Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


 

About

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, globalization, postcommunism, memory and violence.

My most recent book, Violence and Society (Sage), develops a wide-ranging analysis of violence including prehistoric violence, long-term trends in homicide; masculinities, gender and violence; and modernity and the Holocaust. 

My current project is an examination of Jewish identity and memory in the UK and Europe which includes the role of music, food and community networks in sustaining identities and articulating relationships to the past. I am also continuing to work on aspects violence particularly in relation to inequality, consumer culture and desire.

Listen to Mark Carrigan’s podcast in which he interviews me about the 2011 summer riots in the UK. Read more on The Sociological Imagination website.

Career

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 Director of Research for SSPSSR.

Education

I completed my DPhil and MA in Sociology at Sussex University and my BA in Sociology at Lancaster University.

Contact Information

Address

Room E135
Cornwallis East
University of Kent
Canterbury
Kent CT2 7NF

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Ray, L. and Diemling, M. (2016). Arendt's 'Conscious Pariah' and the Ambiguous Figure of the Subaltern. European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 19. Available at: http://est.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/22/1368431016628261.refs.
Ray, L. (2016). Explaining violence - towards a critical friendship with neuroscience? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour [Online] 46:335-356. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jtsb.12102/abstract.
Ray, L. (2014). Shame and the city – 'looting', emotions and social structure. Sociological Review [Online] 62:117-136. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12136.
Diemling, M. and Ray, L. (2014). "Where do you draw the line?" Negotiating Kashrut and jewish identity in a small british reform community. Food, Culture and Society [Online] 17:125-142. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174414X13831235510699.
Ray, L. (2013). Mark of Cain – Shame, Desire and Violence. European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 16:292-309. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368431013476536 .
Outhwaite, W. and Ray, L. (2011). Prediction and prophecy in communist studies. Comparative Sociology [Online] 10:691-709. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156913311X599025.
Ray, L. (2010). Migration and remembrance: Sounds and spaces of klezmer 'revivals'. Cultural Sociology [Online] 4:357-378. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1749975509356868 .
Ray, L. (2009). At the end of the postcommunist transformation? Normalization or Imagining Utopia? European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 12:321-336. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368431009337349.
Ray, L. (2009). Profit of Innvation? Schumpeter and Classical Sociology. Journal of Classical Sociology [Online] 9:347-352. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468795X09105448.
Ray, L. (2009). At the End of the Post-Communist Transformation? Normalization or Imagining Utopia? European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 12:321-336. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1368431009337349.
Ray, L. and Dixon, L. (2007). Current Issues and Developments in Race Hate Crime. Probation Journal [Online] 54:109-124. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0264550507077251.
Ray, L. (2007). Reflections on the demise of communism in Europe. European History Quarterly [Online] 37:442-456. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265691407078447.
Ray, L. and Reed, K. (2005). Community, mobility and racism in a semi-rural area: Comparing minority experience in East Kent. Ethnic and Racial Studies [Online] 28:212-234. Available at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/routledg/rers/2005/00000028/00000002/art00002 .
Ray, L., Smith, D. and Wastell, L. (2004). Shame, Rage and Racist Violence. British Journal of Criminology [Online] 44:350-368. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azh022 .
Ray, L. and Smith, D. (2004). Racist Offending, Policing and Community Conflict MacLachlan, I. and Syrontinsky, M. eds. Sociology [Online] 38:681-699. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038504045859.
Ray, L. (2004). Pragmatism and Critical Theory. European Journal of Social Theory [Online] 7:307-322. Available at: http://dx.doi.org10.1177/1368431004044195 .
Ray, L. (2003). August Comte and the religion of humanity: The post-theistic program of french social theory. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association [Online] 37:203-204. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038503037001400.
Ray, L. (2003). Capitalism, Class and Social Progress. Current Sociology [Online] 51:163-169. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00113921030512008.
Ray, L. (2002). Crossing Borders? Sociology, Globalization and Immobility. Sociological Research Online [Online] 7. Available at: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/7/3/ray.html .
Smith, D., Ray, L. and Wastell, L. (2002). Racist Violence And Probation Practice. Probation Journal [Online] 49:3-9. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/026455050204900102.
Ray, L. and Smith, D. (2001). Racist Offenders and the Politics of "Hate Crime". Law and Critique [Online] 12:203-221. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1013744505799.
Ray, L. (1999). 'Memory, Trauma and Genocidal Nationalism' . Sociological Research Online [Online] 4. Available at: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/2/ray.html.
Ray, L., Smith, D. and Wastell, L. (1999). The Macpherson Report: A View from Greater Manchester. Sociological Research Online [Online] 4. Available at: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/lawrence/ray_smith_wastell.html.
Ray, L. (1999). 'Fundamentalism', modernity and the new Jacobins. Economy and Society [Online] 28:198-221. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03085149900000003.
Ray, L. (1997). Post-Communism: postmodernity or modernity revisited? British Journal of Sociology [Online] 48:543-560. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/591595.
Book
Ray, L. (2011). Violence and Society . [Online]. SAGE Publications Ltd . Available at: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book232247?siteId=sage-uk&prodTypes=any&q=Violence+and+Society&fs=1#tabview=title.
Ray, L. (2006). Globalization and Everyday Life. [Online]. London: Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/Globalization-and-Everyday-Life-isbn9780415340953.
Ray, L. and Outhwaite, W. (2005). Social Theory and Postcommunism. [Online]. Oxford: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Available at: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/id/Social_Theory_and_Postcommunism/9780631211112.
