Professor Gregor McLennan

Professor Gregor McLennan

Professor Gregor McLennan

G.09, 4 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)

Telephone Number (0117) 3310792

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Personal profile

Gregor McLennan holds the Established Chair of Sociology and is a Fellow of the Academiy of Social Sciences. Gregor was Head of SPAIS from 2013-17; Head of Department of Sociology, 2000-2003; Director of the University's Institute for Advanced Studies, 2009-12; and Warden of Goldney Hall, 2004-14. Following postgraduate studies at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, Gregor worked as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences in the Open University 1979-1991, and prior to taking up his position at Bristol, Gregor was Professor of Sociology and Head of Department at Massey University, New Zealand, 1991-7. As well as being co-editor of five themed volumes in social and political theory (including The Idea of the Modern State (1984)), McLennan is the author of Marxism and the Methodologies of History (1981), Marxism, Pluralism and Beyond (1989), Pluralism (1995), Sociological Cultural Studies: Reflexivity and Positivity in the Human Sciences (2006), Exploring Society (4th edition 2019 - co-authored), and Story of Sociology (2011). 

story cover


Main general research interests: social theory, ideology and politics, philosophy of social sciences

Current work revolves around a critical evaluation of postcolonial and postsecular social theory in relation to the legacy of the radical enlightenment and the nature of social science. 

Other ongoing themes: versions of sociological theory; sociology and cultural studies; complexity theory and critical realism; Marxism and post-Marxism; literature and social theory.

Some recent publications are given below.


Undergraduate: Key Social Thinkers

Postgraduate: Philosophy of Social Science

Key publications

  1. McLennan, G, 2019, ‘The postsecular Marx’. Journal of Classical Sociology, vol 19., pp. 72-86
  2. McLennan, G, 2019, ‘Postsecular Plasticity: Expansive Secularism’. in: Justin Beaumont (eds) Routledge Handbook of Postsecularity. Routledge, London & New York, pp. 247-57
  3. McLennan, G, 2016, ‘The Centre's Marxism(s): "A little modest work of reconstruction"?’. in: Kieran Connell, Matthew Hilton (eds) Cultural Studies 50 Years On: History, Practice and Politics. Rowman and Littlefield International, London & New York, pp. 137-148
  4. McLennan, G, 2015, ‘Is Secularism History?’. Thesis Eleven, vol 128., pp. 126-140
  5. McLennan, G, 2014, ‘Sociology, Cultural Studies and the Cultural Turn’. in: J Holmwood, J Scott (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 510-535
  6. McLennan, G, 2014, ‘Complicity, complexity, historicism: problems of postcolonial sociology’. Postcolonial Studies, vol 17., pp. 451-64
  7. McLennan, G, 2013, ‘Postcolonial Critique: the Necessity of Sociology’. Political Power and Social Theory, vol 24., pp. 119-144
  8. McLennan, G, 2010, ‘Eurocentrism, Sociology, Secularity’. in: EGRodrigues , MBoatca , SCosta (eds) Decolonizing European Sociology: Transdisciplinary Approaches. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., pp. 119 - 134

Latest publications

  1. McLennan, G, 2020, ‘Religious Returns: Marxism, Postsecularism, Theology’. in: Beverley Skeggs, Alberto Toscana, Sara Farris (eds) The Sage Handbook of Marxism. SAGE Publications Ltd, London
  2. McLennan, G, 2017, ‘Is Sociology Secular?’. in: Elaina Andreakaina, Rosa Vasilaki (eds) Conversations: The Promise of Humanities and Social Sciences. Pedio, Athens, pp. 157-77

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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