News archive


Nigel Dodd gets a Gearty Grilling 

January 2015: Nigel Dodd, Professor of Sociology, discusses the significance of money in society and explains his enduring interest in it in the latest '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 in which 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. Watch the video.  More on Nigel below.

Claire Moon speaks 'on forensic humanitarianism'

Dr Claire Moon was amongst several scholars invited to speak at an Experts Meeting on ‘Understanding Modern Humanitarianism’ at the Social Trends Institute’s Barcelona branch in January 2015. Other speakers were Michael Barnett (George Washington University), Lilie Chouliaraki (LSE), Elisio Macamo (Basel University) David Rieff (writer and journalist), Peter Stamatov (Yale), and Iain Wilkinson (Kent).

The meeting was convened to explore the historical formation, social development and cultural constitution of modern humanitarianism and to assess its progressive potential and its relationship to domination.  The meeting was organised around three broad topics: Origins, Definitions and Explanations; Ideology, Power and Politics; and Humanitarianism for Social Understanding. Claire Moon discussed her new work on ‘forensic humanitarianism’, delineating the history of its appearance within various historical co-ordinates – legal-humanitarian, political and scientific - and some of its implications, including the question of whether we can claim that the dead, now, have human rights.

Pressed for Time cover JWPressed for Time is book of the week

"Occasionally a book comes around that you feel certain will make a difference to how social scientists think about the age we live in and its impact on our daily lives."  Professor Judy Wajcman's latest book Pressed for Time: the acceleration of life in digital capitalism (University of Chicago Press) is Times Higher Education book of the week.  Read the review by Stina Lyon:  Pressed for Time.

Nigel Dodd: money talks

In December 2014 Professor Nigel Dodd took part in a Bitcoin discussion organised by the King’s Review. Speakers were Izabella Kaminska from the Financial Times, Brett Scott and Paul Gilbert, and papers from the meeting will be published soon in the King’s Review. In January 2015 Professor Dodd visited Warwick University, where he gave a paper on The Social Life of Money to the International Political Economy Group. He also took part in a debate at the Warwick Debating Society about the future of cryptocurrencies. Other speakers were Brett Scott, Jonathan Levin, and Nick Lambert. On 4 February he will be taking part in an event on The Social Life of Money at NESTA in London. The evening, which runs from 17.30-19.00, will consist of a short lecture, an interview with Geoff Mulgan, the Chief Executive of Nesta, and a Q&A session with the audience. Later on in February he will be speaking on the book at Reading's and Henley Business School's Centre for Social and Organisational Studies (CSOS), and also at the Centre for Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) at the University of Essex.

Inequalities, Culture and Expertise (ICE)

This is a new group formed as part of the Economies, Risk and Technology research cluster and bringing together 13 faculty and PhD students with related research interests committed to working together and developing a cohesive research culture, applying for research grants, recruiting and supporting PhD students. We see the success of this group as important for the strategic growth of the Department of Sociology as a whole. To find out more about it please see our webpage: Inequalities, Culture and Expertise (ICE).

Getting By: new book by Lisa Mckenzie

Dr Lisa Mckenzie's new book Getting By: estates, class and culture in austerity Britain  is published by 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. Lisa Mckenzie, who is a research fellow at LSE Sociology,  lived on the St Ann’s estate in Nottingham for more than 20 years. Her ‘insider’ status enables us to hear the stories of its residents, often wary of outsiders. St Ann's has been stigmatised as a place where gangs, guns, drugs, single mothers and those unwilling or unable to make something of their lives reside. Yet in this same community we find strong, resourceful, ambitious people who are 'getting by', often with humour and despite facing brutal austerity. This book is published in paperback for £14.99 or £11.99 if ordered direct, see publisher's webpage.  The book was launched on Thursday 15 January at the Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham.


Runnymede Trust now hosted by LSE Sociology

We are very pleased to announce that from December 2014 the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank is to be hosted by the Department of Sociology at the LSE. The Runnymede will continue to operate as an independent charity, working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders, but we also plan a range of collaborative activities over the coming period. We are in the process of organising a conference on ‘race and class’ in summer 2015 which will pool our expertise on these issues, as well as involve leading commentators from across the UK. The possibility of joint research and teaching collaborations is also being explored.

The language of light

language of light

We are all affected by light, with both its presence and its absence able to influence how we feel and how we act. Yet academic exploration of light and its impact has largely been ignored by social scientists. Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane from LSE Sociology explain why the Configuring Light programme is looking to change this, in an article for the Winter 2014 issue of LSE Connect magazine: The language of light.

Inequalities: Mike Savage to direct Leverhulme doctoral studentships at LSE

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded LSE 15 doctoral scholarships, worth £1million over the next three years, for students to undertake interdisciplinary research on ‘the challenge of escalating inequalities’. The prestigious scholarships, worth £70,000 each, will be affiliated with LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute and directed by Professor Mike Savage, Head of Department of Sociology. These awards, the new Institute- which opens in May 2015 - and the new MSc Inequalities and Social Science (see our Study pages) are all part of the School’s increased focus on interdisciplinary research which tackles inequality and social cohesion. Read more

The new sociology of wealth elites

Professor Mike Savage guest edits the latest edition of online journal Discover Society with John Holmwood on the topic of elites, wealth and inequality, in response to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which has had a remarkable public impact since its publication in English.  Read his article: FOCUS: Social change in the 21st century: the new sociology of ‘wealth elites’.  Other contributors include Professor Nigel Dodd on 'Why money costs more when you're poor' and LSE Sociology research student Katharina Hecht on 'Why sociologists should research the increase in top income and wealth inequality'.  Image of Antilia Residence, Mumbai by Mike Savage.

Nigel Dodd talks on money and the economy

On 14 November 2014 Professor Nigel Dodd will be participating in Open Here, held at the Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, giving a keynote address called "The social life of money". Other speakers at the event include Brett Scott, Lúí Smyth, Lana Swartz, Eli Gothill, Duncan McCann, and the artist Geraldine Juárez. For details see programme. On 16 November he will be speaking at an event organized by the Alternative School of Economics called "The Fiction of Money" at London's Hayward Gallery. The talk will be followed by a public discussion, see event webpage. On 20 November he will be taking part in the Bristol Festival of Economics, on a panel devoted to the theme "Should the economy be more local?". Fellow panelists will be Ciaran Munday of the Bristol Pound, Charlotte Alldritt of the RSA Growth Commission, and Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation. See Festival of Economics webpage for details. Finally, on 25 November 2014, he will be speaking about The Social Life of Money to the Political Science and Philosophy Society at the Royal College of Art in London.

Read Nigel Dodd's opinion piece for the Financial Times (you will need to sign up, which is free if you are a student or staff at LSE):  Cast aside the moral judgment and give debt the credit it deserves.

LSE Sociology and the Inequalities Agenda

Professor Mike Savage writes for LSE's Researching Sociology blog about the growing international concern over rising inequality, and the initiatives which the Department of Sociology is launching in response to what may be the most serious problem facing societies across the world:

'It hardly needs emphasis that rising inequality within and between nations is increasingly in the public eye. The success of protest movements such as Occupy has highlighted the distinctiveness of the top ‘one per cent’. The World Economic Forum recently identified income disparity as one of its principal risks to economic and political security in the twenty-first century... This is an arena where the potential of academic research to cross-fertilise with such interests to produce a genuinely public social science is huge, as testified by the remarkable interest in the work of Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, Thomas Piketty, Danny Dorling, Owen Jones, David Graeber and others.  I am therefore delighted that the Department of Sociology at the LSE is pushing forward with a series of initiatives to bolster and enhance this current of work'.  

Read the full article: LSE Sociology at the forefront of the Inequalities agenda.

