Staff in the Department of Sociology

In this section


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Roger Burrows

Visiting Professor
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Roger Burrows is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, based in the Centre for Urban and Community Research.

Currently Professor of Cities at Newcastle University, Roger's research interests are in urban sociology; social media; the social life of methods; and the public life of data. He is currently developing specific projects on: Metrics, Software and Algorithmic Power in the Contemporary Academy; the Sociology of the Super-Rich ‘Communities’ in London; and Mobility, Globalization and Belonging in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Lastly, Roger is the author, co-author or editor of over 120 articles, chapters, books and reports.


Roger teaches courses on urban studies, social research methods as well as social and cultural theory and digital sociology. He is currently a visiting professor working at CUCR at Goldsmiths, but teachers an undergraduate course at Newcastle University called Understanding Place which investigates localities and contributes to other courses at Newcastle.

See Roger's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online

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Thomas Dekeyser

Visiting Research Fellow
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Thomas Dekeyser is a cultural geographer and urban sociologist. His PhD at the University of Southampton was an ethnographic study into the globally emergent practice of 'subvertising': illegal interventions into urban advertising space (including graffiti scribbles, poster replacement, sabotage, and digital hacking). Three main fields of research interest emerged from this research: contemporary advertising power, illicit urban subcultures and theories of negativity.

He has published on topics including artistic interventions into architecture, the digitisation of advertising, the contestation of advertising, challenges of deep ethnographies, ethnographic research ethics and the politics of negativity. These publications have appeared in Cultural Geographies, Society and Space, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Area, Environment and Planning A and Radical Philosophy. 

Before undertaking his PhD, Thomas took an MA in Cultural Geography (Royal Holloway) and an MA in Brand Development (Goldsmiths), and spent two years working as an advertising strategist for the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. 

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Jennifer Gabrys

Visiting Professor
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Previously, a Professor in the Department, Jennifer is now a Chair in Media, Culture and Environment, at the University of Cambridge, a post she began in October 2018. Jennifer has also been a visiting Research Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Lab in the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Jennifer's research investigates environments, digital technologies and citizen participation through theoretical and practice-based work.

Her books include a techno-geographical investigation of environmental sensing, Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (University of Minnesota Press, 2016); and a material-political analysis of electronic waste, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Together with Gay Hawkins and Mike Michael, she has co-edited an interdisciplinary collection on plastics, Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic (Routledge, 2013).

Twitter: @citizen_sense

Academic qualifications

  •     PhD, Communication Studies, McGill University (2007)
  •     MLA, Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1999)
  •     BA (summa cum laude), Literature, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1996)



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Francisca Grommé

Visiting Researcher
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Francisca is a Visiting Researcher within the Department of Sociology

Francisca is a Visiting Researcher in the Department and also a recipient of a British Academy Small Grant, undertaking research entitled "Valueing Life in Europe's Overseas Territories: Measuring Material and Economic Welfare in the Caribbean Netherlands".

In her research Francisca is interested in the interactions between science, technology and society. She holds a particular interest in the introduction of technologies for collecting data about citizens and consumers in a variety of governmental practices. Relevant themes in her work are identity, experiment, classification, expertise, knowledge, materiality and practice. Franciscas previous research has been mainly ethnographic and has included studies of the police, private security, public transport and local administration. She works from a background in Science and Technology Studies, Political Science and Anthropology.

Before coming to Goldsmiths, Franciscca completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam, Departments of Anthropology and Political Science, undertaking research on the introduction of surveillance technologies in Dutch crime control, with a particular interest in the role of experimental projects. Her concern was with how these projects crossed boundaries to introduce new crime control practices, for instance, a police focus on aggression. The case studies included sound detection, data mining and traceable liquids. Previously, Francisca studied the introduction of facial recognition in local crime control strategies.

See Francisca's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

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Anna Hickey-Moody

Visiting Professor
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Anna Hickey-Moody is a Visiting Professor within the Department of Sociology.

