Robert van Krieken


Robert van Krieken is Professor of Sociology at the University of Sydney, having also been Professor of Sociology at University College Dublin between 2009 and 2011. He has also been President of RC 53 Sociology of Childhood and is on the Board of WG02 Historical and Comparative Sociology. His research interests include the sociology of organisations, law, criminology, childhood, processes of civilization and decivilization, cultural genocide, and the history and sociology of celebrity, as well as contributing to the theoretical debates around the work of Elias, Foucault, Luhmann and Latour. Previous books include Norbert Elias (1998), Celebrity and the Law (2010, co-authored) Celebrity Society (2012) and Sociology 5th edition (2014, co-authored). His journal articles have been published in Sociological Review, Sociology, British Journal of Sociology, Economy & Society, Journal of Sociology, and Theory & Society.  – In relation to the sociology of organisations, he is especially interested in drawing on Weber, Foucault, and Elias in understanding the ways in which social structures and dynamics are underpinned by particular organisational or institutional forms, how those forms of organisation interweave with particular psychological dispositions, and how that interlinking of structure and habitus changes over time, using Weber’s concepts of discipline and rationalisation, Foucault’s account of discipline and government, and Elias’s concepts of civilization and decivilization. Most recently he has extended Elias’s account of ‘court society’ to analyse ‘celebrity society’, drawing out the linkages between the two in terms of their institutional structuring of interaction and habitus. – His aim in Vienna, as the President of RC17, is to take advantage of this unique gathering of the most outstanding researchers in contemporary sociology, to strengthen the place of organisational sociology in the various scholarly activities of the ISA, highlighting the enormous analytical value of including a sensitivity to organisational structure and dynamics in all sociological research. Web: