Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world



I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

I joined SSPSSR in 2006. I previously worked as a researcher at the University of Essex, the European University Institute (Italy), Paris V, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

I completed my PhD in Sociology at the European University Institute (Italy), my MA in Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies at the University of Warwick, and a combined Honours BSc in Society and Government, and French at Aston University.


Contact Information


Room Gillingham G2-11
Gillingham Building
University of Kent
Chatham Maritime
Kent ME4 4AG

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Hubbard, P. and Lyon, D. (2018). Introduction: Streetlife - the Shifting Sociologies of the Street. The Sociological Review [Online] 66. Available at:
Bachis, F., Lyon, D. and Tiragallo, F. (2016). The Passage of Fish. Journal of Video Ethnography [Online film] 5. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2016). Doing audio-visual montage to explore time and space: The everyday rhythms of Billingsgate Fish Market. Sociological Research Online [Online] 21. Available at:
Carabelli, G. and Lyon, D. (2016). Young people's orientations to the future: navigating the present and imagining the future. Journal of Youth Studies [Online] 19:0-0. Available at:
Lyon, D. and Carabelli, G. (2015). Researching Young People's Orientations to the Future: The Methodological Challenges of Using Arts Practice. Qualitative Research [Online]:1-16. Available at:
Pettinger, L. and Lyon, D. (2012). No way to make a Exploring the possibilities of the web for visual and sensory sociologies of work. Sociological Research Online [Online] 17. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2012). Introduction: Visualizing space and narrating work. International Labor and Working-Class History [Online] 81:163-167. Available at:
Lyon, D. and Crow, G. (2012). The challenges and opportunities of re-studying community on Sheppey: Young people's imagined futures. Sociological Review [Online] 60:498-517. Available at:
Lyon, D., Morgan Brett, B. and Crow, G. (2012). Working with material from the Sheppey archive. International Journal of Social Research Methodology [Online] 15:301-309. Available at:
Lyon, D. and Back, L. (2012). Fishmongers in a global economy: craft and social relations on a London market. Sociological Research Online [Online] 17. Available at:
Cuzzocrea, V. and Lyon, D. (2011). Sociological Conceptualisations of 'Career': A Review and Reorientation. Sociology Compass [Online] 5:1029-1043. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2010). Intersections and Boundaries of Work and Non-work: The Case of Elder Care in Comparative European Perspective. European Societies [Online] 12:163-185. Available at:
Crow, G. et al. (2009). New Divisions of Labour?: Comparative Thoughts on the Current Recession. Sociological Research Online [Online] 14. Available at:
Lyon, D. and Glucksmann, M. (2008). Comparative configurations of care work across Europe. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association [Online] 42:101-118. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2007). Moral and Cultural Boundaries in Representations of Migrant Women in Italy. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care [Online] 3:44-44. Available at:
Glucksmann, M. and Lyon, D. (2006). Configurations of Care Work: Paid and Unpaid Elder Care in Italy and the Netherlands Dowling, B. and Glendinning, C. eds. Sociological Research Online [Online] 11:online-online. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2006). The Organisation of Care Work in Italy: Gender and Migrant Labor in the New Economy Dowling, B. and Glendinning, C. eds. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 13:207-224.
Lyon, D. (2004). Unveiling the Headscarf Debate. Feminist Legal Studies [Online] 12:333-345. Available at:
Lyon, D. and Woodward, A. (2004). Gender, Time and the Top: Cultural Constructions of Time in the High Level Careers and Homes Dowling, B. and Glendinning, C. eds. European Journal of Women's Studies [Online] 11:205-221. Available at:
Book section
Lyon, D. (2017). Time and place in memory and imagination on the Isle of Sheppey. in: Crow, G. and Ellis, J. eds. Revisiting Divisions of Labour: The Impacts and Legacies of a Modern Sociological Classic. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, pp. 149-168. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2013). Afterword. in: Braun, L. ed. Métier, Small Businesses in London. London, UK: Paper Tiger Books. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2012). The Labour of Refurbishment: the building of the body in space and time. in: Pink, S., Tutt, D. and Dainty, A. eds. Ethnographic Research in the Construction Industry. Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Alexandrova, N. and Lyon, D. (2007). Imaginary Geographies: Border-places and 'Home' in the Narratives of Migrant Women(Chapter 4). in: Passerini, L. et al. eds. Women Migrants from East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe. Berghahn Books. Available at:
Capussotti, E., Laliotou, I. and Lyon, D. (2007). Migrant Women in Work(Chapter 6). in: Passerini, L. et al. eds. Women Migrants from East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe. Berghahn Books. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2007). Moral and Cultural Boundaries in Representations of Migrants: Italy and the Netherlands in Comparative Perspective (Chapter 11). in: Passerini, L. et al. eds. Women Migrants from East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe. Berghahn Books. Available at:
Woodward, A. and Lyon, D. (2000). Gendered Time and Women's Access to Power. in: Vianello, M. and Moore, G. eds. Gendering Elites; Economic and Political Leadership in Industrialized Societies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 91-103.
Lyon, D. (2018). What is Rhythmanalysis?. [Online]. London, UK: Bloomsbury. Available at:
Visual media
Hatton, P. et al. (2014). Imagine Sheppey: Fast Forward: Imagine Sheppey:Fast Forward This is a work package within a much larger Connected Communities initiative on Community Engagement and Mobilisation. The larger project is 'The social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement: imagining different communities and making them happen' – or Imagine for short. [Video & Photography]. Tea. Available at:
Lyon, D. (2013). Video: Billingsgate Fish Market. [Online video]. Available at:
Hatton, P. et al. (2011). Living & Working on Sheppey/ Back and Forth on High Street Blue Town. [Live Event, website and video]. Available at:
Edited book
Passerini, L. et al. eds. (2007). Women Migrants from East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe. [Online]. Berghahn Books. Available at:
Internet publication
Lyon, D. (2016). The everyday life of a fish market [Web-based publication]. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 32 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

My current research is broadly in the sociology of work and in visual and sensory sociology. I am interested in the meanings work has for people (past, present and future), the (gendered) interconnections between work activities undertaken in different socio-economic relations (e.g. paid and unpaid), the rhythms of working life, the embodied experience of work and the deployment of the senses in everyday working practices. I currently explore these themes in two sets of projects.

The first, Working with Fish, traces the socio-economic and cultural processes of bringing fish ‘from sea to table’. This research is based on mobile ethnographies of different actors in the fish industry and explores their work through the collection of narrative, visual and aural material. It has been supported by a British Academy Small Grant, 2010-12, and the University of Kent Social Science Faculty Research Fund, 2009.

The second set of projects is primarily concerned with how young people imagine the future. The Living and Working on Sheppey and Imagine Sheppey projects have made use of a methodology of ‘writing futures’ and, working with artists, a performative approach to exploring future ‘orientations’. Visit the project website for further information. This work has been supported by an ESRC Connected Communities grant, 2013-14, and a South East Coastal Communities Grant, 2009-11. 

Past research

  • 2007 The Labour of Refurbishment
    This was an ethnographic project on the refurbishment of a historic building on the University of Kent’s Medway campus, undertaken in collaboration with Peter Hatton (School of Arts). The research documented the different forms of work that went into the refurbishment, and the building itself as an object of labour, making strong use of the visual. An exhibition from the project took place within the building in December 2007; more information is available here.
  • 2004-06 Transformations of Work (ESRC funded)
    The Transformations of Work research programme, directed by Miriam Glucksmann at the University of Essex, explored the concept and activity of work, focusing on interconnections between work undertaken in different socio-economic modes. I analysed configurations and meanings of elder care work in Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. (See articles in Sociology, European Societies and Sociological Research Online.)
  • 2000-04 Women Migrants from East to West (EU funded)
    This oral history project of women migrants from East and Central Europe to Italy and the Netherlands examined the themes of love, work, home, communication, and food in an exploration of what sorts of subjectivity come about through contemporary forms of mobility. It also analysed relationships between migrant and native women, and is published as Women Migrants from East to West (Berghahn Books, 2007).
  • 1995-2000 International Comparative Leadership Study (EU funded)
    This cross-national collaborative study of the working lives and career trajectories of men and women in business and politics was published as Gendering Elites (Macmillan, 2000). Building on the survey data, I conducted career history interviews in Belgium, Britain and France for my PhD, a comparative sociological analysis of how careers happen.


I welcome PhD students with proposals in any area of the sociology of work, and am keen to work with students wishing to use visual or sensory methods. If you are interested in studying at the University of Kent, please contact me to discuss further.

Current students

  • (with Tim Strangleman) Sarah O’Connor, Exploring the Occupational Identity of the Watch Manager in the Fire Service
  • (with Steve Roberts, now Monash University, Australia) Jadwiga Karlin, Graduates in Transition

Previous students

  • (with Tim Strangleman) Victoria Tedder, Crafting a world of our own: The search for meaning through creative pursuits
  • (with Larry Ray) Barbara Adewumi, High Expectations: Black professional parents’ aspirations for their children

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At undergraduate level, I teach on the

  • BSc Social Sciences (Medway) convening or contributing to several core modules
  • Introduction to Sociology and Social Research Methods (both Stage 1)
  • Research Methods in Sociology (Stage 2)
  • Dissertation module (Stage 3)
  • Doing Visual Sociology module (open to Stages 2 & 3).

In addition, I am Co-Director of International Programmes and Erasmus.

At postgraduate level, I am Director of Studies of the MA and PGCert Methods of Social Research. I teach a core module in this programme, Qualitative Research.

I am External Examiner for undergraduate programmes in social sciences at the University of Bath, and at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 04/05/2016