Caroline writes about migration and circulations of material objects – some of the social forces constituting globalisation. She is particularly interested in cities, having done research in London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Fuzhou, Addis Ababa, Kuwait City and Seoul.
Author of many books and papers, she specialises in visual, spatial and biographical methods, often working with photographers and artists, most recently with Michael Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), and Douglas Harper (Duquesne University, Pittsburg). She is co-author, with Douglas Harper, of Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes and Journeys, published (2009) by the University of Chicago Press.
Her most recent book, Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation’s Backroads, was published by Pluto Press in 2014 in connection with a website that displays the flip-flop trail through the photography of artist Michael Tan.
Caroline recently held a Leverhulme fellowship, ‘From Oil to Garbage: Navigating the Flip-flop Trail’. She works with Ho Wing Chung, at the City University Hong Kong, on ESRC project, ‘What calculations and Strategies Drive Young Migrants? An Investigation of the Traffic between London, Hong Kong and Beijing’, and with Roger Burrows, Rowland Atkinson, Tim Butler and Mike Savage on ‘The Very Affluent Worker: A Study of Everyday Life in the Alpha Territory’.
- Flip-Flop: A Journey through Globalisation’s Backroads (Pluto Press, 2014). Shortlisted for the 2015 BBC Ethnography prize. Visit the accompanying interactive website for schools and broader public engagement www.flipfloptrail.com.
- Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes and Journeys (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009) with Douglas Harper (photographer)
- Making Race Matter (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005) edited with Claire Alexander
- Picturing the Social Landscape: Visual Methods and the Sociological Imagination (London: Routledge, 2004) edited with Paul Sweetman [Japanese edition published 2012]
- Race and Social Analysis (London: Sage, 2003)
- Bedlam on the Streets (London & New York: Routledge, 2000)
- Resituating Identities: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Culture (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1996) edited with Vered Amit-Talai
- Family Boundaries: The Invention of Normality and Dangerousness (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1996)
- Race Discourse and Labourism (London: Routledge, 1992)
Journal Articles & Papers
- ’The Flip-Flop Trail and Fragile Globalisation’ Theory, Culture and Society (2015) Online and in the print version of the journal.
- Trajetórias de um chinelo: micro-cenas da globalização. Contemporânea - Revista de Sociologia da UFSCar, v. 4, n.2.ISSN: 2236-532X. (2014).
- ‘The Urban Problematic: A Response to Ryan Bishop and John WP Phillips’ Theory, Culture and Society (2014) Online and in the print version of the journal.
Other public output
- ‘Who are the New Chinese Migrants in the UK?', Runnymede Trust Website (2015).
- ‘Inside Addis Ababa’s Koshe rubbish tip where hundred literally scratch a living’, The Guardian, 22 August (2014)
Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads
Knowles, Caroline. 2014. Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads. London: Pluto. ISBN 9780745334110
Dancing with Bulldozers: Migrant life on Beijing's periphery
Knowles, Caroline. 2014. Dancing with Bulldozers: Migrant life on Beijing's periphery. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 18(1), pp. 41-57. ISSN 1360-4813
Nigerian London: re-mapping space and ethnicity in superdiverse cities
Knowles, Caroline. 2013. Nigerian London: re-mapping space and ethnicity in superdiverse cities. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36(4), pp. 651-669. ISSN 0141-9870
Cities on the move: Navigating urban life
Knowles, Caroline. 2011. Cities on the move: Navigating urban life. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15(2), pp. 135-153. ISSN 1360-4813
The landscape of post-imperial whiteness in rural Britain
Knowles, Caroline. 2008. The landscape of post-imperial whiteness in rural Britain. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31(1), pp. 167-184. ISSN 0141-9870
‘It’s not what it was’: British Migrants in Postcolonial Hong Kong
Knowles, Caroline. 2007. ‘It’s not what it was’: British Migrants in Postcolonial Hong Kong. Sociology Working Papers, pp. 1-25.
Theorizing Race and Ethnicity – Contemporary Paradigms and Perspectives
Knowles, Caroline. 2007. Theorizing Race and Ethnicity – Contemporary Paradigms and Perspectives. Sociology Working Papers, pp. 1-20.
Handling your Baggage in the Field: Reflections on research relationships
Knowles, Caroline. 2006. Handling your Baggage in the Field: Reflections on research relationships. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 9(5), pp. 393-404. ISSN 14645300
Visually narrating post-colonial lives: ghosts of war and empire
Harper, Douglas; Knowles, Caroline and Leonard, Pauline. 2005. Visually narrating post-colonial lives: ghosts of war and empire. Visual Studies, 20(1), pp. 4-15. ISSN 1472-586X
Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and community mental health care
Knowles, Caroline. 2000. Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and community mental health care. Health & Place, 6(3), pp. 213-224. ISSN 13538292
The symbolic empire and the history of racial inequality
Knowles, Caroline. 1996. The symbolic empire and the history of racial inequality. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 19(4), pp. 896-911. ISSN 01419870