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Professor Tim Butler

Emeritus Professor

Research interests

  • Community
  • Geography
  • Sociology

Contact details


Professor Tim Butler graduated in Sociology in 1971 and a MA in Social History from the University of Essex. His dissertation was 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. For his thesis, he identified 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. 

This encompassed the area of education and how they choose schools and the ways they see these strategies through. He had four large grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to investigate these research questions, including with Goldsmith, LSE and York on the ‘super rich’.

Tim 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 joining King’s, he was Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of East London.


  • Education in the city
  • Social mixing
  • Gentrification
  • Regeneration of East London
  • Social class in British society

Tim's research has mainly focused on issues of gentrification in London and middle class formation more generally.

Further details

See Tim's research profile