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Simone Varriale

I am a sociologist with a background in art history and media studies. My research explores the relationships between globalisation, inequality and cultural identity. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s relational sociology, it addresses social differences as enacted through leisure practices and cultural taste, but considering how transnational movements - of people and cultural forms - may problematise our understanding of inequality and its cultural dimension. My work thus introduces transnational dynamics in the fields of relational and cultural sociology, which have historically relied on 'methodological nationalism' as an epistemological premise.

My PhD thesis - Cosmopolitan Expertise: Music, Media and Cultural Identities in Italy - was the first study to explore these questions vis-à-vis the Italian context. It investigated how the global circulation of Anglo-American popular music transformed Italian cultural life during the 1970s. Combining social history, biographical research and media analysis, the thesis investigated the ways in which Italian music critics defined, along with their audience, new understandings of cultural value, communities of taste, but also new forms of social exclusion along the lines of class, gender and race. I have published some journal articles from this project and a monograph for Palgrave Macmillan.

I have recently started a new project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. It's called Transnationalising Class and looks at the trajectories, aspirations, cultural practices of Italian migrants living in the UK (whose number has been on the rise after the 2008 economic crisis). I am also co-editing (with Noa Lavie) a Special Issue of the journal Poetics on Global Tastes: The Transnational Spread of non-Anglo-American Culture.

Research interests

Globalisation, culture and stratification; Cultural production and consumption; New (and old) forms of social distinction; Popular music cultures; Transnationalism and migration; Contemporary Italy and Italy's socio-cultural history; Aesthetics and emotions; Qualitative and mixed-methods research; Social and cultural theory; Relational thinking

Profiles on Academia, ResearchGate and LinkedIn; tweets at @franklyMrS


Leverhulme Early Career Fellow
s dot varriale at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room: E0.21