We seek to produce a sociology that combines rigorous research methods and analytical theory, and that is public-facing and fully engaged with Liverpool as a global city and the wider community, both within the UK and beyond.

The Department of Sociology is recognised for its conceptually driven empirical research and its applied approach to sociology, and this sociological policy focus is reflected in the ways it works in partnership with a range of private, public and third-sector organisations. 

For example, the department currently works with the Vienna Institute for Dialogue and Co-operation, Fairplay, Football Supporters Europe, European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation, CiC - Fair Connections (Global), Fair Connections Foundation, Liverpool World Centre, RASA, Safe Space, Tender, Tara Women's Group/DCWC, Steps Foundation, Classrooms in the Clouds, AFC Liverpool, Asylum Link, Merseyside Peace Network, and Adult Education group.

The sociological achievements of the Department were reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. Research from the Department of Sociology was submitted in UoAs 22 and 36.

64% of outputs in UoA22 were judged to be of world-leading and internationally excellent quality. 100% of impact case study were judged to be of world leading and internationally excellent quality. 55% of outputs in UoA36 were in the main of world leading and internationally excellent quality. 90% of impact case studies were judged to be of world-leading and internationally-excellent quality.

The Department of Sociology has extensive collaborations with European and international researchers and networks, particularly Nepal, India, Brussels and Paraguay.

The Department has a record of success in securing a diverse portfolio of research income from the UK Research Councils, British Academy, European Commission, Erasmus+, DFiD, Big Lottery, European Social Fund, HEFCE and charities.

Journals and Book Series edited from the Department include Journal of World Popular Music, The Football Collective, and Transcultural Music Studies.

Staff in the Department are on a wide range of Editorial Boards, including Max Weber Studies, Journal of Tribal Studies, Sociology, Sociology of Sport Journal, Soccer and Society, Sport and Communication, Sociological Research Online, Palgrave Series of Relational Sociology, Football Research in an Enlarged Europe, Ethnomusicology Forum and Journal of Popular Music Education

Postgraduate Research

The Department has a thriving community of postgraduate researchers.

We offer a stimulating research environment for postgraduate researchers, with supervisory expertise in contemporary sociology, in particular the below research strands. Seminars in the sociology discipline and the related research centres provide a regular forum for postgraduate students to engage with cutting-edge research. Our research methods courses provide training in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and are available to all postgraduates, and we are committed to equipping our postgraduate research students with broader transferrable skills, including teaching experience. 

The Department offers a the MPhil/PhD in Sociology (3 years full-time) and the MRes in Sociology (pathways) (1 year full-time). All full-time PGRs are provided with fully networked personal computers and shared office space, and have access to excellent central computing services and the use of the library that is well stocked for sociology and the social sciences more generally. 

Research Strands

Research in the Sociology Department is organised into six research groupings which reflect contemporary concerns.

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History and Theory

Research in this strand focuses broadly on classical sociology, history of sociology, Max Weber, and literary and sociological imaginations, as well as sociology and theology of knowledge, and the sociology of phobia and fear. 

Members: Chris Allen, David Chalcraft, David Tyrer

International Development

Departmental research on international development includes work on sustainable development (Fair Connections), gender and development in Nepal, and participatory and visual research methods, along with issues on gender, education and conflict in Nepal.

Members: Sara Parker, Kay Standing

 International Development

Cultural Sociology

The department's research strand of cultural sociology focuses particularly on sport, music and other expressions of culture. This includes the important strand of research into football culture, globalisation and fanship in the English Premier League, football supporter movements, and collective action/social movements. Research here also focuses on music, popular culture and capitalism, culture, art and communities, sociology of education and music education, music and identity in Paraguay, and knitting and its place in (post)feminist cultural politics.

Members: Simone Krueger Bridge, Cassie Ogden, Maike Poetschulat, Peter Millward

Identities and Inequalities

The department's research into identities and inequalities focuses broadly on sociological issues surrounding gender, race and disability, including gender issues in the UK and Southeast Asia, women's work-life balance, racism, postcoloniality, biopolitics, race and political theory, gender and racism in the music business, LGBQT in football culture, masculinity in extremist right-wing cultures, disability, health and wellbeing, disability hate crime, transableism, childhood illness experiences, smoking, and quality of life research. Some colleagues in this research strand also contribute to the Media, Culture, Communications Research Group.

Members: Simone Krueger Bridge, Peter Millward, Cassie Ogden, Maike Poetschulat, Jonathan Sly, Kay Standing, David Tyrer

Social and Public Policy

Departmental research in this strand links sociology, social policy, social work and public policy, and criminology, with particular focus on radical religion and religious anarchism, feminism, housing and urban sociology, green issues and environmental policy.  

Members: Chris Allen, Bryan Scott, Kay Standing

Crime, Deviance and Justice

Some research in our department contributes to the research produced by the Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion, a vibrant research centre where academics and activists work together to share and disseminate ideas with respect to the study of crime, criminalisation, social harm and state institutions. The CCSE is also committed to critically engaging with policy makers and practitioners. These interventions are designed to influence social policy and to contribute to achieving social justice for a range of socially marginalised groups.

Members: Sara Parker, Kay Standing