I am a Professor in Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent, UK.
My research involves me working across a range of fields that include sociological theory, the sociological of health and illness, the sociology of humanitarianism, the sociology of the body and emotions, the sociology of risk and anxiety, the sociology of mass media and the history of sociology.
My work concerns a range of issues relating to problems of social suffering. I explore how individuals are socially disposed to interpret and respond to problems of human suffering. I attend to occasions where encounters with the problem of suffering are involved in changing people’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. This involves me investigating the cultural history of modern humanitarianism and humanitarian social movements. Here I am concerned to understand the social and cultural conditions that give rise to humanitarian moral feelings as well as the role played by the politics of compassion in public life. I am also attentive to the impact of humanitarian culture, politics and practice upon terms of sociological thought and methods of social investigation.