Dr Christopher Thorpe
Appointment via e-mail
Office: Amory Building, Third Floor, Room 349
- Classical and modern social and cultural theory
- Sociology of culture and cultural sociology from an historical perspective
- Cultural representation - in particular, representations of Italy and the Italians in English and later British culture from the Renaissance to the present day
- Social theory, sociology and social work
Cultural Sociology of Cultural Representation
My current work explores how analytical frames and theoretical concepts taken from the ‘sociology of culture’ and ‘cultural sociology’ can be brought together to go beyond orthodox conceptions of and approaches to cultural representation.
I am currently writing a monograph with Routledge due for publication in early 2022 entitled: British Representations of Italy: An Historical Cultural Sociology.
The monograph develops an historical cultural sociology of representations of Italy and the Italians in England, and later Britain, from the period of the Italian Renaissance to the ‘present day’.
Editorial work and professional affiliations
I am an editor for the journal Cultural Sociology (Sage): es.britsoc.co.uk/welcome-for-five-new-editors-of-cultural-sociology/
I am a member of the British Sociological Association
(2017) Thorpe, C. Social Theory for Social Work: Ideas and Applications. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203529638
(2012/ 2018 (2nd edition)) Inglis, D. with Thorpe, C. An Invitation to Social Theory. Cambridge: Polity.
(2007) Inglis, D., Thorpe, C. and Gimlin, D. Food and Society: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences, 4 vols., London: Routledge.
(2022) Thorpe, C., Jarowsky, B. N., Cheng, Lo M., M. C., Morgan, M., Ushiyama, R. 'Editorial Statement: Visions for Cultural Sociology in Uncertain Times', Cultural Sociology, 16(3) pp - X - X journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/17499755221098834
(2020) Inglis, D. and Thorpe, C. ‘Translation Encounters and the Histories of Globalization’, in Bielsa, E. and Kapsaskis, D. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Globalization, London: Routledge, pp 13 - 26.
(2019) Thorpe, C. ‘Reconsidering Cultural Representation with Field Theory: Continuity and Change in the Discursive Construction of Italy and the Italians in England from 1680 to 1830’, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, 4(1), 02. 10.20897/jcasc/5845
(2019) Inglis, D. and Thorpe, C. ‘Catwalk Catholicism: On the Ongoing Significance of Federico Fellini’s Ecclesiastical Fashion Show’, Religions, 10(9), 520. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10090520
(2019) Thorpe, C. and Inglis, D. ‘Do ‘Global Generations’ Exist? From Mannheim to Beck and Beyond’, Youth and Globalization, 1(1): 40 – 64. https://doi.org/10.1163/25895745-00102009
(2017) Thorpe, C. ‘Comments on Claudio E. Benzecry, Monika Krause and Isaac Ariail Reed’s Social Theory Now: Social Theoretical Dialogue and Development in America from a British Perspective’, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 18(3): 350 – 357. https://doi.org/10.1080/1600910X.2017.1395350
(2011) Thorpe, C. ‘The Dual-Edged Sword of Sociological Theory: Critically Thinking Sociological Theoretical Practice’, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 12 (2): 215 – 228. https://doi.org/10.1080/1600910X.2011.555704
(2009) ‘Beyond ‘La Dolce Vita’: Bourdieu, Market Heteronomy and Cultural Homogeneity’, Cultural Sociology, 3(1): 123 – 146. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1749975508100674
(2008) Thorpe, C. ‘Imagining Italy and the Italians in the 'Age of Machinery': Spectres of Industrial Modernity in the Italianate Visions of John Ruskin and D.H. Lawrence’, Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies, Vol. 9: 79 – 106.
(2008) Thorpe, C. ‘The Distinguishing Function of Europe: attitudes towards and perceptions of Europe and the European Union among young Scottish adults’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society Vol. 9 (4): 499 - 513. https://doi.org/10.1080/15705850802416945
(2018) Thorpe, C. ‘Re-Imagining Social Theory for Social Work’ in Webb, S. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Critical Social Work. Oxford: Routledge.
(2013) Thorpe, C. ‘Critical Strategies for Implementing a Relational Sociological Paradigm: Elias, Bourdieu and Uncivilized Sociological Theoretical Struggles’, in C. Powell and F. Deplteau (eds.) Conceptualizing Relational Sociology: Ontological and Theoretical Issues, Vol. 1. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
(2013) Thorpe, C. ‘The Poetics of Travel in Byron and Shelley: Translating Italian Experience into Artistic Distinction’, in Yarrington, A and Villani, S. (eds.) Travels and Translations: Anglo-Italian Cultural Transactions. Rodopi B.V.
