Rebecca Elliott is Associate Professor of Sociology. Her research focuses on how climate change, as a material and symbolic phenomenon, is reshaping social and environmental landscapes. Her first book, Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States, explores how families, communities, and governments confront problems of loss as the climate changes. It does so through the lens of the United States National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): the key US institution that economizes flood hazards and losses, turning them into a matter of dollars and cents. Underwater was the co-winner of the 2022 Viviana Zelizer Book Award from the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and received an Honorable Mention for the 2022 Alice Amsden Book Award from the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. She is a recipient of the 2023 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Sociology.
Her current projects investigate questions of property value and climate change; assess the relationship between decarbonisation and regional inequality in the United Kingdom (with Dr Leon Wansleben and Dr Ned Crowley); examine the relationships between cultural commemoration, historical preservation, and climate change; and further develop the social theory of climate change.
At LSE, she is a Research Associate at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and at the LSE Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation. She is a Faculty Affiliate of the LSE Phelan United States Centre. With Dr Kasia Paprocki and Dr Austin Zeiderman, she co-convenes the Social Life of Climate Change, a cross-disciplinary seminar series and working group focused on the critical social science of climate change.
She is an Editor of the British Journal of Sociology.
2021. Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States. Columbia University Press.
2022. “The ‘Boomer Remover’: Intergenerational Discounting, Climate Change and the Coronavirus.” The Sociological Review 70(1): 74–91.
2021. With Ryan Hagen. “Disasters, Continuity, and the Pathological Normal.” Sociologica 15(1): 1-9.
2021. “Insurance and the temporality of climate ethics: Accounting for climate change in US flood insurance.” Economy and Society 50(2): 173-195.
2019. "‘Scarier than another storm’: Values at risk in the mapping and insuring of U.S. floodplains." British Journal of Sociology 70(3): 1067-1090.
2018. “The Sociology of Climate Change as a Sociology of Loss.” European Journal of Sociology 59(3): 301-337.
2017. "Gender and Green Consumption: Relational, Practical, Material." Journal of Consumer Ethics 1(2): 92-99.
2017. "Who Pays for the Next Wave? The American Welfare State and Responsibility for Flood Risk." Politics & Society 45(3): 415-440.
2013. “The taste for green: The possibilities and dynamics of status differentiation through “green” consumption.” Poetics 41(3): 294-322.