Sylvia Walby

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Sylvia Walby
Born Sylvia Theresa Walby
(1953-10-16) 16 October 1953 (age 61)
Nationality British
Occupation Sociologist
Organization Lancaster University
Official website

Sylvia Theresa Walby (born 16 October 1953),[1] OBE FAcSS, is a British sociologist, currently Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. She is noted for work in the fields of the domestic violence, patriarchy, gender relations in the workplace and globalisation.

Walby is coordinator of the Gender Equality Research Network International (GENIe) the aim of which is to develop, through research, the knowledge base to understand and reduce gender inequality.[2] She is principal Investigator of the Lancaster node of Quing, an Integrated Project funded by the European Union under Framework 6 to investigate gender and citizenship in a multicultural context, 2006–2011, Member of the Executive Board, and Leader of the strand on Intersectionality. She is also co-organiser of an international network on Gender Globalization and Work Transformation (GLOW).

Walby is the first UNESCO Chair in Gender Research and coordinates the associated UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Group. She was appointed in 2008.


Walby has been Sociology Professor at the University of Leeds, Professor and Head of Department of Sociology at Bristol University; Reader in Sociology and Director of the Gender Institute at the LSE; Lecturer in Sociology and Director of the Women's Studies Research Centre at Lancaster University; Visiting Associate Professor in Sociology at UCLA and Honorary Visiting Scholar at the Schlesinger Library, Harvard University. She was the first President of the European Sociological Association and has been Chair of the Women's Studies Network UK.

Her current research is situated within the tension between general social theory and specific forms of inequality, especially gender. Over the years this led her from theories of patriarchy to a current concern to mainstream difference into social theory. She has an interest in economic matters, a fascination with new political forms, and concern with marginalised groups. Today, all of these issues are framed by globalisation, the understanding of which requires new forms of social theory, especially complexity theories.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.[3]

Current research themes and writing[edit]

Gender Equality Research Network International (GENIe)[edit]

Walby is coordinator of the Gender Equality Research Network International (GENIe).[2] The aim of GENIe is to develop, through research, the knowledge base to understand and reduce gender inequality.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is funding developmental workshops at Lancaster to take forward new ventures in gender analysis.

QUING: Gender Equality in the EU[edit]

Quing is an Integrated Project funded by the European Union under Framework 6 to investigate gender and citizenship in a multicultural context, 2006–2011. QUING is comparing the meanings of gender equality in each of the 27 EU member states, and Turkey and Croatia. This involves close textual analysis of key policy documents on gender equality in employment, gender-based violence and intimate citizenship, as well as the comparative analysis of the varied institutional and social structural environments under which these meanings develop. Quing will contribute to the development of gender theory, especially in relation to intersectionality and to the theorisation of differences in gender regimes, as well as to more effective gender equality policies. With partners in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey, the project is coordinated by professor Mieke Verloo in Vienna. The total budget is 4,742,000 Euros, with 634,000 Euros for Lancaster. Sylvia Walby is the Principal Investigator of the Lancaster node, Member of the Executive Board, and Leader of the strand on Intersectionality. The Lancaster node consists of, in addition to Walby, Dr. Jo Armstrong and Dr. Sofia Strid.

UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Group[edit]

Professor Sylvia Walby was appointed to the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research in 2008. Members of the UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Group include Dr Jo Armstrong and Dr Sofia Strid.[4] The objectives of the Chair are to:

  • facilitate the development of policy-relevant research on gender equality and women's human rights around the world;
  • support and develop international networking to facilitate the exchange of ideas, research and policy developments, especially between the North and South;
  • support research and build capacity on policy-relevant gender equality issues; curriculum development, student training at graduate level; staff exchanges;
  • facilitate exchanges between researchers and policy makers, in the context of UN instruments for promoting women's human rights and the Millennium Development Goals;
  • collaborate with UNESCO in its gender equality policy and strategy.

Social theory, Complexity theory[edit]

. Globalization and Complex Inequalities (Sage 2009) is a book from a long-term programme of research.

