Portrait of Professor Frank Furedi

Professor Frank Furedi

Emeritus Professor of Sociology

About

Professor Furedi completed his PhD in Research and MA in African Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He completed his BA in Political Science at McGill University. 

Professor Furedi is a sociologist, social commentator and author of several books (see Academia).  His research is oriented towards the study of the workings of precautionary culture and risk aversion in Western societies.

Research interests

Since 1995, Professor Furedi’s work has explored the different manifestations of the way that contemporary western culture attempts to give meaning to social experience. The current problems that society has in engaging with uncertainty have focused his interest on the workings of contemporary risk consciousness and loss aversion. 

Author of over 20 books, most of his work in recent years has been devoted to the development of a sociology of fear and an exploration of the cultural developments that influence the construction of contemporary risk consciousness. 

Although his work on different forms of social anxieties is strongly influenced by the insights of social constructionist sociology, his past training in field work and history bring to the study of social problems a historical and empirical dimension. Elements of this approach are outlined in Population and Development (1997), The Silent War (1998) The Culture of Fear (1997, 2002 – new revised edition 2007) and in particular, How Fear Works: The Culture of Fear in the 21st Century (2018). These texts examine the problematisation of different forms of social anxieties (race, population and risk) and have provided him with an opportunity to elaborate a sociological approach that synthesises the methods of historical inquiry with the insights of sociological investigation. 

Furedi’s studies on the problem of fear has run in parallel with his exploration of the problem of cultural authority. Since his Authority, A Sociological History (2013) he has published a study a study The First World War: Still No End In Sight – which interprets this event as the precursor of today’s Culture Wars. His study, Populism And The Culture Wars In Europe: the conflict of values between Hungary and the EU, discusses the sociological implications of the tension between populists and anti-populist political currents. 

Professor Furedi’s approach towards the contemporary challenges facing education, culture and intellectual life is outlined in the in the book Where Have All The Intellectual Gone; Confronting 21st Century Philistinism. He is now engaged on a sociological history of the Crisis of Identity. This project is supported by a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship. 

Supervision

Professor Furedi is involved in supervising PhD students in his area of research.

Professional

Media appearances 

Frank has appeared on Newsnight, Sky and BBC News, Radio Four’s Today programme, and a variety of other radio television shows. Internationally, he has been interviewed by the media in Australia, Canada, the United States, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Brazil, and Germany. 

Editorial 

Frank's articles have been published in the New Scientist, The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Express, The Daily Mail, The Wall Street Journal, The Independent on Sunday, India Today, L’Espresso, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Sunday Telegraph, Toronto Globe and Mail, The Christian Science Monitor, The Times Higher Education Supplement, Spiked-online, The Times Literary Supplement, Harvard Business Review, Die Welt and Die Zeit, among others. 

Public speaking 

He is regularly invited as a guest public speaker and he has recently addressed Cheltenham Music Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art, Institute of Ideas, Royal Society of Arts, Edinburgh Festival, Festival of Ideas (Brisbane) and Festival of Science (Rome). 

Last updated