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Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Sociology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Sociology
  • sophie.watson

Research interests

City water

Water lies at the very heart of the interconnectedness and entanglements of humans with their environment and reveals, arguably more than any other substance, the impossibility of thinking of ourselves as separate from nature. Water exists as a resource through a complex intersection of socio- technical networks and systems, and is a site of different cultural meanings and social practices across time and space. Water is enmeshed in a myriad of governmental and regulatory practices as well as private markets and complex forms of provision. Its abundance as well as its scarcity is constituted in public discourses and political decisions, implicated in relations of power as these are, as much as 'natural' occurring phenomena as rains, floods, and drought. Water is far from being the natural resource it is often assumed to be. This research project seeks to explore cities and water- the socio-cultural practices associated with it, the socio- technical networks involved, and the regulatory frameworks of its provision across a number of cities in the Global North and South.

Water Matters in Public Space. Lecture St Petersburg

The Presence of Faith in East London (E1)

Religious Buildings, Spaces, Texts and Images, c. 1800-2010. This project explores the presence of religion in east London, tracing the ways in which different faiths have been made visible, tangible and legible through their inscription in places, texts, images and public practices.

Street Markets

Street Markets are sites of sociality, cultural practices and innovation.

Smart Cities

Smart Cities and Social Difference – learning from Milton Keynes ( Co-I).

Selected publications

Books and monographs

2011 - The New Blackwell Companion to the City (edited with Gary Bridge) Oxford: Blackwell

2010 - The Blackwell City Reader 2nd Edition(edited with Gary Bridge). Oxford: Blackwell

2008 - Security: Sociology and social worlds (ed with Carter, S.) Jordan, T.

2006 - City Publics: The (dis) enchantments of Urban Encounters, Routledge

2006 - Markets as sites of Social Interaction: Spaces of Diversity, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Policy Press

2002 - Blackwell Reader on the City (with Gary Bridge) Oxford:Blackwell

2001 - Companion to the City (with Gary Bridge) (300,000 words): Oxford, Basil Blackwell.

1999 - Engendering Social Policy (edited collection with L.Doyal): London, Open University Press.

Recent articles and chapters

2015 - City in Plate, S. Brent, ed. Key Words in Material Religion (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). 

2015 - Mundane objects in the city: Laundry practices and the making  and remaking of public/private sociality and space in London and New York. Urban Studies 52: 5 876- 890

2014 - Ambivalent Affect/Emotion Conflicted Discourses of Multicultural Belonging. (with Saha) Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging and Location (ed) Jackson, E and Jones, H. Routledge.

2014 - Spaces of Difference: Challenging Urban Divisions from the North to the South (eds) Parnell, S and Oldfied, S The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global  South. Routledge

2013 - Global Futures- reflections on culture, diversity and planning for the twenty first century. In G. Young (ed) The Ashgate Research Companion to planning Ashgate

2013 - Suburban Drifts: mundane multiculturalism in outer London Ethnic and Racial Studies (with Saha, A). vol 36. No. 12

2013 - Shifting Religious Practices in London’s East End Material Religion volume 9, issue 1, pp. 86–113 (with Dodsworth and Vacchelli).

2012 - Street markets in Vienna and Budapest economic(inter)action spheres for migrants (in German: Straßenmärkte in Wien und Budapest als Schauplätze des WirtschaftenMigrationskontexten), in Dabringer, M. and Trupp, A. (eds.), Wirtschaften mit Migrationshintergrund. Zur soziokulturellen Bedeutung ethnischer Ökonomien in urbanen Räumen, StudienVerlag with Knierbein, S, Aigner, J 

2012 - Into Unorthodox London: The Religious Ethnography of Charles Maurice Davies Victorian Literature and Culture (with Dodsworth) VLC 40.2

2011- 6 Chapters in the New Companion- to detail here

2011 - Constituting Religious Publics: The Tale of two non-conformist churches in London Culture and Religion Vol 12 , no 1 p. 1-19 (with F.Dodsworth)

2009 - The eruv: where the soft spaces of symbolic meaning meet the hard lines of planning. S&RO, Theme Issue on the Soft City (Dutch journal on architecture and urban planning)

2009 - The Magic of the Market Place: Sociality in a neglected public space Urban Studies, Vol. 46, No. 8, 1577-1591

2009 - Performing Religion: Migrants, the church and belonging in Marrickville, Sydney Culture and Religion, Volume 10, Issue 3 November 2009, pages 317-338

