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Professor Tim Butler

Professor Tim Butler

Tim ButlerEmeritus Professor


Department of Geography 
King's College London 
Strand Campus 
WC2R 2LS    

Research Interests

  • education in the city
  • social mixing
  • gentrification
  • regeneration of East London
  • social class in British society


Tim Butler graduated from the University of Essex in 1971 in Sociology and returned there later to gain an MA in Social History with a dissertation on working class nutrition in London at the end of the nineteenth century. He undertook research for his PhD at the Open University during the late 1980s on the gentrification of Hackney identifying a section of the ‘new’ middle class who appeared to make a positive choice to live in what was one of the more deprived areas of London rather than because they simply could not afford to live in posher areas. This work on the middle classes and the choices they make about where to live has continued to be his main interest of work. 

More recently this has encompassed the area of education and how they choose schools and the ways they see these strategies through. He has had four large grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to investigate these research questions, the most recent of which is being undertaken with Goldsmith, LSE and York on the ‘super rich’. He previously worked with Professor Gary Bridge at Bristol University and Professor Marie-Hélène Bacqué at the University of Nanterre in Paris on an ESRC-ANR grant on social mixing in London and Paris. Before that he held an ESRC grant Chris Hamnett in the Department on the issues of education, ethnicity and gentrification in East London, an area until recently that has not been favoured by the middle classes. In addition to journal articles, he has authored two books on the gentrification of London, one on social inequality (with Paul Watt) and more recently (Chris Hamnett) a book on East London (Ethnicity, Class and Aspiration: understanding the new East London) . He has edited two collections on the regeneration of East London, a collection on the middle classes (with Mike Savage) and also most recently (with Gary Bridge and Loretta Lees Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth). He chaired the editorial board of the journal Sociology from 2001-04. In 2005 he was invited to Sciences Po as a visiting professor and returned there as the Vincent Wright Professor in 2011 for a semester. He is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal of Urban and Rural Research (IJURR). Before joining King’s College London, he was Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of East London.


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