Our work should be making a significant contribution to core debates about theory and method in sociology. We aim to publish in leading journals – both of the generalist kind, such as the British Journal of Sociology and American Journal of Sociology – and the best outlets within our relevant fields.
All of the sociologists in the Department work on areas that are topic-driven in the first instance. Our identity as a department is therefore geared to the substantive areas we work on, in which issues of theory are assessed in the context of empirical research informed by our strengths in quantitative and qualitative methods.
There is a strong agreement throughout the Department that our work should be focused on topics of major global importance. The key focus here is on analysing the character and causes of contemporary social change at a global level. We thus address the ‘issues of the day’ – climate change, financialisation, increasing inequality, migration – as well as what we consider to be great historical turning points and macro-historical change, such as the rise of democracy, the remaking of class politics, key transformations in capitalism, racial and gender divides, and world war. What unites is here is the belief that we are engaged in debates over ‘big questions’.
We are committed to public-facing work that engages with and informs the practices of major public bodies and community organisations, as well as wider non-academic audiences. We strongly believe in the importance of taking part in major public debates, as well as making a full contribution to public policy, and are proud to have one of the strongest sociology twitter accounts and blogsites in the world.
We all see ourselves as undertaking work that contributes to developing sociology as a key social science discipline. This means that we aim to cultivate strong links with other LSE departments, centres and institutes, to work across department lines on major research themes and initiatives at the LSE, and to collaborate with colleagues from other departments in developing inter- and cross-disciplinary teaching.
We aim to develop a strong research-led teaching community within the Department, which involves students from undergraduate to doctoral level in our core activities. We want to teach a cross-section of students, so that we have a genuinely inclusive and ethnically diverse student body that also includes local, UK-based students from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as students from overseas. We also aim to provide a sociological education to students from other LSE departments, as well as ensuring that sociology makes a key contribution to LSE-wide courses, such as LSE100.
We strive to make full and imaginative use of a wide range of teaching and assessment practices, and to make the best possible use of technology in the way we teach and assess our students.
We aim to involve our students in our research and public engagement, and to give them a hands-on education in the discipline that serves as an apprenticeship for acquiring core sociological skills that will ensure that all of our graduates – at Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral level – are extremely well-placed to pursue careers both within and beyond academia.