Suzanne Hall invited to Amsterdam

Dr Suzanne Hall has been invited by the University of Amsterdam to give a number of public and student lectures in October. She has an invited visitorship from the 25th to the 31st of October 2014, sponsored by the Centre for Urban Studies and the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies.
For details:  

Urban Lightscapes/Social Nightscapes Symposium

The Symposium was the finale of a five day workshop on Peabody's Whitecross estate in Islington, London from 13-17 October, bringing together lighting design professionals, architects, planners and social scientists around the topic of social research in lighting design.

The focus of the workshop is the creation of new lighting design interventions to help improve the outdoor spaces on the estate. In this workshop  researchers including Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane from LSE Sociology will support the design teams in their social research to help them better understand the Whitecross estate and its community in order to come up with sensible public lighting ideas. The final day of the workshop will see these proposals presented in a symposium to an audience consisting of the Whitecross community, Peabody, invited guests and the public. A guest panel, chaired by Professor Fran Tonkiss and including renowned lighting master planner Roger Narboni, will comment on the design teams’ presentations and engage the audience in a discussion around social research in design. 
For more information follow link to LSE Cities webpage.

Financial Times reviews The Social Life of Money 

Professor Nigel Dodd’s new book, The Social Life of Money (Princeton University Press) has just received a glowing review in the Financial Times. “Dodd presents a wide-ranging and sophisticated review and integration of the academic work related to alternative conceptions of modern money”, writes the reviewer, drawing on “perspectives from sociology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, philosophy and literary theory, with contributions ranging from Marx, Derrida and Kant to the most recent technical scholarship”. The reviewer, Pietra Rivoli, praises the book for its interweaving of theoretical and empirical concerns, noting that “Dodd is exceptionally skilled at bridging the gap between scholarship and relevance”. She concludes: “[T]his is a richly rewarding book. Those of us accustomed to thinking of money as something we exchange for beer and pizza will never again have such a simple story”.

You can read the FT review here  (you will need to sign up, which is free if you are a student or staff at LSE), while Nigel answers questions about the book here:  He will be giving a public lecture to launch the book at LSE on 23 October 2014.

Suzanne Hall awarded ESRC Future Leaders research grant

Dr Suzanne Hall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Research Fellow at LSE Cities, has been awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant (Ref: ES/L009560/1) for a comparative project on ‘Super-diverse Streets: Economies and spaces of urban migration in UK Cities’. The project is a multidisciplinary exploration of the spatial infrastructures, economic practices and forms of civil organisation on selected ethnically-diverse streets in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester and Bradford. The project will engage with questions of migration and societal reconfiguration through a detailed analysis of each street, and aims to provide a broader perspective of the role of migrants in making urban space.

The Future Research Leaders scheme enables outstanding early-career social scientists, in partnership with their host organisation, to acquire the skills set to become future world leaders in their field. It is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world with a maximum of four years postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation.

Talking Biopolitics with Charis Thompson

Professor Charis Thompson will be talking about about her latest book Good Science: The Ethical Choreography of Stem Cell Research with David Winickoff at the Center for Genetics and Society, UC Berkeley on 2 October 2014.  The event will be live web cast and available as a podcast afterwards, for more information see webpage.

Nigel Dodd on Bitcoin

Professor Nigel Dodd is speaking on the subject "Is Bitcoin Utopian?" at the Money Talks symposium, held at the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University, on 12 September 2014. The symposium has been organized by Nina Bandelj, Daniel Markovits and Frederick F. Wherry. Other speakers include Viviana Zelizer, Bruce Carruthers, Akinobu Kuroda, Akos Rona-Tas, Kieran Healy, Marion Fourcade, Supriya Singh, Eric Helleiner and Bill Maurer. Further details can be found at The Yale press release is at

On August 20-21, Professor Nigel Dodd  participated in a conference at the University of Pretoria, convened by the Human Economy Group, called Money in the Making of World Society. His paper was called "The Social Life of Bitcoin". The conference featured most of the world's leading scholars in the money field, including Keith Hart, Bill Maurer, Supriya Singh, David Pedersen, Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, Tom Boellstorff and Noam Yuran. 

Don Slater and Mona Sloane Interviewed in illumni

Dr Don Slater and Mona Sloane from LSE Sociology were interviewed by Sarah Adams, illumni’s European Editor, about the ideas behind the ‘Configuring Light / Staging the Social’  research programme of social science interventions into the configuration of light (with Dr Joanne Entwistle,  KCL), the aims of the programme, and its deliverables. Read the article.

Lisa Mckenzie nominated for teaching award

Congratulations to Dr Lisa Mckenzie, who was recently nominated for the LSE Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award by students for ‘always having an open door’, ‘being able to answer questions about the University structure that most students can ask their parents, being first in my family to go University I didn’t have this support’ and ‘encouraging students to take on new experiences’.

New appointments in the Department

[First announced when appointments made in April]
We are delighted that three new members of faculty will be joining us in the next academic year. Dr Fabien Accominotti completed his doctorate from Columbia University, New York. His research interests are in economic sociology, the sociology of culture, historical sociology, social networks, and the study of status and inequality. Using network and sequence analytical methods, Fabien's EHESS dissertation explored the social organization of the market for modern painting in Paris between 1870 and 1930, and showed how this organization affected the creativity of artists, their economic value, and the inequalities of success between them. Fabien’s dissertation at Columbia further examines how collaborations influence the careers of artists in three creative industries, and how individuals manage these collaborations as relational resources that help them navigate uncertain economic environments.

Dr Sam Friedman (until now Lecturer in Sociology at City University, London) has a long-standing interest in the study of cultural taste and his book, Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour (2014, Routledge), examines the relationship between social class and the consumption of comedy. Representing the first ever exploration of British comedy taste, the book explores what comedy people like (and dislike), how comedy taste lubricates everyday interaction, and whether some comedy tastes are valued higher than others in British society - representing a new resource of contemporary cultural capital. Outside academia, Dr Friedman is also the publisher of Fest (, an arts magazine that runs during the Edinburgh Festivals. The magazine is a reviews guide which covers every inch of the world's largest arts Festival. Now in its twelfth year, Fest has a circulation of over 150,000. Dr Friedman has also written freelance for a number of other publications, including The Guardian, The Sunday Herald and The Big Issue. 

Dr Leon Wansleben, until now Research Associate, Institute of Sociology, University of Lucerne National Research, is an expert on the sociology of knowledge (sociology of classifications, institutions, knowledge and expert cultures), economic sociology (history and sociology of markets, sociology of calculation), and financial market and money sociology (social studies of finance, political economy).

Judy Wajcman gives evidence on digital skills at House of Lords

On 8 July Professor Judy Wajcman gave evidence at the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills about gender inequality in this area.  Listen to the recording of the proceedings on

Ayça Çubukçu to be visiting scholar at CUNY

Dr Ayça Çubukçu has been appointed as Visiting Research Scholar with the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. While visiting the Committee on Globalization and Social Change in September and October 2014, she will be collaborating with the Committee in addressing its annual research theme of "humanity," and will also work towards expanding the Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity research network in the United States, see webpage

Claire Moon joins citizen-led forensics project

Dr Claire Moon has been invited onto the Advisory Board of an ESRC Transformative Research Project, Citizen-led forensics: DNA and data-banking in the search for the disappeared in Mexico. The project is being led by anthropologist Dr Ernesto Schwartz-Marin, with co-investigator and geographer Arely Cruz-Santiago, both of whom are based at Durham University.

The project will explore new forms of citizenship related to the use of forensic science in the search for the missing in Mexico by analysing the consequences of placing forensic techniques in the hands of the relatives of the disappeared/non-governmental forensic experts, and/or in other interested citizens in Mexico.

Typically within existing academic debates, forensic databases are seen as tools of state surveillance and are deeply connected to issues of privacy. This project moves the debate beyond these themes to explore how citizen-led forensic databases can be used as a tool for reparation and truth finding. The project promises to forge new pathways for forensic research and intervention in the mass atrocities of today and of the future. Read more.

