Research in Sociology at Goldsmiths

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Our research has long been recognised as vital in defining the shifting boundaries of the discipline.

Sociology research

Throughout its more than fifty-year history, Goldsmiths’ Sociology Department has demonstrated a commitment to making sociology matter within and beyond the academy. We do this through what we term ‘live sociology’: an expansion of the sociological imagination through the study of, and critical interventions in, contemporary social issues and their historical legacies.

Through the myriad ways that staff engage with and further develop live sociology, we have established an internationally recognised research and teaching culture, and our research has long been recognised as vital in defining the shifting boundaries of the discipline.

We lead and are co-researchers on externally funded research projects, give keynotes at international events, and engage and collaborate with a wide range of publics including civil society organisations, thinktanks, policy-makers, government experts and members of parliament, industry and business, and digital, broadcast and print media. Our research is shared through books, articles and chapters aimed at academic readers as well as through exhibitions, podcasts, films, blog posts and media broadcasts and publications.

Visit our sociology blog to find out more about our research as it is happening, our long-standing work on anti-racism and our recent contributions to understanding the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. You can also view and listen to staff talk about their work on our Spotify playlist and Youtube channel. For more on staff research interests, visit our staff pages.

We understand live sociology as founded on five values:

  • Tackling issues of inequality, marginalization, and injustice
  • Working in a way that cuts across conventional disciplinary boundaries both within and beyond the academy
  • Inventing and experimenting with research methods that push the boundaries of knowledge and pedagogy
  • Reconsidering the conventional relation between theory and practice through practice-based research
  • Reaching beyond national frames via research that is transnational in scope

Our commitment to the values of live sociology is pursued through shared questions and issues addressed under six dynamic interdisciplinary research clusters:

  • Politics, rights and justice
  • Feminism and anti-racism
  • Cities, multicultures and migration
  • Science, technologies and expertise
  • Critical social and cultural theory
  • Practice research and inventive methods

All staff undertake research under the auspices of at least one of these clusters, the majority working under two or more of them. Each has a programme of funded research and organises conferences, seminars, and other research-related activities. Many are associated with a Masters programme or our PhD programmes in Sociology and Visual Sociology, enabling teaching and research to enrich each other.

These research clusters are all associated with a research centre or unit, providing an infrastructure for research activities.

Department research centres and units are:

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