Dr Neal Harris

BA (Hon), MA, PhD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

School of Law and Social Sciences

Neal Harris


I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology specialising in Critical Theory. My teaching and research are informed by the ideas of the early Frankfurt School, particularly their attempts to fuse philosophy, sociology, and psychoanalysis to develop an interdisciplinary and reflexive approach to scholarship and pedagogy. 

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

I am module leader for:

  • Foundations of Social Theory (SOCI4002) 
  • Gender and Society (SOCI5006) 
  • Sociology of Technology (SOCI6016) 


I am part of the teaching team for:

  • Foundation in Humanities (HUMS3002)
  • Contemporary Societies, Structure and Change (SOCI4004)
  • Theorising Society (SOCI6005)
  • Sociology Dissertation (SOCI6008)


I am supervising Dan Davis' exciting PhD project on Erich Fromm's conception of social character. I am keen to supervise further research students in the areas of Critical Theory, social theory, and alternative societies - just drop me an email if interested.


I am a social theorist specialising in Critical Theory, the critique of capitalism, and alternative societies. Previously my work was more delineated- I would work with my 'social theory hat' on - producing books such as Critical Theory & Social Pathology (Manchester U.P., 2022) and Pathology Diagnosis and Social Research (Palgrave 2021) and then work more on applied sociological projects seperately - such as Capitalism and Its Critics, with Gerard Delanty (Routledge, 2022) and Thinking Beyond Neoliberalism with Onur Acaroglu, (Palgrave, 2022). Now, I am increasingly fusing my interests in social theory and the critique of capitalism, with my proposed fourth monograph, Critical Theory and Alternative Societies (MUP, under review) seeking to explicitly connect these research interests. My other current project is a critical introduction to social theory, which is being co-authored with Dr Maia Pal. The indicative title is Foundations of Social Theory: Too Male, Pale, and Frail? (Routledge, 2023). 

Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Platform Co-Operatives: for a Democratic Digital Economy (26/01/2024 - 02/02/2024), funded by: Sociological Review Foundation, funding amount received by Brookes: £1,430


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

I am a Fellow of the HEA.


September 2017, University of Sussex, UK

I was respondent to Professor Lois McNay’s (Politics, Cambridge) paper: ‘Alessandro Ferrara’s theory of disclosing critique’.

November 2018, University of Cork, Ireland

I presented a paper on Erich Fromm’s theory of social pathology at the Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilisation conference.

April 2019, Ashoka University, Sonipat, India

I gave a lecture on my forthcoming paper on Adorno and Social Pathology to the Philosophy department.

July 2019, University of Wuppertal, Germany

I was an invited speaker at the Adorno Conference organised by Heinz Sünker.

November 2019, University of Brighton, UK

I was an invited speaker at the Critical Theory in (A Time of) Crisis Conference. I presented on Adorno and Social Pathology.

July 2020, ISA, Porto Allegre, Brazil

Panel member for 'Alienation and Social Pathology' - Event postponed.

Further details

I am on the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Social Theory, the German review - the SLR, and I was previously active with the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.

I convene a research group on Alternatives to Capitalism, which is co-hosted by Oxford Brookes and the University of Brighton, Sussex, UK.

At Oxford Brookes, I am part of the Global Politics, Economy, and Social (GPES) research centre. I am currently convenor of the Cultures, Identities and Divisions research group.