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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Linda McKie

Linda McKie
Professor Linda McKie FAcSS
Dean/Head of School of Social and Political Science; Professor of Sociology and Social Policy; Associate Director, Centre for Research on Families & Relationships, University of Edinburgh
6.04 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44(0) 131 651 1455
Research Interests
Relationships & Gender, Women and Work, Violence and Gender, Families & Social Change, Applied Sociology, Evaluation in Capacity Building for Third Sector Organisations, Evidence Informed Policy

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • By appointment with the Dean/Head of School’s Executive Assistant, Gila Holliman; 0131 651 1710.

Biographical Resume

Linda McKie took up post as Dean/Head of School of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in October 2017. She is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy. Prior to joining Edinburgh she was Head of the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University for three years and previously Director of Reseach, 2012-14. She graduated from Durham with a Ph.D. is Sociology in 1989 and in the intervening years has held posts at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian researching and teaching in the sociologies of health and illness, gender and work, and research methods and management. 

In 2004 she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) and in 2010  appointed a member of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF), Sub-panel 23: Sociology. During 2007 and 2014 she was part of the evaluation panels commissioned by the Greek Government to review research centres in Historical, Mediterranean and Social Sciences. From its inception she has been an Associate Director at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, and between 2004-2010 she was Senior Visiting Fellow, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 she chaired the grant recommendation panels in Social Work and Social Policy, Social Sciences and Business Studies, and Sociology, for the Academy of Finland. In 2014 she was a member of the Irish Research Council's Assessment Board for the Research Projects Grant Scheme. Peer review work has also been undertaken for various EU panels (COST, Horizon 2020 and Marie Curie) and the Norwegian Research Council. 

Work with the public and third sectors has included two periods of employment in the Civil Service; as a Senior Executive Office in the Inland Revenue and Head of Intelligence at the UK Equal Opportunities Commission. Community and volunteering work has included trusteeships with five charities: British Sociological Association, Community Health UK, Erskine (health and social care for veterans), Evaluation Support Scotland, and the Institute for Rural Health. In 2009 she qualified as a diploma member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Research Interests  

1. Relationships and Gender

Concepts and ethics of care: Work on this theme has led to a number of publications (journal articles, co-authored and edited books) that detail theoretical developments on spatial and temporal frameworks to combining caring and working (Sociology, 36, 4, 897-924). The resulting analytical framework enables to critical exploration of the multi-faceted relationship between care and policies. This conceptual work informed the development of numerous projects, namely, Researching Care in Workplaces (ESRC , 2007-11), Gender Related Family-Work Balance and Well-Being in Food Retail (ESF , 2005-7), and Women Managers in Finland and Scotland (Academy of Finland, 2008-11). Recent papers and debates include the evolution of organisations carescapes (Sociological Research On-line, 14, 4) and careerscapes (Gender, Work and Organization, 20, 2, 184-196)

Violence: A research project on GPs Experiences and Perceptions of the Process of Disclosing Domestic Violence (Sociology of Health and Illness, 24, 3, 327-364) led to policy and practice development work on guidelines to support the process of disclosure in health care contexts, and subsequently the Open University Press book Families, Violence and Social Change (2005). Over seven years as a Visiting Professor at the Swedish School for Economics and Business Administration, in Helsinki Linda worked with colleagues (Hearn, Jyrkinen and Niemi) to undertake research and theoretical work on discourses on human rights, gender and violence (Policy and Politics, 36, 1, 75-91).

2. Applied Sociology

Evaluation: In 2002 Linda worked with several colleagues to initiate the development of the charity, Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) ( The aim of ESS is to build capacity in the Third and Public sectors on self-evaluation. Linda was a trustee and board member for the first six years of ESS. During this period she also continued academic and project work on this topic including co-leading a project to develop a meta evaluation framework for a £42m, 29 partner programme of work funded by the Scottish Government; Cashback for Communities (distribution of funds from organised crime to community projects in Scotland). This framework was also adopted and adapted by Health Improvement Scotland for their programme work on inequalities in deprived localities. More recent examples for research on this topic include; 2014-16 Sources of support: The Evaluation of Social Prescribing. MacPherson, I., McKie, L, Leishman, J. and Breslin, M. Scottish Government, £40K and 2012-13 Safe and Sound Project Evaluation, Morton, S., McMellon, C. and McKie, L. The Big Lottery, £12K

