Norman Dennis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Norman Dennis
Born (1929-08-16)16 August 1929
Sunderland, Durham
Died 13 November 2010(2010-11-13) (aged 81)
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Occupation sociologist
Nationality British
Spouse Audrey Robson (1954–2010)
Children John Dennis
Julia Hodkinson

Norman Dennis (16 August 1929 – 13 November 2010) was a British sociologist.

Born one of four sons to a tram driver, Dennis was educated at Bede Collegiate Boys' School and was offered a place at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, but declined it in favour of London School of Economics, where he achieved a first in economics.[1] He held posts at Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham before finally holding a long-term post at Newcastle. He was there for 35 years.

He was a lifelong Labour supporter and was a Labour councillor in Millfield in Sunderland in the early 1970s. He was driven to do this by his disgust at the planned slum clearances in Sunderland at the time, which he opposed strongly. It was this that also inspired him to write about economic pressures and how they shape society.[2]

In 2011, Peter Hitchens described Dennis as "one of the most articulate and ferocious defenders of morals and justice in recent times".[3] Daily Telegraph news blogger, Ed West, described Dennis as "a key analyst of late 20th-century British society whose influence, I suspect, will stretch long into the 21st".[4]

Dennis died of leukaemia on 13 November 2010 in Sunderland, at 81.


  • Coal Is Our Life - An Analysis of a Yorkshire Mining Community (1956)
  • People and Planning (Society Today & Tomorrow) (1970)
  • Public Participation and Planner's Blight (1972)
  • English Ethical Socialism: Thomas More to R.H. Tawney (with A.H. Halsey) (1988)
  • Families Without Fatherhood (1992)
  • Rising Crime and the Dismembered Family (1993)
  • The Invention of Permanent Poverty (1997)
  • Racist Murder and Pressure Group Politics (2000)
  • Cultures and Crimes: Policing in Four Nations (2005)


  1. ^ "Politics Obituaries – Norman Dennis". The Daily Telegraph. London. 24 January 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Bob Hudson (28 November 2010). "Norman Dennis obituary – Sociologist known for his research into community, the family and housing". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Peter Hitchens (26 September 2011). "What Labour won't do, and ought to do". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "The death of an ethical English socialist". The Daily Telegraph. London. 12 January 2011. 

External links[edit]