Anna Hickey-Moody is a Professor of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australian Research Council Future Fellow 2017-2021 and RMIT Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow.

Between 2013 and 2016 Anna was the Director of the Centre for Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths and Head of the PhD in Arts and Learning.  Anna has also held teaching and research positions at The University of Sydney, Monash and UniSA. Anna is known for her theoretical and empirical work with socially marginalized people, especially young people with disabilities, young refugees and migrants, those who are economically and socially disadvantaged, and men at the margins of society.

She is also known for her methodological expertise with arts practice, ethnography and methodological invention. Her books include "Deleuze and the Pedagogy of Gender: Masculinity and Methodology" (Palgrave 2019), ”Imagining University Education: Making Educational Futures’ (Routledge, 2016), Youth, Arts and Education’ (Routledge, 2013), ‘Unimaginable Bodies’ (Sense Publishers, 2009) and ‘Masculinity Beyond the Metropolis’ (Palgrave, 2006). Showing leadership in the fields across which she works, Anna has also edited a number of collected works. 

Recently, she published a co-edited collection on 'Youth, Technology, Governance and Experience' (Routledge 2018), and has also co-edited a themed edition of the journal ‘Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies’ 2016 38 (1)  and an anthology on art practice with Rowman and Littlefield (‘Arts, Pedagogy & Cultural Resistance’, 2015). Anna has published collections on disability and media, (‘Disability Matters’, Routledge, 2011) and Deleuze and social politics (‘Deleuzian Encounters’, Palgrave, 2006). She teaches and supervises in the areas of  youth culture, arts practice, disability and gender studies. 

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Rob Imrie

Visiting Professor
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Professor Rob Imrie is a Visiting Professor within the Department of Sociology.

Ro's background is in geography, sociology, and planning studies and he has a doctorate in industrial sociology.

Areas of supervision

Rob is happy to offer PhD supervision in the broad area of urban studies, with a focus on the following topic areas:

  • Urban governance and community development in cities.
  • Urban policy in British and international cities.
  • The geographies of disability and the built environment.
  • The regulation of architecture.
  • Public policy and geographical knowledge.
  • Planning and the regulation of spatial development

Research interests

Rob Imrie's main research interests are urban governance and community development in cities, the impact and implications of urban policy in British and international cities, the geographies of disability and the built environment, and urban design and the codification and regulation of architecture. 

His research contributes to the development of the study of disability in geography, with a focus on (a). The significance of universal design in the shaping of the designed environment; (b). The development of understanding of the meaning of the home, as this relates to bodily experiences and embodiment, and how meaning, corporeality and design issues interact; (c). Illumination of the relationships between attitudes and practices in the house building industry with reference to disability, and with respect to regulation and how this is reconstructed within the discourse of the housing supply chain; (d). Extending the understanding of housing quality beyond its (normal) reductive sense of physical or technical hardware and/or relations.

Other research is seeking to develop new insights into previously under explored phenomena, including: (a). New forms of urban governance: comparative discourses of community in urban policy in international cities, and the role of sub-national governance structures in influencing urban change; (b). Extending the study of ‘relational architectures’ with a focus on the codification and regulation of architects’ practices; (c). Developing scholarly study of building regulations and control, and their role in urban development; and (d) Exploring the shaping of design through the intersections of the sensual nature of body-environment interactions, with a focus on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

See Rob's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online

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Aidan Kelly

Visiting Research Fellow
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Aidan is a Visiting Research Fellow within the Department of Sociology.

Aidan's research and teaching expertise is in the application of quantitative methodologies in sociological and public policy research, and has extensive experience of analysing complex, multi-level datasets for teaching and research purposes. 

He has published research on the restructuring of the welfare state including the impact of the 'new managerialism' in health and social care (Kelly, Aidan. 1991. The enterprise culture and the welfare state: restructuring the management of the health and personal social services. In: Roger Burrows, ed. Deciphering the enterprise culture: entrepreneurship, petty capitalism and the restructuring of Britain. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 136-151).

