Professor Alex Law

Professor of Sociology

School School of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Department Division of Sociology

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8715

Biography

My research is informed by relational and historical approaches to sociology. This work involves long-term perspectives in sociological theory and problems of nation, state and society, focussing particularly on Scotland, the UK and Europe.

Recent research examines the ambivalent nature of civic nationalism, the crisis of the UK state, governmental uses of ‘sectarianism’, nationalism in international sport, and the sociology of unintended consequences in the Scottish Enlightenment.

I hold a First Class Honours degree in Social Sciences, Art History and History from the Open University - where I later taught - and a MSc in Policy Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh.

I’m willing to supervise students excited by sociological theory, particularly the relational sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and Norbert Elias as it may apply to any substantive issue, including nationalism, violence, established and outsider group relations, media, and the state. To discuss this you can contact me at a.law@abertay.ac.uk

Contemporary Social Theory

Classical Social Theory

Sociology of Scotland

Science and Society

Symbolic Power, Media and Cultural Forms

Images of the City

Interests

I am concerned to develop sociological theory and research to illuminate long-term processes underlying social relations, power tensions and state formation.

Drawing upon relational sociology, principally inspired by Pierre Bourdieu and Norbert Elias, recent work examines, amongst other things, sectarianism, the independence referendum in Scotland, and the power dynamics between competitive nationalism and competitive sport in international football competitions.

Current work examines the sociology of unintended consequences since the Scottish Enlightenment. A recent book critically examines social theory in the context of recurring crises, (Social Theory for Today, Sage, 2015) while a co-edited book looks at neglected episodes in the history of sociology, (Sociological Amnesia, Ashgate, 2015).

I am willing to supervise students in any area of relational sociology and social theory. The School offers the following research degrees: one-year MSc by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD.  For more information please email   a.law@abertay.ac.uk

2019

Relational approaches to social theory and the crisis of education

Law, A. (2019) Relational approaches to social theory and the crisis of education. . . .
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Avant-garde and leisure

Law, A. (2019) Avant-garde and leisure. . . p. 33. .
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2018

Thomas Reid’s ‘civilised controversy’

Law, A. (2018) Thomas Reid’s ‘civilised controversy’. . . p. 80. .
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2017

Scottish exceptionalism?

Law, A. (2017) Scottish exceptionalism?. . . .
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Comparative-historical sociology as antidote to the ‘crackpot realism’ of the twenty-first century

Law, A. & Mennell, S. (2017) Comparative-historical sociology as antidote to the ‘crackpot realism’ of the twenty-first century. . . .
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The narcissism of national solipsism

Law, A. (2017) The narcissism of national solipsism. . . .
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Post-truth and fake news

Law, A. (2017) Post-truth and fake news. . . p. 3-6. .
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Spontaneous order and relational sociology

Law, A. (2017) Spontaneous order and relational sociology. . . p. 14-36. .
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Scotland's referendum and the media

Law, A. (2017) Scotland's referendum and the media. . . p. 50-51. .
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Scottish exceptionalism? Normative codes of Scottish nationalism in the British and EU crises

Law, A. (2017) Scottish exceptionalism? Normative codes of Scottish nationalism in the British and EU crises. . . p. 51-66. .
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2016

The trouble with sectarianism

Law, A. (2016) The trouble with sectarianism. In: No problem here: understanding racism in Scotland. Davidson, N. (ed.), Liinpaa, M. (ed.), McBride, M. (ed.), Virdee, S. (ed.). p. 90-112. Edinburgh: Luath Press.
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Propaganda

Law, A. (2016) Propaganda. . . p. 55-57. .
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2015

Mediating the Scottish independence debate

Law, A. (2015) Mediating the Scottish independence debate. . . p. 3-7. .
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Sociological amnesia

Law, A. & Lybeck, E. R. (2015) Sociological amnesia. . . Farnham: Ashgate.
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Sectarianism, criminalisation and the civilising process in Scotland

Law, A. (2015) Sectarianism, criminalisation and the civilising process in Scotland. In: Crime, justice and society in Scotland. Croall, H. (ed.), Mooney, G. (ed.), Munro, M. (ed.). p. 99-114. Abingdon: Routledge.
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Sociological amnesia

Law, A. & Lybeck, E. R. (2015) Sociological amnesia. In: Sociological amnesia: cross-currents in disciplinary history. Law, A. (ed.), Lybeck, E. (ed.). p. 1-15. Farnham: Ashgate.
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Equality

