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Professor Roger Penn

Formerly at Lancaster University

Roger Penn

Research Interests

My main substantive research interests lie in the field of economic sociology. I also have an interest in the application of social statistics to sociological data. Between 1985 and 1991 I was the co-ordinator of a team of sociologists and statisticians at Lancaster examining social change and economic life in contemporary Rochdale as part of the ESRC's National Initiative in this area. This research has involved two stages: the main research programme and then a smaller extension grant to enable the team to continue its integration of sociology and social statistics. Four research officers were employed on the project and I worked closely with them and Professor Richard Davies and Mr. Brian Francis from the Centre of Applied Statistics. The Lancaster team wrote two successive specialist software packages for the modelling of event histories and took a leading role in the publications from the Initiative. I co-edited books on trade unionism and on technical change and skill. I am also editing the Lancaster team's monograph on Rochdale.

I have also been involved in two other research projects recently. One involved a comparative study of technical change and working patterns in six paper mills in Finland and Britain in conjunction with Professor Kari Lilja of the Helsinki School of Economics. The other has involved a longitudinal analysis of ethnicity and career aspirations.

I have four research students currently working towards their doctorates. Their topics are diverse and I am happy to supervise any doctorate providing that it is committed to rigorous empirical analysis. I have close working links with the Centre for Applied Statistics at Lancaster and can act as a supervisor for the joint ESRC Social Science and Social Statistics awards. Furthermore, I have considerable expertise in historical analysis, case study approaches and participant observation. My general orientation is to define an important empirical question about the social world and then decide how it can be researched. I welcome doctoral students from outside the UK and also comparative research designs. Prospective students will get the best idea of my orientation to sociological research from my two monographs: Class, Power and Technology and Skilled Workers in the Class Structure. My main commitment as a supervisor is guidance with the literature, regular discussion and detailed comments on written work. I am particularly keen that postgraduate students write regularly and aim to publish their research.

NB: Ph.D. Theses Supervised. 1. Social Mobility and Socio-Political Values in Contemporary Egypt. 2. The Effects of Multinational Agribusinesses upon Social and Economic Relations in Contemporary Thailand. 3. Ethnicity, Training and Employment in Preston. 4. Fertility and Ethnicity amongst Pakistani Women in Britain. 5. New Forms of Production in British Manufacturing Industry. 6. Post-Fordism and Training Regimes in Contemporary Britain.

Please visit my web page in Mathematics and Statistics, and the web page of the Lancaster-Warwick ESRC Research Methods Node

Website concerning one current area of research - The Lancaster-Warwick ESRC Research Methods node - Developing statistical modelling in the social sciences.

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