Dr Neal Harris

BA (Hon), MA, PhD, FHEA

Lecturer in Sociology

School of Social Sciences

Neal Harris


I am a Sociology Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. I work within the Frankfurt School tradition of Critical Theory and enjoy various research and teaching commitments (see below). 

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

I am module leader for:

  • Foundations of Social Theory (SOCI4002) 
  • Gender and Society (SOCI5006) 
  • Sociology of Technology (SOCI6015) 


I am part of the teaching team for:

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


I am interested in hearing from students wishing to pursue research in social theory, especially in Frankfurt School Critical Theory.


I work within the interdisciplinary Frankfurt School Critical Theory tradition. I am particularly interested in how critical social theory engages with big social problems (global warming, capitalism, nationalism, patriarchy, digital totalitarianism etc). My research has largely focused on the 'social pathology' framework, an approach to engaging with these concerns which comes from the left-Hegelian tradition. 

Research group membership

Since 2017, I have been on the organising committee of the Marx and Philosophy Society. I have an editorial role with the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.

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.

Research grants and awards

I was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant in 2017 to support my research into social pathology.

Research projects

I believe recent developments in Frankfurt School Critical Theory have blunted the tradition's capacity for impactful social research. I seek to retrieve the critical normative-diagnostic core of the tradition - social pathology diagnosis - from the clutches of a philosophically and politically problematic recognition turn. 

In this regard, I am currently writing up a monograph titled: Critical Theory and Social Pathology: Reclaiming the Marxian Heritage - to be published 2022 with Manchester University Press. 

I have an edited volume shortly to be published with Palgrave Macmillan: Social Pathology and Social Research: New Perspectives and Explorations, which opens with contributions from Gerard Delanty and Michael J. Thompson

I am also increasingly interested in thinking about political and social transition and am thus co-editing a volume with Onur Acaroglu, titled Thinking Beyond Neoliberalism: Theorising Transition and Resistance. We are due to submit the manuscript to Palgrave MacMillan in May 2021.

Centres and institutes



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies




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 and the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.