Dawn Lyon

Dawn Lyon is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, UK. She studies work identity, the social organisation of different work spaces, the embodied labour of fishmongers and fish merchants, and young people’s imagined futures.


February 28, 2014 Still Life After The Office

Since Christmas Val Murray and Lynn Pilling (Tea) have been using a space on the second floor of Federation House on Balloon Street in Manchester as a playful, evolving installation. Currently the building is being used as artists’ studios and exhibition spaces in a period of transition between its past uses as a Coop drapery…

December 3, 2013 Métier

Laura Braun’s new collection of photographs of small businesses in London and the people who run them, Métier, has just been published by Paper Tigers Books. There is a book launch tonight at The Photographers’ Gallery in London – all are welcome! The photographs in this collection and the stories that accompany them are each…

August 27, 2013 Aspiration Nation? Young people’s working futures

George Osborne might have coined the catchphrase ‘aspiration nation’ in a budget speech earlier this year, but the question of young people’s ‘aspirations’, or more broadly, their hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions and expectations for the future have long been at the centre of social science research projects in the field of youth studies in particular.…

July 30, 2013 The labour of ‘moving things along’: Rubbish collection and the bin bag

Having recently moved from a flat to a house, I am struck by the fact that my rubbish gets collected from outside my front door, that someone actually comes to my house to pick up my rubbish bags to dispose of them. Since there is no rear access to the houses along my street, we…

February 28, 2013 Billingsgate Fish Market

Billingsgate fish market is London’s oldest wholesale market. It officially opens at four o’clock in the morning when a bell signals the start of trade and it closes at half past nine. But the day’s work starts well before trade begins and continues through the morning on and off the market floor. The architecture of Billingsgate…

September 10, 2012 Technologies of Getting High

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I had wondered how the tree surgeon who had come to cut down the leylandii in my new back yard would manage. It was straightforward enough to remove the lower branches from ground level but then what? He stopped the chain saw, sat down, then strapped something under…

May 24, 2012 Coordination and Timing in Roofing Work

At a recent photographic exhibition on the theme of ‘Movement’ (in Limoges, April 2012), I was struck by this series of four images taken by Guy Bayles. The images capture the embodied competence, coordination and sense of timing of the roofers as one throws a tile to another. The coordination of the two roofers is…

January 22, 2012 Organised Labour

November 13, 2011 ‘The Changing Home’: Gertrude Williams’ Imagined Shifts in Domestic Work

In 1945, Gertrude Williams published Women and Work (part of the New Democracy Series, Nicholson and Watson, London), questioning ‘women’s place’ in the post-war industrial world in which many ‘cherished prejudices have been turned topsy-turvy’ (1945: 9). I came across a copy of this book for the first time just a few weeks ago, and…

November 8, 2011 Customer Service through Loyalty or Disaffection

At 11am this morning, the phone rings. Someone has tried to buy nearly three hundred pounds worth of ‘women’s country clothing’ online in my name (not a very likely scenario). A salesperson was alerted by something about the difference and distance between the alleged buyer (me) and the delivery address (in Glasgow). It’s part of…