Section: Research Overview
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. Central themes in the Sociology Subject Area are:
Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading centres of the empirical study and theorisation of the complex matrices of the negotiation, attribution and mobilisation of identity’s ‘national’ aspects. Much of our work in this area is carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Governance.
A key vehicle for this cluster’s work is the Centre for Narrative & Auto/Biographical Studies. It helped establish the Scottish and Northern Narratives Network and runs regular interdisciplinary workshops and seminars.
Closely linked to our work on identity and auto/biography is research emphasising intimate relations, reproduction and processes of marginalisation. Much of its focus lies within the interdisciplinary and inter-university Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.
Edinburgh’s leading role in this new field is well recognised. Social studies of finance differs from economic sociology in directly tackling the technicality of financial markets: their bases in the ‘material sociology’ of bodies and of technological systems; and the systematic forms of knowledge deployed in them.
‘Critical sociology’ – in the sense of the re-examination of the foundations of the discipline – is a theme of much of our work. The area is an increasing focus both of regular events, such as our annual Goffman Lecture, and of ad hoc ones such as a 2006 Symposium on Complexity Theory at which the claims of complexity theory were subject to critical scrutiny.
The focus of this research area is Edinburgh’s interdisciplinary Centre for South Asian Studies, one of the largest centres in Europe in the social-science study of South Asia. It runs a flourishing seminar series as well as annual visiting fellowships which brings international scholars to Edinburgh.
The Centre for African Studies is one of the largest centres in Europe in its field. CAS directs two masters-level courses, helps edit three journals, and is heavily involved in shaping policy about and for Africa.
Established in August 2004, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is a novel initiative in the field of social science research. It integrates the diverse strands of social science research within and beyond the EGN, and develops links between social scientists and scientists working in genomic science and technology, and to policy makers, business, the media and civil society.
This page was published on 2 March 2011