'Super-diverse street': Suzanne Hall on urban migration

Dr Suzanne Hall gave a public lecture on urban migration at the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity on 19 June. Suzi also participated in a two-day workshop on 'super-diversity'. For details see flyer (PDF).

REPS PhD Symposium at LSE

The 'Race', Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies (REPS) PhD Symposium 2014 was held at LSE on 12 and 13 June, providing an intimate forum for PhD research students at UK academic institutions to exchange ideas, present new work, receive constructive feedback from scholars and work collaboratively with peers across disciplines and institutions. Sessions were chaired by leading academics in the field. Follow link to the REPS PhD Network webpage.

Judy Wajcman talks on Pressed for Time

Professor Wajcman gave a seminar on 12 June at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation, Mines Paris Tech, about her forthcoming book, Pressed for Time: The acceleration of life in digital capitalism (University of Chicago Press, November 2014).  See publisher's webpage.

She was also on a panel on ‘How do we innovate responsibly in a digital world?’ at the Science Museum, London on 19 June. 

Nigel Dodd nominated for teaching award

Congratulations to Professor Nigel Dodd, who was a Highly Commended Nominee for Collaborative Research and Guidance at the LSE Students’ Union Student Led Teaching Excellence Awards.  The ceremony was held on 27 May 2014.  Professor Dodd's new book, The Social Life of Money, will be published by Princeton University Press in September 2014.

BSA Early Career Theory Symposium

The British Sociological Association hosted an Early Career Theory Symposium in the Department of Sociology at LSE on 6 June 2014, organised by Dr Suzanne Hall (Assistant Professor in Sociology at LSE). Professor Fran Tonkiss (LSE Sociology), Professor Claire Alexander (University of Manchester) and Professor Patrick Baert (University of Cambridge) provided comment on 11 selected papers, and additional early career scholars were invited to join the forum for discussion.

Latest doctorates awarded in the Department

Congratulations to Dr Hannah Abdullah (supervisor Professor Nigel Dodd), thesis title ‘"New German Painting”: Painting, Nostalgia & Cultural Identity in Post-Unification Germany’ and to Dr Arturo Arriagada (supervisor Dr Don Slater), thesis title 'Cultural Mediators and the Everyday Making of "Digital Capital" in Contemporary Chile'.  You can see more about our current and recent PhD students on our webpage: Research students.

Nigel Dodd gives lecture on Bitcoin in Cologne

Professor Nigel Dodd gave a public lecture at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne on May 22, entitled 'Vires in Numeris: Taking Simmel to MtGox'.  He will also be speaking at Yale on 12 September 2014. 

Suzi Hall gives lecture on migration in Berlin

Dr Suzi Hall gave a public lecture on the urban localities of accelerated migration on 6 May at the Centre for Metropolitan Studies, TU Berlin. The lecture was followed by a workshop with PhD students on the 7th on urban ethnography.

Configuring Light/Staging the Social: Lighting London

The ESRC Configuring Light seminar series got off to a brilliant start at LSE Cities on 24 April 2014. It kicked off in the morning with the fantastic public panel discussion ‘Lighting London’, chaired by Professor Ricky Burdett. For more see the LSE Cities event webpage and read the blog.

London and Global Cities at LSE Summer School

Professor Ricky Burdett, Philipp Rode (LSE Cities)and Professor Tony Travers (LSE London) are launching a new initiative at LSE:  this year, for the first time, they are offering a one-week course as part of the LSE’s Executive Summer School on ‘London and Global Cities: Governance, Planning and Design’ which will take place from 30 June to 4 July 2014 at LSE. 

The five day course will be an intensive exploration and analysis of how London is governed and managed, drawing parallels with and implications for other major cities. The course draws from the collective research work they have done on cities and London at LSE over the past years. Key themes will include governance, planning and design, infrastructure, transport, housing and economic competitiveness.  The course will include classes given by the core teaching group; guest lectures by key members of London’s political, development, transport and housing sectors; and, visits to London’s newest redevelopment area surrounding King’s Cross, and the expanding Canary Wharf development in East London. 

Bridget Hutter gives lecture on risk regulation and crisis at Princeton

On 10 April Professor Bridget Hutter is giving a public lecture on ‘Risk Regulation and Crisis: A Social Science Perspective on Global Uncertainties’, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Research Community on Global Systemic Risk, Princeton University, for details see poster (PDF).


Nigel Dodd promoted to Professor of Sociology

March: Congratulations to Nigel Dodd, who has been promoted to Professor of Sociology. Professor Mike Savage, Head of the Sociology Department, says 'This is a truly well-deserved recognition of his profile as probably the best social theorist of money in the world, as well as of his outstanding teaching and service to the Department and LSE over many years.' 

Judy Wajcman appointed to Anthony Giddens Chair in Sociology

February: The Department of Sociology is delighted to announce that Judy Wajcman has been appointed to the Anthony Giddens Chair in Sociology, in succession to Paul Gilroy (who was Chair in Social Theory). She is pioneer in several fields over the course of her distinguished career. She conducted one of the earliest British studies of women workers, was a co-founder of the first women's studies programme, at the University of Cambridge, and was the first woman fellow at St. John's College. Books on the sociology of work and organisations include Women in Control: Dilemmas of a Workers' Co-operative, Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management and The Politics of Working Life. She is however best known for her contribution to the development of science and technology studies. Her co-authored book The Social Shaping of Technology is regarded as a landmark in the field, as are her books on the gendered character of technology Feminism Confronts Technology and TechnoFeminism. She has been President of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, and was recently awarded the William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award by the Communications and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association. Her latest book, Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, will be published this autumn by the University of Chicago Press.

Mike Savage appointed to Martin White Chair in Sociology

Mike Savage has also been appointed to the Martin White Chair in Sociology, in succession to Nikolas Rose. He has played a leading role in the re-invigoration of the study of class and inequality over recent decades. Trained as an historian, his early work, notably his first book The Dynamics of Working Class Politics (1987) argued that the changing fortunes of working class politics needed to be understood in local context, and informed not only be the analysis of work relations, but also urban dynamics and local gender inequalities. This work initiated a long standing interest in the historical sociology of Britain, the most recent manifestation of which is his recent Identities and Social Change in Britain since 1940: the Politics of Method (2010) which examines how the social sciences have themselves become key agents of social change over the past 50 years. His many studies of social class inequality have emphasised the need to turn the sociological lens on privileged and powerful and include the Class Analysis and Social Transformation (2000) and the co-authored Culture, Class, Distinction(2009). His current work on the BBC’s Great British Class Survey has attracted great academic and public interest. He was made Fellow of the British Academy in 2007 and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Fran Tonkiss promotion and new book

January: We are delighted to report that Fran Tonkiss, who joined the Department of Sociology in 2003 has been promoted to Professor of Sociology. This is fitting recognition of Fran’s role as an internationally-recognised scholar in the fields of urban and economic sociology. She has carved out a distinctive international profile through linking debates about economic change with the built urban form. Her major publications in these fields include Space, the City and Social Theory (Polity, 2005), and Contemporary Economic Sociology: Globalisation, Production, Inequality (Routledge, 2006). She is also the co-author of Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory (Polity, 2001, with Don Slater), and co-editor of Trust and Civil Society (Macmillan, 2000, with Andrew Passey). Her most recent book is Cities by Design: the social life of urban form published by Polity in November 2013. Fran is currently the managing editor of the highly-rated journal Economy and Society, and was the LSE-based editor of the British Journal of Sociology from 2007 to 2010. She is also active in the field of policy and public engagement: she has provided expertise to a number of architectural competition juries, publishes regularly on social and policy issues in the architectural press, acted in the capacity of scientific expert on the committee for a new Swiss spatial strategy in 2009-10, and since 2011 has been a member of the UN-Habitat Urban Private Sector Advisory Board.


Claire Moon joins European Network for the Social Study of Forensics

Dr Claire Moon was an invited participant in the launch of the new European Network for the Social Study of Forensics in Amsterdam, 22-23 November 2013. The launch brought together around 15 scholars from around Europe working on the intersection of the forensic sciences and social and political issues. The launch raised a variety of issues including human rights, privacy, social control, policing, and disaster and atrocity victim identification. The network is planning a range of future activities including conferences, seminars, lectures, public events and collective writing projects.

Money as the measure of man

Claire Moon published a chapter entitled 'Money as the measure of man: values and value in the politics of reparation' which compared reparations granted to victims of gross violations of human rights in South Africa and Argentina. It was published in an edited collection entitled 'Value and Values in Criminology and Community Justice' which explores the inherent, although sometimes invisible, values in crime theory, criminal justice and research practice. The collection spans Marxist, postmodern and feminist perspectives on criminology, analysis of the dynamics of race, gender and age, research methods and ethics, the working of the criminal justice system, and engages with current debates about new challenges for criminology such as the green movement and Islamophobia.

‘Configuring Light/Staging the Social’ project receives ESRC funding for three year international seminar series

The ‘Configuring Light/Staging the Social’ project led by Dr Don Slater (LSE Sociology) and Dr Joanne Entwistle (King’s College London) has received ESRC funding for a three year international seminar series on light as material culture, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of practitioners and academics to discuss a wide range of issues around light and lighting. Confirmed speakers of the seminar series include professionals and academics from Qatar, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The 30,000 GBP funding ensures that the seminar series can run three international seminars per year for three years. Eight will be hosted in UK venues and one will be held in a European capital. Each seminar will have one international speaker and three domestic presenters with an additional audience of about fifty people. The first event will be hosted at LSE in spring 2014, the second seminar will take place in summer 2014 at King’s College London.

Ricky Burdett joins Bill Clinton on Resilient Cities judging panel

October 2013: Professor Ricky Burdett joins former presidents Bill Clinton and Olusegun Obasanjo on the Rockefeller Foundation’s Resilient Cities judging panel. Nearly 400 cities across six continents applied to the 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, which was announced on the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100th anniversary in May 2013. The Foundation has now announced the names of seven distinguished judges from around the world who will select the first round of cities to join the network:

• Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
• Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria
• Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities
• Dr Peter Head, Chair, Ecological Sequestration Trust
• Dr Helene Gayle, President, CARE USA
• Anshu Jain, Co-CEO, Deutsche Bank
• Dr Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation

Configuring Light/Staging the Social

Light is a material through which we organize social space; it is the infrastructure of everyday life, entering into the ways in which social life and interaction is staged and enacted in specific social worlds. Configuring Light/Staging the Social is a multidisciplinary research programme that forges an integral dialogue between social sciences, design, architecture and urban planning focused on light as one of the most fundamental features of social life. It is coordinated by Dr Don Slater, LSE Sociology and Dr Joanne Entwistle of King’s College London. The research programme aims at developing interlinked projects focused on the ways in which light as a material is configured into built environments by using multidisciplinary and academic-practitioner collaborations to explore four over-arching thematics. Its perspective is ethnographically comprehensive: mapping all the significant forms of knowledge, practice and governance and all the actors (consumers, designers, planners) that enter into the processes of configuring light and staging social life. For more information email or go to

Hutter and Lloyd-Bostock on the fallout from Eyjafjallajökull

September 2013: A new analysis by Professor Bridget Hutter and Professor Sally Lloyd-Bostock of the volcanic ash crisis in 2010, which led to the closure of Europe's airspace for six days and huge financial losses for airlines, reveals how powerful economic interests can shape regulation. It explores how, before the crisis, the airline industry failed to respond to regulators’ calls to discuss modifications to standards and protocols. Then, during the crisis, commercial pressures forced the modification of internationally agreed safety guidelines in a matter of days. The report is published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Sociology. For more please follow link to LSE News press release.

Awol Allo joins Centre for the Study of Human Rights

Awol Allo has been appointed as LSE Teaching Fellow in Human Rights for the academic year 2013-14 and will be joining the Centre for the Study of Human Rights from 1 October. He is currently Lord Kelvin and Adam Smith Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and will shortly be submitting his completed thesis 'Law and Resistance: Toward a Performative Epistemology of Law'. He has an LLM (magna cum laude) from the University of Notre Dame and did his LLB at Addis Ababa University.

Suzanne Hall and the future of high streets

Dr Suzanne Hall has been leading research on this currently highly controversial topic as part of the Ordinary Streets project at LSE Cities. Urban ethnographer and lecturer in sociology Suzi, who teaches in the Cities Programme, has been studying city streets in London for more than five years, focusing on Rye Lane in Peckham, south London, a poor and ethnically diverse neighbourhood which paradoxically bucks the national trend of declining footfall and struggling independent retailers, as local businesses adapt to their customers' needs. The research project is featured in LSE research highlights.

Judy Wajcman receives CITASA Career Achievement Award

Professor Judy Wajcman was the 2013 recipient of the CITASA William F. Ogburn Career Achievement Award. CITASA is the Communications and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA).  The award was presented during the Annual Meeting of the ASA in August 2013 in New York City.  It recognizes a sustained body of research that has provided an outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the area of sociology of communications or the sociology of information technology.

Judy Wajcman is taking part in a distributed open collaborative course or DOCC on 'Feminism and Technology', which is being offered as an alternative to the MOOC model.  The DOCC aims to challenge MOOC thinking about the role of the instructor, about the role of money, about hierarchy, about the value of "massive," and many other things.

Bridget Hutter visits ANU

Bridget Hutter was Visiting Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) Australian National University 18-31 August 2013. She gave a seminar at the Australian Productivity Commission on Thursday 29 August.

Dr Ayça Çubukçu in discussion with Talal Asad on Egypt

On July 11, 2013, Ayça Çubukçu, IGLP Network Member and Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor spoke with Talal Asad, distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Scholar of Secularism and Middle Eastern Studies, to discuss his thoughts on the military intervention in Egypt July 3, 2013. Some say it was a coup, others insist it was a response to the people’s demands. To see what Dr. Asad has to say, read the full discussion in Jadaliyya online: Neither Heroes nor Villains

Winning picture by Evangelos Georgas 

June 2013: An image of the Communist pre-election campaign in Greece 2012, taken by LSE Sociology PhD student Evangelos Georgas, won the photograph category in the LSE Research Festival 2013. Evangelos is working on the topic ‘Understanding Radicalization: Party Articulation and Popular Receptions of the Crisis in Greece Since 2010.’

Bridget Hutter takes part in high level risk regulation workshops

Professor Bridget Hutter was recently invited to participate in two high level risk regulation workshops. The first, sponsored by the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) and Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), was a collaborative workshop at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the subject of Better Regulation, on 16th May. The second, organized by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (21st June) was a closed expert workshop of senior regulators, and academics, designed to explore ways in which food safety regulation might develop in the next few years. Professor Hutter also met with a member of Australian Government’s Productivity Commission with regard to a study for the Government on approaches that regulators use to engage with small businesses.

Dr Daniel Laurison joins the Department

We are delighted to welcome Daniel Laurison as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, funded for three years out of Professor Mike Savage's ESRC Professorial Fellowship. Daniel has just completed his PhD at UC Berkeley and has interests in political sociology and cultural sociology as well as stratification - for more see Research Fellows and Visiting Fellows.

Living in the Endless City one of top ten architecture books

Living In The Endless City (Phaidon Press, 2011), has been named one of The Independent’s 10 Best Architecture Books. Edited by Professor Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, the book takes a close look at the issues that affect cities around the world in the 21st century. It is commended by The Independent as "a fascinating book filled with writing by architects, urban planners, mayors and policymakers, debating the issues about urban living in the 21st century. It looks in detail at nine of the world's biggest cities, discussing everything from climate change to security."

LSE Sociology faculty nominated for teaching awards

Congratulations to Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Dr Janet Foster, Dr Jesse Potter and Professor Mike Savage, who have all been recognised for outstanding teaching by LSE Students' Union in the annual LSESU Teaching Awards.

'My Child' UK premiere at Open City Docs Fest

On Friday 21 June 2013 at 6pm the film 'My Child' by Turkish director Can Candan will be showing at the New Academic Building, LSE as part of London's international documentary film festival, presented in collaboration with LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights. The film is about a very courageous and inspiring group of people in Turkey, who are parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and is
followed by panel discussion with Can Candan and Metehan Ozkan (Co-Producer, LISTAG activist), chaired by Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Lecturer in Human Rights LSE). For more information and booking see My Child.

Ayça Çubukçu appeared on BBC Newsnight on Monday 3 June to talk about the demonstrations in Taksim Square and around Turkey.

Alumna Alice Mah wins Philip Abrams Memorial Prize

May 2013: Congratulations to Alice Mah, who has been awarded the 2013 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize by the British Sociological Association for the best first and sole-authored book on sociology. The book is Industrial Ruination, Community, and Place: Landscapes and legacies of urban decline which explores experiences of urban decline and post-industrial change in three different community contexts: Niagara Falls, Canada/USA; Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; and Ivanovo, Russia, and is based on the PhD thesis she completed in the Department in 2008.

Nigel Dodd is on the money

Dr Nigel Dodd spoke at an interdisciplinary conference in the first week of May 2013 at Queen Mary, University of London, called 'Money Matters - Encounters Between Money and Literature'. This conference was part of the event series of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations (AGCR) and brought together different disciplines such as Literary Studies, Sociology and Law enhancing a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogue. This event was designed to encourage cross-disciplinary debate, inquiry and exploration into the scientific, academic, sociological and cultural implications of money in all its forms.

Ayca Cubukcu Ayça Çubukçu gives lecture on Libya in San Diego

Dr Ayça Çubukçu delivered a public lecture hosted by the Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs at San Diego State University on 8 April. The lecture was based on Dr Çubukçu's recent article 'The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity' which was published in a special issue of the Journal of Human Rights addressing Humanitarianism and Responsibility.

Claire Moon on 'Interpreters of the Dead'

Dr Claire Moon presented some new research at the Annual Conference of the BSA. Dr Moon's paper, 'Interpreters of the dead: forensic knowledge, human remains and the politics of the past' was presented on a panel in the the 'Rights, Violence and Crime' stream of the conference.

Special issue of Journal of Classical Sociology in memory of David Frisby

Dr Nigel Dodd edited a special issue of the Journal of Classical Sociology, which was published in February 2013 in memory of David Frisby, who was a Professor in our department until just before he died in 2010. The papers included in the issue are not simply be tributes to David, but essays and articles written on thinkers and topics that interested him – as, inevitably, these are areas of the discipline that he did so much to shape: Special Issue on Georg Simmel and David Frisby.

Suzanne Hall on 'Ordinary Streets'

Suzi Hall presented her work on ‘Ordinary Streets’ at Humboldt University, Berlin and the British Sociology Association (BSA) annual conference in April 2013 , and the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, Oxford in February 2013. She attended a roundtable discussion hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Town Centres, House of Commons on 5 April 2013 on ‘Establishing Thought Leadership in the Evolution of Town and City Centres’ and gave a lecture on ‘City, Street and Citizen’ at London’s Southbank University, 11 March 2013.

Manali Desai to present paper at Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Dr Manali Desai has been invited to give a paper at a workshop ‘Inequality, Civil Society and Democracy: Cross - Regional Comparisons, 1970s – 2000s’ at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, June 7-8 2013.

Disasters and Crises

Professors Bridget Hutter and Sally Lloyd‐Bostock presented a paper on “The Unfolding of Disasters and Crises” at a Research Workshop on Researching events, April 11‐12, 2013, Freie Universität Berlin, sponsored by the Peter Pribilla and German Research Foundation (DFG). The presentation was part of their current research project on risk regulation and crisis that explores key dilemmas in contemporary regulation through the lens of crises and disasters .

Mike Savage publishes details of a new model of the British class system

The largest survey of the British class system ever carried out has revealed a new structure of seven social divisions, ranging from an “advantaged and privileged” elite to a large “precariat” of poor and deprived people.

The Great British Class Survey (GBCS) was launched in January 2011. More than 161,000 people took part in the BBC Lab UK’s web survey. The results have just been published in the journal Sociology, and presented in a plenary session at the British Sociological Association Conference in London on April 3rd.

BBC LabUK teamed up with the leading sociologists Professor Mike Savage (London School of Economics) and Professor Fiona Devine (Manchester University), to examine the shape of the British class system today. The focus was to determine if traditional ideas of a working, middle and upper class still apply in contemporary Britain. Read Mike's report for the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog.

In one short week, the BBC's Great British Class Survey has entered the annals as one of the most successful pieces of popular sociology ever conducted, with its online Class Calculator, based on the more complex model of the sociological survey, generating millions of visits and a lot of controversy. Read Mike's response in the Guardian online.

Dr Suzanne Hall on the politics of belonging

In her article The Politics of Belonging, Suzi Hall explores the contemporary conundrum between preservation and encounter: between deep national dependencies on migration and diversity, in parallel with a determined political resistance to recognise more fluid and hybrid forms of belonging in a highly mobile, uneven and interconnected world. This article appears in a special issue of the journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, Volume 20, Issue 1, 2013: Settling Differences in a Land of Strangers.

Bridget Hutter speaks at Westminster Business Forum

Professor Bridget Hutter gave the opening address to the Westminster Business Forum Keynote Seminar: Next steps for delivering business regulation - reforming enforcement regimes and expanding the Primary Authority scheme on 14 March. The event was attended by Parliamentarians, senior policymakers, regulators and businesses from a range of sectors - including food, retail, travel and tourism, transport, security and manufacturing . On 4 March she presented a paper ‘Governance and Regulation as Risk Management’ at the Charted Institute of Environmental Health Officers’ Health and Safety Conference 2013: Planning for the future and learning from the past. This paper drew on her risk regulation research and emphasised the policy implications and possible impacts of the research.

New Directions in Science and Technology Studies

On 8 March 2013 an event organised by the Economies, Risk and Technology research cluster in the Department of Sociology brought together scholars to discuss new directions in science and technology studies. Professor Gabrielle Hecht and Professor Paul Edwards (University of Michigan) presented and discussed their current research on technopolitics in the nuclear era and global infrastructures and the politics of climate change.

Dr Ayça Çubukçu on the military intervention in Libya

In 'The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity', Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Centre for the Study of Human Rights / Department of Sociology) examines the military intervention in Libya and the problem of transnational solidarity. The article appears in a special issue of the Journal of Human Rights, focussing on humanitarianism and responsibility.

Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity

This is a new interdisciplinary research group convened by Dr Ayça Çubukçu, Centre for the Study of Human Rights / Department of Sociology.

The principle of national self-determination has been a hallmark of anti-imperialist politics, in both Marxist and Liberal traditions, at least since the First World War. This principle has enshrined a political distinction between “nationals” and “foreigners,” while internationalism and cosmopolitanism, in their various, historically specific articulations, have served as the ground of transnational solidarity where attempts have been made to bridge the posited gap between (self-determining) nationals and (solidarity-performing) foreigners.

Given the frequent overlap, in theory and practice, between visions of internationalism and cosmopolitanism on the one hand, and the remarkable internal variation—to the extent that two different and coherent bodies of thought can be said to exist in the first place—within internationalism and cosmopolitanism on the other, how should we think about the divergences and convergences between these two visions? When different versions of internationalism and cosmopolitanism as expounded and practiced by various theological traditions are added to the matrix along with their feminist, anarchist, regionalist, Third-Worldist, nationalist and militarist articulations, the nature of the two-headed monster proves too complicated to grasp in a single breath.

Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity is constituted as an interdisciplinary research group to address this problem. It aims to explore the politics of transnational solidarity by addressing the complications that arise in attempts to define, critique, and practice various strands of internationalism and cosmopolitanism.

Please email Dr Ayça Çubukçu (Lecturer in Human Rights, Department of Sociology) at if you would be interested in constituting this interdisciplinary research group, which is open to all LSE faculty and PhD students.

Stan Cohen

Prof Bridget Hutter expressed the sorrow of colleagues from the Department of Sociology upon learning the very sad news that Professor Stan Cohen passed away after a long illness on 7 January 2013. 


Hobhouse Memorial Prizes (MSc Students) 2011 – 2012

Congratulations to all the Hobhouse Memorial Prize-winners below:

Best overall performance on the Master's Programmes in Sociology and Best overall dissertation on the Master's Programmes in Sociology: Adriana Valdez Young.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Biomedicine, Bioscience and Society: Isabel Bennett and Jingyuan Luo.
Best overall performance with Distinction MSc City, Design and Social Science: Adriana Valdez Young.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Culture and Society: Mona Sloane.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Human Rights: Chloe Cheeseman.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Political Sociology: Kei Ito.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies: Bedour Alagraa.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Sociology of Crime, Control and Globalisation: Paul Thornbury.
Best overall performance with Distinction, MSc Sociology (Contemporary Social Thought): Tim Strahlendorf.

Prizes for best overall performance with Distinction were not awarded for the MSc Sociology, MSc Sociology (Economic Sociology) or MSc Sociology (Research). 

Professor Bridget Hutter joins high-level group of risk experts

Bridget Hutter was one of a number of senior academics, policy makers and business representatives invited to a workshop on ‘Policy Makers, the Public and Perceptions of Risk’ on 21 November 2012. The event was chair by Sir John Beddington (Government Chief Scientific Adviser), and Michael Gibbons (Chair Regulatory Policy Committee). This event was a formal Government response to the Löfstedt Report recommendation that the Government Chief Scientific Adviser convenes a group of experts on risk. The objective was to achieve consensus around a small number of impactful, concrete steps that might be taken by Government, academics, business or other interested parties to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by risk.

Dr Fran Tonkiss among top ten female spatial theorists

Die Architektin (Women + Architecture/Women in Architecture) blog has voted Fran Tonkiss, Reader in Sociology at LSE and Director of the Cities Programme, one of the most influential living female theoreticians, whose works and theories are relevant to architecture, urban planning and spatial theory. For more see: Die Architektin.

Taking economic sociology to the Treasury
At LSE, economic sociology is made relevant, even within the highly technical spheres of financial regulation. Along with colleagues from the Departments of Accounting and Management, work conducted by Dr Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra has contributed to the UK Government’s Foresight Project on the Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets. This represents the first time that sociological research was included in the evidence-base of a sensitive and critical economic debate on the role of algorithmic and high frequency trading in British financial markets. This change represents a historical expansion of sociological expertise into a practical domain of economic policy-making.

Recent work in the sociology of finance has shown that markets can be understood as particular combinations of cultures, technologies and social institutions, adding depth and specificity to mainstream economic accounts. Focusing on financial markets, LSE researchers have been active contributors to this scholarship, demonstrating how technology is produced within financial organizations (Pardo-Guerra, LSE Sociology); how investment decisions are based on particular technologies and organizational frameworks (Beunza, LSE Management); and how technologies and social relations shape economic valuations (Millo, LSE Accounting). More (Word).

For the final report online see: The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets.

Chetan Bhatt at journal launch

On Friday 2 November 2012  the BSA Sociology of Rights study group (hosted by the Human Rights Consortium) launched a special issue of the prestigious journal Sociology, entitled: 'Sociology and Human Rights', in Senate House, University of London. Professor Bhatt, director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE, presented a paper on 'Human Rights and the Transformations of War'.

Mike Savage awarded ESRC Professorial Fellowship

October 2012: We are delighted to announce that Prof Mike Savage has been awarded a prestigious ESRC Professorial Fellowship, to start in April 2013. Only four of these are awarded each year, and the recipients are chosen to be ‘ambassadors for social science’ as well as deemed to be pursuing cutting edge research programmes. Mike will be drawing together his work on class and social stratification, with a particular focus on the analysis of the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, and the analysis of 230 qualitative life histories conducted on a sub sample of the National Child Development Study, leading to a major monograph elaborating a relational analysis of social stratification. As well as showcasing the Department of Sociology’s strengths at the LSE, he will also be working with the UK Data Archive; the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC); and the Institute of Education.

In addition, we are pleased that Mike is a named co-investigator on a major ESRC project, ‘Life in the “Alpha Territory”: London's 'Super-Rich' Neighbourhoods’, which will begin in January 2013. The Principle Investigator is Prof Roger Burrows from Goldsmiths, and other CIs are Dr Rowland Atkinson (York), Prof Tim Butler (Kings), and Prof Caroline Knowles (Goldsmiths). This will be the first major study examining how the emergence of the super wealthy in London is shaping urban change and neighbourhood relations.

Claire Moon publishes paper in Social & Legal Studies

Dr Claire Moon’s paper ‘Who’ll Pay Reparations on My Soul? Compensation, Social Control and Social Suffering’ was published in a special issue of Social & Legal Studies, Summer 2012. The issue publishes the proceedings of a workshop entitled 'Repairing Historical Wrongs' held at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation at the University of Hull in September 2010. The workshop was attended by an international and multi-disciplinary cohort of scholars to investigate the various legal, ethical and political dimensions of attempting to repair serious acts of injustice committed by previous generations and/or political regimes.

Eileen Barker lectures in Morocco

While doing research during September 2012 on the religious situation in Morocco, Professor Eileen Barker, professor emeritus of sociology with special reference to the study of religion, gave two lectures. One, on 'New Religious Movements', was to 50 imams at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. The other, on 'Globalisation, Localisation and Globalisation of Religion', was to a gathering of students and scholars at the University Chouaîb Doukkali in El Jadida.

The Olympics: when global meets local

Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at LSE and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme, was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. In this podcast from the LSE Review of Books he talks about the design and legacy of the Olympic Games in the context of the regeneration of East London. Later Suzanne Hall, lecturer in the Sociology Department and Cities Programme, leafs through the beautiful architecture books that inspired her interest in the design of cities and urban multiculture:

Undergraduate Hobhouse Memorial Prize winners 2011-12:

Best overall performances in 1st year: Bennett Lee
Best overall performance in 2nd year: Emma Glassey and Josephine Marie Carter
Best overall performance in 3rd year: Minal Anneka Cabraal and best overall performance in the Sociological Project: Cam Yan Ha

Professor Bridget Hutter gives keynote speech in New Zealand

Bridget Hutter, Professor of Risk Regulation and Head of the Sociology Department at LSE gave a keynote address on ‘The Governance challenges, the role of the state and the limits’ at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)
Annual Conference 2012, on Future Proofing the State: Risk, Responses and Resilience at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand 24–26 July.

Graduate Teaching Assistants win teaching prizes

Jesse Potter received the Departmental Guest Teacher Prize for his outstanding teaching contribution to this year’s undergraduate programme. The following research students received a Commendation for Outstanding Teaching Skills prize for their outstanding contribution to our undergraduate programme: Daiana Beitler, Kristina Fuentes, Peter Manning. 

Richard Sennett wins Zócalo Public Square Book Prize

Richard Sennett's latest book Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation has won the second annual Zócalo Public Square Book Prize, which is presented to the author of the work of nonfiction that most effectively deepens our understanding of community. On April 13, Sennett visited Zócalo to deliver a lecture: “Can Diverse Societies Cohere?” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.

