Dr John Bone

Dr John Bone
Dr John Bone

Dr John Bone


Interim Director, Senior Lecturer


Department of Sociology Room F44 Edward Wright Building Dunbar Street King's College University of Aberdeen AB24 3QY


Research Overview


My research interests are in political economy, social and biosocial theory, well-being and social media research. In terms of theoretical work, I have a specific interest in the way in which human neurobiological capacities and propensities shape and delimit the dialectical relationship between individual and society, with implications for understanding social organisation, social interaction and well-being. From a more empirical perspective, I am interested in the way in which the contemporary trajectory of global development and neo-liberal economic policy is affecting organisations, individuals and communities in terms of identities, working lives, well-being, social polarisation and social cohesion

Current Research




The Hard Sell: An Ethnographic Study of Direct Selling, Aldershot: Ashgate, 206pp. (2006) (Joint Winner of British Sociological Association, Philip Abrams Memorial Prize 2007 for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology.)

Social Stratification: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences (5 volume edited collection), London: Routledge (2006) (with David Inglis)

Nature: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences (4 volume edited collection), London: Routledge (2005) (with David Inglis and Rhoda Wilkie)

Refereed Papers & Chapters:

Scotland and England’s Colliding Nationalisms: Neoliberalism and the Fracturing of the United Kingdom, British Politics (In Press)

Neoliberal Precarity and Primalization: A Biosocial Perspective on the Age of Insecurity, Injustice and Unreason, British Journal of Sociology Vol. 72:4 (2021)

Aberdeen: A City in Transition, in  Hassan, G. and Barrow, S. (eds) Scotland the Brave: Twenty Years of Change and the Politics of the Future, pp. 283-291 Edinburgh: Luath Press. (2019)

Rediscovering the ‘Noble Savage’: The Rewilding Movement and the Re-Enchantment of the Scottish Highlands, Scottish Affairs, Vol 27:4 (2018).

The Nature of Structure: A Biosocial Approach, in Biosocial Matters: Rethinking Sociology-Biology Relations in the Twenty-First Century, Sociological Review Monograph Series, edited by M. Meloni, S. Williams, P. Martin, Wiley-Blackwell, Vol. 64:1 (2016)

The Social Sciences and the Web: From ‘Lurking’ to Interdisciplinary ‘Big Data’ Research, Methodological Innovations (March, 2016). (With Chukwuemeka David Emele, Adeniyi Abdul, George Coghill and Wei Pang)

False Economy: Financialisation, Crises and Socio-Economic Polarisation, Sociology Compass, Vol. 9:10 (2015)

Neoliberal Nomads: Housing Insecurity and the Revival of Private Renting in the UK, Sociological Research Online, Vol.19: 4 (2014)

The Deregulation Ethic and the Conscience of Capitalism: How the neoliberal ‘free market’ model undermines rationality and moral conduct, Globalizations, Vol. 9:5 (2012)

The Neoliberal Phoenix: The Big Society or Business as Usual, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 17:2 (2012)

No Place Called Home: The Causes and Social Consequences of the UK Housing 'Bubble', British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 61:2, pp. 231-255 (2010) (with Karen O'Reilly)

Irrational Capitalism: The Social Map, Neoliberalism and the Demodernization of the West, Critical Sociology, Vol. 36:5, pp. 717-740 (2010)

Beyond Biophobia: A Response to Jackson and Rees, Sociology, Vol. 43:6, pp. 917-30 (2009)

The Credit Crunch: Neoliberalism, Financialisation and the Gekkoisation of Society, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 14 2/3 (2009) http://www.socresonline.org.uk/14/2/11.html

The City and the Self, in Fagan, H. and Munck, R. (eds) Globalisation and Security pp. 28-44. Westport CT., Greenwood/Praeger Press (2009)

The Social Map: Cohesion, Conflict and National Identity in Todd, J, Ca??s Bottos, L. & Rougier, N. (Eds) (reprint) Political Transformation and National Identity Change: Comparative Perspectives, London: Routledge. (2007)

Social Stratification: From Plato to Postmodernism and Beyond, Introduction to Social Stratification: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences (4 volume edited collection), pp. 1-35. London: Routledge. (2006) (With David Inglis)?

The Social Map: Cohesion, Conflict and National Identity, Nationalism & Ethnic Politics, Vol. 12:3-4, pp. 347-72. (2006)

More in Heaven and Earth: Boundary Maintenance, Border Crossing and the Nature/Culture Divide. European Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 9:2, pp. 272-87. (2006) (With David Inglis)

The Longest Day: 'Flexible' Contracts, Performance Related Pay and Risk Shifting in the UK Direct Selling Sector, Work, Employment & Society, Vol. 20:1, pp. 109-27. (2006)

Self Identity in a Global Context, in Robertson, R. & Scholte, J. A. Encyclopedia of Globalization, London: Routledge (2006)

Fordism & Post-Fordism, in Robertson, R. & Scholte, J. A. Encyclopedia of Globalization, London: Routledge (2006)

Social Class & Globalization, in Robertson, R. & Scholte, J. A. Encyclopedia of Globalization, London: Routledge (2006)

'Nature': Perceiving the 'Natural' Inside and Outside of Social Scientific Boundaries, Introduction to Nature: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences (4 volume edited collection), pp. 1-26. London: Routledge. (2005) (With David Inglis & Rhoda Wilkie)

The Social Map & the Problem of Order: A Re-evaluation of 'Homo Sociologicus', Theory & Science, Vol.6:1 (2005) http://theoryandscience.icaap.org/content/vol6.1/bone.html

Other Peer Reviewed Outputs

 (2015), “ADOVA: Anomaly Detection in Online and Virtual spAces”, COOS’15, pp. 38-41. http://www2.cs.siu.edu/~mas/coos15/Proceeding/proc15.pdf#page=43 (with Emele C.D., Spakov V., Pang W and Coghill G.M.)

Review Articles

Steven Rose's 21st Century Brain: Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind, Body & Society, Vol. 12: 1, pp. 121-2. (2006)

Other Reports

Firm Foundations: A Response to the Scottish Government's Housing Green Paper (2007) (co-author)


Pilot Study: 'On the Treadmill': scoping study on labour and housing market effects on young people's lives and well being. College Small Grant  £1620

CoI, ESRC Social Media - Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement, £541,922 (2014-2016)

PhD Supervision

Completed PhDs:

David Magee

Karen Lumsden

Dave McBey

Jeremy Watt

Paul Fleetwood

Sheila Lawrence


Undergraduate External Examiner   University of Exeter  2015-2018

Postgraduate External Examiner     University of Exeter   2015-2018

Membership Director  British Sociological Association       2014-2016

Vice Chair                 British Sociological Association      2017-2018

Chair                        British Sociological Association      2018-2021

Member                    British Academy, Strategic Forum for the Social Sciences    2020-2021


Conference Organising

Successful bid (with Professor Jeff Hyman, Aberdeen Business School) to bring the prestigious Work Employment and Society 2007 conference (c.250 delegates) to Aberdeen - member conference organising committee.

Membership Director (Board Member) British Sociologiocal Association: Organising Commitee of BSA Annual Conferences 2014-2016

Conference Papers and Contributions

The Nature of Structure. British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, April 2015.

Invited Presentation: Financialisation, The Credit Crisis and its Social Implications, Grand Challenges, Exeter University, June 2013.

Presentation: The ‘Hard Work’ Mantra in Hard Times: The Contradiction between Rhetoric and Reality in UK Work and Welfare Policy? British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, April 2013.

Presentation: UK Debt Wars: The Rentier Strikes Back, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Leeds, April 2012.

Presentation: The Social Map, Selfhood and the Regulation of Everyday Life’, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, April 2011.

Delegate: 'Personhood in a Neurobiological Age', Symposium organised by the European Neuroscience and Society Network, London School of Economics, September 2010

Invited Keynote Presentation: 'The Social Map, Selfhood and the Regulation of Everyday Life', Self, Society and History (International Cultural History Workshop), University of Aberdeen, June 2010.

Presentation: 'Deregulation, Markets and the Degrading of Conscience', British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, April 2010.

Delegate: 'Neurocultures' Workshop organised by the European Neuroscience and Society Network, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, February 2009.

Invited Presentation: The Scottish Housing Bubble: key commentators on Scottish housing and the economy address the current state of the Scottish housing market and its possible future, Edinburgh City Chambers, May 2008

Presentation: 'The Social Map & the Demodernization of the West', British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Warwick University, April 2008

Invited Presentation: Permanently Affordable Housing, How can it be delivered?, conference organised by Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, George Hotel, Edinburgh, January, 2008

Invited Presentation: An Alternative Housing Strategy for Scotland, University of Edinburgh, October 2007

Presentation: 'On the Treadmill: Demodernisation, Risk & Housing', Work Employment & Society, University of Aberdeen, September 2007

Invited Presentation: 'The Social Map & the Problem Of Order: the implications for cohesion and conflict within the European Union', ITENIBA conference on European Identities, Geary Institute, University College Dublin, January 2006

Presentation: 'The Longest Day: flexible working in value direct selling organisations', American Sociological Association, Annual Conference, San Francisco, August 2004

Presentation: 'Emotional Labour & The Fabricated Self', Work Employment & Society, Nottingham University, September 2001


Interviews, comment and appearances: BBC Radio 4; BBC Television Scotland; Grampian Television; Scottish Television; Channel 4 'Dispatches'; The Sunday Times; The Scotsman; The Herald; The Daily Mail; The Daily Express; The Big Issue; The Sun; The Mirror; Aberdeen Press & Journal and Evening Express.