- Professor Graham Crow
- Professor of Sociology and Methodology (since 2013); Co-Investigator, ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM)
- G.2 22a Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK EH8 9LN
- Research Interests
- Research methods, Interdisciplinary Research, Research Ethics, Research methods and methodological innovations, Comparative, historical, and theoretical sociology, Sociology of families, households and domestic life, Sociology of communities
Guidance and Feedback Hours
- Tuesdays 12.00-13.00
Publications: authored books
Publications: edited books and journal special issues
Publications: recent chapters in books
Crow, G. (2006) ‘Solidarity’ in John Scott (ed.) Sociology: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge), pp.170-2.
Crow, G. and Maclean, C. (2006) ‘Community’ in G. Payne (ed.) Social Divisions (Basingstoke: Palgrave), second edition, pp.305-24.
Crow, G. (2007) ‘Community’ in G. Ritzer (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, vol.II (Oxford: Blackwell), pp.617-20.
Crow, G. (2008) ‘Reciprocity’ in The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, ed. Lisa M. Given, vol.2 (London: Sage) pp.739-40.
Crow, G. (2008) ‘Thinking about families and communities over time’ in R. Edwards (ed.) Researching Families and Communities: Social and generational change. (Abingdon: Routledge), pp.11-24.
Crow, G (2009) ‘Urban village’ in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift (eds) The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, vol.1. (Oxford: Elsevier), pp.101-5.
Crow, G. (2013) ‘Conceptualising state and society’ in P. Kennett (ed.) A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar), second edition, pp.84-97.
Crow, G. (2014) 'The sociology of community' in J. Holmwood and J. Scott (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.374-95.
Publications: recent journal articles
Crow, G., Wiles, R., Heath S. & Charles V. (2006) ‘Research ethics and data quality: the implications of informed consent’ International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 9 (2), pp. 83-95.
Wiles, R. Charles, V. Crow, G., & Heath, S. (2006) ‘Researching researchers: lessons for research ethics’ Qualitative Research, 6 (3), pp. 283-299
Heath, S., Charles, V., Crow, C. & Wiles, R. (2007) ‘Informed consent, gatekeepers and go-betweens: negotiating consent in child- and youth-centred institutions’ British Educational Research Journal 33 (3), pp.403-17.
Wiles, R., Crow, G., Charles V. & Heath S. (2007) ‘Informed consent and the research process: following rules or striking balances?’ Sociological Research Online 12 (2) http://www.socresonline.org.uk/12/2/wiles/wiles.html
Wiles, R., Crow, G., Heath, S. and Charles, V. (2008) ‘The management of confidentiality and anonymity in social research’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology 11(5), pp. 417-28
Crow, G. (2008) ‘Recent rural community studies’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology 11(2), pp.131-9 (special issue on the future of community studies)
Crow, G., Hatton, P., Lyon, D. and Strangleman, T. (2009) ‘New divisions of labour?: Comparative thoughts on the current recession’, Sociological Research Online vol14 issue 2/3 http://www.socresonlline.org.uk/14/2/10.html
Crow, G. (2010) ‘Social Solidarities’, Sociology Compass 4(1), pp.52-60
Crow, G. and Takeda, N. (2011) ‘Ray Pahl’s sociological career: fifty years of impact’, Sociological Research Online http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/3/11.html
Wiles, R., Crow, G. and Pain, H. (2011) ‘Innovation in qualitative research methods’ Qualitative Research 11(5), pp.587-604
Lyon, D., Morgan Brett, B. and Crow, G. (2012) ‘Working with material from the Sheppey archive’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology 15(4) pp.301-9.
