Dr Steph Lawler
Reader in Sociology

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Profile

Biography

After leaving school, I worked as a civil servant and as an insurance clerk before going to Liverpool University to do a degree in sociology. After graduating, I did a PhD (a study of the mother-daughter relationship) at Lancaster University. I joined the sociology department at York in 2014 after posts at Lancaster, Durham and Newcastle.

Research

Overview

From the start, my research has been concerned with social inequalities and social identities, particularly those of class, gender and generation. I have tried to explore the ways in which identity and inequality are interrelated through, for example, the conferring or the denial of value (if people are considered to be stupid or ignorant, how will their claims or demands be listened to?). ‘Identity’ is of course a contested and contentious term but I have been concerned to analyse it, not primarily in terms of the categories it produces, but in terms of how it is socially produced and how it socially circulates: in other words, I have asked how identity as such is possible, how it is made and re-made, and why it occupies such a privileged (yet often untheorized) position in the social imaginary.

More recently, I have been working – with Pete Steggals and Ruth Graham (Newcastle University) on a Wellcome Trust funded project on non-suicidal self-injury.

I am happy to discuss PhD supervision on identity, class, gender, self-injury, and /or using psychosocial perspectives, or the theoretical work of Bourdieu or Goffman.

Recently completed PhD students

  • 2016  Jacqui Close (ESRC funded, ft) Ideals and Expectations: Representations, Practices and Governance of Contemporary Motherhood. Newcastle University.
  • 2014  Michelle Addison (ESRC funded, ft) Knowing how to play the game at work: a study of class, gender and emotion in Higher Education. Newcastle University
  • 2013  Gemma Metcalfe (ESRC funded, ft) Young women’s everyday lives: home and work in the North East of England. Newcastle University.
  • 2013  Peter Steggals (ESRC funded, ft). Harming the body/constructing the self: identity, selfhood and power relations in the construction of a self-harming subject.
  • 2012  Victoria Mountford, (ESRC funded, ft).Everyday class distinctions in Higher Education. Newcastle University.
  • 2010  Sabina Begum (ft) Narratives of Radical Lives: Women, Auto/Biography and Feminism in Bangladesh. Newcastle University. (MPhil).
  • 2009  Ceri Black (ESRC funded, ft) Virginity Practices: Sociological Perspectives on Agency, Identity and the Body. Newcastle University.
  • 2007  Elaine Robson (ESRC funded,ft) Yobs and Slobs: British media representations of youth. Durham University.
  • 2007  Steve Walls (ESRC funded, ft) ‘Are you being served?’: Gendered Aesthetics among Retail Workers. Durham University.
  • 2007  Judy Richards (ESRC funded,ft) ‘Older’ women’s identities in cyberspace. Durham University.
  • 2006  Susan Parker (pt) Mothering in the New Moral Economy: Making, Marking and Classing Selves. Durham University.
  • 2005  Andrew Smith (University of Durham, Millennium Studentship, ft) The process of change in a public-private partnership. Durham University.

Publications

Selected publications

Books

 

  • Lawler S. and Payne, G. eds, 2018 Social Mobility for the Twenty First Century: Everyone a Winner? London: Routledge.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 Identity: Sociological Perspectives, 2 nd edition (updated and with two new chapters). Cambridge: Polity.
  • Lawler, S. 2008 Identity: Sociological Perspectives, 1 st edition. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Lawler, S. 2000 Mothering the Self: Mothers, Daughters, Subjects. London: Routledge.

 

Articles in refereed journals (since 2008)

  • Steggals, P., Lawler, S. & Graham, R. 2019 Introduction, in special issue of Social Theory and Health, eds Steggals et al.
  • Steggals, P., Lawler, S. & Graham, R. 2019 ‘I couldn’t say the words’: parents’ experiences of self-injury. In special issue of Social Theory and Health, eds Steggals et al.
  • Lawler, S. 2017 Studying Britain: a British Sociologist’s View, in C. Degnen and K. Tyler, eds, Reconfiguring the Anthropology of Britain: Ethnographic, Theoretical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Oxford: Blackwell (Sociological Review Monograph).
  • Lawler, S. 2014 Heroic workers and angry young men: nostalgic narratives of white working-class life. The European Journal of Cultural Studies 17 (6). 701-720.
  • Lawler, S. 2013 Unequal persons: a response to Simon Susen, Social Epistemology, 27, 3. 273-277.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 White like them: whiteness and anachronistic space in representations of the English white working class, Ethnicities 12, 4: 409-426.
  • Lawler, S. 2008 The middle classes and their aristocratic others: culture as nature in classification struggles, Journal of Cultural Economy 1, 3: 245-261. Also published in A. Warde, ed. (2011) Cultural Consumption, Classification and Power. Abingdon: Routledge.

Chapters in books since 2008

  • Lawler, S. and Payne, G. 2018 Introduction. In S. Lawler and G. Payne eds, Social Mobility for the Twenty First Century: Everyone a Winner? London: Routledge.
  • Lawler, S. 2018 Social mobility talk: class in neo-liberal times. In S. Lawler and G. Payne eds, Social Mobility for the Twenty First Century: Everyone a Winner? London: Routledge.
  • Lawler, S. 2013 Identities and Social Divisions, in G. Payne, ed., Social Divisions. (3 rd edition). London:Palgrave.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 Afterword: thinking and rethinking class, in S. Salmenniemi, ed., Rethinking Class in Russia. Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Lawler, S. 2011 ‘Normal people’: recognition and the middle classes, in D. Richardson, J. McLaughlin and P. Phillimore, eds, Contesting Recognition, London: Palgrave.
  • Lawler, S. 2008 Stories and the social world, in M. Pickering, ed., Research in Cultural Studies. Edinburgh University Press.

Encyclopaedia entries

  • Lawler, S. 2012 Habitus, in D. Southerton, ed., The Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 Symbolic Capital, in D. Southerton, ed., The Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 Symbolic violence, in D. Southerton, ed., The Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Other articles

  • Close, J. and Lawler, S. 2014 Blaming working-class parents for inequality lets our rampantly unequal society off the hook, The Conversation, July 2014.
  • Lawler, S. 2012 Writing ‘Heroic workers and angry young men’, Butler Scholarly Journal, November 2012.

Dr Steph Lawler

Contact details

Dr Steph Lawler
Reader in Sociology
Department of Sociology
University of York
Heslington
YORK
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 32 4702