Professor Louise Ryan

Louise Ryan is Senior Professor of Sociology and Director of the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre. Louise is also chair of the Research Ethics Committee in the School of Social Sciences and Professions.

Professor Louise Ryan, Senior Professor at School of Social Professions

Professor Louise Ryan

Originally from Cork, and a graduate of University College Cork, Louise joined London Metropolitan University in June 2020 as Senior Professor. She previously was Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield, and before that was a professor and co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University.

Louise has over 20 years of experience in higher education and has taught on a wide range of modules including Sociology of Gender, Ethnicity and Migration. She has a particular interest in research methods and has taught as programme leader of an MSc in research methods.

Louise currently teaches on the Researching Diversities and Inequalities course.

Louise is a leading expert in the field of migration. She has received many prestigious research grants to develop her work on migration including several ESRC awards.

She has recently been working on a large ESRC grant with colleagues at the University of Sheffield on Sustainable Care, where she co-led a work package of ageing migrants in the UK. Prior to that she completed a large European Commission funded FP7 project on early school leaving across the European Union.

Louise is currently working on two externally funded research projects:
  1. Irish Nurses in the NHS: an Oral History Project
  2. Refugee resettlement schemes in the London, with a particular focus on recent arrivals from Afghanistan

She recently completed a large Horizon2020 project MIMY focusing on migrant youth across 9 European countries.

Louise has been awarded the following grants:

  1. EMpowerment through liquid Integration of Migrant Youth in vulnerable conditions (MIMY); Horizon2020, 2020-23; co-I and WP co-leader; €2.9 million (overall).
  2. Sustainable Care: connecting people and systems; ESRC 2017-21; co-I and WP co-leader; £2.4 million (overall).
  3. Researching Early School Leaving in the EU; FP7 Lead UK partner and leader on largest work package; 2013-18; €6 million (£800,000 to UK team).

Louise has been granted multiple professional appointments:

  1. Chair of the British Sociological Association (2021-23).
  2. Vice-chair of the BSA (2019-21).
  3. Member of the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel (2016-18).
  4. Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sociology (2015-18).

Louise was awarded a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2015 for her contribution to migration research. She is regularly interviewed in the press, on TV and radio as an expert on migration.

Journal articles (since 2010):