Lyon, D. and Crow, G. (2012) ‘The challenges and opportunities of re-studying community on Sheppey: young people’s imagined futures’ Sociological Review 60 (3), pp.498-517
Crow, G. (2012) ‘Community re-studies: lessons and prospects’, Sociological Review 60 (3), pp.405-20
Weddell, E., Lyon, D., Crow, G. and Morgan Brett, B. (2012) ‘Imagining the Future of Work and the Family: What can the aspirations of school-leavers in 1978 and 2010 tell us about the changing nature of society and family life?’ Sociology Review 22 (1), pp.2-5
Crow, G. (2012) ‘"Our work is about trying to create democratic learning spaces": an interview with Angie Hart’, Collaborative Ethnographies 5, pp.125-41
Nind, M., Wiles, R., Bengry-Howell, A. and Crow, G. (2012) "Methodological Innovation and Research Ethics: Forces in tension or forces in harmony?" Qualitative Research.
Crow, G. (2013) ‘Going back to re-study communities: Challenges and opportunities’, Progress in Development Studies 13 (4), pp.267-78.
Crow, G. (2015) 'Race, Community and Conflict as a methodological classic', Ethnic and Racial Studies Review 38(3), February, pp.386-90.
Crow, G., Rawcliffe, S. and Harris, B. (2018) 'Not "radical", but not "kailyard" either: The Paisley Community Development Project reconsidered', Community Development Journal https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bsx059
Crow, G. and Laidlaw, M. (2019) 'Norbert Elias’s extended theory of community: from established outsider relations to the gendered we-I balance', Sociological Review, 67(3), May, pp.568-84.
Crow, G. and Andrews, M. (2019) 'Biographical Interviews and Imagined Futures Essay Writing: Users of Two Methods in Conversation', International Journal of Social Research Methodology. published online 26 April 2019 https://doi-org.ezproxy.is.ed.ac.uk/10.1080/13645579.2019.1610597
Publications: recent book reviews
Walby, S. Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities (London: Sage, 2009) in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35(4) 2011, pp.880-1.
Savage, M. The Politics of Method (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) in Sociology 46(2) 2012, pp.367-8.
Lury, C. and Wakeford, N. Inventive Methods: The happening of the social (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012) in Sociology 48(1) 2014, pp.200-1.
Levitas, R. Utopia as Method: The imaginary reconstitution of society (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Sociological Research Online February 2015, http://www.socresonline.org.uk/20/1/reviews/1.html
McKie, L. and Ryan, L. (eds) An End to the Crisis of Empirical Sociology? Trends and Challenges in Social Research (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016) in Network 123, summer 2016, p.44.
Publications: recent working papers and other items
Bengry-Howell, A. Wiles, R. Nind, M. and Crow, G. (2011) ‘A Review of the Academic Impact of Three Methodological Innovations: Netnography, Child-Led Research and Creative Research Methods’, NCRM working paper 01/11 http://eprints.ncrm.ac.uk/1844/
Crow, G. (2010) ‘Democratising social research’ NCRM MethodsNews http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/news/newsletter/
Crow, G. and Lyon, D. (2011) ‘Turning points in work and family lives in the imagined futures of young people on Sheppey in 1978’ in M. Winterton, G. Crow and B. Morgan Brett (eds) Young Lives and Imagined Futures: Insights from Archived Data Timescapes Working Paper 6, available at http://www.timescapes.leeds.ac.uk/events-dissemination/publications.php
Crow, G., Edwards, R., Nind, M. and Wiles, R. (2011) ‘Opportunities for methodological synergies at the boundaries of the social sciences and the arts and humanities’, Report prepared for the ESRC.
Crow, G. and Mah, A. (2012) ‘Research Report: Conceptualisations and meanings of "community": the theory and operationalisation of a contested concept’ http://www.community-methods.soton.ac.uk
Mah, A. and Crow, G. (2011) Researching Community in the 21st Century: An annotated bibliography http://www.community-methods.soton.ac.uk
Parkes, T., Jones, C., Randall, D., Crow, G., Pryke, M and Jones, R. (2013) ‘The potential of virtual learning and virtual learning environments for advanced doctoral training in the UK’, Report prepared for the ESRC.
