Staff profile

Dr Simon Speck

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Simon Speck explaining to a student


Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Criminology and Social Sciences, Derby Law School


One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I teach modules across all three years of the Sociology degree programme with particular responsibility for the social theory 'strand'.  I also supervise PhD students and am responsible for co-ordinating the Erasmus European Exchange Programme in Sociology.

Teaching responsibilities

I am responsible for module leadership of the social theory 'strand' across the three years of the Sociology programme and for a number of modules on substantive topics. I teach the first year modules 'Thinking Sociologically', the second year modules 'Sociology of Childhood and Youth', 'Globalisation and Social Change' and 'Capitalism, Culture & Class: Social Theory in Classical Modernity', and the third year modules 'Power, Discourse and Danger: Social Theory Today', and 'Humour and Society'. I am also module leader for the Stage 3 double-module 'Independent Studies'.

Research interests

My research interests are grounded in an engagement with classical and contemporary social theory as it is rooted in the 'continental' tradition of modern philosophy and as it enables an understanding of the social, cultural and political challenges of the present. I have undertaken research on the continuing relevance of the Marxian theoretical legacy, the shifting significance of religion in contemporary society and the reconceptualisation of 'modernity' in current social theory. I am currently researching the reasons for the ubiquity of humour, laughter and comic phenomena in contemporary culture.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the British Sociological Association.


Recent conferences

In the media

I have commentated on social, cultural and political trends for BBC Radio Derby and written for The Derby Evening Telegraph.

Recent publications