2009 - Brief Encounters of an unpredictable kind: Everyday Multiculturalism in three London street markets. Wise, A (ed) Everyday Multiculturalism London: Palgrave

2008 - Fear in the city, in Carter, S., Jordan, T. and Watson, S. (eds)

2008 - Productive Potentialities in Public-Private and Private-Public Space Urban Design 108 31-34

2008 - Abandoning the monumental and seeking the serendipitous. In Vesterdal, I. Pagh, C. eds. Changing Metropolis 52-552

2005 - Symbolic spaces of difference: Contesting the Eruv in London and Tenafly, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2005, volume 23(4) August, pages 597-613

2005 - 'A Politics of Resentment: shopkeepers in a London Neighbourhood' (with K.Wells) Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(2) 2 pp 261-277

2005 - 'Spaces of Nostalgia: The Hollowing out of a London Market' (with K.Wells) Journal of Social and Cultural Geography. Vol. 6, No. 1. (2005), pp. 17-30.

External collaborations

Visiting Professor at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths University.

Publications

Religion as practices of attachment and materiality: the making of Buddhism in contemporary London (2016)
Watson, Sophie and Zanetti, Oliver
Culture and Religion, 17(3) (pp. 257-278)
Mundane objects in the city: Laundry practices and the making and remaking of public/private sociality and space in London and New York (2015-04)
Watson, Sophie
Urban Studies, 52(5) (pp. 876-890)
Shifting religions and cultures in London's East End (2013-04)
Dodsworth, Francis; Vacchelli, Elena and Watson, Sophie
Material Religion, 9 (1) (pp. 86-112)
Suburban drifts: mundane multiculturalism in outer London (2013)
Watson, Sophie and Saha, Anamik
Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36(12) (pp. 2016-2034)
Into unorthodox London: the religious ethnography of Charles Maurice Davies (2012-09)
Watson, Sophie and Dodsworth, Francis
Victorian Literature and Culture, 40(2) (pp. 487-508)
Constituting religious publics: the tale of two non-conformist churches in London (2011-03)
Watson, Sophie and Dodsworth, Francis
Culture and Religion, 12(1) (pp. 1-19)
The magic of the market place: Sociality in a neglected public space (2009)
Watson, Sophie
Urban Studies, 46(8) (pp. 1577-1591)
Performing religion: Migrants, the church and belonging in Marrickville, Sydney (2009)
Watson, Sophie
Culture and Religion, 10(3) (pp. 317-338)
Productive Potentialities in Public-Private and Private-Public Space (2008-10)
Watson, Sophie
Urban Design, 108 (pp. 31-34)
Symbolic spaces of difference: contesting the Eruv in Barnet, London and Tenafly, New Jersey (2005-08)
Watson, Sophie
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 23(4) (pp. 597-613)
A Politics of resentment: shopkeepers in a London neighbourhood (2005-03)
Wells, Karen and Watson, Sophie
Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(2) (pp. 261-277)
Spaces of nostalgia: the hollowing out of a London market (2005-02)
Watson, Sophie and Wells, Karen
Social & Cultural Geography, 6(1) (pp. 17-30)
Lest power be forgotten: networks, division and difference in the city (2002-11)
Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie
Sociological Review, 50(4) (pp. 505-524)
Retext(ur)ing the City (2001-11-01)
Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie
City, 5(3) (pp. 350-362)
City publics: the (dis)enchantments of urban encounters (2006-06-21)
Watson, Sophie
Questioning Cities
ISBN : 415312280 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : UK
Markets as sites for social interaction : spaces of diversity (2006)
Watson, Sophie and Studdert, David
ISBN : 9781861349255 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
City (2015-12-17)
Dodsworth, Francis; Vacchelli, Elena and Watson, Sophie
In: Brent Plate, S. ed. Key Terms in Material Religion (pp. 41-48)
ISBN : 9781472595461 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London
Ambivalent affect/emotion: Conflicted discourses of multicultural belonging (2014)
Saha, Anamik and Watson, Sophie
In: Jones, Hannah and Jackson, Emma eds. Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and location (pp. 99-111)
ISBN : 9781138000650 | Publisher : Routledge
Spaces of difference: challenging urban divisions from the north to the south (2014)
Watson, Sophie
In: Parnell, Susan and Oldfield, Sophie eds. The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South (pp. 385-395)
ISBN : 9780415818650 | Publisher : Routledge
Global futures: reflections on culture, diversity and planning for the twenty-first Century (2013-09)
Watson, Sophie
In: Young , Greg and Stevenson, Deborah eds. The Ashgate Research Companion to Planning and Culture (pp. 23-36)
ISBN : 9781409422242 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
Reflections on division and difference (2011-04)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson , Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 501-511)
ISBN : 9781405189811 | Publisher : Wiley Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
Reflections on publics and cultures (2011-04)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 379-390)
ISBN : 9781405189811 | Publisher : Wiley Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
Reflections on Politics and Planning (2011-04)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 619-631)
