I studied for a degree in philosophy and sociology at the University of Hull before taking a masters in social and political thought at the University of Sussex. I then completed a DPhil on 'Alan Gewirth and the Political Community' at Sussex. I am currently a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Brighton, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
My research interests are centred upon the overlap between sociology and philosophy, and in particular focus on four areas. firstly, I research the philosophy of social science, the sociology of knowledge, the epistemological status of sociology, and sociology's relationship with philosophy and legal theory. Secondly, I am interested in theories of rationality, and the role of value judgements and ethical propositions in sociological theory. Thirdly, my work also focusses on sociological theory, both classical and modern, and in particular, Marxist and Weberian sociological theory. Fourthly, and related to this, I also work on class and stratification, and their relationship to sociological conceptions of power, ideology, and conceptions of domination and authority.
My DPhil entitled 'Alan Gewirth and the Political Community' was awarded in 2003, and attempted to establish the importance of ethical theory to Marx's political theory. In order to do this, I argued that Marx's theory of human nature, or species-being needs to be underpinned by Alan Gewirth's neo-Kantian ethical rationalism argument encapsulated in his argument to a supreme moral principle. Put another way, his conception of a Prospective Purposive Agent, a being who values not only his or her purposes, but also the generic preconditins of agency (freedom and well-being) is the necessary foundation for Marx's theory of human nature.
Since then, I have written and published on Gewirth and Marx, as well as legal theory, theories of power, and the works of Max Weber, Ralf Dahrenorf, Jurgen Habermas, and Steven Lukes.
PhD, University of Sussex
1 Oct 1995 → 15 Nov 2002
Master, University of Sussex
1 Oct 1993 → 31 Aug 1994
Bachelor, University of Hull
1 Oct 1990 → 12 Jul 1993