Reader in Sociology and Psychosocial Studies, School of Social Sciences

Dr Ben Gidley

Ben Gidley studied Anthropology as an undergraduate and Urban Studies at MA level and has a PhD in Sociology (on citizenship and belonging among East London Jewish radicals in the early twentieth century) from the University of London. Before coming to Birkbeck, he worked in interdisciplinary research centres on urban studies and migration at Goldsmiths, University of London and at the University of Oxford. During that period, he was involved in several policy-engaged research projects on topics around migration, integration and diversity, funded by research councils, charitable trusts, government departments and the European Union.

Ben’s research is largely centred around the question of how we live together with difference in urban contexts. He also has an interest in British Jewry, Turbulent Times (2010), written with Keith Kahn-Harris, was the first sociological monograph on British Jews for several decades, and on understanding different racisms comparatively; Antisemitism  and Islamophobia in Europe (2017), co-edited with James Renton, was a breakthrough volume in this field.

Ben Gidley’s research interests focus on contemporary forms of racialization and intercultural encounter; diaspora, diversity and migration; and urban sociology. Much of his work has been on urban contexts, including a long-term ethnographic engagement with Southeast London and historical work in East London, although increasingly setting this in a comparative European context. He also has an interest in British Jews, both in relation to wider diaspora formations and in relation to the history and politics of British multiculture. His research draws on a range of methodological approaches, including participatory action research, visual methods, archival research and ethnography.


Book Chapters

Journal Articles

Ben Gidley is currently the Module Convenor for three BA Psychosocial Studies modules, Hate, Urban Multicultures, and Class.

He currently supervises postgraduate students who are working on: Jewish, Muslim and Christian young people in London; whiteness and Italian migrants in London; Jewish masculinity; urban protest in Athens; and a disremembered paupers’ burial ground in inner South London.

Ben welcomes applications from MPhil/PhD students and visiting research students who wish to carry out research on: urban ethnography, lived experience of diversity, comparative urbanism, diasporic belonging; antisemitism, particularly in relation to other forms of racialization; Anglo-Jewish history and sociology, Jewish/non-Jewish relations; urban social movements; fascism and anti-fascism; South and East London.

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