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Sociology: People


Lisa McCormick

Lisa McCormick
Dr Lisa McCormick
Senior Lecturer
6.29 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 1339
Research Interests
Cultural Sociology, sociology of music, Social theory, civil society, performance theory, death

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Semester 2 in 2020-2021: Thursdays 14:00-16:00

To book an appointment with me, please use my bookings page.

Research Interests

My work in cultural sociology can be divided into two themes. The first, music and civility, includes my research on international classical music competitions and symphonic diplomacy. The second, music and death, includes my research on the dead composer cult in classical music, the expanding range of music played at contemporary funerals, and the role of sound technologies in the transformation of mourning. What unites these two strands is my interest in meaning and performance.

For a full CV, please go to my profile on

Previous appointments

  • 2008 - 2015 Assistant Professor, Haverford College, USA (tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2015)
  • 2007 - 2008 Assistant Professor (tenure-track), University of Lethbridge, Canada


  • PhD in Sociology, Yale University
  • MPhil in Sociology, Yale University
  • MA in Sociology, Yale University
  • MPhil in Music: Performance and Interpretation, University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, Prairies & Corpus Christi)
  • BA in Sociology, summa cum laude, Rice University
  • BMus in Cello Performance, summa cum laude, Rice University

Selected Publications

2020. "Marking Time in Lockdown: Heroization and Ritualization in the UK During the Coronavirus Pandemic." American Journal of Cultural Sociology.​

2020. "Classical Music Competitions as Complex Performances." In: Stark, David (ed.) The Performance Complex:  Competition and Competitions in Social Lifepp. 78-95.

2019. “Moving Beyond Production: Ron Eyerman and the Cultural Sociology of the Arts.” American Journal of Cultural Sociology. 7(2): 247-259.

2018. “Pogorelich at the Chopin: Towards a Sociology of Competition Scandals.” The Chopin Review 1: 52-73.

2015. "The Agency of Dead Musicians." Contemporary Social Science. (Special issue on social death).

2015. Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2015. "Performance Perspectives." in John Shepherd and Kyle Devine (Eds.) The Routledge Reader in the Sociology of Music. London: Routledge.

2014. "Tuning in or Turning Off: Performing Emotion and Building Cosmopolitan Solidarity in International Music Competitions." Ethnic and Racial Studies. 37(12): 2261-2280.

2012. "Music Sociology in a New Key." in Jeffrey Alexander, Ronald Jacobs, and Philip Smith (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 722-742.

2009. "Higher, Faster, Louder: Representations of the International Music Competition." Cultural Sociology, 3(1):5-30. (Awarded the SAGE prize in excellence and/or innovation)

Topics interested in supervising

I would be most helpful to students interested in culture (broadly conceived), music sociology and sociology of the arts; other areas in which I have expertise are microsociology (self, identity and interaction) and the sociology of death. I am most interested in working with postgraduate students pursuing theoretically-driven projects who want to use qualitative methods in their research.

If you are interested in being supervised by Lisa McCormick, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Sociology; MSc (R) Sociology; MSc (R) Socio-Cultural Studies