ISBN : 9781405189811 | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons | Published : Oxford, UK
Reflections on materialities (2011-03)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Bridge, gary and Watson, Sophie eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 3-15)
ISBN : 9781405189811 | Publisher : Blackwells | Published : Oxford, UK
Reflections on mobilities (2011-03)
Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie
In: Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 157-169)
ISBN : 9781405189811 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
Reflections on affect (2011)
Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie
In: Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie eds. The New Blackwell Companion to the City (pp. 277-287)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8981-1 | Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell | Published : Chichester
Introducing mobilities (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. Blackwell City Reader (pp. 97-102)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8983-5 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford
Introducing materialities (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie ed. Blackwell City Reader (pp. 3-10)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8983-5 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford
Introducing division and difference (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. Blackwell City Reader (2nd revised edition) (pp. 171-177)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8982-8 | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons Ltd | Published : Chichester
Introducing urban politics and planning (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. Blackwell City Reader (2nd revised edition) (pp. 333-339)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8982-8 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Chichester
Introducing urban politics and urban cultures (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary
In: Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds. Blackwell City Reader (2nd revised edition) (pp. 255-261)
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8982-8 | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons Ltd | Published : Chichester
Brief encounters of an unpredictable kind: Everyday multiculturalism in three London street markets (2009)
Watson, Sophie
In: Wise, Amanda and Velayutham, Selvaraj eds. Everyday Multiculturalism (pp. 125-139)
ISBN : 978-0-230-21037-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan
Security in the City (2008)
Watson, Sophie
In: Carter, Simon; Jordan, Timothy and Watson, Sophie eds. Security: Sociology and Social Worlds (pp. 111-144)
ISBN : 9780719078118 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK
Abandoning the Monumental and Seeking the Serendipitous (2008)
Watson, Sophie
In: Pagh, Christian and Verstaval, Ida eds. Changing Metropolis
ISBN : 978-87-992549-0-3 | Publisher : VIA design | Published : Copenhagen, Denmark
The uses of sociology: introduction (2005)
Redman, Peter; Silva, Elizabeth and Watson, Sophie
In: Redman, Peter; Silva, Elizabeth and Watson, Sophie eds. The Uses of Sociology (ix-xiv)
ISBN : 0-7492 6826 3 | Publisher : Open University Worldwide | Published : UK
Cultures of democracy (2004-08-03)
Watson, Sophie
In: Barnett, Clive and Low, Murray eds. Spaces of democracy: geographical perspectives on citizenship, participation and representation
ISBN : 761947337 | Publisher : Sage Publications Ltd
Refuges (2004-03-01)
Watson, Sophie
In: Harrison, Stephan; Pile, Steve and Thrift, Nigel eds. Patterned ground: entanglements of nature and culture
ISBN : 1861891814 | Publisher : Reaktion Books | Published : London, UK
Housing diversity in the global city (2003-09-25)
Watson, Sophie
In: Forrest, Ray and Lee, James eds. Housing and social change: East-West perspectives. Housing and society series
ISBN : 415273315 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
The Public city (2002-05)
Watson, Sophie
In: Eade, John and Mele, Christopher eds. Understanding the city: contemporary and future perspectives. Studies in Urban and Social Change
ISBN : 631224068 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
The New Blackwell Companion to the City (2011-03)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds.
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8981-1 | Publisher : Wiley-Blackwell | Published : Chichester
The Blackwell City Reader (2nd ed.) (2010)
Watson, Sophie and Bridge, Gary eds.
ISBN : 978-1-4051-8983-5 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford
Security: Sociology and social worlds (2008)
Carter, Simon; Jordan, Tim and Watson, Sophie eds.
ISBN : 9780719078118 | Publisher : Manchester University Press | Published : Manchester, UK
Blackwell Reader on the City (2002-10)
Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie eds.
Blackwell Readers in Geography
ISBN : 631225137 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
Smart Practices: Reflections on the Smarter Home Visit in two London boroughs (2016-01)
Payne, Kellie and Watson, Sophie
CRESC, The University of Manchester and the Open University