Dr Simone Varriale

PhD (Warwick), MA/BA (University of Bologna, Italy)

Pronouns: He/him
  • Lecturer in Sociology

Before joining Loughborough, I was Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Lincoln and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick, where I researched how intersecting inequalities of class, race and gender shape post-2008 Italian emigration towards the UK.

I have published extensively on class, migration, race, globalisation and cultural taste in journals like Sociology, The Sociological Review, Current Sociology, American Behavioural Scientist, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Poetics, Cultural Sociology.

I sit on the editorial board of the journal Cultural Sociology and am Associate Editor for the journal European Societies. In June 2020, I was nominated Sociologist of the Month by the journal Current Sociology (with co-author Lorenza Antonucci).

I defended my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2014 and was Early Career Fellow at the Warwick Institute of Advanced Studies between 2014-15.

My research is concerned with rethinking social class for the study of transnational forces and global inequalities. I have researched how class intersects with hierarchies of nation, ethnicity and race, particularly in the areas of intra-EU migration, transnational cultural tastes and popular music consumption.

Another way of looking at my research is in terms of a focus on unequal experiences of cultural and economic globalization. I have conducted qualitative, ethnographic and historical research on musical globalization in Italy and on post-2008 Italian emigration, developing conceptual and theoretical innovations in the fields of cultural sociology, music sociology, class analysis, race and ethnicity studies, and migration studies.

I have a longstanding interest in how larger political and economic processes (globalization, neoliberalisation and EU integration) affect everyday experiences and understandings of inequality, and in how biography intersects with history. For that reason, I usually find myself crossing boundaries between empirical research and social theory, sociology and history (and other disciplines), qualitative and quantitative data (so far used mostly as secondary, contextual data).

I am interested in a wide range of social and cultural theories. In my research I have used Bourdieu’s class analysis, decolonial and postcolonial theory, intersectionality, actor-network theory and world-system theory (among others). I frequently end up reading outside sociology (political economy, geography, and cultural and media studies).

  • Identities and Inequalities (module leader)
  • Globall, Social and Cultural Change
  • Globalisation and Its Consequences


  • 2016. Globalization, Music and Cultures of Distinction: the Rise of Pop Music Criticism in Italy. Basingstoke: Palgrave

Edited Volumes

  • 2019. Global Tastes: The Transnational Spread of non-Anglo-American Culture, Poetics, Vol. 57 (with Noa Lavie)

Journal Articles

  • 2021. ‘The other Eurostars: lifestyle migration, class and race among vocationally trained Italians’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1911632
  • 2021. ‘The coloniality of distinction: class, race and whiteness among post-crisis Italian migrants’, The Sociological Review 69(2): 296–313
  • 2021. 'Reconceptualizing aesthetic cosmopolitanism: evidence from the early consecration of Anglo-American pop-rock in Italy', American Behavioral Scientist, 65(1): 99-115
  • 2020. ‘Unequal Europe, unequal Brexit: How intra-European inequalities shape the unfolding and framing of Brexit’, Current Sociology, 68(1): 41–59 (with Lorenza Antonucci)
  • 2019. ‘Unequal youth migrations: exploring the synchrony between social ageing and social mobility among post-crisis EU migrants’, Sociology 53(6): 1160–1176
  • 2016. 'Beyond distinction: theorising cultural evaluation as a social encounter', Cultural Sociology 10(2), 160-177
  • 2015. 'Cultural production and the morality of markets: popular music critics and the conversion of economic power into symbolic capital', Poetics 51, 1-16