I am a sociologist who studies work and science. I am not the kind of sociologist who works with numbers and questionnaires, though I can do that, too. My research is mostly ethnographic and theoretical, asking “why” and “how” questions. I mostly work with qualitative and mixed research methods.
I have worked on a variety of research topics united by several connected overarching themes:
- how expertise and professional identity are shaped alongside one another in the process of acquiring a profession;
- what social inequalities arise from large-scale socio-economic processes and pressures, such as the internationalisation, marketisation and casualisation of labour, or the fall of political regimes, and how how individuals adapt to them;
- inequalities in the job market (gender, class, caring responsibilities, migration, health and disability, and so on);
- how different types of knowledge(s) are produced, reproduced, maintained, communicated and challenged;
- how individuals reconcile the clashing demands of their personal lives, caring for others, making ends meet, maintaining a career, and doing meaningful things in their work;
- dignity, motivation and meaning-finding at work.
In my study of mathematics and mathematicians, I want to know (1) how mathematicians are made and what happens to them when they are ready; (2) what it means to work as an academic – particularly at a time of precarity, marketisation, metricisation and globalisation of scientific and knowledge labour.
My earlier research was about maritime labour and post-socialism (forthcoming book with Berghahn). It asked how two generations of Bulgarian seafarers and coastal workers coped with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the sudden internationalisation and marketisation of their profession after 1989. I defended my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2012.
From 2010 to 2018 I edited The Sociological Imagination which we founded with Mark Carrigan. The site grew to be huge and had a long and happy life but came to an end in 2018. Sadia Habib and I continued its Facebook and Twitter presence for another year or so. Mark and I wrote an article about the Sociological Imagination here.
If you read this and want to get in touch, and are not a bot, I’ll be thrilled to hear from you by email at <name dot surname AT gmail dot com>.