Academic Staff

Dr Darren Thiel

Position in departmentSenior Lecturer
Staff positionAdmissions Officer
Telephone2638 (non Essex users should add 01206-87 to the beginning of this number)
Office hoursMondays 11-12

Darren studied sociology at the London School of Economics, completing his PhD there in 2006, which was awarded the Robert McKenzie prize for outstanding academic performance. His book, Builders, based on his PhD thesis was a finalist in the British Sociological Association's 2013 Philip Abrams memorial prize for the best first sole-authored book in sociology. Following his PhD studies, Darren worked as researcher at the Home Office and at the Police Foundation, before taking up his post at the University of Essex.


BSc, MSc, PhD (LSE)

Current research
Darren is interested and has undertaken research in many areas of sociology including: work, employment and economy; class and social stratification; migration; terrorism; policing and governance. He has recently been involved in a project looking at the experiences of families of homicide victims where no suspect has been convicted, and another investigating the impacts of welfare reform in Essex. He is interested in supervising research students in any of these areas.
Research interests
  • Social class and stratification;
  • economic sociology;
  • migration, globalisation and governance;
  • globalisation and policing;
  • policing terrorism;
  • the criminal justice system;
  • social policy.
Teaching responsibilities

Module convenor: SC104: Introduction to Crime, Law and Society; SC304 Globalisation and Crime; Lecturer: SC655 Current Controversies in Crime and Criminal Justice Policy; SC335 Policing and Society; and SC557: Critical Perspectives on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism.


Thiel, D. (2012) Builders: Class, Gender and Ethnicity in the Construction Industry. London: Routledge.
Carrabine, E., Cox, P., Fussey, P., Hobbs, D., South, N., Thiel, D., and Turton, J. (2014; 3rd Edition) Criminology: A Sociological Introduction. Routledge: London.
Journal articles and book chapters:
Thiel, D. (2015) 'Moral Truth and Compounded Trauma: The Effects of Acquittal of Homicide Defendants upon the Families of the Victims', Homicide Studies 20(3): 199-219.
Thiel, D. (2015) 'Criminal Ignorance' in M. Gross and L. McGoey (eds) International Handbook of Ignorance Studies. Routledge.
Thiel, D. (2013) ‘Builders, Bodies, and Bifurcations: How London Construction Workers “Learn to Labour”, Ethnography 14(4):412-430.
Thiel, D. (2012) 'Ethnography and Flux: Identity and Epistemology in Construction Fieldwork', in S. Pink, A. Dainty and D. Tutt (eds) Ethnographic Research in The Construction Industry. Routledge.
Thiel, D. (2010) ‘Contacts and Contracts: Economic Embeddedness and Ethnic Stratification in London’s Construction Market’, Ethnography 11(3): 443-471.
Innes, M. and Thiel, D. (2008) 'Policing Terror', in T. Newburn (ed) The Handbook of Policing, Second edition. Cullompton: Willan.
Thiel, D. (2007) 'Class in Construction: London Building Workers, Dirty Work and Physical Cultures', British Journal of Sociology 58(2):227-251. (Reprinted in R. Hobbs (ed. 2011) Ethnography in Context. Sage).
Thiel, D, Speed, E. and Cristo, S. (2015) The Impact of Welfare Reform in Essex: A Report for the Essex Housing Officers' Group (Published on the Social Science Research Network:
Thiel, D. (2013) Double Injustice, Double Trauma: The Effects of Acquittal of Offenders upon the Families' of Victims of Homicide (Published on the Social Science Research Network:
Thiel, D. and Gillan, K. (2010) ‘Factors affecting participation in assisted voluntary return programmes and successful reintegration: a review of the evidence’, Home Office Research Report 29.
Bryan, R., Cocke, B., Gillan, K. and Thiel, D. (2010) ‘The Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP) 2004 and 2004 extension: monitoring report’, Home Office Research Report 30. 
Stoneman, P. and Thiel, D. (2010) NEET in Essex: A Review of the Evidence (report produced for Essex County Council)
Thiel, D. (2009) Policing Terrorism: A Review of the Evidence. London: The Police Foundation.

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