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 who enjoys researching and teaching on themes related to the digital, technology, and social transformation. My work draws upon different traditions within social and political thought, principally Frankfurt School Critical Theory, but also Science and Technology Studies, Decolonial Theory, and Gender Studies.

I currently teach on four undergraduate modules, provide PhD supervision and go out into local schools as part of the Widening Participation Team.

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.


My current research draws upon concepts from across social and political theory to explore how technology, and especially the digital and AI revolutions, are reshaping our social lives. I am now finalising my third monograph, Critical Theory and Alternative Societies: Universal Basic Income, Platform Co-Operatives, and Mutual Aid (Manchester University Press, under contract); speaking to these themes. I have published various papers on this topic in internationally recognised journals, including: Journal of Classical Sociology, Critical Sociology, European Journal of Social Theory, TripleC, and Thesis Eleven.

I have also long been interested in theorising capitalism more broadly, and co-authored a book with Professor Gerard Delanty on this topic, Capitalism and its Critics (Routledge 2022).

I am also invested in the question of how we should be theorise obstacles to progressive social change, and my first book on this topic was Critical Theory and Social Pathology: The Frankfurt School Beyond Recognition (Manchester University Press 2022). I have published journal articles on this topic, including guest-editing a special issue of European Journal of Social Theory.

Research impact

Since February 2022, I have been co-leading a network, 'Alternatives to Capitalism', which has brought together third-sector partners, academics, and activists. We have organised 10 round table events with the most recent being awarded external funding from The Sociological Review Foundation. To date, we have had 83 different presentations and our next event, on 31st May, will focus on Knowledge Exchange.

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


slide 1 of 6

Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • 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.
  • May 2023, Interdisciplinary Research Conference, Oxford Brookes: I presented a paper titled 'what is neoiberalism anyway?'
  • December 2023, Democratic Theory, Canberra, Australia (Online): Panel member for discussion 'Democratising the Economy'


  • External examiner for the sociology programme at Nottingham Trent University.

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.