Louise Ryan is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Social Policy Research Centre


Originally from Ireland, and a graduate of University College Cork, I have been living and working in London since 1992. Having previously worked at University College London, I joined Middlesex in 2004.


I have a particular interest in migration, social networks, gender and religion.

I am currently working on an European funded project (FP7) on early school leaving (with Alessio D'Angelo)


I recently completed an ESRC funded study on Highly Skilled migrants in London (with Dr. Jon Mulholland)



Member of Professional Bodies:

Louise is a trustee and Publications Director of the British Sociological Association

A member of the ESRC Review College


editorial board of Sociology (2008-on-going) and deputy chair of the editorial board (2013-)

and editorial board of International Migration (2010- on-going)


  • 1983-1986 University College Cork, Ireland, Bachelor of Social Science, B.Soc.Sc. 2.1
  • 1986-1987 University College Cork, Masters in Sociology, M.Soc.Sc. 1st class
  • 1989-1992 National University of Ireland, Ph.D. in Sociology. Thesis: 'Feminism in early twentieth century Ireland: a sociological study',


Current work administrative and professional duties/roles:

Co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre, programme leader for the MSc. in research methods, module leader: Research Design, Process and Ethics. Member of Research Ethics Committee.

I also supervise PhDs in issues related to migration, gender, ethnicity and identity.

Recent publications


Ryan, L. (2011) ‘Muslim women negotiating collective stigmatisation: ‘We’re just normal people’ Sociology 45(6): 1045-1060

Ryan, L. (2011) ‘Migrants’ social networks and weak ties: accessing resources and constructing relationships post-migration’ Sociological Review 59 (4): 707-724

Ryan, Kofman and Aaron (2011) ‘Insiders and Outsiders: working with peer researchers in researching Muslim communities’ International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 14 (1): 49-60.

D’Angelo and Ryan (2011) ‘Sites of Socialisation – Polish Parents and children in London Schools’ in „Studia Migracyjne – Przegląd Polonijny” 2011, nr 1 (special issue on Polish Migration to the UK)

Ryan, (2011) ‘Transnational Relations: Family Migration among Recent Polish Migrants in London’ International Migration, 49 (2) (Special issue on Eastern European Migrants).

Ryan and Sales ‘Family Migration: the role of children and education in family migration decision-making’, International Migration (2011) doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00652.x

Ryan (2010) ‘Becoming Polish in London: negotiating ethnicity through migration’ in Social Identities, 13 (3): 359-376, (special issue on Polish migration)

Ryan, Sales, Tilki and Siara 'Family strategies and transnational migration: recent Polish migrants in London' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35 (1),2009, pp.61-77

Ryan, Sales, Tilki and Siara 'Social networks, social support and social capital: Polish migrants in London' Sociology (2008).

Ryan, L. 'I had a sister in England': family-led migration, social networks and nurses' Journal of Ethnic and migration studies 34 (3), 2008, pp.453-470.

Leavey, Rozmovits, Ryan and King 'Explanations of Depression among Irish Migrants in Britain' Social Science and Medicine, 65. 2007, pp. 231-244

Ryan, L. 'Who do you think you are?: Irish nurses encountering ethnicity and constructing identity in Britain' Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30 (3), May 2007, pp.416-438.

Ryan, L. 'Migrant women, social networks and motherhood: The experiences of Irish nurses in Britain' Sociology, 41, (2) April 2007, pp.295-312.

Ryan, Leavey, Golden, Blizard and King (2006) 'Depression in Irish migrants Living in London: a case-control study' British Journal of Psychiatry, 188 (pp.560-566).

Ryan, L. 'Family Matters: (e)migration, familial networks and Irish women in Britain' Sociological Review 2004, vol. 52 (3), pp.351-370.

Ryan, L. 'Moving Spaces and Changing Places: Irish Women's Memories of London in the 1930s' in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2003, vol.29, no.1, pp.67-82.

Ryan, L. 'I'm Going to England': Irish women's stories of migration in the 1930s' in Oral History, 30, 2002 pp. 42-53.

Ryan, L. 'Sexualising Emigration: Discourses on Irish Female Migration in the 1930s' in Women's Studies International Forum, vol.25, no.1, 2002 pp.51-65.


  • Irish Feminism and the Vote: an anthology of the Irish Citizen Newspaper, 1912-1920 (Folens, Dublin)1996. ISBN 0861217098 pp.1-192.
  • Gender, Identity and the Irish Press, 1922-37: Embodying the Nation (Mellen Press, New York) 2002, ISBN 0773472983 pp.1-305.

Co-edited book

  • Ryan, L. and W. Webster (eds) Gendering Migration: Masculinity, Femininity and Ethnicity in Post-War Migration to Britain (Ashgate Publishers 2008).
  • Ryan, L. and M. Ward (eds) Becoming Citizens: Irish Women and the Vote (Irish Academic Press, Dublin) 2007. ISBN 0716527669 pp. 1-239.
  • Irish Women and Nationalism (co-edited Louise Ryan and Margaret Ward) Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 2004.
  • Re-presenting the Past: Women and History ed. Ann Marie Gallagher, Cathy Lubelska and Louise Ryan (Longmans Publishers) 2001. ISBN 058238219X pp.1-224.

