Dr Matt Dawson
- Senior Lecturer (Sociology)
- Sociological alternatives
- Social Theory
- Zygmunt Bauman
- Émile Durkheim
- History of sociology
- Socialist theory
My research is theoretical in focus, including questions of normativity, socialism and politics. One of my main interests has been the history of what I call 'sociological alternatives' (sociologists offering ideas for alternative societies). This includes the publication of a book entitled Social Theory for Alternative Societies (2016, Palgrave Macmillan) and a chapter on the lost history of sociological alternatives. Thinkers covered in the book include: Marx and Engels, Durkheim, Weber, Du Bois, Mead, Mannheim, Lefebvre, Marcuse, Selma James, Oakley, Dworkin, Giddens, Beck, Levitas, E.O. Wright, Burawoy and Bauman.
I was inspired into sociology by the work of Zygmunt Bauman and this work continues to fire my sociological imagination. In addition to teaching an Honours course on Bauman's work I have published multiple comments on his work touching on themes of: modernity, politics, socialism, method, agency, morality and the value of sociology. I plan to continue to be inspired by, and write on, Bauman for many years to come.
My other main theoretical source of inspiraton is Émile Durkheim. I am currently compiling a book provisionally entitled Émile Durkheim: Socialism, Policies and Legacies which compiles my already published articles on Durkheim along with new pieces. As part of this, I have been considering the significiance of Durkheim's Jewishness to current debates on decolonising the canon and the racialisation of theorists. I have also explored this theme in relation to Bauman in work soon to be published.
My earlierst included work more specifically focused on socialist theory, most notably discussing the potential of libertarian socialism for late modern times in my monograph Late Modernity, Individualization and Socialism: An Associational Critique of Neoliberalism (2013, Palgrave Macmillan) as well as articles on the socialist elements of Durkheim's project and the oft-overlooked contribution of socialist theorist G.D.H. Cole to sociology. This attempt to revive the legacy of G.D.H. Cole also indicates my broader interest in the history of sociology.
Previously, in collaboration with Susie Scott and Liz McDonnell (both from the University of Sussex), I conducted research into asexuality. This was for a project entitled A Qualitative Exploration of Asexual Identities and Practices of Intimacy funded by the Leverhulme Trust. This project produced a collection of articles on asexuality related to themes such as identity, intimacy, politics and methods.
I am interested in supervising projects in any of the following areas:
- Social Theory
- History of Sociology
- Neoliberalism (both in relation to political economy and everyday life)
- Socialism (both theoretical and actually existing)
I am currently supervising doctoral projects in:
- Etsy and Female Entreprenuerialism under Neoliberalism (Anna Clover)
- Neoliberalism, Disability and the Welfare State in Sweden (Ida Norberg)
- Neoliberalism and Women's Reproductive Choices (Kristina Saunders)
- Sociological Alternatives: Ways to Change the World
- Defamililarising the Familiar: The Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman
- Sociology 2A: Classical Sociological Theory
- Social Theory
- Current Issues in Social Theory
- Class and Stratification
- Equality and Human Rights
- Political Sociology
- Sociology of Everyday Life
- Sociology of Globalization
- Sociology of Intimacy
- Co-Convenor of the BSA Theory Study Group