Dr Daniel Smith

Lecturer, Sociology

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Sociology

Courses taught: Sociology, Criminology and Sociology

Daniel’s expertise is broadly in the sociology of class, culture and identity. His research interests include elite identities, Britishness, as well as popular culture, celebrity and new social media.

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Daniel joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2015 after a post as Lecturer in Sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University between 2013-2015 and completing his PhD at the University of Exeter in 2013.

Daniel has written widely in the fields of sociology of class and culture as well as popular and celebrity culture. His ethnographic study of young, ‘white, upper-middle class’ elites is soon to be published in 2015 by Palgrave, entitled Elites, Race and Nationhood: The Branded Gentry.

Daniel’s research interests are in the sociology of class and culture, identity and popular culture as well as social media and celebrity. While diverse these areas of research are unified by a common sociological theme: how are social and cultural identities made and re-made in old and new forms? In his study of ‘white, upper-middle class’ elites he explores how the life-style of the Jack Wills brand re-institutionalises a world of “gentry” ease, privilege and classic ‘British-ness’ in a society where new political and economic arrangements have eroded the foundations of a former ‘gentry’ class and culture in Britain.  


Daniel is Module Leader for Inequality & Class (Year 1), and Sociology of Popular Culture (Year 3).


  • PhD Sociology, Exeter
  • BA (Hons), Exeter
  • PGCert in Learning & Teaching, Canterbury Christ Church

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow of the HEA
  • Member of the British Sociological Association

Selected recent publications

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Smith, D., 2015. Elites, Race and Nationhood: The Branded Gentry. Palgrave: Macmillan.

Journal articles

Smith, Daniel R. (2017), 'The Tragedy of Self in Digitised Popular Culture: The existential consequences of metricised fame on YouTube', Qualitative Research: DOI: 10.1177/1468794117700709.

Smith, Daniel R. & King, Anthony, 2017. 'The Jack Wills Crowd: toward a sociology of an elite subculture'. British Journal of Sociology: DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12254.

Smith, Daniel., 2016. 'Imagining others more complexly': Celebrity and the ideology of fame among YouTube's 'Nerdfighteria', Celebrity Studies.

Smith, D., 2015. Self-Heckle: Russell Kane’s stand up as an example of 'comedic sociology'. Ephemera: theory & politics in organisation, 15(3), pp.561-579.

Smith, D., 2014. The Gent-rification of English masculinities: class, race and nation in contemporary consumption. Social Identities: Journal for the study of Race, Nation and Culture, 20(4-6), pp.391-406.

Smith, D., 2014. Charlie-is-so-"English"-like: nationality and the branded-celebrity person in the age of YouTube. Celebrity Studies, 5(3), pp.256-274.

Smith, D., 2014. The Elite Ethic of Fiduciarity: the heraldry of the Jack Wills brand. Ephemera: theory & politics in organisation, 14(1), pp.81-107.

Book chapters

Smith, Daniel., 2012. 'Reciprocity, Recognition and Moral Worth in the Wizarding Economy' in Simms, J. (ed.), The Sociology of Harry Potter, (Hamden, CT: Zossima Press)

Review articles

Smith, D., 2015. Norbert Elias and social theory. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36(3), pp.474-486.

Recent presentations and conferences

Smith, D. (2015). Jack Wills and the gent-rification of English masculinities. BSA Conference 2015, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Media experience

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