Law, A. (2015) Equality. In: Vocabulary for the study of religion. Segal, R. (ed.), von Stuckrad, K. (ed.). Leiden: Brill.
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2014

Social theory for today

Law, A. (2014) Social theory for today. . . London: SAGE.
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Playing with tension

Law, A. (2014) Playing with tension. In: Exploring the cultural, ideological and economic legacies of Euro 2012. Kennedy, P. (ed.), Kassimeris, C. (ed.). p. 27-45. Abingdon: Routledge.
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مفاهیم کلیدی در نظریه اجتماعی کلاسیک

Law, A. (2014) مفاهیم کلیدی در نظریه اجتماعی کلاسیک. . . 1 ed., Tehran: Agah Publishers, Tehran.
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2013

Playing with tension

Law, A. (2013) Playing with tension. . . p. 203-221. .
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2012

Competitive nationalism: state, class, and the forms of capital in devolved Scotland

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2012) Competitive nationalism: state, class, and the forms of capital in devolved Scotland. . . p. 62-77. .
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Devolution in a 'stateless nation': nation-building and social policy in Scotland

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2012) Devolution in a 'stateless nation': nation-building and social policy in Scotland. . . p. 161–177. .
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Between autonomy and dependency

Law, A. (2012) Between autonomy and dependency. In: Social Justice and Social Policy in Scotland. Mooney, G. (ed.), Scott, G. (ed.). p. 25-41. . Policy Press.
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Scholastic ambivalence and Patrick Geddes: a sociology of failed sociology

Law, A. (2012) Scholastic ambivalence and Patrick Geddes: a sociology of failed sociology. . . .
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2011

Social welfare struggle in an era of austerity

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2011) Social welfare struggle in an era of austerity. . . p. 2-7. .
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The decivilizing process and urban working class youth in Scotland

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2011) The decivilizing process and urban working class youth in Scotland. . . p. 106-126. .
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Key concepts in classical social theory

Law, A. . (2011) Key concepts in classical social theory. . . London: SAGE.
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'Poverty porn’ and The Scheme

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2011) 'Poverty porn’ and The Scheme. . . p. 9-12. .
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2010

Urban 'disorders', 'problem places' and criminal justice in Scotland

Law, A., Mooney, G. & Helms, G. (2010) Urban 'disorders', 'problem places' and criminal justice in Scotland. In: Criminal Justice in Scotland. Croall, H. (ed.), Mooney, G. (ed.), Munro, M. (ed.). p. 43-64. Abingdon: Willan Publishing.
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Geddes, Patrick

Law, A. (2010) Geddes, Patrick. In: Encyclopedia of urban studies. Hutchinson, R. (ed.). p. 294-295. London: SAGE.
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Financialisation and proletarianisation

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2010) Financialisation and proletarianisation. In: Neoliberal Scotland: class and society in a stateless nation. Davidson, N. (ed.), McCafferty, P. (ed.), Miller, D. (ed.). p. 137-160. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
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2009

Thinking beyond the hybrid

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2009) Thinking beyond the hybrid. . . p. 289-294. .
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'The callous credit nexus'

Law, A. (2009) 'The callous credit nexus'. . . .
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Unredeemed Marxism

Law, A. (2009) Unredeemed Marxism. . . p. 665-681. .
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Understanding social welfare movements

Annetts, J., Law, A., McNeish, W. & Mooney, G. (2009) Understanding social welfare movements. . . Bristol: Policy Press.
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2008

The elixir of social trust

Law, A. (2008) The elixir of social trust. In: Researching trust and health. Brownlie, J. (ed.), Greene, A. (ed.), Howson, A. (ed.). p. 175-193. London: Routledge.
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2007

Reply to Bechhofer and McCrone

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2007) Reply to Bechhofer and McCrone. . . p. 260-265. .
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Contesting the new irrational actor model

Law, A. & McNeish, W. (2007) Contesting the new irrational actor model. . . p. 439-456. .
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New Labour/hard labour?

Mooney, G. & Law, A. (2007) New Labour/hard labour?. . . Bristol: Policy Press.
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Sociology and the pedagogy of common sense

Law, A. (2007) Sociology and the pedagogy of common sense. . . p. 151-169. .
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New Labour, ‘modernisation’ and welfare worker resistance

Mooney, G. & Law, A. (2007) New Labour, ‘modernisation’ and welfare worker resistance. In: New Labour/hard labour?: restructuring and resistance inside the welfare industry. Mooney, G. (ed.), Law, A. (ed.). p. 1-22. Bristol: Policy Press.
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Strenuous welfarism

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2007) Strenuous welfarism. In: New Labour/hard labour? Restructuring and resistance inside the welfare industry. . p. 23-52. Bristol: Policy Press.
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Beyond New Labour

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2007) Beyond New Labour. In: New Labour/hard labour?: restructuring and resistance inside the welfare industry. Mooney, G. (ed.), Law, A. (ed.). p. 263-286. Bristol: Policy Press.
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Ambiguities and resistance

Law, A. & Work, H. (2007) Ambiguities and resistance. In: New Labour/hard labour? Restructuring and resistance inside the welfare industry. Mooney, G. (ed.), Law, A. (ed.). p. 137-162. Bristol: Policy Press.
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2006

'We’ve never had it so good’

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2006) 'We’ve never had it so good’. . . p. 523-542. .
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The maladies of social capital I

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2006) The maladies of social capital I. . . p. 127-143. .
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Social care, health and welfare in contemporary Scotland

Mooney, G., Sweeney, T. & Law, A. (2006) Social care, health and welfare in contemporary Scotland. . . Paisley: Kynoch & Blaney.
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The maladies of social capital II

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2006) The maladies of social capital II. . . p. 253-268. .
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2005

Urban landscapes

Law, A. & Mooney, G. (2005) Urban landscapes. . . p. 42-56. .
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Welfare nationalism

Law, A. (2005) Welfare nationalism. In: Exploring social policy in the 'new' Scotland. Mooney, G. (ed.), Scott, G. (ed.). p. 53-83. Bristol: Policy Press.
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The ghost of Patrick Geddes

Law, A. (2005) The ghost of Patrick Geddes. . . .
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Learning sociology for life

Law, A. ., McNeish, W. & Di Domenico, C. (2005) Learning sociology for life. . . Dundee: University of Abertay.
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The social geometry of mobile telephony

Law, A. (2005) The social geometry of mobile telephony. . . .
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Hegemony

Law, A. (2005) Hegemony. In: The Edinburgh dictionary of continental philosophy. Protevi, J. (ed.). p. 274-275. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
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Gramsci, Antonio

Law, A. (2005) Gramsci, Antonio. In: The Edinburgh dictionary of continental philosophy. Protevi, J. (ed.). p. 259-260. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
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Of navies and navels

Law, A. (2005) Of navies and navels. . . p. 267-277. .
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Reification

Law, A. (2005) Reification. In: The Edinburgh dictionary of continental philosophy. Protevi, J. (ed.). p. 489-490. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
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Gyorgy Lukacs

Law, A. (2005) Gyorgy Lukacs. In: The Edinburgh dictionary of continental philosophy. Protevi, J. (ed.). p. 369-371. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
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2004

Ethnicity/Identity

Law, A. (2004) Ethnicity/Identity. In: Encyclopedia of international development. Forsyth, T. (ed.). 1st ed., p. 217-219. London: Routledge.
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2003

Language and the press in Scotland

Law, A. (2003) Language and the press in Scotland. In: Towards our goals in broadcasting, the press, the performing arts and the economy: minority languages in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland. Kirk, J. (ed.), Baoill, D. (ed.). p. 105-118. Belfast: Queen’s University Press/Cló Ollscoil na Banríona.
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The sociology of Scottish culture

Law, A. (2003) The sociology of Scottish culture. In: Sociology and Scotland: an introduction. Sweeney, T. (ed.), Lewis, J. (ed.), Etherington, N. (ed.). p. 337-367. Paisley: Unity Publications.
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Base station fears

Law, A., McNeish, W. & Gray, L. (2003) Base station fears. . . p. 320-330. .
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2002

Magical urbanism

Law, A. & Law, J. (2002) Magical urbanism. . . p. 173-211. .
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Jubilee mugs

Law, A. (2002) Jubilee mugs. . . .
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2001

Near and far

Law, A. (2001) Near and far. . . p. 299-317. .
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1999

Melting the cold war permafrost

Law, A. (1999) Melting the cold war permafrost. . . p. 421-452. .
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Meet the rest of the team

Dr Nuala Killeen

Dr Nuala Killeen

Division of Sociology | Lecturer

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Ms Hazel Work

Ms Hazel Work

Division of Sociology | Lecturer

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