His quantitative analysis of trends in expenditure, unit costs and service outputs was published in the Journal of Social Policy, 1989, 1995. With Andrew Bebbington PSSRU, Kent he conducted a Department of Health funded review of the London Costs element of the standard spending assessments for the Personal Social Services. Aidan has also produced several papers reporting attempts model the outcomes of the 2001 and 2008 Research Assessment Exercises for various disciplines including sociology (Kelly, Aidan and Burrows, Roger. 2012. Measuring the Value of Sociology? Some Notes on Performative Metricisation in the Contemporary Academy. In: Lisa Adkins and Celia Lury, eds. Measure and Value. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 130-150.).

Between 2007 and 2013 Aidan was an editor of the ABS Guide to Journal Quality in Business and Management Studies. A recent paper seeks to challenge the view that the Guide is biased in its assessment of the quality of accounting journals (Kelly, Aidan, Harvey, Charles, Morris, Huw and Rowlinson, Michael. 2013. Accounting Journals and the ABS Guide: A Review of Evidence and Inference. Management & Organizational History, pp. 1-22. 

Aidan has a special interests in the development of teaching and learning of quantitative methods. He is enthusiastic about the implications of critical realism and complexity theory for the development of a quantitative sociology. 

See Aidan's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Onliine

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John Lea

Visiting Professor
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John Lea is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology

John has a distinguished record in the research and teaching of criminology, including such topics as organised crime, terrorism, war, criminal justice, and the history of crime and punishment. He spent many years at Middlesex University where, during the mid 1980s together with Jock Young and others, he developed what came to be known as 'left realist' criminology. The main output of that period 'What Is To Be Done About Law and Order' (Penguin 1984) was a much discussed text across both the academic and policy-making fields in criminal justice and crime control. Since retiring from Middlesex in 2005 he has held a number of honorary and visiting posts, at Brighton, Leicester and Roehampton Universities and now at Goldsmiths.

His work covers a number of fields related to criminology. He continued to develop the 'left realist' perspective in criminology in 'Crime and Modernity' (Sage 2002) and his most recent output has focused on the interface between crime and warfare and the role of the private sector ('War, Criminal Justice and the Rebirth of Privatisation' in Sandra Walklate & Ross McGarry eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and War. Palgrave 2017)

In 2015 John was awarded the British Society of Criminology Outstanding Achievement Award

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Mike Michael

Visiting Professor of Sociology of Science and Technology
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Mike Michaels is a Visiting Professor within the Department of Sociology

Currently Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Exeter, Mike is also a Visiting Professor within the Department of Sociology. 

Research Interests

Mike's research interests have included: the relation of everyday life to technoscience; biotechnological and biomedical innovation and culture; the public understanding of/engagement with science; and process methodology.

Areas of supervision

Sociology of science and technology; public understanding of science; sociology of the environment; sociology of everyday life; animals and society; social theory and materiality; sociology and design; biomedicine, biotechnology and culture.

See Mike's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online


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Heidi Safia Mirza

Visiting Professor of Race, Faith and Culture
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“Sociology is your life and my life: We all have stories to tell...we must tell them ...our voices must be heard !”

Academic background

Professor Mirza's work focuses on gender, race, faith and culture using postcolonial and black feminist theoretical frameworks to explore equality and human rights issues for Muslim, Black and minority communities. Coming from Trinidad and schooled in Brixton she is one of the first female professors of colour in UK and was awarded the prestigious # Eight Women of Colour Awards. She has widely researched educational inequalities, including the experiences of young Black and Asian women in school and processes of racialisation in higher education.  Her recent work explores current debates on multiculturalism and diversity, as well as cultural and religious difference, Islamophobia and gendered violence.