Ray, L. (1996). Social Theory And The Crisis Of State Socialism. [Online]. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. Available at: http://www.e-elgar.com/bookentry_main.lasso?id=872&breadcrumlink=&breadcrum=&sub_values=.
Ray, L. (1993). Rethinking Critical Theory: Emancipation in the Age of Global Social Movements. [Online]. London: SAGE Publications Ltd . Available at: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/rethinking-critical-theory/book203188#9780803983649.
Book section
Ray, L. (2012). Civil Society and the Public Sphere. in: Amenta, E., Nash, K. and Scott, A. eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Chicester: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, pp. 240-251.
Ray, L. (2009). After 1989 - Globalization, Normalization and Utopia. in: Hayden, P. and El-Ojeili, C. eds. Globalization and Utopia - Critical Essays. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 101-116. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=287506.
Ray, L. (2007). From Postmodernity to Liquid Modernity: What's in a Metaphor? in: Elliott, A. ed. The Contemporary Bauman. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, Routledge, pp. 63-80. Available at: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/search_results.jsp?wcp=1&quicksearch=1&cntType=&searchType=keywords&searchData=0-415-40968-3&g=.
Ray, L. (2007). Habermas, Pragmatism and Truth. in: Baert, P. and Turner, B. S. eds. Pragmatism and European Social Theory . The Bardwell Press, pp. 137-156. Available at: http://www.bardwell-press.co.uk/publications/pragmatism.htm.
Ray, L. (2006). Mourning, Melancholia and Violence. in: Bell, D. ed. Memory, Trauma and World Politics: Reflections on the Relationship Between Past and Present . London: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 135-156. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=276128.
Ray, L. (2005). Violent Crime. in: Hale, C. et al. eds. Criminology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 223-44.
Ray, L. (2004). Civil Society and Public Sphere. in: Nash, K. and Scott, A. E. eds. The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ray, L., Smith, D. and Wastell, L. (2003). Racist violence from a probation service perspective: Now you see it, now you don't. in: Lee, R. M. and Stanko, E. A. eds. Researching violence: Essays on methodology ajnd measurement. London: Routledge, pp. 217-231.
Ray, L., Smith, D. and Wastell, L. (2002). Understanding racist violence. in: Stanko, E. A. ed. The Meanings of Violence. London: Routledge, pp. 112-129. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415301305/.
Ray, L. and Smith, D. (2002). Hate crime, violence and cultures of racism. in: Iganski, P. ed. The Hate Debate:Should Hate be Punished as a Crime? London: Profile Books/IJPR, pp. 88-103.
Ray, L. (2000). Civil Society and the Public Sphere . in: Nash, K. and Scott, A. eds. The Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology. Oxford: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, pp. 219-229.
Edited book
Elliott, A. and Ray, L. (2003). Key Contemporary Social Theorists. [Online]. Elliott, A. and Ray, L. J. eds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Available at: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/id/Key_Contemporary_Social_Theorists/9780631219712.
Ray, L.J. and Reed, M. eds. (1994). Organizing Modernity: New Weberian Perspectives on Work, Organizations and Society. [Online]. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415089173/.
Ray, L.J. ed. (1991). Formal Sociology: Work of George Simmel. Cheltenham.
Research report (external)
Ray, L. (2004). Racist Violence in the UK. Commission for Racial Equality and Racism and Xenophobia European Network.
Conference or workshop item
Ray, L. (2008). Migration and Remembrance – The Sounds and Spaces of Klezmer Music 'Revivals. in: Nottingham Trent Institute of Cultural Analysis seminar series. Nottingham.
Ray, L. (2007). Remembrance and Ambiguity: Sounds and Spaces of Jewish Culture in Kraków. in: British Association for Jewish Studies annual conference. London.
Ray, L. (2006). Legislating Emotion - Hate Crime, Power and Difference. in: British Sociological Association Conference.
Ray, L. (2006). Remembrance and Ambiguity. in: Conflicting Identities/ Identities In Conflict.
Ray, L. (2005). The Politics of Hate Crime. in: Common Programme conference on Cultural Criminology .
Ray, L. (2003). Memory, Trauma and Genocidal Nationalism. in: Cambridge International Studies Association Conference on Genocide and World Politics.
Ray, L. (2001). Crossing borders – sociology, globalization and immobility. in: British Sociological Association Conference . Manchester. Available at: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/7/3/ray.html.
Review
Ray, L. (2008). Imaginary Neighbors: Mediating Polish-Jewish Relations after the Holocaust. Holocaust Studies 14:153-155.
Ray, L. (2002). Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: Class Formation and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe. Slavic Review 61:134-135.
Ray, L. (1999). Migration, displacement and identity in post-soviet Russia. British Journal of Sociology [Online] 50:357-358. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/000713199358789.
Monograph
Ray, L. (2006). Reducing Hate Crime in Europe' Report for AGIS project 'Reducing Hate Crime in Europe. AGIS National Probation Service.
Total publications in KAR: 56 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

My main research interests are sociological theory, globalization, postcommunism, memory and violence. For more than 20 years I have researched the crisis and transformation of post-communist societies and its implications for social theory.

Current

One current project I am developing is an examination on the emergence of Jewish identity and memory in Poland with particular reference to the contested role of music in articulating relationships to the past and the Holocaust. I would welcome inquiries from anyone interested in postgraduate research on any of these topics.

Recent

In 2011 I published Violence and Society (Sage) 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.

Past

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.

Supervision

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.

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Teaching

Current

My teaching interests at undergraduate and postgraduate levels include globalization, sociology of violence and sociological theory. I currently convene the following modules:

  • SO534 Sociological Approaches to Violence (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 Concepts and Theories in Sociology (core intermediate level Social Theory module)
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Activity

Memberships

  • Member of the British Sociological Association. 
  • Executive Committee member and President-elect British Association for Jewish Studies.

Editorial

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Media

The End of Violence?
(A Think Kent video 2016)

 

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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: 17/11/2016