Co-editor (2001-2003, with Larry Ray) of Sociological Research Online
Co-editor (2006-2008, with Catherine Pope) of Sociology
Member of editorial boards of Sociology (1993-7 and 2018- ), Sociological Research Online (1997-2000), International Journal of Social Research Methodology (2009- ), Social Sciences (2017- ), Civic Sociology (2018- )
Member, Publications Committee, Academy of Social Sciences (2011-)
Editor, ‘What Is?’ series of research methods books for Bloomsbury Academic.
Recent and Current Grants and Consultancies
Informed consent and the research process, R Wiles, S Heath and G Crow, Economic and Social Research Council, Research Methods Programme, H333250034 £41,645. 01.03.2003-31.7.2004.
ESRC National Centre for Research Methods ‘hub’ renewal, C Skinner, G Crow, et al. ES/F035098/1 £4,421,075 01.04.2009-31.03.2014
South East Coastal Communities project ‘Living and working on Sheppey’ D Lyon, G Crow, et al. £101,000 (funded by HEFCE) 01.08.2009-31.05.2011
Connected communities project ‘Conceptualisations and meanings of "community": the theory and operationalisation of a contested concept’, G Crow, £24,000 (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council) 01.03.2011-31.10.2011
Connected communities project ‘Temporal belongings research network’, M. Bastian, J. Siebers, G. Crow, £39,958 (funded by AHRC) 01.02.12-31.01.13
Connected communities project ‘Music communities’, S. McAndrew, N.Crossley, G Crow, R Communian £99,989 (funded by AHRC) 01.02.12-30.10.12.
Connected communities project ‘Community as microsociality and the new localism agenda’, V. Walkerdine, G. Crow, N. Moore £91,385 (funded by AHRC) 01.02.12-31.01.13
Connected Communities consortium, Crow, G. (as Co-Investigator), with Pahl, K. as PI, ‘The social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement: imagining different communities and making them happen.’ Connected Communities Programme £2.4M (funded by ESRC) 01.01.2013 for 5 years
ESRC National Centre for Research Methods renewal (phase 3), P Sturgis, G Durrant, R Edwards, M Nind, K Sindall, M Elliot, T Chandola, G Crow, L Jamieson, et al. (2014-19) £6,249,254 ES/L008351/1
Managing career endings and the transition to retirement: the case of academics, Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (2019-2021) £53,175 RF-2019-623\8
Evaluation of end of award reports in Sociology 2006-8 for ESRC (with Patrick Sturgis) 2009, £15,000
Member of Ethics expert review panel for European Research Council Advanced grants awards (2010- )
Selected recent presentations
‘If sociology is the answer, what is the question?’, Inaugural lecture, University of Southampton 14.12.2006
‘Social leadership’, to BT executives, BT Tower 03.09.2009
‘Studying young people’s imagined family futures’, International Sociological Association conference, Gothenburg, 16.07.2010
‘Re-studies as a methodological challenge: what, when, where, who, why?’, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, 07.04.2011
‘Why we need more people like Ray Pahl’, Understanding Society/BHPS conference, University of Essex 01.07.2011
‘Missing data in qualitative research’, European Sociological Association Conference, Geneva, 08.09.2011
‘Going back to re-study communities: opportunities and pitfalls’, Development Studies Association Conference, University of York, 21.09.2011
‘Operationalising the concept of community’, joint Social Research Association/Connected Communities event, London, 29.11.2011(paper also presented at University of Plymouth (28.02.12), British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Leeds (13.04.12), Ball State University, Indiana (23.04.12), University of Durham (16.05.2012)
‘The status of the here-and-now in re-studies and re-visits’, Goldsmiths College, London, one-day event on real time research 03.12.2011.
