Brian Alleyne BSc MSc PhD

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer
Department Sociology
Email b.alleyne (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7721
Brian Alleyne BSc MSc PhD

Brian worked as a photographer and then a computer programmer before studying sociology and development studies at the University of the West Indies.

Academic qualifications

After a period in New York, where he studied sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and worked as a research assistant at the CLR James Institute, he moved to the UK. He gained a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 1999 and began teaching sociology at Goldsmiths in that same year.

For many years he was a volunteer at the George Padmore Institute, in Finsbury Park, North London. That Institute is made up of a collective of activists, writers and activists about whose work Brian wrote a book, Radicals Against Race (Berg 2002), which was awarded the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for the best new single-authored sociological text published in 2002. Brian keeps up his interest in new technologies by hacking code and exploring Linux and other Free Software in his spare time.


Brian convenes and teaches the courses Global Development and Underdevelopment and Sociology of Culture and Communication at Undergraduate level. He is also the Programme Convenor for BA Anthropology & Sociology.

Research Interests

Globalisation, social movements, social life of information technology, ethnography, narrative, biographical methods.

Brian is writing a book on Narrative Approaches for Sage. That book responds to a growing interest in stories in popular and academic culture, as well as to the pervasiveness of Web 2.0 in the form of Facebook and Twitter (to name just two examples).  The ubiquity of social media calls for a reconsideration of the place of narrative in our collective self-understanding, and on a more specific level, in social research programmes. Moreover, the book will address narrative in light of ongoing developments in computer-assisted data gathering and analysis, drawing upon both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Brian also writes articles on: Free Software; Hacker Cultures; Networked Communities;  and Inventive Users.

Publications and research outputs


Alleyne, Brian. 2019. Geek and Hacker Stories: Code, Culture and Storytelling from the Technosphere. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781349958191

Alleyne, Brian. 2014. Narrative Networks: Storied Approaches in a Digital Age. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. ISBN 9780857027849

Alleyne, Brian. 2002. Radicals Against Race: Black Activism and Cultural Politics. Berg. ISBN 1859735223

Book Section

Alleyne, Brian. 2021. Hacking. In: George Ritzer and Chris Rojek, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Malden, Massachusetts: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. ISBN 9781405165518

Alleyne, Brian. 2018. Computer Hacking as a Social Problem. In: A. Javier Treviño, ed. Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 127-142. ISBN 9781108550710

Alleyne, Brian. 2007. Anti-racist cultural politics in post-imperial Britain: the New Beacon Circle. In: , ed. Utopian Pedagogy: Radical Experiments Against Neoliberal Globalization. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 207-226. ISBN 9780802086754

Alleyne, Brian. 2006. Cultural Politics and Caribbean Narratives. In: Jean Besson and Karen Fog Olwig, eds. Caribbean Narratives of Belonging: Fields of Relations, Sites of Identity. Macmillan Caribbean, pp. 263-279. ISBN 1-4050-1879-8

Alleyne, Brian. 2006. C.L.R. James, Critical Humanist. In: C. Gair, ed. Beyond Boundaries: CLR James and Postnational Studies. Pluto Press, pp. 175-196. ISBN 0745323421

Alleyne, Brian. 2006. Race Relations in Contemporary Britain. In: K. Prah, ed. Racism in the Global African Experience. Centre for the Advanced Study of African Societies, pp. 225-249. ISBN 9781919799773

Alleyne, Brian. 2006. 'Race' and Racism. In: Austin Harrington; Barbara Marshall and Hans-Peter Müller, eds. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Routledge, pp. 490-492. ISBN 978-0-415-29046-3


Alleyne, Brian. 2021. Black Software Matters. Computational Culture: A Journal of Software Studies(8), ISSN 2047-2390

Alleyne, Brian. 2017. Not in the family portrait: BME voters and Brexit.,

Alleyne, Brian and Mirosa, Oriol. 2012. Interview with Brian Alleyne, Sociologist Studying KDE. KDE News,

Alleyne, Brian. 2011. Challenging Code: A Sociological Reading of the KDE Free Software Project. Sociology, 45(3), pp. 496-511. ISSN 0038-0385

Alleyne, Brian. 2003. CLR James's Revolutionary Politics as Culture. Imprints: a Journal of Analytical Socialism, 7(1), pp. 64-81. ISSN 1363-5964

Alleyne, Brian. 2003. An Activist Ethnography of Black Cultural Politics: the new Beacon Circle. Anthropology in Action, 10(2), pp. 21-30. ISSN 0967-201X

Alleyne, Brian. 2002. An Idea of Community and its Discontents: Towards a more reflexive sense of belonging in multicultural Britain. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 25, pp. 607-627. ISSN 01419870

Alexander, Claire and Alleyne, Brian. 2002. Introduction: Framing difference: racial and ethnic studies in twentyfirst-century Britain. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 25(4), pp. 541-551. ISSN 0141-9870

Alleyne, Brian. 1999. Cultural politics and globalized infomedia: C. L. R. James, Theodor Adorno and Mass Culture Criticism. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 1(3), pp. 361-372. ISSN 1369-801X

Alleyne, Brian. 1998. 'Peoples War': Cultural Activism in the Notting Hill Carnival. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, 20(1/2), pp. 111-135. ISSN 0305-7674

Conference or Workshop Item

Alleyne, Brian. 2021. 'Sketches of Caribbean Geek Culture'. In: Departmental Seminar, Department of Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews. Online Event, United Kingdom 12 November 2021.

Alleyne, Brian. 2021. 'Two Narrative Research Approaches in NVivo'. In: NVivo Virtual Conference 2021 Transcending Boundaries in Qualitative Research. Online, United Kingdom 3 - 4 November 2021.


Alleyne, Brian. 2015. Methods Lunch - Narrative Networks: Storied Approaches in a Digital Age.


Alleyne, Brian. 2023. Ask A Researcher - Brian Alleyne.

Alleyne, Brian. 2016. Inside the mind of a hacker - FT World - World & Global Economy Video -


Alleyne, Brian. 2018. Combining Online Research and Participant Observation in a Study of Free Software. Other. SAGE, London.