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Postgraduate Research in Sociology

Research areas and staff specialisms

Sociology at the OU has an international reputation for the high quality of its research. We place particular emphasis on analysing the relationships between culture and the social, focussing broadly on the following themes. Please visit the individual staff profiles for further information on research interests.

Culture, Economy and Government

Working on this area are Dr Liz McFall and Prof Elizabeth Silva.

Markets, Consumption, Organisations and Work

Working on this area are Dr Liz McFall and Prof Elizabeth Silva.

Emotions, Intimacy and the Psychosocial

Working on this area are Dr Peter Redman, Prof Elizabeth Silva, Prof Kath Woodward.

Media and Popular Culture

Working on this area are Prof Marie Gillespie.

Multiculturalism and Difference

Working on this area are Dr Umut Erel, Prof Marie Gillespie, Dr Karim Murji, Prof Sophie Watson and Prof Kath Woodward.

Personal and Family Relationships

Working on this area are Dr Umut Erel, Dr Peter Redman, Prof Elizabeth Silva and Prof Kath Woodward.

Technology and Communications

Working on this area are Dr Simon Carter, Prof John Law, Dr Hugh Mackay and Prof Elizabeth Silva.

Urbanism, Cities and Social Change

Working on this area is Prof Sophie Watson.

The Department plays host to the £3.7 million ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), a joint partnership with the University of Manchester and the first major Research Centre in Britain to develop a broad, empirically focused account of cultural change and its economic, social and political implications. Sociology staff also contributes to the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG), a University designated Centre of Research Excellence.

Postgraduates are considered vital in maintaining and expanding this research profile. We therefore welcome high quality applications from enthusiastic and talented students.

Current PhD students

Karin Christof

Amy Dean

Olivia Gable

Xenia Jones

Evgenia Lliadou

Kiran Nihalani

Jane Wilson

Recent PhD topics

Kusminder Chahal: The impacts of and responses to racist victimisation

Pete Clarke: 'There's more than one way to put out a fire.' A Foucauldian Genealogical Analysis of the Changing Discourse of the British Fire-fighter and those deemed at Risk from fire

Charles Collins: Pirate Radio in the Sixties: A consideration of the impact of the offshore stations on the broadcasting industry.

Felicity Greenfields: An investigation into how members of Scotland's Chinese Christian Community use Church Activities to maintain their Cultural Identity

Lisa Kane: Road engineering practices in the early planning of the Foreshore Freeway, Cape Town: Metaphor, imagination, desire and numbers in engineering practice

Nobumi Kobayashi: The Social Significance of Brands

Martin Myers: Gypsies and their neighbours

David Norcross: Sacred symbolism and royal hegemony in Thailand: inequality, rebellion and the common sense of divine kingship

Andras Novoszath: What you see is what you get. Devices of calculation and measurement of economic value

Sara Shepherd: 'Like Punk never happened?' The politics of pop in the post-punk moment

Jane Wilson: State intervention in the cultural sector

David Merryweather: Youth, Risk and Identity

Camilla Kennedy Harper: The Tate Gallery, its membership and the formation of artistic allegiances

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