I am a Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. My main teaching and research interests are in the areas of sociological theory, social and political change in postcommunist societies, Jewish identities, the sociology of violence, and photography. My most recent book, Violence and Society (Sage 2018), develops a wide-ranging analysis of violence including prehistoric violence, long-term trends in homicide; masculinities, gender and violence; and modernity and the Holocaust. I have worked in recent years on the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt, the challenge to social science explanations of violence from neuroscience, and the sociology of Jewish identity and culture. I am currently working on photography, sociology and visual modernity.
I joined the University of Kent in 1998. Before that I was in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. In 1996, I was visiting scholar, Victoria University Wellington, New Zealand. At Kent I was Head of the Department of Sociology and then SSPSSR between 1999-2001, and Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences between 2009-11. I am currently Chair of the Sociology Pathway in the South East Network Doctoral Training Partnership
I completed my DPhil and MA in Sociology at Sussex University and my BA in Sociology at Lancaster University.
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My main research interests are sociological theory, postcommunism, the sociology of violence, Jewish studies and visual sociology. I have worked in recent years on the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt, the challenge to social science explanations of violence from neuroscience, and the sociology of Jewish identity and culture. I have also worked with Dr Sławomir Kapralski on Disputed Holocaust Memory in Poland, which is the subject of a special issue of the Journal of Holocaust Studies
I am currently working on photography, sociology and visual modernity, and disputed Holocaust memory in current European culture wars.
In 2018, I published the second edition of Violence and Society (Sage Publications) which develops a wide-ranging analysis of violence including prehistoric violence, long-term trends in homicide; masculinities, gender and violence; and modernity and the Holocaust. This work is informed by an interest in sociological theory and social transformation.
In 2005 I published Social Theory and Postcommunism (Blackwell) with William Outhwaite at Newcastle University. In 2007 I published Globalization and Everyday Life (Routledge) which focuses on the diverse ways in which globalization is sustained through and embedded within the practices of everyday life.
A project on racially motivated violence in Greater Manchester (with Prof. David Smith, Lancaster University), that was part of the ESRC’s Violence Research Programme, led to a wider interest in the sociology of violence. This has involved work on 'hate crime' legislation and its effectiveness along with the politics of hate movements. This research has involved work with the Probation Service, Home Office, Ministry of Justice and other public sector bodies.
I welcome PHD proposals within my areas of interest. If you are interested in studying at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss further.back to top
My teaching interests at undergraduate and postgraduate levels include globalization, sociology of violence and sociological theory. I currently convene the following modules:
- SO534 Violence & Society (higher level module - part of the Sociology and Criminology programmes)
- SO824 Sociological Theories of Violence (Masters module on MA Sociology, Criminology and LLM programmes)
I also contribute to:
- SO500 Contemporary Sociological Theory (core intermediate level Social Theory module)
- SO408 Classical Sociological Theory (core stage 1 module)
- Member of the British Sociological Association
- Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
- Executive Committee member and former President of the British Association for Jewish Studies
- Fellow of the British Association for Holocaust Studies
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Holocaust Studies
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Max Weber Studies.
The End of Violence?
(A Think Kent video 2016)