Department of Sociology research

Conceptually-driven empirical research and applied approach to sociology

The Department of Sociology is recognised for its conceptually driven empirical research and its applied approach to sociology, and this sociological policy focus is reflected in the ways it works in partnership with a range of private, public and third-sector organisations. For eample, the department currently works with the Vienna Institute for Dialogue and Co-operation, Fairplay, Football Supporters Europe, European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation, CiC - Fair Connections (Global), Fair Connections Foundation, Liverpool World Centre, RASA, Safe Space, Tender, Tara Women's Group/DCWC, Steps Foundation, Classrooms in the Clouds, AFC Liverpool, Asylum Link, Merseyside Peace Network, and Adult Education group.


The sociological achievements of the Department were reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. Research from the Department of Sociology was submitted in UoAs 22 and 36.


64% of outputs in UoA22 were judged to be of world-leading and internationally excellent quality. 100% of impact case study were judged to be of world leading and internationally excellent quality. 55% of outputs in UoA36 were in the main of world leading and internationally excellent quality. 90% of impact case studies were judged to be of world-leading and internationally-excellent quality.


The Department has a thriving community of postgraduate researchers.



The Department of Sociology has extensive collaborations with European and international researchers and networks, particularly Nepal, India, Brussels and Paraguay.


The Department has a record of success in securing a diverse portfolio of research income from the UK Research Councils, British Academy, European Commission, Erasmus+, DFiD, Big Lottery, European Social Fund, HEFCE and charities.


Particular areas of research strength in the Sociology Department are international development, sociological theory and cultural sociology.


Research Themes

Research in the Sociology Department is organised into five research groupings which reflect contemporary concerns.

Sociology of Religion

Sociological research of religion is conducted by Professor David Chalcraft, whose research focuses broadly on classical sociology, sociology of India, and literary and sociological imaginations, and Chris Allen, whose  research interests include theology of knowledge, radical religion, religious anarchism, housing and urban sociology, among other

International Development

Sociological research on issues related to international development is conducted by Dr Sara Parker with specific interests in sustainable development (Fair Connections), gender and development in Nepal, and participatory and visual research methods, and Dr Kay Standing, whose research is concerned with issues related to gender, education and conflict in Nepal.

Cultural Sociology

Our research strand into cultural sociology focuses particularly on sport and music. Dr Peter Millward's research into football culture is concerned with football supporter movements, collective action/social movements, social network analysis and issues of ‘identity’. Research conducted by Dr Simone Krüger Bridge is informed by ethnomusicology and popular music studies, with focus on educational ethnomusicology, musical globalization, music migration and tourism, and guitar music cultures in Paraguay. Dr Cassie Ogden's recent research explores the current resurgence in the popularity of knitting and its place in (post)feminist cultural politics.

Identities and Inequalities

The department's research into identities and inequalities focuses broadly on sociological issues surrounding gender, race and disability. Dr Kay Standing's research is concerned with gender issues in the UK and Southeast Asia and women's work-life balance. The gender research strand is complemented by Dr Gemma Ahearne's work on the sex industry, women in prison, women’s bodies, medical control of women, mental health, poverty, class and equine therapy. Meanwhile, Dr Fatima Khan's research is focused on gender and Muslim identity in Britain. The research of Dr David Tyrer focuses on racism, postcoloniality, biopolitics, race and political theory.

Sociology of Health and Illness

The sociology of health and illness includes research by Dr Liz James with a focus on health and education policy. The work by Dr Cassie Ogden adopts a critical disability studies perspective, with particular interests in disability hate crime, transableism, childhood illness experiences, the social and legal responses to smoking in public and its impact upon the incarcerated, quality of life research, the narrative inquiry technique and the use of foodbanks in Cheshire.. 

Globalisation, Society and Culture

Sociological research on globalisation, including music migration and tourism, and the resultant inequalities produced by globalisation and capitalism in terms of gender, race and class is a research interest of Dr Simone Krüger Bridge. Research on issues of globalisation and fanship in the English Premier League is conducted by Dr Peter Millward. Also included here is Bryan Scott's work, which focuses on social and green issues and policy. 

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