Skip to content The Open University

Faculty of Social Sciences

Staff Profile

Prof Kenneth Thompson

Emeritus Professor



Lecturer, The Open University, 1970-72.;Senior Lecturer, 1972-80; Reader in Sociology, 1980; Professor of Sociology, 1987-2002; Visiting Research Professor, 2002-4. Currently: Emeritus Professor from 2005.

Visiting Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Yale University, Fall Semester, 2002-3; Winter Semester, 2005-6; Faculty Fellow, Yale Center for Cultural Sociology, 2004-.

External positions

Founder Member, Editorial Board of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, first issue 2013.

Faculty Fellow, Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University.

Member of the Board of the British Centre for Durkheimian Studies, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University.

Research interests

Current research on ‘Moral Regulation and the Media’, collaboration with Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology as a Faculty Fellow.

Associate member, ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change’, Manchester University/Open University collaboration.

Recent publications

‘Cultural Trauma and Moral Panic: 9/11 and the Mosque at Ground Zero Affair’, in C. Krinsky (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Moral Panics, London: Ashgate , 2013, pp.387-400.

‘Durkheim and Durkheimian Political Sociology’ in E. Amenta, K. Nash and A. Scott (eds.), The New Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Political Sociology, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, pp. 27-35.

‘Globalization and Religion’ in J. C. Alexander et al (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology, London and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 471-83.

‘Foreword’ in S. P. Hier (ed.), Moral Panic and the Politics of Anxiety, London: Routledge, 2011, pp. vii-xi.

‘Moral Regulation: Beyond Janet Jackson and The Passion’ in Isaac Reed and Jeffrey Alexander (eds.), Meaning and Method: The Cultural Approach to Sociology, Boulder, Colorado: Paradigm Publishers, 2009, pp. 63-76.

‘Estudios Culturais e educacao no mundo contemporaneo’ in Rosa Maria Hessel Silveira (ed.), Cultura, Poder e Educacao: Um Debate Sobre Estudos Culturais em Educacao, Canoas, Brasil: ULBRA, 2005, 2nd edn. 2011, pp. 17-39.

A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology: Culture and Society in Transition (with Jeffrey Alexander), Boulder, CO: Paradigm Press, 2007, 2nd edn. 2011.

‘Georges Gurvitch’ in John Scott (ed.), Fifty Key Sociologists: The Contemporary Theorists, London and New York; Routledge, 2007, pp.122-6.

‘Emile Durkheim’ in John Scott (ed.), Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists, London and New York: Routledge, 2007, pp.40-6.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Last updated: 17 October 2014