Martin Bulmer joined the department in February 1995. He was previously professor of sociology at the University of Southampton, 1993-1995, and before that taught at LSE for seventeen years in the Department of Social Science and Administration. He has also been a member of the Government Statistical Service and a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. He is Director of the Question Bank (a WWW resource) based at the University of Surrey. He also directs the ESRC Survey Link Scheme. He is also a Director of the department's Institute of Social Research, and an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.
His research interests cover the methodology of social research, the history of the social sciences, the study of ethnicity and race, the application of sociology to public policy, and the sociology of social care. He undertook an ESRC-funded project on the problems of making electronic questionnaires in CAPI (computer assisted personal interviewing), which are administered from a lap-top computer, intelligible when translated into a paper equivalent, for display in a setting such as the Question Bank. The second edition of the DIRECTORY OF SOCIAL RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS IN THE UK, which he directed, was published in 1998. He is the editor (with John Solomos) of RACISM (Oxford Readers, OUP, 1999) and RESEARCHING RACE AND RACISM (Routledge, 2004) and of QUESTIONNAIRES (Sage, 2004).
Editor of the international academic journal ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, based in the department, published eight times per year.
Member, editorial board, American Behavioral Scientist, the Sociological Quarterly, and Minerva.
Vice Chair, Executive Board of the Research Committee (08) on the History of Sociology, International Sociological Association, 1998-2006.
Sociology as we know it began in the twentieth century. The Polish Peasant was the first great work of empirical sociology. It was pioneering, it was unique and it involved the collaboration of an established American figure and his young Polish collaborator. It was a notable achievement of the Chicago School but it was unlike many of the classic Chicago urban and criminological studies. The authors did not collaborate again after 1918 for reasons which I will explain.
This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book attempts to redress the underdeveloped state of conceptualization in empirical sociological research. Analysis of the role of concepts in empirical social research has been to a very considerable extent neglected, both a symptom and a cause of the gulf which continues to separate sociological theory from sociological research. The book shows that the process of developing a construct or variable as part of a theory is much more complicated than that. In order to form an explanatory theory, concepts must be interrelated. But concepts do act as a means of storing observations of phenomena which may at a future time be used in a theory. The book illustrates the ways in which concepts and indicators have changed over time.