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Department of Sociology

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Department of Sociology
London School of Economics
Houghton Street

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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Related research centres and British Journal of Sociology

Welcome to the Department of Sociology, which has played a key role in establishing and developing the discipline since 1904. Today we remain committed to providing top quality teaching, and to research and scholarship which is leading the evolution of the social sciences into new intellectual areas and the study of the social problems and ethical dilemmas facing a cosmopolitan and fractured society.

QS World University Rankings 2016 puts the Department second in Europe and fourth in the world for sociology.

Lynsey_Hanley_1Moishe Postone

LSE Sociology and related public events

The Department and our partners are hosting a range of exciting public events in Summer Term.

If you missed our public lecture with Lynsey Hanley (pictured top left) on 3 May, follow the link to the video and podcast: Respectable: the experience of class

On 19 May Professor Moishe Postone talked about  Capitalism, Temporality and the Crisis of Labour.

For more on our events and those hosted by LSE Cities and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights follow link above to our Events webpage.


Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)

The Department of Sociology is seeking to appoint Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) for the academic year 2016-2017. Follow the link above to view the job description, and see GTA responsibilities and working hours for full details of the role. To apply, both the application form and a part-time teacher's constraints form must be completed and submitted (follow the links to download). The closing date for applications is 10 June.

Tackling inequalities in the lighting of towns and cities

The way that urban spaces such as social housing estates are lit reinforces the increasing levels of inequality faced by cities, says a new report by the Configuring Light research programme, co-founded and led by Dr Don Slater, Associate Professor in Sociology at LSE. To read more about the report and watch the video follow the link above.

Tales from Houghton Street

During LSE’s 120th anniversary celebrations in 2015, 30 staff and alumni were interviewed for a small oral history project. The collection is now live on the LSE Digital Library and it contains one introductory podcast and 30 full interview recordings, including interviews with our Emeriti Professors Eileen Barker and Paul Rock, Dr Christopher Husbands and LSE Sociology alumna Carol Wain. Follow link above to find out more and access the collection.

New study exposes ‘class ceiling’ that deters less privileged actors

Research reveals 73% of performers in British theatre and film are from middle-class backgrounds. A major academic study by researchers from LSE Sociology and Goldsmiths College reveals the extent to which actors from relatively wealthy backgrounds are dominating the theatre and film industry. Follow link above to full article in The Guardian and read more here: Acting has become a largely middle class profession.

Before Theory Comes Theorizing or How to Make Social Science More Interesting

Professor Nigel Dodd, Editor-in-Chief of The British Journal of Sociology, interviews Professor Richard Swedberg of Cornell University on the 2015 BJS Annual Public Lecture:  By paying more attention to what happens in actual practice before a theory is formulated – what may be called the methods of habits of theorizing – social science and sociology may be considerably improved.

Follow link above to the interview, or download the paper.

Interested in applying to study on one of our postgraduate programmes starting in September 2016?  For information on all our programmes please see our Study pages.

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


In Defence of Housing: the politics of crisis

David Madden and Peter Marcuse, Verso (forthcoming, June 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.


Democratizing Inequalities: dilemmas of the new public participation

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

Foreword by Craig Calhoun

NYU Press, 2015

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

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


Recent articles, reports and other publications include:

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.

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


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.

Woody Powell 2015

Social Media and Social Change: analyzing debates over valuation

Speaker: Professor Walter W Powell

5 November 2015

Link to video and podcast above.

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