Chapters in Books

  • Ryan, L. 'Rational Actors and Paradigm Warriors: Revisiting and Gendering Social Movement Theories' in Critical Turns in Critical Theory (edited by Seamus O'Tuama) IB Taurus, 2009.
  • Ryan, Sales, and Tilki 'Recent Polish migrants in London: accessing and participating in social networks across borders' in Kathy Burrell (ed), Polish Migration to the UK in the 'New' European Union (Aldershot: Ashgate) 2009.
  • 'A decent girl well worth helping: women, migration and unwanted pregnancy' in Ireland Beyond Boundaries: mapping Irish studies in the 21st century (edited by Liam Harte and Yvonne Whelan) Pluto Press, 2007.
  • 'An analysis of the Irish suffrage movement using new social movement theory' in Social Movements and Ireland, edited by Linda Connolly and Niamh Hourigan, Manchester University Press, 2006.
  • 'Memories of migration: Irish women's oral history interviews' in Histories and Memories: Immigrants in Britain since 1800 (edited by Kathy Burrell and Panikos Panayi, Ashgate) 2006.
  • 'Aonach Tailteann, the Irish press and gendered symbols of national identity' inSport and the Irish: Histories, Identities, Issues. edited by Alan Bairner, (University College Dublin Press, Dublin), 2005, pp.69-84.
  • 'Locating the flapper in rural Irish society: the Irish provincial press and the modern woman in the 1920s' in New Woman Hybridities edited by Ann Heilmann and Margaret Beetham, (London: Routledge) 2004 pp. 90-101.
  • 'The press, police and prosecution: perspectives on infanticide in the 1920s' in Irish Women's History (edited by Alan Hayes and Diane Urquhart) Irish Academic Press, 2004, pp.137- 151.
  • 'The Female Embodiment of Irish National Identity in the 1920s' in Women as Sites of Culture edited by Susan Shifrin, (Ashgate, USA) 2002.
  • 'The Cult of Personality: Historical Representations of leadership in the Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland' in Studies in Social Movement Leadership by Barker, Johnson and Lavalette (eds) Manchester Uni Press, 2001, pp.196-212.
  • 'The Politics of Irish Identity and the Interconnections between Feminism, Nationalism and Colonialism' by Breda Gray and Louise Ryan in Nation, Empire and Colony: Historicising Gender and Race ed. by Ruth Roach-Pierson (Indiana University Press) 1998

Research Methods, Migration

  • Gender
  • Migration
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion and Identity
  • Social Networks
  • social movements
  • transnational families

I am currently working :

Early School Leaving in the European Union (FP7) funded by the European Commission (5 year project, 2013-2018)

Other research council and European-funded projects:

Highly skilled French Migrants in London’s Financial and Business sectors (2010-2012)– funded by ESRC Grant Holders: Mulholland and Ryan

Polish Children in London Primary Schools: a knowledge exchange and transfer project - funded by ESRC, Granted Holders: Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo

Enhancing Evidence Based Policy Making in Gender and Migration' March2008-2010, international consortium (lead partner APRE (Agency for thePromotion of European Research), Italy, other partners Austria, Hungary, France and UK (Kofman and Ryan), funded by the European Commission, FP7

Recent Polish Migrants to London: settlement and transience’ 2006-2007, Funded by the ESRC grant holders: Louise Ryan, Rosemary Sales and Mary Tilki

‘Depression in Irish Migrants to London: a qualitative study’ 2003-04. Funded by ESRC Grant Holders: Leavey, King and Ryan

Consultancies, evaluations and smaller projects:

Evaluation of Services -Commissioned by London Borough of Barnet (2013)

Mapping of Needs and Provision of services in the Diocese of Westminster - commissioned by Caritas (2013)

Engaging Muslim Youth in Barnet - commissioned by London Borough of Barnet (2007-2010) funded by Dept of Communities and Local Govt.

National mapping of services for elderly people - January- July 2009 Funded by Caritas Social Action Network Grant Holders: Louise Ryan, Alessio D'Angelo and MaryTilki

'Ethnic Chaplains in the Catholic Church in England and Wales' grant holder: Louise Ryan, funded by Catholic Bishops Conference. (2009)

''Economic activity among Bangladeshi women in Ponders End' May 2007- March 2008, grant holders: Eleonore Kofman and Louise Ryan - Community Aid

'The forgotten Irish' July 2007, grant holders: Mary Tilki, Louise Ryan,Alessio D'Angelo and Rosemary Sales (Ireland Fund of Great Britain)

'Polish children in London Primary Schools' grant holders: Sales, Ryan, D'Angelo funded by Multiverse (2008)