Professor Howard Davis

BA Cambridge; PhD Edinburgh; HonDoc Kazan KFU

Howard Davis
Professor of Social Theory & Institutions
01248 382123
Room 108, Neuadd Ogwen

Professor Howard Davis - Overview

I am Professor of Social Theory and Institutions at Bangor and Co-Director of the Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD).

I worked previously at the universities of Kent, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I have been at Bangor since 1997 and was Head of the School of Social Sciences from 1999-2007.

My principal research interests are in the sociology of culture, identities and belonging, and the impact of social change on individuals and communities.

As a founder member of the Glasgow Media Group I co-authored numerous publications by the group on television news reporting. I have published on the trajectories of social and cultural change in western and eastern Europe before and after the end of communism, combining my research interests in post-Soviet culture and social change with a series of EU funded projects to develop the social sciences curriculum at Kazan Federal University and the central Volga region of Russia. I was scientist-in-charge at Bangor of the EU Framework 7 EUROIDENTITIES project (2008-11). Currently I am co-investigator on the ESRC large grant WISERD Civil Society (2014-19) which is examining civil society, participation and change in Wales and beyond.


Research Interests

Civil society in Wales; social theories of culture and creativity; cultural formations and transitions in post-Soviet societies; the formation of social identities at local, national and international levels; research methods for the sociological analysis of culture, identities and belonging.

Research grants since 2005

2014-17 WISERD Civil Society: Researching Civic Participation in Wales, in place and over time (in collaboration with Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and South Wales universities ESRC Large Grant ES/L009099/1).

2008-12 Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) A multidisciplinary,collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea. Funded by HEFCW and ESRC. 

2009-12 PRIMO_RF: Development of the Model for Professional Recognition of Foreign Qualifications in Russia (Tempus IV Structural Measure ETF-SM-00063-2008 partnership with USTU Ekaterinburg, University of Genoa, Nuffic Netherlands, St Petersburg State Technological University, other universities and public bodies in the Russian Federation)

2008-11 The Evolution of European Identity: Using biographical methods to study the development of European identity (EU 7th Framework Programme)
Bangor team: Howard Davis, Sally Baker, Marta Eichsteller, Graham Day. This project was coordinated by Professor Robert Miller from Queen’s University, Belfast. Other partners: the Institute of Sociology, Magdeburg, Germany; the Department of European Culture Studies, University of Lodz, Poland; the School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia; the Institute of Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria; and the Department of Sociology, ‘Frederico II’ University, Naples, Italy.
Project website:

2007 Mothers, wives and changing lives: uncovering the forgotten histories of women in mid-twentieth century Wales (British Academy Small Research Grant, SG-45236 – Dr Sally Baker, Research Associate)

2006-07 Creativity in Film and Television in an Interactive Environment (AHRC Nature of Creativity Workshops – with Dr Christine Daymon, Bournemouth University)

2005-07 Tolerance and Intolerance in the Post-Soviet Press: Applying New Methods of Measurement and Evaluation (EU INTAS Thematic project 04-79-6813)

2005-07 Discourses of Identity and Diversity: representation of migration in the British and Russian press (EU INTAS 04-83-3517 Young Scientist Fellowship - Dr Anna Sosnovskaya, St Petersburg State University)

2005 Questions of Collective Identity in Europe (British Academy grant for international workshop, with Professor R Miller, Queen’s University, Belfast)

2004-05 In-Migration to North Wales: Social Identity and Interaction (University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies. Co-investigator G. Day; Research Associate Dr A. Drakakis-Smith)


Journal Articles

Rafieian, S. and Davis, H. (2016) ‘Dissociation, reflexivity and habitus’ European Journal of Social Theory online before print May 13, 2016.
doi: 10.1177/1368431016646516

Baker, S., Brown, B.J. and Davis, H.H. (2013) ‘“We always invite residents to come along …” Discourses of citizenship among local government stakeholders’ Contemporary Wales 26: 205-223.          

Davis, H. and Erofeev, S. (2011) ‘Reframing Society and Culture in Post-Soviet Russia’ Comparative Sociology 10:5, pp. 710-734.

Day, G., Davis, H. and Drakakis-Smith, A. (2010) ‘“There’s one shop you don’t go into if you are English”: the social and political integration of English migrants into Wales’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36:9 pp. 1405-1423.  

Drakakis-Smith, A., Day, G. and Davis, H. H. (2010) ‘Inside Out: An “English” Diaspora in North West Wales?’ Immigrants and Minorities 28: 1, pp. 42-69 

Davis, H. and Sosnovskaya, A. (2009) ‘Representations of Otherness in Russian Newspapers: the theme of migration as a counterpoint to Russian national identity’ Journal of Intercultural Communication Vol. 21, October ISSN 1404-1634

Day, G , Drakakis-Smith, A, and Davis, H (2008) ‘Migrating to North Wales: the 'English' experience', Contemporary Wales Vol 21 101-12,

Drakakis-Smith, A., Day, G. and Davis, H. (2008) Portrait of a Locality? The local press at work in North West Wales 2000-2002, Contemporary Wales, 21, 25-26.

Davis, H. and Yerofeyev, S. (2007) The Regional and the Global in the Context of Changing Cultural Production, Regionologiia, 4, 5-14 (in Russian) ISSN 0131-5706

Alvarez-Veinguer, A. and Davis, H. (2007) Building a Tatar Elite: Language and National Schooling in Kazan, Ethnicities, 7: 2, 186-207.

Davis, H., Day, G. and Drakakis-Smith, A. (2006) Being English in North Wales: in-migration and the in-migrant experience, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 12: 3-4, pp. 577-598.   

Davis, H. (2005) Mediating Religion in Post-Soviet Russia: Orthodoxy and National Identity in Broadcasting, Studies in World Christianity, 11:1, pp.65-86

Davis, H, Hammond, P and Nizamova, L (2000) Media, language policy and cultural change in Tatarstan: historic vs. pragmatic claims to nationhood, Nations and Nationalism, 6, 2, pp. 203-226.

Davis, H., Hammond, P. and Nizamova, L. (2000) Media, Language Policy and Cultural Change in Tatarstan: historic vs. pragmatic claims to nationhood. Nations and Nationalism, 6: 2, pp. 203-226.

Davis, H., Hammond, P. and Nizamova, L. (1998) Changing Identities and Practices in Post-Soviet Journalism: the case of Tatarstan, European Journal of Communication, 13:1, pp. 77-97.

Davis, H. and Levy, C. (1992) The Regulation and Deregulation of Television: a British/West European Comparison, Economy and Society 21: 4, pp. 453-82.

Davis, H. and Walton, P. (1983) Sources of Variation in News Vocabulary: A Comparative Analysis, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 40, pp. 59-75.

Chapters in Books

Rafieian, S. and Davis, H. (2016) ‘Hypnosis, placebo and performance: recovering the relational aspects of medicine’ Chapter 6 in Farzad Goli (ed.) Studies in Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality Volume 5 Biosemiotic Medicine: Healing in the World of Meaning, Basel: Springer International, pp.133-150. ISBN 978-3-319-35092-9 

Davis, H. (2015) ‘False Self-Employment’ in M. Dawson  et al Stretching the Sociological Imagination: essays in honour of John Eldridge Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 83-98. ISBN: 978-1-137-49363-7

Davis, H. (2015) ‘Alain Touraine’ International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition.  Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 459–464

Davis, H., Day, G., Baker, S. and Eichsteller, M. (2012) ‘International Education in the Life Course’ in R. Miller with G. Day eds. The Evolution of European Identities: Biographical Approaches Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 45-60.

Davis, H., Day, G. and Drakakis-Smith, A. (2010) Attitudes to language and culture among English immigrants to North Wales, in D. Morris ed. Welsh in the 21st Century Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Davis, H. (2009) Revisiting the concept of the public intellectual, in C Fleck, A Hess and E S Lyon (Eds), Intellectuals and their Publics, Farnham: Ashgate pp 261-69.  

Davis, H. and Yerofeyev, S. (2000) Media System Research and Problems of Fragmentation of Post-Soviet Society, in A. Sogomonov and S. Kukhterin eds. Aspects: Social Theory and Modern Society Moscow: Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, pp. 27-51. (In Russian)  ISBN: 5-89697-043-9

Davis, H. (1999) Class and Status, in M. Cook and G. Davie, eds. Modern France: Society in Transition, London: Longman, pp. 15-33.

Davis, H. (1997) Cultural Implications of the Single Market for Television Programmes, in N. B. Kuran ed. Multiculturalism: Identity and Otherness, Istanbul: University of Bogaziçi University Press, pp. 13-34.

Davis, H. (1993) Media Research: Whose Agenda? in J. Eldridge ed. Getting the Message: News, truth and power, London: Routledge, pp. 34-49.

Davis, H. (1992) Social Stratification in Europe, in J. Bailey ed. Social Europe Longman pp. 17-35. Revised for 2nd. Edition 2000 and reprinted in I. Marsh ed. Classic and Contemporary Readings in Sociology Harlow: Longman 1998.

Davis, H. (1991) The Language of Television News, in R. Cochrane and D. Carroll eds. Psychology and Social issues: a tutorial text  Falmer Press, pp. 182-192.

Davis, H. (1989) Crisis and Conflict in East European State Socialism, in R. Scase ed. Industrial Societies: crisis and division in western capitalism and state socialism Unwin Hyman, pp.183-214. 

H. Davis (1987) ‘Class and the Media’ in J. Seaton and B. Pimlott eds. The Media in British Politics, Gower, pp. 25-44.

H. Davis (1987) Independent Economic Activity Under State Socialism: is there a petite bourgeoisie in eastern Europe? in R. Goffee and R. Scase eds. Entrepreneurship in Europe: the social process, London: Croom Helm. Pp. 144-163.

Davis, H. (1986) ‘The New Cold War’ in H. Davis ed. Ethics and Defence, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 173-87.

Davis, H.  (1986) Introduction: Thinking the Unthinkable, in H. Davis ed. Ethics and Defence Oxford: Blackwell, pp.1-20.

Davis, H. (1985) Discourse and Media Influence, in T.A. van Dijk ed. Discourse Analysis and Communication: new approaches to the analysis of mass media discourse and communication, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 44-59.

Davis, H. and Walton, P. (1983) Death of a Premier: consensus and closure in international news, in H. Davis and P. Walton eds. Language, Image, Media,  Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 8-49. 


Davis, H. and Scase, R. (2000) Managing Creativity: The Dynamics of Work and Organisation, Buckingham: Open University Press, 182 pp.

Rootes, C. and Davis, H. eds. (1994) A New Europe? Social Change and Transformation, London: UCL Press, 210 pp.

Rath, C. D., Davis, H., Garçon, F., Bettetini, G. and Grasso, A. (1990) Le Televisioni in Europa 2 vols. (Italian) Turin: Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, 1500 pp.

Davis, H. ed. Ethics and Defence: Power and Responsibility in the Nuclear Age, Oxford: Blackwell 1986, 296 pp.

Davis, H. and Scase, R. (1985) Western Capitalism and State Socialism: an introduction, Oxford: Blackwell 1985, 202 pp.

Davis, H. and Gosling, D. eds. (1985) Will the Future Work?: Values for emerging patterns of work and employment Geneva: World Council of Churches, 170 pp.

Davis, H. and Walton, P. eds. (1983) Language, Image, Media, Oxford: Blackwell, 310 pp.

Philo, G., Hewitt, J., Beharrell, P. and Davis H. (1982) Really Bad News, London: Writers and Readers, 170 pp.

Glasgow University Media Group (1980) More Bad News Vol 2, London: Routledge, 450 pp. Reprinted 2010 as a Routledge Revival ISBN: 978-0-415-56787-9 (paperback) 978-0-415-56376-5 (hardback).

Glasgow University Media Group (1976) Bad News Vol 1, London: Routledge, 310 pp. Reprinted 2010 as a Routledge Revival ISBN: 978-0-415-56790-9 (paperback) 978-0-415-56377-2 (hardback)

Davis H. (1978) Beyond Class Images: explorations in the structure of social consciousness, London: Croom Helm, 213pp.

Research Students

Research Students - Supervisor

Miyoung Ahn
Sense of belonging as an indicator for social capital: mixed methods analysis of students’ sense of belonging to university

T Chubb
Exploding the community: materialities of the Manchester LGBT community

H M Khalil
Political sociology of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Awarded PhDs

S Rafieian Koupaei (2015) Dissociation, unconscious and social theory: towards an embodied relational sociology

P Pustulka (2014) Polish mothers on the move: gendering migratory experiences of Polish women parenting in Germany and the United Kingdom.

D Evans (2014) Post-devolution Welsh identity in Porthcawl: an ethnographic analysis of class, place and everyday nationhood in ‘British Wales’

T Crew (2014) Beyond Graduation: trajectories of graduates from higher education in North Wales.

M Eichsteller (2014) Becoming a citizen of the world: a sociological study of biographical narratives of new cosmopolitans.

I Rasool (2013) Female suicide and attempted suicide in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: a study of social factors.

W Livingston (2013) ‘Not from a book’: the acquisition of knowledge and its use in practice by social workers, with particular regard to alcohol.

J McKay (2011) Categorisation and special educational needs: implementing the special education needs code of practice for Wales.

S Putit (2007) The Role of Evaluation in the Public Sector Organization.

L. Owen (2003) Prosecutorial judgement in the youth justice system.

A. Alvarez (2002) Institutionalising Identities: Policies for the Development of Tatar Education in Russia.

Teaching and Administration

Undergraduate Teaching

SXU2002          Contemporary Social Debates
SXU2010          Dissertation Preparation
SXU3010          Dissertation

Postgraduate Teaching

SXU4002          The Research Process
SXU4016          Dissertation

Administrative Responsibilities

Director of Studies in Sociology

Other activities


Davis, H., Dallimore, D., Eichsteller, M. and Mann, R. (2016) Civil Society: participation in place and over time (Panel) WISERD Annual Conference, Swansea, 13-14 July.

Davis, H., Heley, J. and Mann, R. (2016) Site Selection Issues for Small Area Field Research (Panel), ESRC Research Methods Festival, Bath, 5-7 July.

Davis, H. (2014) False Self-Employment, Stretching the Sociological Imagination: John Eldridge Festschrift Conference, University of Glasgow, 16-17 September.

Davis, H. (2014) The Category of Religion in Alain Touraine’s Critique of Modernity, ISA World Congress, Yokohama, 13-19 July.

Davis, H. and Krayer, A. (2014) Embedding NVivo in postgraduate social research training, 6th ESRC Methods Festival, Oxford, 8-10 July.

Davis, H. (2012) Session chair: Still postsocialism? Cultural memory and social transformations, Kazan EU Centre Conference, Kazan 19-20 May.

Davis, H. (2012) Invited keynote: Chasing the European identity – how do people living in small towns feel their Europeanness? Trans in Form, Warsaw, 21-23 May.

Davis, H. (2012) Welsh & European Identities: Exploring Europe through biographical narratives, WISERD Annual Conference, Bangor, 28-29 March.

Davis, H. (2010) Language Acquisition in Biographical Narratives: Steps in Supranational Identity Formation, ISA World Congress of Sociology, Gothenburg, 11-17 July.

Davis, H., Baker, S. and Kowalska, M. (2009) Educational and other encounters: narratives of mobility and the biographical significance of international study and training in Europe, European Sociological Association, Lisbon 2-5 September. 

Davis, H., Baker, S., Day, G. and Kowalska, M. (2009) Exploring European identities through biographical narrative interviews, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Cardiff 16-18 April.. 

H Davis (2009) Biographical Research Methods: an international module’ Annual Conference of Association of UK Higher Education European Officers (HEURO) University of Birmingham, 27 February.

Davis, H. (2007) Managing creativity in different creative sectors, Creativity and the Creative Value Chain seminar series, Business School and CURS, University of Birmingham, 30 November 2007.

Davis, H. (2007) Invited participant, Workshop on INTAS Young Scientists’ Programme: Results, Lessons and Prospects, Tomsk State University, Russia 27-29 June.

Davis, H. (2007) Media Images of Power in Contemporary Russia, Centre for Russian Studies Seminar series on Representations of Power in Russia, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London, 19 March.

Davis, H. (2007) ‘Thinking (through) interactivity’ AHRC Creativity Network Workshop, Bournemouth University, 2 March.

Davis, H. and Sosnovskaya, A. (2006) Visual representations of the Russian presidency: power and identity in the post Soviet press, The Mass Media in Post-Soviet Russia, International Conference, University of Surrey 6-8 April.


My main administrative responsibilities are connected with my role as WISERD Co-Director for Bangor and as member of the WISERD Executive. In addition I am:

Member of the WISERD annual conference organizing team

Member of the WISERD Language, Citizenship and Identity thematic group

Professional activities

Memberships: British Sociological Association; European Sociological Association; International Sociological Association.

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, 2011 -

Visiting professor and co-supervisor of students on the international PhD programme in Sociology at the Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan.

Academic advisor to the Institute for Comparative Studies of Modernity, Kazan Federal University, 2010 -

Co-organiser of international conference on intersectionality and spaces of belonging, Bangor University, June 2012.

Referee for research grant applications including ESRC, ORA/DFG and Leverhulme Trust.

Reviewer for academic publishers including Blackwell, Arnold, Cambridge University Press, Longman, Macmillan/Palgrave, Sage, Manchester University Press, Edwin Mellen, Leuven University Press.

Referee for academic journals including European Journal of Communication, Interdisciplinary Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Ethnicities, Sociological Review, Sociological Research Online, Europe-Asia Studies, J. of African American Studies, Social Policy & Society.

External Examiner/Assessor for programmes at the universities of Plymouth (2001 - 2005), Strathclyde (1998), University College Dublin (2002 - 2005), UWIC (2001); and external examiner for PhD’s at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Kent, Bournemouth, Stirling, UCD Dublin.