A concern to understand historical and contemporary forms of inequality is common to much of the research conducted in Sociology. Such a focus is at the heart of the work undertaken, for example, by the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Studies, headed by Prof. Nick Watson, and involving a number of research staff including Dr. Jo Ferrie and Dr. Kevin Paterson. It includes also the pioneering work undertaken in the Centre for Research on Racism, Ethnicity and Nationalism. Research undertaken within the centre includes Prof. Satnam Virdee’s work on contemporary and historical formations of racism and anti-racism; Dr. Robert Gibb’s recent comparative project on the treatment of asylum seekers in the legal systems of Britain and France; Dr. Andrew Smith’s work on the West Indian historian and radical C.L.R. James; and Dr. Francesca Scrinzi’s examination of the intersections between gender, class and racism in the lives of migrant domestic workers in France and Italy. Distinct but intersecting forms of inequality are also the focus of the work of other colleagues. Dr. Matthew Waites’ research includes a groundbreaking study of ages of consent, and more recent examinations of the relationship between human rights and sociology while Fred Cartmel’s collaborative investigations have examined in new ways the experiences of young people moving from education to work, and the relationship between higher education and social inclusion. Dr. Kirsteen Paton’s work on gentrification and processes of urban change is also significantly concerned with forms of inequality.

Current and recent research projects

SCDR is internationally recognised as a centre undertaking research on the social aspects of disability, frequently in collaboration with public sector and charitable organisations. Staff in the centre work particularly closely with, and have submitted various proposals with staff in medicine and the life-sciences, and have recently developed a new collaborative research with colleagues in Psychological Medicine.

Matthew Waites collaborated with Kelly Kollman (Politics) to organise The Global Politics of LGBT Human Rights conference in 2007, which became the basis for a jointly edited volume: ‘The Global Politics of LGBT Human Rights’ and a special issue of Contemporary Politics in 2009, the first volume to bring together sociological and political science approaches to LGBT Human Rights issues.

Dr. Francesca Scrinzi has been, since 2008, a full member of Genre Travail Mobilités (research centre on Gender Work Mobilities), CNRS, Paris,  the most important CNRS research centre in France specialising in the study of gender and work.

Robert Gibb is as steering group member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Network on ‘Language and Social Structure in Urban France’ (PI: Dr Mari Jones, University of Cambridge, total award: £43,286). The network brings together sociologists, sociolinguists and social anthropologists from the UK and France.

Satnam Virdee is currently working on a research monograph entitled Racism and Capitalist Modernity, a wide-ranging critical analysis of different modalities of racism since the early modern world. As well as providing a critical introduction to the main debates and key sociological thinkers in the field, the book initiates new lines of enquiry regarding the evolution and reproduction of racism. Through an analyses of the evolution and effects of racism in different historical conjunctures, the book produces a fuller, more historicized understanding about the significance of racisms in shaping our past, and our present.

Dr. Andy Smith’s recent monograph ‘C.L.R. James and the Study of Culture’ was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s Phillip Abrams’ prize, 2011.