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Sociology Research


David is a sociologist taking a critical perspective on the future of work and welfare. Prior to his position at Cambridge, he worked as an ethnographer in Welsh community organisations and as a Berggruen Fellow, based in the philosophy department at New York University. He is also interested in working in a policy context, and has undertaken significant work on the prospects for a basic income and a shorter working week with organisations such as Autonomy and Compass.

Research Interests

David’s research interests mainly focus on the future of work and welfare. Previous topics and current interests include:

-       ‘Post-work’ theory
-       The politics of automation
-       Experiences of unemployment and precarious work
-       Power and the 'therapeutic turn' in organisations
-       The philosophy and implementation of basic income
-       The philosophy and implementation of the shorter working week
-       The organisation of care work

Research Projects

David currently works as an associate with the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre, where he is undertaking a project with Professor Brendan Burchell, exploring the impact of the Covid pandemic on how organisations think about working time.


SOC 4: Concepts and Arguments in Sociology

Key Publications - Books

Frayne, D. (editor) (2019) The Work Cure: Critical essays on work and wellness. Monmouth: PCCS

Frayne, D. (2015) The Refusal of Work. London: Zed Books

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Elliott, E., Cohen, S and Frayne, D. (2020) 'The Role of Community Anchor Organisations in Regulating for Engagement’ in M. McDermont, T. Cole, J. Newman and A. Piccini (eds.) Imagining Regulation Differently: Co-Creating Regulation for Engagement. Bristol: Policy Press

Frayne, D. (2019) ‘Putting therapy to work’ in D. Frayne (ed.) The Work Cure: Critical Essays on Work and Wellness. Monmouth: PCCS

Frayne, D. (2019) ‘The employment dogma’ in D. Frayne (ed.) The Work Cure: Critical Essays on Work and Wellness. Monmouth: PCCS

Frayne, D. (2016) ‘Critiques of Work’ in S. Edgell, H. Gottfried and E. Granter (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment. London: SAGE

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Pearce, S., Blakely, H., Frayne, D., Rees-Jones, I. (2020) ‘Evaluation in reinforcing and resisting hierarchical relations between state and civil society’, Social Policy and Administration

Frayne, D. (2019) Contribution to review symposium: ‘Undoing Work, Rethinking Community by James Chamberlain’, Critical Horizons

Frayne, D. (2016) ‘Stepping Outside the Circle: The Ecological Promise of Shorter Working Hours’, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. Vol.20 (2)

Key Publications - Other

Frayne, D. and Maher, M. (2021) Jobs and health: Re-opening the debate, Autonomy

Goodman, C., Muldoon, J., Frayne, D., Kellam, J., Standing, G. (2021) Piloting a basic income in Wales: Principles, precedents and feasibility, Autonomy

Frayne, D. and Stronge, W. (eds.) A future fit for Wales: A basic income for all (with Autonomy for the Wales Future Generations Commissioner, under embargo)

Frayne, D. and Stronge, W. (eds.) A future fit for Wales: Roadmap to a shorter working week (with Autonomy for the Wales Future Generations Commissioner, under embargo)

Frayne, D. (2019) Written contribution to ‘False Vacationers’ installation at the Estonian Contemporary Art Museum, Tallinn

Media Articles

Job Title:
Research Associate
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Full CV / Publications: