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Britain’s premier sociologists gather at University of Aberdeen

Some of the UK’s most eminent sociologists will gather at a unique conference next week at the University of Aberdeen.

The Department of Sociology is hosting a two-day conference on March 21-22 entitled 'Great Escapes', at which senior sociologists will reflect upon mistakes they made in their early careers and how they overcame them. It will bring together some of the most prominent figures in sociology over the last 50 years, as well as many leading figures from today.

The conference is open to members of the public, who can register by visiting the conference web site at:

As a group, the speakers are amongst the longest-serving sociologists still alive and they have made key contributions to areas of sociology as diverse as cults and sects, friendship, ethnic relations, multiculturalism, gender equality and globalisation.

One of the major names due to attend next week is Lord W.G. Runciman, of Trinity College Cambridge, a former President of the British Academy, who in 2004 edited and contributed to the British Academy paper Hutton and Butler: Lifting the Lid on the Workings of Power. The paper dealt with the events surrounding Britain's participation in the invasion of Iraq and the way in which it was presented to the British public.

The other speakers are Eileen Barker, Tony Coxon, Ray Pahl, John Rex, Roland Robertson, Liz Stanley and Sylvia Walby.  In addition, special guests have been invited to be part of the audience, including John Westergaard, Jennifer Platt, John Scott, Chris Jenks, David Morgan and Robert Dingwall.

"This is likely to be the last occasion on which this particular generation will gather together and for that reason alone this conference is very special indeed," said Professor John Brewer, Professor of Sociology and Head of Department at the University of Aberdeen.

"The speakers are amongst the best sociologists of their generation and it is testimony to their interest in the theme of the conference that we have been able to attract them to Aberdeen to admit to their 'great escapes'."

The conference will take place at King's College Auditorium, King's College, University of Aberdeen. For more information please contact Elaine Brown (, Jill Davis ( or Professor John Brewer ( on 01224 273124.



Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Tuesday 13th of March 2007

Ref: 3085ESCAPE

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