Some information about me
Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences
B.A. (Cambridge), M.A. (Durham), Ph.D. (Leeds)
Room Number: 3.049 Arthur Lewis Building
Tel: +44(0)161 275 3630
I joined the University of Manchester in September 1999. My previous position was Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University, where I held my first permanent position after completing a Ph.D. on the British Labour Party at the University of Leeds. In the past I have conducted research on politics, social movements, cities, domestic divisions of labour, economic restructuring and the social structure of Britain. I came to Manchester to work partly in the Sociology Department, partly to serve as Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC). CRIC was integrated in the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research in 2006 at the end of its period of core funding from the research council. Research projects in CRIC focused on developing theories of consumption, with particular emphasis on food, and on economic sociology. With other colleagues, in what is now the Sociology Discipline Area, I continue to work on the sociology of consumption, sociology of culture, social stratification and social network analysis.
Much of my work is conducted in collaboration with others in Manchester. I am part of the Research Clusters in Sociology on ‘Stratification and Culture’ and ‘Quantitative Methods and Interdisciplinary Social Research’. I was the founding Director of the ESRC-funded Sustainable Practices Research Group (SPRG) and am involved in its management and core research programme. also have attachments to the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) and the Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI).
Within CRESC specifically, I have worked on theories of consumption, patterns of elite consumption, cultural omnivorousness, and cultural consumption in the UK.
In addition, I work extensively with groups outside Manchester. I am engaged closely in the European Sociological Association Working Group on Consumption and with networks of social scientists working on food in Norway, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Finland. I have also been part of a network of European sociologists (SCUD – Network for Studies of Cultural Distinctions and Social Differentiation) examining the role of cultural capital in contemporary societies.
In recent years I have held visiting positions in Mannheim, Sao Paolo, Paris and New York. I am a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the British Sociological Association and was a member of the ESRC Research Grants Board 2007-10.
In the year 2010-11 I will hold the Jane and Aatos Erkko Research Professorship in Studies of Contemporary Change, at the University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finland.
Specific research interests Keywords: Consumption, cultural sociology, economic sociology, food and eating, social networks, social and cultural capital, social stratification, sustainable consumption. Current substantive work is concerned with: • the sociology of consumption, especially the changing patterns of cultural consumption in the UK and the emergence of consumer culture in Europe; • cultural omnivorousness; • the sociology of eating, particularly change in habits in Britain, France and the USA; • consumer politics, habits and sustainable consumption; • social capital, social networks and their role in class formation and cultural consumption; • cultural capital, distinction and cultural practice in comparative perspective; • social class analysis; • the analysis of social change; Current theoretical concerns include theories of consumption, the work of Pierre Bourdieu, the application of theories of practice, conventions theory, social network theory and field theory. Methodological approaches in use in current projects include case studies, documentary research, social network analysis and comparative analysis. Techniques include sample surveys, multiple correspondence analysis, observation, in-depth and key informant interviews, life histories and content analysis. Current research projects 2010-13, ‘Sustainable Practices Research Group’, a consortium of universities, colleagues including Andrew McMeekin, Joseph Murphy, Elizabeth Shove and Dale Southerton, funded by ESRC, to study changing habits in relation to sustainable consumption. 2010-12 ‘Modelling consumer behaviour’, with Dale Southerton, Geoff Beattie, and Johannes Sauer, funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. 2009-11 ‘Single person households and sustainable consumption: a comparative analysis‘, with Dale Southerton and Colette Fagan, funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. Recently completed empirical projects include: 2003-6 ‘Cultural Capital and Social Exclusion: a critical investigation, funded by ESRC, with Tony Bennett, Elizabeth Silva and David Wright (Open University) and Mike Savage and Modesto Gayo-Cal in Manchester. http://www.open.ac.uk/socialsciences/sociology/research/ccse/ 2003-6 'Social capital and consumption: promoting network analysis', with Mike Savage, John Scott (Essex University), Nick Crossley & Gindo Tampubolon, ESRC Programme on Research Methods. http://les1.man.ac.uk/cric/socialnetwork/ 2003-5 ‘The diffusion of consumer culture: a comparative analysis’, with Dale Southerton, Wendy Olsen & Shu-Li Cheng, ESRC Programme on Cultures of Consumption. http://www.consume.bbk,.ac.uk/
Brigitte Le Roux, Henry Rouanet, Mike Savage and Alan Warde (2007), 'Class and Cultural Division in the UK', CRESC Working Paper 40.
Refereed Journal Papers
Cultural Values and Politics: Social Cohesion and Expertise
This project developed conceptions of social capital using social network analysis and a concern to locate activists spatially. It involved a case study of three organisations in Manchester,...