Dr Ian Varcoe
Lecturer in Sociology
I have broad interests. My commitment is to sociology as an independent discipline, related to and drawing on, but distinct from, the humanities disciplines of history and philosophy.
I consider the European roots of sociology important. I believe that worthwhile work in sociology is both theoretical and empirical. My main interests are in theoretically informed work in sociology. Substantively, my interests are in macro-sociological issues and the comparative development of societies.
My research interests are as follows.
- The history of social thought
- Classical social theory, especially Weber and the liberal tradition
- Contemporary social theory, especially Anthony Giddens and Zygmunt Bauman
- Comparative and historical sociology, especially ‘Western rationality'
- Sociology of science and technology
- Contemporary social transformations: postcommunism and Europe, politics, globalization and capitalism.
I teach a level two core module 'Central Problems in Sociology', contribute to and convene a level three optional 'Reading the Classics' module, and run the MA course in Advanced Sociological Theory. The MA comprises a broad survey from the origins of sociology onwards.
I am interested in supervising in the following areas.
- A range of classical and contemporary social theorists
- Historical sociological and/or comparative topics
- The sociology of science, technology and bureaucracy
- Contemporary issues of central interest to sociology, for example, 'overcoming the past', de-traditionalisation, post-national identity, cosmopolitanism and human rights
- The sociology of literature
Ian Varcoe and Richard Kilminster (eds) (1996) Culture, Modernity and Revolution: Essays in Honour of Zygmunt Bauman, Routledge.
Ian Varcoe (1998) 'Identity and the Limits of Comparison: Bauman's Reception in Germany', Theory, Culture& Society, 15.
Ian Varcoe (2000) 'Practical Proposals by Scientists for Reforming the Machinery of Scientific Advice, 1914-17', British Journal for the History of Science, 33.
Chapter in Book
Ian Varcoe (2003) 'Zygmunt Bauman', in Anthony Elliott and Larry Ray (eds) (2003) Key Contemporary Social Theorists, Blackwell.
Ian Varcoe (2007) 'Science', in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Blackwell.