(2010) Thorpe, C., Yuill, C. and A. Gibbons ‘Sociology for Social Work – An overview’, in C. Yuill and A. Gibson (eds) Sociology for Social Work. London: Sage, pp. 1 – 24.
(2010) Thorpe, C. ‘Crime and Society’, in C. Yuill and A. Gibson (eds) Sociology for Social Work. London: Sage, pp.184 – 203.
Popular sociology texts
(2017) Thorpe, C. and Yuill, C. (2017) Heads Up Sociology. DK Books: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
(2015) Thorpe, C. and Yuill, C. (2015) Sociology Book: Big Ideas Explained Simply. DK Books: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
(2020) Thorpe, C. ‘Sociology: History of a Discipline’, in The Visual Encyclopaedia. DK Books: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
(2017) Thorpe, C. ‘Leo Strauss’, The Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Books.
(2017) Thorpe, C. ‘Vilfredo Pareto’, The Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Books.
(2017) Thorpe, C. 'Jean-Paul Sartre', The Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Books.
(2022) Thorpe, C. 'The Heavens and The Earth: Graeco-Roman, Ancient Chinese, and Medieval Islamic Images of the World', Glocalism: Journal of Culture, Politics and Innovation, 1
(2021) Thorpe, C. 'Durkheim and After: The Durkheimian Tradition, 1893 - 2020', European Journal of Social Theory journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/13684310211046892
(2020) Thorpe, C. ‘Review of Andrea Cossu and Matteo Bortolini’s Italian Sociology – 1945 – 2010: An Intellectual and Institutional Profile’, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, 5(1): 21. https://doi.org/10.20897/jcasc/8411
(2020) Thorpe, C. ‘What Makes A Social Crisis? The Societalization of Social Problems’, Cultural Sociology, 14(2): 205 – 207. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1749975520922160
(2019) Thorpe, C. ‘Nietzsche and Sociology: The Prophet of Affirmation’, European Journal of Social Theory, 1 - 6. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368431019880159
(2019) Thorpe, C. 'Manet: A Symbolic Revolution and Classification Struggles: General Sociology, Volume 1 Lectures at the Collège de France', Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, 4(1): 07. https://doi.org/10.20897/jcasc/5850
I am presently Co-Editor for Cultural Sociology.
I was Associate Editor for the journal Cultural Sociology (Sage)
I have undertaken review work for Cultural Sociology, Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies, Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, Journal of Common Market Studies, American Sociological Review, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change
I have reviewed chapters for Giddens' Sociology (7th and 8th editions) and Contemporary Sociology (Polity Press).
I was an academic consultant for Dorling Kinderlsey Publication on an introductory sociology/ social theory text entitled The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – Jul. 2014 to Feb. 2015.
I have acted as LEAD SUPERVISOR and SECOND SUPERVISOR on a range of doctoral theses through to COMPLETION.
I am interested in supervising doctoral students in sociology in a range of areas which include:
Sociology of Culture / Cultural Sociology
Cultural representation; representations of the 'cultural other' and 'other cultures'; cultural appropriation; cultural identity; cultural (re-)production; cultural nationalism; culture and taste; cultural globalization; autonomy of culture.
Social and Cultural theory
Classical and modern social and cultural theory - particular expertise in the theoretical work of Pierre Bourdieu, Norbert Elias and Jeffrey Alexander
Historical Cultural Sociology/ Sociology of Culture
Particularly as applied to the discursive representation of Italy, Italian culture, the Italians, Anglo-Italian relations, England, Britain
Social work, social theory and sociology
In particular, the use and application of sociological and social theoretical ways of seeing and modes of reasoning in and across a wide range of areas of social work theory and practice
External impact and engagement
External Examiner for London Metropolitan University (2018 - present)
I am currently in dialogue with the Italian Embassy in order as part of an ongoing initiative to maintain and develop cultural outreach
During my time as an undergraduate and postgraduate student I lived and worked in Northern Italy for a number of years, spending time between Lake Garda and Verona. I am fluent in Italian and undertake occasional translation work for Italian broadsheet newspapers and Sunday magazine articles. My interest in Italian culture and the Italians more generally formed the basis for my PhD thesis, which comprised an historical cultural sociology of discursive representations of Italy and the Italians in England from 1450 to the present day. I have lectured on the subject of Anglo-Italian cultural relations to various Universities in Britain and Italy and the British Italian Society.