Evidence Informed Policy: Much of this work is concerned with knowledge sharing, transfer and impact; to ensure sociological work informs the development of policy, practice, education and future research. A new example of this is the grant Knowledge For Use [K4U]: Making the Most of Social Science to Build Better Policies, European Research Council, Cartwright, N., Byrne, D., Clarke, J., Hardie, J., McKie, L., Montuschi, E., Munro, E., Parker, W., Reis, J. and Seckinelgin, H. €2.3m, 2015-2020. 

Publications from 2010

Journal papers: academic

McKie, L. and Jyrkinen, M. (2016) “MyManagement”: Women Middle Managers in Gendered and Sexualised Working Life, Gender in Management: an International Journal, 32, 2, pp.98-110,

McKie, L., Biese, I. & Jyrkinen, M. (2013). “The Best Time is Now!” The Temporal and Spatial Dynamics of Women Opting in to Self-Employment. Gender, Work & Organization 20(2): 184-196.

Galabova, L. & McKie, L. (2013). “The five fingers of my hand” human capital and well-being in SMEs. Personnel Review 42(6): 662-683.

Jyrkinen, M. & McKie, L. (2012). Gender, Age and Ageism: Experiences of Women Managers in Finland and Scotland. Work, Employment and Society 26(1): 61-77.

McKie, L. & Ryan, L. (2012). Introduction to E-Special: Exploring Trends and Challenges in Sociological Research. Sociology 46(6): 1-7.

Malik, F., McKie, L., Hogg, G. & Beattie, R. (2010). A Toolkit to Support Human Resource Management. Personnel Review 39(3): 287-307.

Hearn, J. & McKie, L. (2010). Gendered and Social Hierarchies in Problem Representation and Policy Processes: ‘Domestic Violence’ in Finland and Scotland. Violence against Women 16(2): 136-158.

Books: authored

McKie, L. & Callan, S. (2012). Understanding Families. A Global Introduction. Sage.

Bowlby, S., McKie, L., Gregory, S. & MacPherson, I. (2010). Interdependency and Care Over the Lifecourse. Routledge.

Books: edited

McKie, L. & Ryan, L. (2016). An End to the Crisis of Empirical Sociology? Trends and Challenges in Social Research. Routledge.

Books: sections

McKie, L . and Jyrkinen, M. (2018). Early to Mid-Career Women Managers: Experiences of Gender, Care and Work. In Impact of Diversity on Career Development. Broadbridge, A. and Fielden, S. Edgar Elgar, forthcoming.

Biese, I. & McKie, L. (2015). Opting in: Women in search of well-being. In The Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women. Connerley, M. & Wu, J. Springer. 503-516.

McKie, L. States of Denial: Gender, Violence and Families in McAuliffe and Open Door Network Collective (eds.) Dynamics of Violence Against Women and Services for Survivors. Cork: Red Hen Publishing.

McKie, L. and Smith, A. Where is the Care? Conceptualising and Researching Families’ Responsibilities and Work in a Survey, in Jamieson, L., Simpson, R. and Lewis, R. (eds) Researching Families and Relationships. Reflections on Process. London: Palgrave.

Black, M., Bryce, A. and McKie, L. Second Change Learning: A Community-development Approach to Smoking Cessation in Barlow, J. (ed.) Substance Misuse. The Implications of Research, Policy and Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

MacPherson, I. And McKie, L. Qualitative Research in Programme Evaluation, in I. Bourgeault et al., Sage Handbook on Qualitative Health Research. London: Sage, forthcoming.

McKie, L. and Callan, S. Families: The Basic Unit of Societies; Encyclopedia of Family Health; in Craft-Rosenberg, M. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Family Health. London: Sage

McKie, L. and Yuill, C. Sociological Perspectives on Defining and Accounting for Violence: Towards Gendering the Conflict in Northern Ireland in Bradby, H. and Hundt, G. (eds) Global Perspectives on War, Gender and Health. Ashgate.