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Sociology Research


Professor Robert Martin (Bob) Blackburn graduated in Maths and Philosophy at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and received a PhD in Social Science at Liverpool University. At Liverpool he taught Sociology, Research Methods and Social Philosophy before moving to Cambridge as Head of Sociological Research in the Department of Applied Economics, and subsequently joining the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (now HSPS), teaching Issues of Social Inequality.

In 1972 he was Nuffield Foundation Social Science Fellow at the University of Lausanne, and in 1884-5 an invited Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Bob has been Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta. He taught a graduate course on the work of his research group at Getulio Vargas University, Sao Paolo. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. and served on the Academy Council from 2005 to 2011. Bob has served on the Executive Committee of the British Sociological Association. He has acted as a Consultant for the UN, the EC,and the ILO, and also for the Australian National University, Dal housie University and the University of East Anglia. He is an Honorary Professor of Stirling University.

Research Interests

Social inequality and the sociology of work. In relation to social inequality my prime interests are social stratification of the occupational structure, gender segregation and inequality in employment, and ethnic inequalities in the work situation. My current work on occupational gender segregation combines gender, stratification and work.


Current Doctoral students:

Lulu Li

Mladen Jokopovich

Peter Roberts

Key Publications - Books

Blackburn, R. Social Stratification and Occupations , Macmillan, 1980. (with A Stewart and K Prandy) 

Backburn, R. The Working Class in the Labour Market , Macmillan, 1979, 1987. (with M Mann) 

Blackburn, R. Perceptions of Work: Variations within a Factory, Cambridge University Press, 1972, 2010. (with H. Beynon).

Blackburn, R. Union Character and Social Class, Batsford, 1967. 

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Blackburn, R. 'The measurement of Occupational Gender Segregation and its Component Dimensions', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2012 (Online 3/10/2011).

Blackburn, R. ‘What is Social Inequality’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 28. No. 7/8, 2008 

Blackburn, R. 'The Reproduction of Social Inequality’, Sociology, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1997. (with K. Prandy)

Blackburn, R. 'Changing Inequalities in Access to British Universities', Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 19. No. 2, 1993. (with J. Jarman) 

Key Publications - Other

Blackburn, R. Gender Inequality in the Labour Market: Occupational Concentration and Segregation, International Labour Organisation, 1995. (with J Siltanen and J Jarman) 

Grants and Projects

Professor Blackburn has received numerous grants from SSRC, ESRC, NSF(USA), EEF, Nuffield Foundation, 'Gourmets', SSHRC(Canada), ILO and UN.

Research Groups & Affiliations


Honorary Professor (University of Stirling) 2009

Highly Commended Award for Excellence (Emerald LiteratiNetwork) 2008

Citation of Excellence (ANBAR Electronic Intelligence) 1998

Job Title:
Emeritus Reader of Sociology, Fellow of Clare College
Contact Information:
Full CV / Publications: