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Sociology Research


A significant group of researchers within the department work study political processes across the world, including Britain, Continental Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, South Asia, and North and Southern Africa. Many use a comparative-historical method, tracing broader patterns that go beyond specific countries. For instance, some of our research focuses on Spanish politics and the rise of separatist movements in Catalonia; gendered violence in India and South Africa; and the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Closely related to the study of political processes, some of our colleagues analyse the causes and effects of a variety of social inequalities. This research ranges from quantitative studies of insecure employment in the UK to ethnographic studies of the ‘lived experience’ of racism in Latin-America. Sociology is one of the leading departments at Cambridge addressing the politics of gender, as well as LGBTQ issues, and reproductive politics.

Some of the questions underlying our research are as follows:

  • Why did the Muslim Brotherhood fail in Egypt?
  • Which Catalonians want independence? Why?
  • Why is violence towards women so persistent?
  • What is the effect of unemployment on wellbeing in the UK?
  • How does race affect how the Mexican state distributes scarce resources?
  • What are the obstacles towards gender equality in the work place?

Research Highlights

Gendered Violence and Urban Transformation

This new ESRC funded project explores how the attendant shifts in security, ownership, rights, dispossession, and value are manifested in episodes and enactments of gendered violence in New Delhi and Johannesburg.

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Latin American Anti-Racism in a "Post Racial" Age

The LAPORA project investigates anti-racist practices and ideologies in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico and contributes to understand the growing interest in addressing problems of racism and racial inequality in the region.

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Decolonise Sociology

The Decolonise Sociology working group is a staff-student committee that regularly meets to discuss decolonial and postcolonial scholarship and to co-ordinate efforts to decolonise the Sociology Department in Cambridge.

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