Our work is at the crossroads of professional, critical, public and user-oriented policy sociology and focuses on the interweaving of individual lives, social processes and historical change. Our goal is the growth and deepening of an already large and vibrant community of scholars, active across a wide range of specialisms in sociology. We aim to be intellectually innovative, flexible, inclusive, enabling and capacity building. We foster intellectual diversity rather than impose homogeneity.
A major characteristic of Edinburgh sociology, from the time of Tom Burns onwards, is theoretically informed empirical work. We specialise in helping to pioneer and then continuing to foster new areas of sociological research. Examples of such areas - from the now well-established to the still nascent - include the sociology of scientific knowledge (where a critical role was played by David Bloor's 'strong programme' and by the 'Edinburgh school' ne co-founded); the sociology of intimacy (Lynn Jamieson); the sociology of auto/biography (Liz Stanley); the sociology of finance (Donald MacKenzie); and the sociology of energy (Jan Webb and colleagues).