Simon Stewart is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for European and International Studies Research at University of Portsmouth. He is the Principal Investigator on an 18-month ESRC/UKRI funded project, 'Homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic: homeless migrants in a global crisis' (£182,866). He is also the Editor-in-Chief (and Founding Editor) of Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change. Before arriving at Portsmouth in 2008, he worked as a Fellow in the department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He completed his doctorate at University of Sussex (2006), where he also taught a wide range of courses. Prior to that, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Postmodernism, Literature and Contemporary Culture (1996, Royal Holloway), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology (1995, Portsmouth). In 2015 and 2017, Simon was the external examiner for PhDs at La Trobe University (Australia). 

Research interests

Simon's research expertise has two main strands: first, his research on migrant homelessness, which is informing policy in the sector. Second, as a cultural sociologist, he has longstanding expertise in the sociology of evaluative judgements and taste, i.e. examining how and on what basis people make aesthetic and ethical judgements and how these judgements play out over time. 

Simon is working with colleagues from University of Portsmouth, University of Sussex, and nine homelessness organisations, on his project on migrant homelessness. The project is examining the life stories of migrants in relation to their experiences of homelessness before and during the COVID-19 crisis. The project’s findings and recommendations have been captured in several journal articles and have been incorporated in reports published by the Health Foundation (2021), the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping (led by Lord Bob Kerslake) (2021), and Homeless Link (2022). The main report deriving from the project was recently published in collaboration with St Mungo’s.

Simon is the author of Culture and the Middle Classes (Ashgate, 2010). His second single-authored monograph, A Sociology of Culture, Taste and Value (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), explores sociological debates in relation to culture, taste and value. He argues that sociology can contribute to debates about aesthetic value and to an understanding of how people evaluate.

Simon's work has appeared in journals such as Cultural SociologyThe Sociological Review, Sociology, Sociological Research Online, Social Theory and Health, International Journal on Homelessness, European Journal of Cultural Studies and Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory

Simon is the coordinator of the Sociology of Culture Research Network of the European Sociological Association, a role that recently included organising the mid-term conference, 'Culture(s) on the margins', at University of Portsmouth.