Busy street scene in central London

Sociology research

Explore the work we're doing across our 4 areas of research expertise in Sociology

Sociologists lead the charge in solving some of the biggest issues facing society. They study the patterns of relationships, social interaction, cultures and communities, and how people live their lives. They study social institutions, organisations, and processes that are formed when people work together.

Sociologists keep their finger on the pulse of modern situations – exploring how our societies evolve, and the place of individuals, communities, governments, and organisations within it – and our research in the subject works towards making better citizens, tackles issues of a growing, global population, and helps individuals find their place with society.

It addresses issues of corruption, fights injustice in power structures, and identifies new ways to build a better future. It also looks at the techniques and tools used to analyse social phenomena – and develop new methods.

Our sociologists are exploring the social transformations and challenges that define our increasingly complex and connected world. Whether confronting inequality between social groups, breaking down long-established community norms to better society, or drawing on classical and contemporary social thought to develop new methods.

Our researchers are on the editorial and advisory editorial boards of leading academic journals including: Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change; Journal of Classical Sociology; European Journal of Social Theory; Theory, Culture and Society; International Journal of Japanese Sociology; and Critical Military Studies.

They're also members of professional organisations in the field, including the Council for the Defence of British Universities, The Vegan Society Research Advisory Committee, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism, the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the British, European and International Sociological Associations.

Explore our Sociology areas of expertise

Find out more about the facilities and research methods that shape our Sociology research, in our 4 areas of expertise. Learn more about our recent projects, the academic and industrial partners with whom we collaborate, and the major funders who fund our work.

Identities and inequalities

We're asking questions around who we are, who is different from us, and who we want to be, to challenge structural violence and reduce inequality.

Boy in Delhi, India, collecting rubbish
Read more

Sociology of Culture

We're probing the link between culture and power, confronting societal issues, and looking at the ideological function of culture in naturalising them.

Man wearing Gucci trainers in London
Read more

Social Research Methods

We're investigating the different methods, tools, and techniques for studying social phenomena and generating information and data about all aspects of social life.

People meeting in a room at University of Portsmouth
Read more

Social Theory

We're drawing on classical and contemporary social thought, philosophy, political economy, social anthropology and history to explain and analyse social processes, issues, and concerns.

Young child holding sign at a climate change protest
Read more

Research groups

Interested in a PhD in Sociology?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Sociology & Gender Studies postgraduate research degrees page.