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Dr Paul Sweetman

Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries

Research interests

  • Creative
  • Culture
  • Media


Paul Sweetman joined CMCI in January 2011 as Senior Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries. He was previously Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Southampton (2000 – 2010), and, before that, Lecturer in Sociology at The University of Durham (1998 -1999). His PhD was in Sociology, focusing on contemporary forms of body modification (University of Southampton, 1999), and he also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Sociology from the University of Manchester (1993) and an MA in the Sociology of Contemporary Culture from the University of York (1994). His first degree was in Economics with Economic History, from the University of Sussex (1989), following which he also worked as a Financial Statistics Analyst at the Bank of England.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Cultural sociology and the sociology of culture
  • Social and cultural theory (particularly with reference to habitus, reflexivity and sociality)
  • Subcultures
  • The body and identity
  • Fashion and consumption
  • Visual methods and methodology
  • Ethics, representation and recognition 

Paul's research interests centre around cultural sociology and the sociology of culture. He has written and published on social and cultural theory (particularly with reference to habitus, reflexivity and sociality), subcultures, the body and identity, fashion and consumption, and visual methods and methodology, and is also interested in issues of ethics, representation and recognition.

He is happy to consider proposals for PhD research linked to any or all of his key research interests as listed above.

For more details, please see his full research profile.


Paul currently teaches on the MA CCI programme.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Paul is a member of the Editorial Boards of Visual Studies, journal of the International Visual Studies Association, and Cogent Arts and Humanities. He was also a member of the Editorial Board of Sociology between 2003 and 2005.

He worked with colleagues at the John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, on City Portraits, a photography installation and associated research project in 2010, and was a contributor to Welcome to Happy Redoubt, an art installation at Somerset House developed by Juneau Projects in 2013. He was also a featured participant in Translocations, a series of six films produced by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance as part of King’s Cultural Institute Knowledge Producers Programme in 2014.

For further details about Translocations (including Paul's film) See:

Paul is currently working with colleagues from Norway and Sweden on a project on 'subcultures and innovation,' funded by Knowledge Works (, a project based knowledge centre financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. The centre aims, through the work of Norwegian and international researchers, developers, and industry players, to contribute to the development of a comprehensive knowledge base for the cultural industries in Norway.

Working with Professors Atle Hauge (INN University Norway) and Dominic Power (University of Stockholm), Paul is exploring subcultures' role as key innovators in the cultural and creative industries, and the different ways in which subcultural creativity is harnessed by, amongst others, cities and fashionable brands. The project runs throughout 2018.

Following a series of focus groups with creative workers in London and Brighton, Paul is also working on a project on appearance and dress amongst creative workers with Dr Jo Entwistle of CMCI.