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The University of Southampton
Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political Science
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Dr Rebecca F Taylor BA MA PhD (Essex)

Lecturer in Sociology, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Lead

Dr Rebecca F Taylor's photo

Rebecca Taylor joined the Department of Sociology Social Policy and Criminology in 2015 as a Lecturer in Sociology with an interest in work and employment and expertise in qualitative methodology.

My main focus is on the diversity of forms of unpaid work; not only volunteering but internships, working for free, and the development of open source software.

Prior to her role at Southampton Rebecca was a Lecturer in Sociology at Oxford Brookes University, a research fellow at the University of Birmingham at the ESRC funded Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) and before that at the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) in London. She is sociologist of work, employment and organisations with broad interests that span conceptual debates about paid and unpaid work; the nature of careers, occupations, and professions; employment policies and programmes; digital labour and digital transformation.

She is a co- director of the Work Futures Research Centre an interdisciplinary research and consultancy hub which draws on experts from across the University of Southampton. The centre aims to disseminate research, influence policy and practice though seminars, briefings, blogs and events and showcase cutting edge research on work and its futures.

Recent publications have included a chapter on Unpaid work for the Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Work and Employment, an article on the reproduction of inequality in the online labour market for Work Employment and Society, and another on Employee driven innovation in Health for Public Money and Management.

Rebecca has 20  years research experience and a longstanding interest in qualitative methodology, particularly qualitative longitudinal research, digital ethnography and research ethics. She is member of Quest, a group that brings together staff from across the University of Southampton who have expertise in the development, application and teaching of qualitative methods.

Research interests

Primary research group:
I am a Co-Director of the Work Futures Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

Research interests:
My research interests include understanding various forms of unpaid work in the public domain (internships, working for free, open-source software development and voluntary work); new and emerging occupations and industries; new institutionalism and field theory and the relationships between the third sector the market and the state and various forms of digital labour and digital transformation of work practices. Recent research has explored employee driven innovation in health and meaningful work in the third sector.

I’m keen to supervise doctoral students with an interest in any of these areas or the sociology of work more widely.

Research projects:
I am currently working on three research projects: A study of unpaid work in sustaining digital infrastructure for the Web Science Institute (WSI) at University of Southampton with Mark Weal. A study of digital transformation in frontline delivery with a focus on Domestic Abuse support in Southampton and London with Bea Gardner and Mark Weal also for WSI. A study of digital clergy and meaningful work with colleagues Gillian Symon and Rebecca Whiting at Royal Holloway and Birkbeck, University of London.

Undergraduate Programme Director - SSPC


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  • Pettinger, L., Parry, J., Taylor, R., & Glucksmann, M. (Eds.) (2006). A new sociology of work? (The Sociological Review Monographs). Wiley-Blackwell.

Book Chapters




Working Papers

I am teaching on a range of modules including undergraduate social theory and research methods courses at undergraduate and post graduate level.

I would be keen to supervise doctoral researchers in any of the following broad areas:

The sociology of work, employment and organisations; economic sociology; occupations, professions and industries; divisions of labour (gender, class, ethnicity); the delivery of public services particularly employment services; the third sector and voluntary work.

Dr Rebecca F Taylor
Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom


Room Number : 58/4059

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