Professor Louise Ryan

Prof Louise Ryan is elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Sociological Association (BSA).


Louise, who joined London Met as a Senior Professor of Sociology in 2020 and who is director of the Global Diversities and Inequalities research centre, has become chair of the board of trustees of the BSA. Having joined the BSA as a student in the 1990s, she has been a committed member of the association ever since. Louise was elected to the board of trustees as Director of Publications in 2012 and has now been voted the chair.

Founded in 1951, the BSA is the national subject association for sociologists in the UK and its primary objective is to promote sociology. The BSA is the largest sociological network in the UK and is the public face of sociology in Britain.  

Louise will undertake the role of chair for a two year term of office.
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 a number of research interests including feminism and women's history in Ireland. However, over the last decade or more she has established herself as 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, with colleagues at Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, East Anglia and Toulouse on an online survey about social relationships during the lockdown.

Louise is a partner on the Horizon2020 project MIMY. Led by the University of Luxembourg, the MIMY consortium brings together twelve universities from nine countries in order to better understand and support the liquid integration processes of young migrants in vulnerable conditions in Europe and increase social and economic benefits of and for them. The project will run from 2020 to 2022.

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

Journal articles (since 2010):

  • Kilkey, M., & Ryan, L. (2020). Unsettling Events: Understanding Migrants’ Responses to Geopolitical Transformative Episodes through a Life-Course Lens. International Migration Review.
  • 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
  • D’Angelo, A., & Ryan, L. (2019). The presentation of the networked self: Ethics and epistemology in social network analysis. Social Networks. On line
  • Erel, U and L. Ryan. (2019) ‘Migrant Capitals: proposing a multi-level spatio-temporal analytical framework’, Sociology 53(2): 246-263
  • 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.
  • Magdolna Lőrinc, Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo & Neil Kaye (2019) De-individualising the ‘NEET problem’: An ecological systems analysis, European Educational Research Journal,
  • Ryan, Louise, and Magdolna Lőrinc. (2018) "Perceptions, prejudices and possibilities: young people narrating apprenticeship experiences." British Journal of Sociology of Education: 1-16.
  • 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.
  • Ryan, L. (2018). Differentiated embedding: Polish migrants in London negotiating belonging over time. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(2), 233-251.
  • Ryan, L., & D’Angelo, A. (2018). Changing times: Migrants’ social network analysis and the challenges of longitudinal research. Social Networks, 53, 148-158.
  • Ryan, L. (2016). Looking for weak ties: using a mixed methods approach to capture elusive connections. The Sociological Review.
  • Ryan, L., & Maxwell, C. (2016). Social Class and Sociology: The State of the Debate Between 1967 and 1979. Sociology, 0038038515617696.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Ryan, L. (2015). ‘"Inside" and "Outside" of What or Where? Researching Migration Through Multi-Positionalities’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16 (2)
  • Ryan, L. (2015) ‘Friendship-making: Exploring Network Formations through the Narratives of Irish Highly Qualified Migrants in Britain’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2015.1015409
  • 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 migrants. Global Networks. 15(2) doi: 10.1111/glob.12054
  • Ryan and Mulholland (2014) ‘French Connections: The networking strategies of French highly skilled migrants in London’ Global Networks, 14 (2): 148-166 DOI: 10.1111/glob.12038
  • 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
  • Ryan, L. (2014) '‘Islam does not change’: young people narrating negotiations of religion and identity' Journal of Youth Studies, 17 (4): 446-460 DOI:10.1080/13676261.2013.834315
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ryan, L. 2013. ‘Compare and contrast: understanding Irish migration to Britain in a wider context’. Irish Studies Review, 21(1): 6-19.
  • Ryan and Vacchelli (2013)"Mothering through Islam": Narratives of Religious Identity in London', Religion and Gender, vol, 3 no 1.
  • 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.
  • Ryan, L. and J. Mulholland (2013) 'Trading Places: French Highly Skilled Migrants Negotiating Mobility and Emplacement In London' Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2013.787514
  • McKie L. and Ryan, L. (2012) Exploring trends and challenges in sociological research. Sociology 40(5)
  • 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 UK)
  • Ryan, (2011) ‘Transnational Relations: Family Migration among Recent Polish Migrants in London’ International Migration, 49 (2) (Special issue on Eastern European Migrants).
  • Ryan (2010) ‘Becoming Polish in London: negotiating ethnicity through migration’ in Social Identities, 13 (3): 359-376, (special issue on Polish migration)


  • 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
  • Ryan, L. U. Erel and A. D’Angelo (2015) Migrant Capital: Networks, Identities, Strategies, Palgrave Publishers
  • 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,
School of Social Professions