Sociology and the Olympics

What do the social sciences have to say about the Olympic Games? The British Sociology Association (BSA) ran a series of events in partnership with the British Library to address this question in the run up to London 2012. In the latest 'Beyond the Leisure Dome', held at the British Library on 27 February 2012, LSE Sociology PhD student Jill Timms spoke of her research on the Olympics as a platform for protest. She presented a case study of the PlayFair 2012 campaign to improve the working conditions of those making official Olympic merchandise and supplies. Jill's PhD focuses on the use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) discourse in such campaigns. She explained how PlayFair 2012 strategies highlight differences between the experiences of workers producing for the games and the universal principles of fairness promoted in the Olympic Charter.

Official claims of London 2012 being an ethical and sustainable Games are also drawn on to pressure national and international organising committees (LOCOG and the IOC) and sportswear companies to ensure internationally agreed labour standards are adhered to. Jill reported that the campaign  had some impact on the improvement of procurement policies, and only days prior to the presentation, PlayFair 2012 released a report on conditions in two Chinese factories making Olympic mascots and pins. As a result, LOCOG signed an 'historic' agreement to address PlayFair 2012's ongoing concerns, including transparency in supply chains, worker training in employment rights and provision of a feasible complaints mechanism. Therefore mobilising ideas of CSR has contributed to recognition of responsibilities to these workers, and labour rights are now on the agenda for future sporting mega-events.

The day was organised by Professor John Horne, convenor of the BSA Sociology of Sport Study Group, and also included sessions on politics, security, international development, image control, and space and the city. The series ran alongside a British Library initiative 'Sport and Society: The Summer Olympics and Paralympics through the lens of social science', with a dedicated website and archive being assembled to create a legacy of published research from the Games.


Animal Citizens at LSE

Animal ethics has provided us with various theories which claim that animals are the subjects of ‘moral status’. Sophisticated analyses have been presented to explain why animals have moral worth, and to outline our moral obligations to them as a result. However, an increasing number of scholars have begun to ask what we owe to animals as subjects of political status – as members of and participants in our political communities. Can, as some have suggested, we even regard certain non-human animals as ‘citizens’? And what would animal citizenship imply for our obligations towards them? Animal Citizens was a one-day symposium held at LSE on 7 October 2011 to bring together academics researching these issues, with speakers including Dr Alasdair Cochrane from LSE Sociology. The event was sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights.

Prague conference on global capitalism

An International Conference on ‘Global Capitalism and Transnational Class Formation’ took place in Prague on 16-18 September 2011. Sponsored by the Centre of Global Studies (Prague), the Global Studies Association of North America, and the International Sociological Association Research Committee RC02 (Economy and Society), this was the first international conference devoted to transnational capitalist class theory and global class formation. Professor Emeritus Leslie Sklair gave a keynote speech on ‘The Icon Project: The Transnational Capitalist Class in Action’.

LSE Sociology was well-represented: in addition to Leslie Sklair papers were given by former PhD students Dr Alejandra Salas-Porras (UNAM Mexico) on ‘Think-tank networks in North America’ and Dr Yun-Tae Kim (Korea University, Seoul) on ‘State Restructuring and the Impact of Globalization in Korea: The Death of the Developmental State’; former post-doctoral fellow Dr Laura Gherardi (UC Milan) on ‘Time-Space Discipline of Upper Classes in Global Capitalism’ and doctoral candidate Jill Timms on ‘Contested Approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility as a Response to the Realities of Global Capitalism’. The conference concluded with a business meeting that established the Network for Critical Studies on Global Capitalism.

Dr Claire Alexander receives two research grants

The first, from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, was for a project entitled ‘Banglastories: telling community histories about migration and belonging’. This project follows on from a previous research project, 'Bengal diaspora,’ which explored the histories and experiences of migrants from the Indian state of Bengal in the period after 1947. The second grant was from the Economic and Social Research Council for a project entitled ‘Revisiting the Asian Gang’. This builds on Dr Alexander’s previous research on The Asian Gang (Berg 2000), revisiting the original participants of this study 15 years after the original research was completed.

PhD student awarded Commonwealth Scholarship

Michaela Muscat is in the second year of her PhD, and is researching the sociology of Islamic finance under the supervision of Dr Nigel Dodd.

Donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital

Great Ormond St Hospital Charity wrote to thank the staff of LSE Sociology and the friends and family of the late Emeritus Professor David Frisby for their generous donation to the children's hospital charity in his memory:
"The money you have donated is helping us fund life-saving equipment and ground-breaking research to find cures and treatments giving children everywhere a brighter future. Your support is also helping us to build new facilities where our patients will have more space to get well and parents can stay with their children both night and day." 

PhD student wins prestigious fellowship

LSE Sociology PhD student Marianne Colbran has been awarded the Howard League Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Full details of the fellowship and the Howard League Penal Reform charity can be found at 

Professor Bridget Hutter lectures in Melbourne

Bridget Hutter visited the Sociology Department, Melbourne University, 23 July - 5 August. She participated in a public seminar with Fiona Haines (University of Melbourne) ‘Regulating Risk in an Uncertain World’, 28 July and delivered a public lecture ‘Social Science Perspectives on Risk Regulation’, 3 August. 

Sixth-formers visit LSE Sociology

A group of about 30 students plus teachers from Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College, Walthamstow, northeast London, were welcomed to LSE on 21June to find out about what the School and the Sociology Department have to offer. The visit, coordinated by Dr Claire Alexander with the help of the Student Recruitment Office, included an introduction to the School and a campus tour by current LSE students, as well as a talk about studying sociology. 

GTA teaching prizes 2011

Congratulations to PhD students Des Fitzgerald, Daniel Kilburn and Victoria Redclift, who were among the Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) awarded prizes for their teaching skills at LSE's annual Teaching Day. The Departmental Class Teacher Awards winners are nominated by the departments in which they teach as a result of exceptional feedback from students, lecturers and other department members.

Professor Judy Wajcman lectures in Helsinki

On Thursday 9 June 2011, Professor Judy Wajcman, Head of the Department of Sociology, presented the talk 'Constant Connectivity: rethinking interruptions at work' at the European Conference on Information Systems held at the Aalto University School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. 

Professor Frances Heidensohn delivers sixth Roger Hood lecture

On Wednesday 25 May 2011, Frances Heidensohn, visiting professor in the Department of Sociology and general editor of the British Journal of Sociology, gave the sixth Annual Roger Hood public lecture at the University of Oxford, on 'Impact and Influence in Contemporary Criminology: the question of feminism.'

The lecture marks the career of Professor Roger Hood, a distinguished criminologist, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford and fellow of All Souls College. Professor Hood graduated in sociology from LSE in 1957 and was a research officer at the School from 1961-63.

Emeritus Professor Eileen Barker becomes an Honorary Fellow of LSE

Eileen Barker OBE, FBA, Professor Emeritus of Sociology with Special Reference to the Study of Religion at LSE, is among those becoming an Honorary Fellow.   Honorary fellowships are awarded by LSE each year to people who have attained distinction in the arts, science, or public life, or who have rendered outstanding services to the School or its concerns.

Professor Nikolas Rose elected to prestigious Danish Academy

Nikolas Rose, Martin White Professor of Sociology and director of BIOS at LSE, has been elected a foreign member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.  The Academy was founded in 1742 and has approximately 250 national and 260 foreign members. Professor Rose has been elected in the humanities class and invited to deliver a lecture at the Academy in the future.  New members of the Academy are nominated and then elected by current members.

Professor Sarah Franklin receives Smith College's Most Prestigious Award

For extraordinary professional achievements and outstanding service to their communities, Professor Sarah Franklin is one of five alumnae to have been named 2011 recipients of the prestigious Smith College Medal.  Established in 1962 to recognize women who exemplify in their lives and work "the true purpose" of a liberal arts education, the honour was bestowed at Rally Day on 23 February 2011 at Smith College, Massachusetts.