Gender, Globalization and Work Transformation[edit]

Walby is co-organiser of an international network on Gender Globalization and Work Transformation (GLOW), with members in US, Japan, Germany and UK. Key interests are in the relationship between the new knowledge based economy and new non-standard employment forms in the context of changing forms of regulation and deregulation and globalisation.

Gender-based violence[edit]

Work for the UN on improving statistics and indicators on violence against women:

Politics in a global era[edit]

Measuring Gender Equality[edit]

ESRC Gender seminars[edit]

ESRC funded seminar series, 'Gender Mainstreaming' 2003-4.

ESRC funded seminar series, 'What is Gender Equality', 2005-7[edit]

  • 2006, March. Gendering the Knowledge Economy, March 2006, special issue of Gender Work and Organization (forthcoming 2007).
  • 2006, May. 'Indicators and statistics of gender based violence'; co-hosted by Royal Statistical Society, Programme and presentations here.
  • 2007, April 'Developing indicators and official statistics to monitor the new duty to promote gender equality', Programme and presentations here.


  • Localities, Class and Gender (with Lancaster Regionalism Group) Pion 1985.
  • Patriarchy at Work, Polity 1986.
  • Gender Segregation at Work (edited) Sage 1988.
  • Theorizing Patriarchy, Blackwell 1990.
  • Restructuring Place Class & Gender (with Lancaster Regionalism Group) Sage 1990
  • Sex Crime in the News (with Soothill) Routledge 1991.
  • Out of the Margins (edited with Aaron) Falmer 1991.
  • Medicine and Nursing: Professions in a Changing Health Service (with Greenwell, MacKay and Soothill) Sage 1994
  • Gender Transformations, Routledge 1997.
  • European Societies: Fusion or Fission? (edited with Boye and Van Steenbergen, Routledge 1999).
  • New Agendas for Women (edited) (foreword by Clare Short) Macmillan 1999.
  • Contemporary British Society (with Abercrombie, Warde et al.) 3rd edition Polity 2000
  • Gendering the Knowledge Economy, March 2006, special issue of Gender Work and Organization (forthcoming 2007).
  • The Future of Feminism, Polity 2011


  1. ^ "Walby, Sylvia". Library of Congress. Retrieved 6 July 2014. Gender transformations, 1997: CIP t.p. (Sylvia Walby) data sheet (Sylvia Theresa Walby, b. 10-16-53) 
  2. ^ a b Lancaster University Department Of Sociology (December 20, 2007). "Gender Equality Research Network International" (PDF). Lancaster University. Retrieved 2008-06-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58729. p. 13. 14 June 2008.
  4. ^ [1]


  • The forced marriage debate and the British state. Amrit Wilson. Race & Class, 7 2007; vol. 49: pp. 25 – 38.
  • Integrationism: the politics of anti-Muslim racism. Arun Kundnani. Race & Class, 4 2007; vol. 48: pp. 24 – 44.
  • Equal Opportunities Commission: Meeting on gender statistics priorities 27 April 2006
  • Putting a Stop to Domestic Violence in the United Kingdom: Challenges and Opportunities. Nicola Harwin. Violence Against Women, 6 2006; vol. 12: pp. 556 – 567.
  • Economic and Social Research Council FIndings: Gendered links between economic development and democracy
  • What Is the EU? József Böröcz and Mahua Sarkar. International Sociology, 6 2005; vol. 20: pp. 153 - 173.
  • Telling feminist stories. Clare Hemmings. Feminist Theory, 8 2005; vol. 6: pp. 115 – 139.
  • Civic Activity – Feminine Activity?: Gender, Civil Society and Citizenship in Post-Soviet Russia. Suvi Salmenniemi. Sociology, 10 2005; vol. 39: pp. 735 – 753.
  • The Complexity Turn. John Urry. Theory, Culture & Society, 10 2005; vol. 22: pp. 1 – 14.
  • Passing on Feminism: From Consciousness to Reflexivity? Lisa Adkins. European Journal of Women's Studies, 11 2004; vol. 11: pp. 427 – 444.
  • Government News Network "The Cost of Domestic Violence" September 1, 2004
  • Family-Military Relations in Israel as a Genderizing Social Mechanism Hanna Herzog. Armed Forces & Society, 10 2004; vol. 31: pp. 5 – 30.
  • The Radical Right Gender Gap Terri E. Givens. Comparative Political Studies, 2 2004; vol. 37: pp. 30 – 54.
  • Women with a Mission: Lynda La Plante, DCI Jane Tennison and the Reconfiguration of TV Crime Drama. Deborah Jermyn. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 3 2003; vol. 6: pp. 46 – 63.
  • Emergent Feminist(?) Identities: Young Women and the Practice of Micropolitics. Shelley Budgeon. European Journal of Women's Studies, 2 2001; vol. 8: pp. 7 – 28.
  • THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE GENDERED ORGANIZATION. DANA M. BRITTON. Gender & Society, 6 2000; vol. 14: pp. 418 – 434.
  • Changing Femininity, Changing Concepts of Citizenship in Public and Private Spheres. Madeline Arnot, Helena Araujo, Kiki Deliyanni, and Gabrielle Ivinson. European Journal of Women's Studies, 5 2000; vol. 7: pp. 149 – 168.
  • More power to argument. Axeli Knapp. Feminist Theory, 8 2000; vol. 1: pp. 207 – 223.
  • Aspiring to a politics of alliance: response to Sylvia Walby's 'Beyond the politics of location: the power of argument in a global era. Ann Phoenix. Feminist Theory, 8 2000; vol. 1: pp. 230 – 235.
  • Being reasonable, telling stories. Rita Felski. Feminist Theory, 8 2000; vol. 1: pp. 225 – 229
  • Dress to Impress: Employer Regulation of Gay and Lesbian Appearance. P L Skidmore. Social & Legal Studies, 12 1999; vol. 8: pp. 509 – 529.
  • Women's Education in Colonial Tamil Nadu, 1900-1930: The Coalescence of Patriarchy and Colonialism. Padmini Swaminathan. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 3 1999; vol. 6: pp. 21 – 42.
  • Making Sociology More Inclusive. Margrit Eichler. Current Sociology, 4 1998; vol. 46: pp. 5 – 28.
  • Safety Talk:: Conceptualizing Women's Risk Assessment as a `Technology of the Soul'. ELIZABETH A. STANKO. Theoretical Criminology, 11 1997; vol. 1: pp. 479 - 499
  • Feminizing Paid Work. Boyd Current Sociology.1997; 45: 49-73. Gender, Education and Employment in Post-Mao China: Issues in Modernisation. Shirin M. Rai. China Report, 2 1993; vol. 29: pp. 1 - 14.
  • Making Connections: Feminism & Psychology and the BPS `Psychology of Women' Section. Sue Wilkinson. Feminism & Psychology, 11 1996; vol. 6: pp. 477 - 480.
  • "DEAR RESEARCHER": The Use of Correspondence as a Method within Feminist Qualitative Research. GAYLE LETHERBY and DAWN ZDRODOWSKI. Gender & Society, 10 1995; vol. 9: pp. 576 – 593.
  • Economic Strategies, Welfare Regimes and Gender Inequality in Employment in the European Union. Diane Perrons. European Urban and Regional Studies, 1 1995; vol. 2: pp. 99 – 120.
  • Media Constructions of Crime. VINCENT F. SACCO. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 5 1995; vol. 539: pp. 141 – 154.
  • Theorizing European Gender Systems. Simon Duncan. Journal of European Social Policy, 1 1995; vol. 5: pp. 263 – 284.
  • Theorizing Women's Studies Gender Studies and Masculinity: The Politics of Naming. Diane Richardson and Victoria Robinson. European Journal of Women's Studies, 5 1994; vol. 1: pp. 11 – 27.
  • Gender in the Formation of a Communist Body Politic. Christina Gilmartin. Modern China, 7 1993; vol. 19: pp. 299 – 329.
  • Challenging Practice of Challenging Women? Female Offending and Illicit Drug Use. Probation Journal, 6 1991; vol. 38: pp. 56 – 62.

External links[edit]