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Home > Research > Researchers > Sylvia Walby
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Professor Sylvia Walby OBE

Distinguished Professor, UNESCO Chair of Gender Research, Associate Director

Sylvia Walby

Bowland North

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YN

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 593442

Location:

PhD supervision

Research students are welcome in all areas of my research interests including: gender violence and security; gendered political economy; policies towards equalities; sociology of the EU; and complexity theory.

Research Interests

Sylvia Walby is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and holds the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, at Lancaster University, UK. She is a ‘public sociologist’, engaged in research designed to have impact on the world, concerning gender inequality, violence and the economic crisis.   

The UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Group, led by Walby, who has held the Chair since 2008, focuses on internationally relevant research on gender relations, and on building global networks for research and policy exchange on gender issues.   

With colleagues, Walby has since 2008 obtained funding from: UK Economic and Social Research Council, Home Office, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Northern Rock Foundation, Trust for London, NSPCC; European Commission, European Parliament, European Institute for Gender Equality, EU Presidency, European Value Added Unit, the Council of Europe; UN Women, UNESCO; the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, and the Canadian Ministry of Justice. 

Walby was a member of the HEFCE REF2014 sub-panel for Sociology, a Director of the UK National Commission for UNESCO (2011-3), President of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 02 Economy and Society (2006-10), the founding President of the European Sociological Association (1995-7), and Chair of the Women’s Studies Network, UK (1989-90).  She has been awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities and diversity (2008), and made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (2008) and of the Royal Society of Arts (1996).   

Teaching is currently focused on ‘violence and society’ (undergraduate) and ‘gender and violence’ (MA), while research students are supervised across all research strands.   

Research has three main strands: gender, violence and social theory. 

 Gender: Research on gender inequality has pioneered the concepts of ‘gender regimes’ and ‘varieties of gender regimes’, going beyond earlier work on ‘patriarchy’, facilitating the comparative analysis of different forms of gender relations.  Work includes theoretically informed empirical studies of changes in gender inequality.  In the economy these include occupational segregation by sex, the gendered knowledge economy, and the gendered financial and economic crisis.  In politics, they include gender mainstreaming, gender equality policy, and the gendering of the development of the European Union.  

Walby, S. (2011) The Future of Feminism.  Polity Press.

Walby, S., H. Gottfried, K. Gottschall, M. Osawa (eds) (2007) GenderingThe Knowledge Economy: Comparative Perspectives.  Palgrave.

Walby, S. (2005) ‘Gender mainstreaming: Productive tensions in theory and practice’, Social Politics, 12 (3): 1-25.

Walby, S. (1997) Gender Transformations.  Routledge.

Walby, S. (1990) Theorizing Patriarchy. Blackwell.

Walby, S. (1986) Patriarchy at Work. Polity.

Violence: A new approach to violence conceptualises violence as a fourth institutional domain, in which all forms of violence are inter-related, alongside the domains of economy, polity and civil society.  New ways of measuring violence reveals the previously hidden extent of gender-based violence.  This has included the development of survey methods, indicators and data to measure the impact/cost of gendered violence, and changes in the rate of domestic violence using the Crime Survey for England and Wales.  Policy work includes investigating the legal basis for an EU Directive on violence against women, innovations in rape policy worldwide, and cuts in budgets for services to combat violence against women.

Walby, S., J. Towers, B. Francis (2014) ‘Mainstreaming domestic and gender based violence into Sociology and the Criminology of violence’, The Sociological Review, 62(S2).

Walby, S. (2013) ‘Violence and society: Introduction to an emerging field of sociology’, Current Sociology, 61(2): 95-111.

Walby, S. and J. Allen (2004) Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office.

Walby, S. (2004) The Cost of Domestic ViolenceDTI: Women and Equality Unit.

Social Theory: Innovations include the deployment of concepts from complexity science within Sociology and revising rather than rejecting the concept of system, so as to better theorise the intersection of multiple inequalities and the cascading of the financial crisis through society.

Walby’s next book: Theorizing Crisis.  Polity.

Walby, S. (2013) ‘Finance versus democracy: theorising finance in society’, Work, Employment and Society, 27(3): 489-507.

Walby. S., J. Armstrong, S. Strid (2012) ‘Intersectionality: Multiple inequalities in social theory’, Sociology, 46(2): 224-240.

Walby, S. (2009) Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities.  Sage.

Walby, S. (2007) ‘Complexity theory, systems theory and multiple intersecting social inequalities’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 37 (4): 449-470.

Link to Google Scholar’s complete list of Walby’s publications and short cuts to them: http://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=n2B7qm0AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra

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