Professor Mirza’s teaching includes her pioneering masters Course Race, Gender and Social Justice. She also supervises doctoral students in the cutting-edge field of social and cultural identity and has an excellent completion rate. Her PhDs student’s projects include studies on race, faith, gender, class and culture in educational settingsrefugees and migration; multiculturalism and Islamophobia; gender and sexual violence; Muslim and Asian women in education.

Public appointments

Professor Mirza was appointed by the Minister of State for Education to the Government’s Schools Standards Task Force, where she shaped many initiatives to  raise standards in education for Caribbean and minority ethnic pupils.  She also established the Runnymede Collection at the BCA (Black Cultural Archives), a race-relations archive documenting the late 20th Century civil rights struggle for Multicultural Britain. She was Commissioner on the GLA Mayor's Commission on African and Asian Heritage and appointed by the Lord Chancellor to the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives (TNA). She is an expert consultant to English Heritage advising on Blue Plaques and bringing in under-represented groups into the English national story.

Research interests

Professor Mirza’s research includes British lead on the European Union (EU) project ‘Young Migrant Women in Secondary Education: Promoting integration and mutual understanding through dialogue and exchange’.  She was co-principle investigator on the ethnicity strand of ‘Understanding Society’, the ESRC funded UK Household Longitudinal Study, the largest study of its kind in the world.  She also directed the Rayne Foundation study on refugee education and ‘Respecting Difference’ which promotes the understanding of race, faith and culture for teacher educators in higher education.

Professor Mirza has published extensively on the intersectionality of race, gender, Black British feminisms, multiculturalism, postcolonial theory and educational inequalities. She is author of several best-selling books including,

Young Female and Black (Routledge 1992), which was voted in the BERA (British Educational Research Association) top 40 most influential educational studies in Britain.

Black British Feminism: A Reader (Routledge 1997) now celebrating 20 years of success.

Tackling the Roots of Racism, Lessons for Success, with Reena Bhavnani and Veena Meetoo (Bristol, Policy Press, 2005)

Gender and Educational Desire: Why Black Women Succeed and Fail (Routledge 2009),

Black and Postcolonial Feminisms in New Times: Researching Educational Inequalities, co-edited with Cynthia Joseph (Routledge, 2010),

Respecting difference: Race, faith and culture for teacher educators, with Veena Meetoo (UCL IOE  2012).

Her most recent book is Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy, co-edited with Jason Arday (Palgrave MacMillan forthcoming).

She co-authored the seminal OfSTED school government inspection report Educational Inequality: Mapping Race, Class, and Gender 


See Heidi's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online


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Vic Seidler BA MPhil

Emeritus Professor
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Vic Seidler is an Emeritus Professor within the Department of Sociology.

Vik's research interests are Social theory and philosophy; Marxism and critical theory; moral theory; masculinity and sexual politics. The body and emotional life; ecology and social theory; holocaust and modernity, psychoanalysing psychotherapy; identity and ethnicities. Men and feminism; sociology of knowledge; morality and social theory; equality and liberal theory.  

Vic has published widely.

See Vic's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

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David Silverman

Emeritus Professor
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Prof David Silverman is Professor Emeritus in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths.

David Silverman is also Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane and Visiting Professor in the Management Department at King's College, University of London and the Business School, University of Technology, Sydney. He has authored 15 books and 45 journal articles on qualitative research, ethnography and conversation analysis.


David pioneered a taught MA in Qualitative Research at Goldsmiths in 1985 and supervised around 30 successful PhD students. Since becoming Emeritus Professor in 1999, he has continued publishing methodology books. David has also run workshops for research students in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

Besides all this, David's other interests include classical music, literary fiction, bridge, county cricket and spending time with his grandchildren.


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Bev Skeggs

Visiting Professor
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Bev Skeggs is a Visiting Professor within the Department of Sociology.

Bev is a Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University.