Donation made in memory of Jessica Gunhammar

Jessica Gunhammar, a PhD student in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Human Rights, very sadly passed away after a long illness in September 2010. Jessica was undertaking research on the impact of rape as a war crime, in former Yugoslavia. Her colleagues, lecturers and friends wanted to mark this sad occasion by contributing to a cause that would have been very close to Jessica's heart. Therefore, a donation has been made to Medica Zenica, a women's non-governmental organisation that continuously offers psycho-social and medical support to women and children victims of war rape, street rape survivors, domestic violence survivors, and victims of trafficking in human beings. Jessica was a dedicated young woman, passionate about her research and support for women in former Yugoslavia and we hope this donation in remembrance of her will help Medica Zenica in their very important work.


British Journal of Sociology Celebrates 60 Years

The BJS turns 60 this year. To mark this occasion the Editors have chosen two articles from each of the Journal's six decades that, in their view, have had a significant and enduring impact on sociology. Each of the articles is accompanied by contemporary commentary that critically assesses it legacy. While the articles chosen represent just a fraction of the many path-breaking contributions publishing in The BJS over the years, it is our hope that they will serve to amply demonstrate the Journal's central and long standing role in fostering the sociological imagination. Follow this link for free access to The BJS - Shaping Sociology Over 60 Years.

Professor Richard Sennett awarded Spinoza Prize 2010

The fifth Spinoza Prize, awarded under the auspices of the International Spinoza Award Foundation in Amsterdam, has been awarded to Richard Sennett.  The ceremony was held on the anniversary of Spinoza's birthday, 24 November 2010, in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague.

The Spinozalens is a biennial international award. The jury, an assembly of philosophers and other scientists from The Netherlands and Flanders, selects a famous thinker and writer on issues of ethics and society. The award aims to encourage the debate on ethics and morality and entails a prize of a sculpture and 10,000 Euros.  To commemorate the occasion, a special book will be published to introduce the laureate's work. 

Emeritus Professor David Frisby passes away on 20 November 2010

It is with great sadness that we report that LSE Emeritus Professor David Frisby, formerly a long-term Professor of Sociology at Glasgow, died on Saturday after a long illness. David published extensively on the sociology of Georg Simmel, social theory and modernity, German social theory and aspects of modern urban experience. Alongside his reputation as the intellectual expert of fin-de-siecle social theory, he was a wonderful and generous colleague who helped mentor many of us. We in the Sociology department will all miss him terribly . For this tribute in full from Professor Judy Wajcman and other tributes from friends and colleagues please see the webpage dedicated to the memory of Emeritus Professor David Frisby. 

Academic Abroad

Professor Judy Wajcman, President of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), attended the society's annual meeting, organised together with the Japanese Society for Science and Technology Studies, in Tokyo from 25-29 August 2010.

The meeting, Science and Technology Studies (STS) in Global Contexts, was the first to be held in Asia and attracted 1,000 people from more than 40 countries. The event provided the opportunity for 4S members to explore questions relating to differences in STS concepts, as well as strengthening the ties with the East Asian STS community.

Professor Wajcman, Head of the Department of Sociology, presented the Presidential Plenary 'Creative Connections between STS and Communication Studies', as well as organising a range of other meetings.

Anticipating Risks and Organising Risk Regulation

Professor Bridget Hutter,  Professor of Risk Regulation and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at LSE, has edited the new book Anticipating Risk and Organising Risk Regulation which has been published by Cambridge University Press.

This book shows how we can organise our social, organisational and regulatory policy systems to cope better with the array of local and transnational risks we regularly encounter. Contributors from a range of disciplines - including finance, history, law, management, political science, social psychology, sociology and disaster studies - consider threats, vulnerabilities and insecurities alongside social and organisational sources of resilience and security. These issues are introduced and discussed through a fascinating and diverse set of topics, including myxomatosis, the 2012 Olympic Games, gene therapy and the recent financial crisis.
Purchase this book from the Publisher

Professor Stanley Cohen becomes an Honorary Fellow of LSE

Honorary fellowships are awarded by LSE each year to people who have attained distinctions in the arts, science, or public life, or who have rendered outstanding services to the School. Professor Cohen was presented as an Honorary Fellow at LSE's graduation ceremonies in July 2010.

The Impact of Impact Report

The Department of Sociology, the BIOS Centre, and the Gender Institute launched an expanded report on The Impact of Impact workshop and accompanying blog site to accommodate the large volume of responses generated by the initial workshop summary. In April 2010, Valerie Hey, Fran Tonkiss, Mike Power, Mary Evans, Donald Gillies, Don Slater, Clare Hemmings and Sarah Franklin addressed the question of how an emphasis on impact as a category of assessment in the Research Excellence Framework is likely to influence research efforts.

The presentations and discussion confirmed that impact measures are seen as both unhelpful and counterproductive, however they also offer the chance to redefine the value of academic work. These and other aspects of the workshop are now explored in the expanded report available at .

Professor Chetan Bhatt new Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights

The Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights is delighted to welcome its new director, Professor Chetan Bhatt. Chetan Bhatt is Professor of Sociology with a strong background in human rights and social justice. His research interests include the religious right and religious conflict, nationalism, and racism. Current projects include work on the sociology of religious paramilitia groups.

On joining the Centre, Professor Bhatt said, "I am delighted to join the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE and greatly look forward to working with my new colleagues and the many students at the Centre. Human rights face substantial challenges today from many different – often surprising – directions. I share the passion of the Centre staff about human rights. I share their dedication in making the study of human rights a dynamic intellectual process, one based on firm grounds but also one subject to constant ethical renewal in changing circumstances."

Departmental Class Teacher Prize Awarded to Peter Manning 

Each year, the Teaching and Learning Committee invites all departments to recognise the special contribution made to teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and guest teachers. The awards are based on the result of student feedback surveys, feedback from the lecturers responsible for the courses in departments that employ GTAs and guest teachers and other informal feedback available locally.

Bridget Hutter conferred the award of Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies of the Social Sciences.

The Academy's mission is to promote social sciences in the United Kingdom for the public benefit.  The Academy is composed of Individual Academicians and Learned Societies. Academicians are distinguished scholars and practitioners from academia and the public and private sectors.


British Society of Criminology Outstanding Achievement Award to Professor Stanley Cohen

The Society has this year introduced a new prize, intended to celebrate outstanding contributions made to the discipline by members of the BSC. The prize aims to celebrate an outstanding achievement as constituted either by a single contribution – a book, for example, or article or lecture – or through the production over time of a body of work. In either case, the recipient will have enhanced the discipline's interests on the national or international stage. In this inaugural year of the prize we are delighted to be able to honour Stanley Cohen, whose contributions have consistently proved to be reference points in the development of criminology over the last four decades.

Dr Claire Moon Teaching Award

The LSE Teaching Excellence Award, now in its third year, is managed by the Students' Union, who invites students to nominate those teachers who have inspired their learning most in the past year. Each nomination has to be supported by a minimum of seven students, and each of those students is asked to give examples of how the individual has: stimulated their interest and enthusiasm; increased their ability to be independent, critical learners; organised the course materials effectively; provided useful feedback; demonstrated their command of the subject and developing thinking in the field of study and responded appropriately to the diversity of students in their courses.  Our congratulations go to Dr Claire Moon who was amongst the final five five selected for the award.

Dr Carrie Friese Illinois Distinguished Dissertation Award

LSE Department of Sociology is pleased to announce that Dr Friese's submission for the Illinois Distinguished Dissertation Award has been selected by the awards committee as the winner for outstanding dissertation in the "Traditional" category.  Dr Friese has been invited to submit an article from her dissertation to the International Review of Qualitative Research, the new journal of the International Association of Qualitative Inquiry.