Research clusters

  • Sociology and Social Theory


Barry Smart is professor in Sociology. He is a member of the Centre for European International Studies Research (CEISR), the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) and is a Life Member of the International Sociological Association (ISA). He is also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, a member of the Vegan Society Research Advisory Committee, and the All-Party-Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism. In addition he is a member of the British Sociological Association Heads and Professors of Sociology Group and a member of the University and College Union (UCU).  

Barry has worked at universities in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom. He worked in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield (1972-1988) and the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland (1988-1996) before taking up his post at Portsmouth. He has held visiting professorships in the School of Humanities, Griffith University (Brisbane), the Department of Sociology Kwansei Gakuin University (Osaka), Faculty of Comparative Culture, Sophia University (Tokyo) and Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia, Universidad Complutense (Madrid).

Research interests

Barry’s primary research interests are in classical and contemporary social theory and continental philosophy but his areas of research interest and expertise also include critical theory, fiscal sociology and cultural and economic analyses of consumption. His research portfolio includes projects on a range of aspects and concerns integral to modern life, in particular the transformation of modern social and economic conditions; consumerism and its environmental consequences; the cultural economy of modern sport; globalization; and modernity, ethics and morality. Current research includes continuing collaborative work on human and nonhuman animal ethical issues and related work on a range of environmentally problematic consequences associated with modern industrial capitalism and consumer lifestyles.

Barry is the author of numerous single-authored books, edited volumes and reference works. Single-authored books include Sociology, Phenomenology and Marxian Analysis;  Foucault, Marxism and Critique; Michel Foucault; Modern Conditions, Postmodern Controversies; Facing Modernity- Ambivalence, Reflexivity and Morality; Economy, Culture and Society: A Sociological Critique of Neo-Liberalism; The Sport Star – Modern Sport and The Cultural Economy of Sporting Celebrity; and Consumer Society: Critical Issues and Environmental Consequences. Edited volumes include Resisting McDonaldization; and Handbook of Social Theory (edited with George Ritzer). In addition he has edited several multi-volume reference works including Michel Foucault: Critical Assessments I and II; Post-Industrial Society; Observation Methods and Critical Social Research Ethics (both edited with Kay Peggs and Joseph Burridge).

Barry has published in all the leading journals in his field including Theory, Culture & Society, The Journal of Consumer Culture, Journal of Sociology, Journal of Classical Sociology, European Journal of Social Theory, Body & Society, Society and Animals, Philosophy and Social Criticism, International Sociology, Thesis Eleven, Sociology, Theory and Society, and The Sociological Review. Journal publications include ‘An unsustainable modernity: Democracy, the global climate emergency, and environmental ethics’, Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (2019);`Consuming Olympism: Consumer culture, sport star sponsorship and the commercialization of the Olympics’, Journal of Consumer Culture, (2018); ‘Nonhuman animal suffering:  critical pedagogy and practical animal ethics’ (with Kay Peggs) Society and Animals (2017); `Military-industrial complexities, university research and neoliberal economy‘, Journal of Sociology (2016); `Good for business, good without reservation? Veblen’s critique of business enterprise and pecuniary culture’, Journal of Classical Sociology (2015).

Barry is on the editorial/advisory editorial boards of the following journals: Social Sciences (Open Access published by MDPI); Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change (published by Lectito); Journal of Classical Sociology (published by Sage); European Journal of Social Theory (published by Sage); Theory, Culture & Society (published by Sage).