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Caroline Knowles

Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Caroline writes on race and ethnicity, especially postcolonial whiteness, circulations of people (as migrants) and objects, urbanism and madness. She specializes in visual, spatial and biographical methods. She collaborates with photographers, most recently with Douglas Harper of Duquesne University in Pittsburg investigating how British migrants live in Hong Kong (funded by the British Academy). She has just completed the biography of a pair of flip-flop sandals with artist Michael Tan of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (funded by the British Academy). This involved following the plastic trail from factories in SE China to Ethiopia, one of China’s most important emerging markets, passing through the lives of migrant factory workers, smugglers, market traders and onto the feet of an elderly woman navigating the streets of Addis Ababa in a year old pair of flip-flops. She also worked with Roger Hewitt and colleagues in Hamburg and Bergen on 'The Architecture of Religious Transmission'. This project, funded by NORFACE, investigates the mechanisms of religious transmission among young people in the Finsbury Park area of London and comparable sites in Hamburg and Oslo. She is currently working on a research project investigating British migrants in Beijing.


  • –present
    Professor of Sociology, Head of Centre, Centre for Urban and Community Research , Goldsmiths, University of London