Richard Sennett

Professor Emeritus, London School of Economics and Political Science

University of London

Richard Sennett has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts -- about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory.  As a social analyst, Mr. Sennett continues the pragmatist tradition begun by William James and John Dewey.

In the mid 1990s, as the work-world of modern capitalism began to alter quickly and radically, Mr. Sennett began a project charting its personal consequences for workers, a project which has carried him up to the present day. The first of these studies, The Corrosion of Character (1998) is an ethnographic account of how middle-level employees make sense of the “new economy.” The second in the series, Respect in a World of Inequality (2002) charts the effects of new ways of working on the welfare state; a third, The Culture of the New Capitalism (2006) provides an over-view of change. Most recently, Mr. Sennett has explored more positive aspects of labor in The Craftsman (2008), and in Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation (2012).