Events replay


This area of the web site as a resource to help you 'replay' some of our most popular events and interesting lectures. For events located in CSISP, please see their pages.

How to do sociology with...

At Goldsmiths, we practise Sociology with a variety of things, from buildings to music and social media. But how do we do this? Watch our video series to find out

Digital Sociology, Digital Cultures, Web Science, Data Science ... what’s the difference?

Speakers: Susan Halford, University of Southampton; Deborah Lupton, University of Canberra; Noortje Marres, Dhiraj Murthy, Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths, University of London

The event reflected on different and innovative digital social science research approaches and programmes that have developed over the past several years. From digital sociology to web science, how is the question and challenge of digitisation being conceived and researched? What are the key differences between approaches and their consequences for how we do social science? The event involved short reflections on these questions by a panel of scholars from Goldsmiths, Southampton and Canberra.

Chair: Evelyn Ruppert, Digital Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London


  • Susan Halford, Web Science Institute, University of Southampton
  • Deborah Lupton, News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra
  • Noortje Marres, Digital Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dhiraj Murthy, Digital Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

50 Years of Goldsmiths Sociology

Professor Nikolas Rose, Professor Michael Keith, Dr Jennifer Gabrys, Dr Nirmal Puwar, Dr Evelyn Ruppert, Professor Vic Seidler, Professor Bev Skeggs, Professor Heidi Mirza, Professor David Oswell and Professor Les Back

It’s 50 years since the first students arrived to learn about sociology at Goldsmiths College. It’s been 50 years of communication, exchange and investigation with the everyday sociologists of New Cross, London, and beyond. And it’s been 50 years of hard-hitting intervention against entrenched prejudices and power structures. 

The main events took part on Friday 28 March, but there were others that week, including the Annual Methods Lab Lecture: Edward is still with us: Jean Mohr reflects on Edward Said in Palestine & After the Last Sky.

Events that took place on Friday 28 March, 2014

An Alumni Reception was held in the Richard Hoggart Building in room 342 (RHB 342) between 1.30-3.30pm. Past students and staff met to reminisce of old times over a ploughmans lunch, tea and cake.

The Anniversary Talk was held in the New Academic Building in the lower ground lecture theatre 2 (NAB LG02) from 4-6.30pm.

Running alongside was an exhibition of work from students of the groundbreaking MA in Photography and Urban Cultures , Gasket group and the new outstanding MA in Visual Sociology

Finally, the Anniversary Party rounded off the days events in the Stretch Bar in the Student Union from 7pm-late. The evening's entertainment included a three minute thesis competition, won by Dr Nina Wakeford, a DJ set by Lulu Le Vay [a current PHD student] and lots of dancing and eating.

A big thank you to everyone that came along, to make it a true celebration of 50 years of Sociology at Goldsmiths.

Caricature and Character: Performing Personhood on Reality TV

Bev Skeggs presents 'Caricature and Character: Performing Personhood on Reality TV' as the third seminar in the 2013-14 SPS Seminar Series.

The Old New Politics of Class

Bev Skegg's responds to Mike Savage's inaugral lecture on the The Old New Politics of Class.

Cities, Resilience and Regeneration

Rob Imrie presented his paper, titled - Urban Futures and the Austerity Politics of Regeneration at the third event in the ReCAP series: Cities, Resilience and Regeneration.

Values Beyond Value? Is Anything Beyond the Logic of Capital?

Many theories adopt the metaphors of capital to explore power (e.g. Bourdieu), others propose that capital has subsumed all areas of life. In this lecture, Bev Skeggs explores what the optic of the logic of capital reveals and obscures.

Living with Numbers? Metrics, Algorithms and the Sociology of Everyday Life

Professor Roger Burrows' inaugural lecture examined the sociological implications of digital data deluges in two different contexts: city life and academic labour.

This lecture is available as a podcast.

Bev Skeggs: New Perspectives on Class

Class: one little word with a massive history and huge significance that impacts upon how we can know others, ourselves and speak inequality.  Most people think they know what class is.  But spend a minute trying to define it and you will see it is not straightforward.

There are two main ways of understanding class; firstly through counting and categorising people and secondly through understanding why people are counted and categorized in the first place.  A great deal of sociology works with the former perspective without connecting it to the latter.  This talk will explore the connections and disconnections between perspectives, suggesting that it may be more appropriate to think about class as a ‘measure of value’, without losing sight of who is doing the measuring.

Listen to the podcast of this lecture.

Formations Revisited: Returning to Ideology and Value: Are you a hit?

Professor Beverley Skeggs at the University of Stokholm

Making and Opening: Entangling Design and Social Science

Design and social science disciplines intersect at a number of points. While there is excellent work exploring many of these points of contact, there is also a tendency for social science to treat design as a topic (e.g. what does design do and how might this be accounted for in sociological terms?), and for design to treat social science as a resource (e.g. what useful knowledge does sociology produce and how can this be deployed to model users or construct scenarios?).

View the videos:

The Birth of Histories from the Spirit of Mourning

Howard Becker and the 'Craft of Sociology'

In November 2009 Howard Becker, the American sociologist credited with the development of 'labelling theory' in the 1960s, took part in two events held at Goldsmiths, University of London.

In addition to his influence in the fields of Sociology and Criminology, Becker was an accomplished jazz musician in the 1930s. He spoke about his latest book '"Do you know ...?": The Jazz Repertoire in Action' (co-authored with Robert R Faulkner), which explores how musicians, previously unknown to one another, are able to adapt to each other and play music together in spontaneous live performance.

"Do you know…?" offers entertaining stories and sharp insights drawn from the authors' own experiences and observations as well as interviews with a range of musicians. Becker and Faulkner's vivid, detailed portrait of the musician at work holds valuable lessons for anyone who has to think on the spot or under a spotlight.

In addition to this, Becker engaged in a public discussion with Les Back about the craft of sociological writing and thinking. Illustrated through a series of his favourite sociological studies he demonstrates how these books tell about society and offer useful exemplars for researchers to reflect on their own practice and scholarship. This discussion is available as a podcast.

Atmospheres of Participation: Art, Media, Politics

Two talks and a discussion about presence, liveness and the importance of participation:

Kris Cohen (Art History, University of Chicago) Intimacy without Reciprocity: Suffragists, Internet Trolls, and Sharon Hayes’ Love Letters

Edgar Schmitz (Art, Goldsmiths) Some rather ambient attitudes: indifference, exit and the question of affirmation

Chair: Nina Wakeford (Sociology)

How are contemporary artists dealing with the question of participation, particularly in the light of the promise of new media to promote greater reciprocity through interaction? How important is the collective creation of atmospheres of participation? Are artistic strategies caught between generating enthusiasm and constituting indifference? How do artists contribute to emergent forms of atmosphere through technologies?

Organised by the INCITE research group, Department of Sociology, Centre for Culture Studies and the Leverhulme Media Research Centre, with the support of the Economic and Social Research Council and Intel Research.

Sound Archive

  1. Intoduction
  2. Goetz
  3. Kris
  4. Edgar
  5. Q and A

Maximising Impact through Research Methods: A View from Early British Sociology

Professor John Scott offered a preview of his book on the hidden history of British sociology. Professor Scott showed that the British sociological tradition contains underappreciated cosmopolitan and technologically innovative threads that might help us think of current debates about public engagement. Discussant, Professor Les Back.

The full lecture and the discussion that followed can be listened to as a podcast.