  1. Grzymala-Kazlowska, A., & Ryan, L. (2022). Bringing anchoring and embedding together: theorising migrants’ lives over-time. Comparative Migration Studies, 10(1), 1-19.
  2. Mulhollland, J and L. Ryan (2022) Advancing the embedding framework: using longitudinal methods to revisit French highly skilled migrants in the context of Brexit. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (open access).
  3. Lőrinc, M., Kilkey, M., Ryan, L., & Tawodzera, O. (2021). “You still want to go lots of places”: Exploring walking interviews in research with older migrants. The Gerontologist.
  4. Ryan, L., Kilkey, M., Lőrinc, M., & Tawodzera, O. (2021). Analysing migrants' ageing in place as embodied practices of embedding through time: ‘Kilburn is not Kilburn any more’. Population, Space and Place, 27(3), e2420.Ryan, L., & Dahinden, J. (2021). Qualitative network analysis for migration studies: Beyond metaphors and epistemological pitfalls. Global Networks.
  5. Tubaro, P., Ryan, L., Casilli, A. A., & D’angelo, A. (2021). Social network analysis: New ethical approaches through collective reflexivity. Social Networks, 67, 1-8.
  6. Ryan, L. (2020). Telling network stories: researching migrants' changing social relations in places over time. Global Networks.
  7. Kilkey, M., & Ryan, L. (2020). Unsettling Events: Understanding Migrants’ Responses to Geopolitical Transformative Episodes through a Life-Course Lens. International Migration Review.
  8. Hickman and Ryan (2020), The “Irish question”: marginalizations at the nexus of sociology of migration and ethnic and racial studies in Britain, published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 43 Issue 16 (open access).
  9. D’Angelo, A., & Ryan, L. (2019). The presentation of the networked self: Ethics and epistemology in social network analysis. Social Networks (online).
  10. Erel, U and L. Ryan. (2019) ‘Migrant Capitals: proposing a multi-level spatio-temporal analytical framework’, Sociology 53(2): 246-263
  11. Ryan, L., D’Angelo, A., Kaye, N., & Lorinc, M. (2019). Young people, school engagement and perceptions of support: a mixed methods analysis. Journal of Youth Studies, 22(9), 1272-1288.
  12. Magdolna Lőrinc, Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo & Neil Kaye (2019) De-individualising the ‘NEET problem’: An ecological systems analysis, European Educational Research Journal.
  13. Ryan, Louise, and Magdolna Lőrinc. (2018) "Perceptions, prejudices and possibilities: young people narrating apprenticeship experiences." British Journal of Sociology of Education: 1-16.
  14. Ryan, L. (2018). Narratives of Settling in Contexts of Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of Irish and Polish Highly Qualified Women Migrants in London. International Migration.
  15. Ryan, L. (2018). Differentiated embedding: Polish migrants in London negotiating belonging over time. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(2), 233-251.
  16. Ryan, L., & D’Angelo, A. (2018). Changing times: Migrants’ social network analysis and the challenges of longitudinal research. Social Networks, 53, 148-158.
  17. Ryan, L. (2016). Looking for weak ties: using a mixed methods approach to capture elusive connections. The Sociological Review.
  18. Ryan, L., & Maxwell, C. (2016). Social Class and Sociology: The State of the Debate Between 1967 and 1979. Sociology, 0038038515617696.
  19. Ryan, L., Rodriguez, M. L., & Trevena, P. (2016, May). Opportunities and Challenges of Unplanned Follow-up Interviews: Experiences with Polish Migrants in London. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 17, No. 2).
  20. Koppenfels, A. K., Mulholland, J., & Ryan, L. (2015). ‘Gotta Go Visit Family’: Reconsidering the Relationship Between Tourism and Transnationalism. Population, Space and Place, 21(7), 612-624.
  21. Ryan, L. (2015). ‘It's Different Now’: A Narrative Analysis of Recent Irish Migrants Making Sense of Migration and Comparing Themselves with Previous Waves of Migrants. Irish Journal of Sociology, 23(2), 114-132.
  22. Ryan, L. and E. Kurdi (2015) "‘Always up for the craic’: young Irish professional migrants narrating ambiguous positioning in contemporary Britain’ Social Identities, 21(3)
  23. Ryan, L. (2015). ‘"Inside" and "Outside" of What or Where? Researching Migration Through Multi-Positionalities’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16 (2)
  24. Ryan, L. (2015) ‘Friendship-making: Exploring Network Formations through the Narratives of Irish Highly Qualified Migrants in Britain’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
  25. Ryan, L., Von Koppenfels, A. K. and Mulholland, J. (2015), ‘The distance between us’: a comparative examination of the technical, spatial and temporal dimensions of the transnational social relationships of highly skilled migrantsGlobal Networks, 15(2).
  26. Ryan and Mulholland (2014) ‘French Connections: The networking strategies of French highly skilled migrants in London’, Global Networks, 14 (2): 148-166.
  27. Ryan, L. Mulholland, J and A Agoston (2014) Talking Ties: Reflecting on Network Visualisation and Qualitative Interviewing, Sociological Research online, Sociological Research Online, 19 (2) 16.
  28. Ryan, L. (2014) ‘Islam does not change’: young people narrating negotiations of religion and identity', Journal of Youth Studies, 17 (4): 446-460.
  29. Ryan and Mulholland (2014) ‘Wives Are the Route to Social Life’: An Analysis of Family Life and Networking amongst Highly Skilled Migrants in London’ Sociology 48 (2) 251-267.
  30. Lucine Endelstein, Louise Ryan (2013) Dressing religious bodies in public spaces: gender, clothing and negotiations of stigma among Jews in Paris and Muslims in London. Integr Psychol Behav Sci 47(2):249-64.
  31. Ryan, L. 2013. ‘Compare and contrast: understanding Irish migration to Britain in a wider context’. Irish Studies Review, 21(1): 6-19.
  32. Ryan and Vacchelli (2013) "Mothering through Islam": Narratives of Religious Identity in London, Religion and Gender, vol, 3 no 1.
  33. Ryan, L., & Sales, R. (2013). Family Migration: The Role of Children and Education in Family Decision‐Making Strategies of Polish Migrants in London. International Migration, 51(2), 90-103.
  34. Ryan, L. and J. Mulholland (2013) 'Trading Places: French Highly Skilled Migrants Negotiating Mobility and Emplacement In London', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
  35. McKie L. and Ryan, L. (2012) Exploring trends and challenges in sociological research. Sociology 40(5).
  36. Ryan, L. (2011) ‘Muslim women negotiating collective stigmatisation: ‘We’re just normal people’, Sociology 45(6): 1045-1060.
  37. Ryan, L. (2011) ‘Migrants’ social networks and weak ties: accessing resources and constructing relationships post-migration’, Sociological Review 59 (4): 707-724.
  38. 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.
  39. 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 UK).
  40. Ryan, (2011) ‘Transnational Relations: Family Migration among Recent Polish Migrants in London’, International Migration, 49 (2) (Special issue on Eastern European Migrants).
  41. Ryan (2010) ‘Becoming Polish in London: negotiating ethnicity through migration’ in Social Identities, 13 (3): 359-376, (special issue on Polish migration)


  1. Social Networks and Migration: relocations, relationships and resources by Louise Ryan (2023). To watch a 3 mins video about the new book visit here.
  2. Revisiting migrant networks: migrants and their descendants in labour markets; Keskiner, E., Eve, M., & Ryan, L. (2022); Springer Nature. Open access book - to download all or part of the book visit here.
  3. Ryan, L. Winning the Vote for Women: the Irish Citizen Newspaper and the Suffrage Movement in Ireland (Four Courts Press), 2018 McKie and Ryan (2016) An end to the crisis in empirical sociology? Routledge.
  4. Ryan, L. U. Erel and A. D’Angelo (2015) Migrant Capital: Networks, Identities, Strategies, Palgrave Publishers.
  5. Ryan, L. and W. Webster (eds) Gendering Migration: Masculinity, Femininity and Ethnicity in Post-War Migration to Britain (Ashgate Publishers 2008).


Louise is a leading expert on the topic of migration. Her research on migration was awarded with a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2015. She is available for media appearances or expert commentary.

Louise has written many journalistic pieces of migration including:

Professor Louise Ryan
Senior Professor at the School of Social Professions
Email Louise