Biography

Dr Svetlana Stephenson

About the author …….

I was born in Moscow, where I first studied history and then gained my PhD in sociology at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. During perestroika and in the early 1990s I worked as a researcher in the All-Russian Centre for Public Opinion Research (now known as the Levada Centre). During this time I also completed a research fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1996 I moved to the UK, where I worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Universities of Essex and Luton before moving in 2002 to London Metropolitan University, where I am currently a Reader in Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. In 2013 I was a visiting fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute in Helsinki as part of their Visiting Scholars Programme.

I have been investigating life in the “shadows” of Russian society for over 20 years, focusing on informal and criminal networks, their cultures, and their relations with mainstream society and the state. During this time my research has included interviews with street children, homeless people, sex workers, and members of youth gangs and organized crime networks in Russia.

I am the author of many books and articles published in English and Russian. These include “Crossing the Line: Vagrancy, Homelessness And Social Displacement in Russia” (2006) and “Youth and Social Change in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union (2012, co-edited with Charles Walker). My latest book, “Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power” was published in 2015 by Cornell University Press. A Russian language version of this book, titled ” Жизнь по понятиям. Уличные группировки в России” (“Life By The Code: Street Gangs In Russia”) was published in Moscow in 2017 by the Khamovniki Fund For Social Research.