Prior to Lancaster, Bev was Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows Programme, based at the LSE, but has a long history of being associated with Goldsmiths, and in particular the Department of Sociology. Before joining Sociology at Goldsmiths, Bev previously worked at the Worcester College of Higher Education and the Universities of Keele, York, Lancaster and Manchester. Bev has worked in the areas of Women’s Studies and Cultural Studies, as well as Sociology.

Research interests

Class, media and cultural formations, feminist and poststructuralist theory, Pierre Bourdieu and Marx, spatial formations.

Bev's research interests consolidate around the issue of value and values. How do we know what value and values are? What do they do? Bev only realized this was my central concern recently when she was asked to summarise somoenes work and noticed that all her research has been framed around these issues. Hence value/s has led her through issues of respectability in class and gender formation, an exploration of symbolic value through media and cultural formations; using feminist and poststructuralist theory, Pierre Bourdieu and to the economic abstractions of Marx, to help her understand.

Bev is still working on this topic (it is her life’s work), currently attempting to understand how value moves on, through and with people as they live the imperatives of exchange in capitalism. But, more significantly, what remains beyond exchange? What matters to people? How do they formulate value/s beyond economic perceptions? Bev has been developing the idea of ‘person value’ through ‘value struggles’ to understand how different forms of de/valued personhood are lived.

See Bev's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

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Mike Upton

Visiting Research Fellow
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Mike Upton is a Post-Doctoral Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Invention and Social Process, and the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths.

Mike's PhD focused on the contested intersections of globalizing intellectual property regimes and transnational campaigns for access to medicines to treat HIV/AIDS. After receiving his PhD in 2012, Mike worked in the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester. In 2013 he was awarded a Mildred-Blaxter Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, which was followed by a British Academy Small Grant that considered the disputes surrounding the ‘invention’ of AZT, the first drug approved for HIV treatment.  Mike is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Academic Qualifications

PhD Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, 2012.

MRes Research Methods, University of Manchester, 2007.

MSc Human Rights, London School of Economics, 2004.

BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, 2001.

Research interests

Global Health; HIV/AIDS; Medical Anthropology/Sociology; Sociology of Health and Illness; Science and Technology Studies; Cultural Studies; Pharmaceuticals and Intellectual Property; Global Political Economy; Gender and Sexuality; Post-colonial and Critical Race Studies; Intimacy.

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Funda Ustek-Spilda

Visiting Researcher
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Funda Ustek-Spilda is a Visiting Researcher within the Department of Sociology.

Previously Funda was a post-doctoral researcher on the ERC funded ARITHMUS research project "Peopling Europe: How data make a people" led by Professor Evelyn Ruppert.

Funda has conducted research on popular media programmes (esp. drama series) to investigate how they might contribute to shaping and/or reproducing public opinions and social values (intentionally or otherwise) on gender, class, religion and social justice.  Her research interests are missing people in statistics, culture/institutional change, governing by numbers and gender.

See Funda's research outputs on Goldsmiths Research Online.

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Sobia Ahmad Kaker

Visiting Research Fellow
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Sobia is an interdisciplinary urban studies scholar who works on urbanisation, securitisation and socio-political life in global south cities.

Her research focuses on the ‘lived’ aspects of urban insecurity. She is interested in the ways in which urban residents and governors navigate everyday insecurity, and how related processes of securitisation impact urban social, spatial, and political relations. 

Sobia is now based at the University of Essex but remains a Visiting Research Fellow of the Department.

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Evelyn Ruppert

Emeritus Professor
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Evelyn joined the Department in April 2013 from the Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change (CRESC), a collaboration between the Open University and the University of Manchester.

With Mike Savage (Sociology, LSE) and John Law (Sociology, The Open University), she co-convened a research theme called The Social Life of Methods.  She is Editor and Founding Editor of a SAGE open access journal, Big Data & Society: Critical Interdisciplinary Inquiries, launched in 2014.

Evelyn has now retired but remains in the Department as Emeritus Professor.