‘Methodological challenges for the 21st century’, White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, York, 02.05.12
‘Studying methodological innovation in qualitative research’, Loughborough University, 13.06.2012 (also presented at University of York 16.11.2012)
‘Pushiness in data collection as a methodological issue’, European Sociological Association conference, Lund, Sweden 21.09.2012 (paper also presented at BSA conference, London 05.04.2013)
‘Not continuity or change but continuity and change’, What counts as Qualitative Longitudinal Research? event, part of NCRM Network of Methodological Innovation meeting 15.11.2012
‘Are friends the new family?’, Myths and Realities public debate series, British Library 11.02.2013 (with Lynn Jamieson)
‘Social solidarity and the dream of community’, History of Youth and Community Work conference, Hinsley Hall, Leeds 09.03.2012
‘What do you want to know?’, Connected Communities Programme networking event, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh 03.07.13
'Community research: a field full of methods', inaugural lecture, University of Edinburgh 11.02.2014 accessible at
'Not only different but better: Does collaborative research represent methodological progress?', British Sociological Association annual conference, Glasgow, 15.04.15
'Straws in the wind' The methodological challenges of capturing social and economic change as it happens', Mixed Methods International Research Association conference Durham 04.08.16
'Revisiting Divisions of Labour', British Sociological Association annual conference, Aston 05.04.17
'Norbert Elias's theory of community: influential but deserving of more attention?', British Sociological Association annual conference, Northumbria 11.04.18
'What is methodological pluralism?', NCRM Research Methods Festival, Bath, 04.07.18
'Rival theories of community change', British Sociological Association annual conference, Glasgow Caledonian University 24.04.2019
Research students supervised through to successful completion (18, including 10 ESRC-funded*)
A. Mellish ‘Lone fathers and the labour market’ (MPhil 1997)
G. Atkinson* ‘Women and dependence’ (PhD 1998)
S. Hawker* ‘Counselling as emotional labour’ (PhD 1998)
C. Kerr* ‘Food and elderly people’ (PhD 1999)
J. Parry* ‘Identity in former mining communities’ (PhD 2000)
S. Preston ‘Community drama and community development’ (PhD 2000)
K. Reed ‘British South Asian mothers’ health beliefs’ (PhD 2000)
K. Manson* ‘RAF wives’ (PhD 2001)
J. Turner ‘Youth, crime and community’ (PhD 2005)
P. Partington ‘Rehabilitation through exercise after heart attack’ (PhD 2005)
S. Cooke* ‘Unemployment, training and job search’ (PhD 2005)
R. Pockney ‘Friendships of adults with learning disabilities’ (PhD 2007) (NHS-funded)
A. Taplin* ‘Coping strategies of young mothers in Mozambique’ (PhD 2009)
J. Vass ‘The concept of society’ (PhD 2011)
C. MacNeill ‘Empowerment through drama of "looked-after children"’ (PhD 2012)
J. Ellis* ‘Methodological innovation in research on children with ASD’ (PhD 2013)
Maggie Laidlaw*, 'Volunteering as a balancing act: Who's got time for that?' (PhD 2019)
Sue Rawcliffe*, 'Aspirations and experiments: a long view of the role of "community" in social welfare provision in the west of Scotland' (PhD 2019)
Current PhD students:
Amanda Vettini, 'Assessing responses to breadth and depth policy changes in postgraduate methods research training'
Jillian Hart, 'Combining biographical narrative with social network mapping'
Wider roles in the academic community
Member of the British Sociological Association 1983-
Member of the Academy of Social Sciences 2008-
Member of the Social Research Association 2008-
Member of Michael Young Prize Committee 2007
Member of ESRC Virtual College 2008-2011
Advisor to ESRC on Revised framework for research ethics (2009-10)
Member of Advisory Board of Timescapes; AQMeN
External examiner to undergraduate programmes in Sociology at Oxford Brookes University (2000-4), Surrey University (2005-9), Bristol University (2009-2013); in Social Sciences at Manchester University (2012-15); MSc in Department of Methodology, London School of Economics (2015-17);
Masters courses at South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (2018).
Co-Organiser of British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2000
Chair of search committee for new editorial team of Sociology (2011-12)
Lead organiser of the 3rd (2008) and 4th (2010) ESRC Research Methods Festivals
Member of sub-panel 23 (Sociology) for the Research Excellence Framework (2011-14)
Director, Scottish Graduate School of Social Science January 2013-September 2016
If you are interested in being supervised by Graham Crow, please see the links below for more information: