Rowland Atkinson


Rowland is Research Chair in Inclusive Societies and joined the University of Sheffield in 2014. He has previously worked at the Universities of York, Tasmania and Glasgow.

Rowland Atkinson on Twitter @qurbanist 

Research Interests

Rowland is interested in the relationship between inequality and city life. His work engages ideas of exclusion and disaffiliation in urban contexts across a wide-range of research covering gated communities, gentrification and displacement, housing problems and poverty more broadly. Most recently his work has tended to focus on examining and problematizing wealth, the place of the super-rich and their broader impact on cities and political life in work on London. His interest in urban sociology have also generated wider spin-off work around the idea of the prosocial, fragmenting societies and the more subtle harms associated with rising information technology usage (work on murder boxes and non-users of information tech). His work in the area of criminology has focused on deviance, violent crime and harms in city contexts.

Key Publications

Atkinson, R. (2020) Alpha City, London: Verso.

Atkinson, R. and Millington, G. (2019) Urban Criminology: The city, crime, disorder and harm, London: Routledge.

Atkinson, R. (2018) Necrotecture: Lifeless Dwellings and London’s Super-Rich, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 43, 1, pp. 2-13.

Parker, S. and Atkinson, R. (2018) Disorderly cities and the policy-making field: the 1981 English riots and the management of urban decline, British Politics, DoI: 10.1057/s41293-018-00094-0

Hardey, M. and Atkinson, R. (2018) Disconnected: Non-Users of Information Communication Technologies, Sociological Research Online, DoI: 1360780418764736

Atkinson, R., Parker, S., and Burrows, R. (2017) Elite Formation, Power and Space in Contemporary London, Theory, Culture and Society, 34, 5, pp. 179-200.

Atkinson, R., McKenzie, L. and Winlow, S. (2017) Building Better Societies, Bristol: Policy Press.

Atkinson, R. and Blandy, S. (2017) Domestic Fortress: Fear and the New Home Front, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Atkinson, R. and Rodgers, T. (2015) Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video-Games as Cultural Zones of Exception, British Journal of Criminology, 56, pp. 1291-1307.

Atkinson, R. (2015) Limited Exposure: Social Concealment, Mobility and Engagement with Public Space by the Super-Rich in London, Environment and Planning: A, 7, pp. 1-16.

Atkinson, R. (2015). Urban Policy, City Control and Social Catharsis: The Attack on Social Frailty as Therapy. British Journal of Criminology, 55, 5, pp. 866-882.

Atkinson, R. (ed.) (2014) Shades of Deviance: A Guide to Crime, Deviance and Harm, London: Routledge.

Atkinson, R. and Smith, O. (2012) An economy of false securities? An analysis of murders inside gated residential developments in the US, Crime Media Culture, 8, 2, pp. 162-173.

Atkinson, R. (2009): ‘The politics of knowing: spatial isolation, disconnection and social withdrawal’, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 91 (4): 299–310.

Atkinson, R. (2008) The great cut: Private modes of social evasion and their support by public policy in contemporary urban systems, Social Policy and Administration, 42, 6, pp. 593-610.

Atkinson, R. (2007) Ecology of Sound: The Sonic Order of Urban Space, Urban Studies, 44, 10, pp. 1905-1917

Atkinson, R. and Willis, P. (2007) Charting the Ludodrome: The mediation of urban and simulated space and rise of the ‘flâneur electronique’, Information, Communication and Society, 10, 6, pp. 818-845.

Atkinson, R. and Blandy, S. (2007) Panic Rooms: The Rise of Defensive Homeownership, Housing Studies, 22, 4, pp. 443-458.