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Sociology Research

 

Professor John B. Thompson is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. He received a BA in Sociology and Philosophy (First Class) from the University of Keele in 1975 and a PhD from Cambridge in 1979. He was a Research Fellow at Jesus College from 1979 to 1984. He was appointed Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in 1985, Reader in Sociology in 1994 and Professor of Sociology in 2001. He was Head of Department from 2004 to 2007.

John has held Visiting Professorships at universities in the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, China and South Africa. His publications include Critical Hermeneutics (1981), Studies in the Theory of Ideology (1982), Ideology and Modern Culture (1990), The Media and Modernity (1995), Political Scandal (2000), Books in the Digital Age (2005) and Merchants of Culture (2010). He was awarded the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and the Social Sciences in 2001 for his work on political scandal. He served as a member of sub-panel 23 (Sociology) of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and as a member of the evaluation panel in the Social Sciences and Humanities of the European Research Council (2013-15). He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2016. He is currently working on the impact of the digital revolution on the book publishing industry.

Research Interests

Contemporary social and political theory

Sociology of the media and modern culture

The social organization of the media industries

The changing structure of the book publishing industry

The impact of the digital revolution on social and political life

The changing forms of political communication

The transformation of the public sphere

The transformation of privacy

Human and social consequences of economic crisis

Teaching

Courses:

SOC2: Social Theory

SOC6: Advanced Social Theory - The Public and the Private 

SOC7: Media, Culture and Society - Theories of Culture and the Media

MPhil in Sociology: Media and Culture 

Graduate supervision availability and interests: 

John is available to supervise in the areas of social and political theory; sociology of media and culture; social organization of the media industries; impact of the digital revolution on media organizations; impact of the digital revolution and on social and political life; changing forms of political communication.

Current Doctoral students:

Diane Barlee

Arsenii Khitrov

Isabel Thornton

Key Publications - Books

Thompson, J. B. Critical Hermeneutics: A Study in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur and Jürgen Habermas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1981). Translated into Japanese and Estonian. 

Thompson, J. B. Studies in the Theory of Ideology (Cambridge: Polity; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). 

Thompson, J. B. Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical Social Theory in the Era of Mass Communication (Cambridge: Polity; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990). Translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

Thompson, J. B. The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media (Cambridge: Polity; Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995). Translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Greek, Turkish, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. 

Thompson, J. B. Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age (Cambridge: Polity, 2000). Winner of the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Science for 2001. Translated into Italian, Spanish, Danish, Portuguese, Greek and Polish. 

Thompson, J.B.  Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: Polity, 2010), 432pp + viii.  Second edition, expanded and updated, published in 2012 (New York: Penguin; Cambridge: Polity).

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Thompson, J. B. 'The Metamorphosis of a Crisis', in Manuel Castells, João Caraça, and Gustavo Cardoso (eds.), Aftermath: the Cultures of the Economic Crisis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 59-81.

Thompson, J.B., Avramopoulou, E. and Pasquetti, S., ‘Suffering: The Human and Social Costs of Economic Crisis, in Manuel Castells et al. (eds.), Europe’s Crises (Cambridge: Polity, 2017), pp. 148-77.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Thompson, J. B. 'The New Visibility', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 22, no. 6 (2005), pp. 31-51. Translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese

Thompson, J. B. 'Shifting Boundaries of Public and Private Life', Theory, Culture and Society, vol. 28, no. 4 (2011), pp. 49-70. Translated into Spanish and Portuguese. 

Grants and Projects

Thompson, J. B. ESRC, ‘New Technologies and Global Change in the Book Publishing Industry’ (1999-2003), £233,988

Thompson, J. B. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 'The Digital Revolution in Publishing' (2013-2017), $137,000 

Thompson, J. B. ESRC, ‘Concentration and Innovation in the Book Publishing Industry’ (2005-2008), £47,154 

Thompson, J. B. Balzan Foundation, 'The Human and Social Consequences of Economic Crisis in Europe' (2014-2017), £112,414

Research Groups & Affiliations

Awards

Awarded the European Amalfi Prize for Sociology and Social Science (2001)

Awarded the Medalla al Merito Academico by the University of Veracruz, Mexico (2007)

Elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) (2016)

Job Title:
Emeritus Professor, Fellow of Jesus College
Contact Information: