Professor of Social Research
Department of Culture Communication & Media
All original photographs on this site copyrighted to Paul Dowling
The sumo rikishi on the previous page is Kitazakura. The photograph was taken in the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo in September 2004.
site updated 4th February 2017
|I am a sociologist. My field of interest includes the sociology of pedagogy and pedagogic relations, texts, strategies, sites, technologies and institutions, media and cultural studies, mathematics education and information and communications technology.|
The Sociology of Mathematics Education: Mathematical Myths/Pedagogic Texts (London, Falmer Press) introduced my general methodological approach ('constructive description') and my language for the analysis of pedagogic texts (now referred to as 'social activity method', SAM). Both have far wider potential fields of application than school mathematics and you don't have to be a mathematician or a mathematics teacher to read the book. Sociology as Method: departures from the forensics of culture, text and knowledge is now available from Sense Publishers (but cheaper at Amazon). This work extends the language considerably and also extends the range of applications, from film, to art, to classrooms, and so on.
The work also includes a fundamental engagement with the work of Basil Bernstein; here's the preface (don't let it put you off):
Qualitative Approaches and Methods in Social Research (public presentation at Toyo Eiwa University, Tokyo, 12th December 2015)
Archive site from the doctoral school course, Conceptualising and Designing Research
Fermented Shark! paper
New paper available via Springer Open Access: Social Activity Method (SAM): A fractal language for mathematics.
New Investigating Research MA Module site (updated to include the Spring 2016 run).
Ppt presentation to Japan Alumni Association, October 2010
Ppt presentation. Waseda Uni., Tokyo; Osaka Kyoiku Uni.; & Kyoto Uni., Japan, October 2010. Institute of Education's International Lecture Series.
Sociology as Method is now available from Amazon.
This is a ppt presentation that consists, mainly of SAM schemas.
Here is how to tame monsters!
Here is a new paper, Mathematics, Myth and Method: the problem of alliteration. Presented at Kings College, London, 25th November, 2008.
Here is a new site for the Theory, Knowledge & Method Special Interest Group.
Here is a new paper, 'Social Organising'
A new paper on the work that Andrew Brown and I carried out in three South African Schools in the mid-nineties is available here. This is Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, Sociology as Method: Departures from the forensics of culture, text and knowledge (Rotterdam: Sense).
I have now rewritten my critical essay on Basil Bernstein as Chapter 4 of this book.
And, in the light of recent discussion on the relationship between sociology and education, it occurred to me that this might be revived.
I'd also be grateful for any comments on my module for the University of London External Programme's Master of Research (Online) degree.
After graduating in physics from Imperial College, London, I taught mathematics in secondary schools for fifteen years. During this time I completed a Diploma in Education and an MA in the sociology of education. My doctoral thesis in the sociology of education was supervised by Basil Bernstein. I joined the Institute of Education as a lecturer in 1987, originally in the Department of Mathematics , Statistics & Computing. I joined CCS when it formed in 1995 and this group joined with two others to form CLC in january 2002. A number of re-organisations followed and I am currently a member of the Department of Culture Communication and Media. I have taught on Institute courses in Hong Kong, Brazil and Beijing and have taught, as a visitor, in a number of universities in South Africa. I am frequent visitor to Japan and spend a total of 4-5 months there each year.
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