Dick Hobbs came to academic work late having worked as an office boy, labourer, dustman and schoolteacher. He trained as a sociologist at the LSE and the University of Surrey before working at the Universities of Oxford and Durham, where he held Chairs in both Sociology and Law. He was Professor of Sociology at the LSE (2005-2011) before taking a post in the Sociology Department at Essex University (2011-2014), where he was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Criminology Centre.
Dick Hobbs is an urban ethnographer specialising in the sociology of London, organised and professional crime, the night-time economy, violence, drug markets and research methodology. He has received grants, primarily from the ESRC, as well as from the Home Office, the Nuffield Trust and the EU. He has conducted a wide range of consultancies for government agencies and the mass media, and presented evidence to the UK government on the night-time economy, and to a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Australian drug markets. He is editor of the Routledge Advances in Ethnography series. The common thread that runs through this work is a commitment to sociological studies of urban life which emphasise the role of the glocal political economy in shaping deviant cultures. rently working on a number of publications emerging from an ESRC funded study of the impact of the 2012 Olympics on the policing of a London borough.