inscribe critical social science at the heart of the LSE’s intellectual agenda.

Find out more about the programme here 

LSE Press Release: Atlantic Fellows programme

 

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

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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. It provides practical strategies for responding helpfully, including harm-reduction, and additional resources for policy writing and development. 

 
Sociology of Speed
    

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.

 
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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).

 
Social Class in the 21st Century cover 

Social Class in the 21st Century

Mike Savage, Penguin (Pelican Introduction, paperback), 2015

Social class has re-emerged as a topic of enormous scholarly and public attention. In this book, Mike Savage and the team of sociologists behind the BBC's Great British Class Survey - Niall Cunningham, Fiona Devine, Sam Friedman, Daniel Laurison, Lisa Mckenzie, Andrew Miles, Helene Snee and Paul Wakeling - report their definitive findings and propose a new way of thinking about social class in Britain today.

 

Recent articles, reports and other publications include:

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/

Three Myths and Facts about the Great British Class Survey: blogpost by Dr Daniel Laurison for The Sociological Review (18 June 2015) following the release of the Special Issue (see below).

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

Urban Lightscapes/Social Nightscapes project report: In October 2014, the Configuring Light/Staging the Social team of Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane from LSE Sociology and Dr Joanne Entwistle (KCL) brought together 25 international lighting design professionals, architects, planners and social scientists for a week-long workshop on Peabody’s Whitecross Estate (London). The aim was to explore how social research could be better used to help designers understand the social spaces and users they are designing for, and how to better integrate social research into design processes. Follow link above to the official report (PDF).

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.

Sociology of Speed

Do We Really Live in an Acceleration Society?

Speaker: Hartmut Rosa

12 January 2017

Link to video and podcast above.

 
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Respectable: the experience of class

Speaker: Lynsey Hanley

3 May 2016

Link to video and podcast above.

 
Philippe Coulangeon

New Forms of Cultural Capital

Speakers: Philippe Coulangeon, Sam Friedman, Laurie Hanquinet, Mike Savage

16 November 2015

Link to video, podcast and slides above.

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