Caroline Knowles BSc PhD

Staff details

Position Professor of Sociology
Department Sociology
Email c.knowles (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7393
Caroline Knowles BSc PhD

Caroline writes about migration and circulations of material objects – some of the social forces constituting globalisation. She is interested in cities, having done research in London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Fuzhou, Addis Ababa, Kuwait City and Seoul. She is currently the Director of the British Academy’s Cities and Infrastructure Programme, which comprises a portfolio of 18 multi-disciplinary projects delivering, with local partners, vital improvements in infrastructure in cities in the global south.

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). Caroline is the author of Flip-Flop: a journey through globalisation’s backroads, published by Pluto Press in 2014 and in Brazil in Portuguese in 2018 as Nas Trilhas De Um Chinelo. The accompanying website can be found at She is co-author, with Douglas Harper, of Hong Kong: Migrant Lives, Landscapes and Journeys, published (2009) by the University of Chicago Press.

Caroline holds a Major Leverhulme Research Fellowship Serious Money: a Mobile Investigation of Plutocratic London. She recently worked with Ho Wing Chung, at the City University Hong Kong, on an 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’.


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