Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Richard Sennett

In the context of the ‘Dies Academicus’ 2013 at Leuphana University Lüneburg US-American Sociologist Richard Sennett was awarded the honorary degree by the faculty of Cultural Studies.

Since 1971 the sociologist holds a professorship of history and sociology at the New York University. He further works as Centennial Professor of Social and Cultural Theory at the London School of Economics. Sennett gained world-wide reputation through his innovative work ‘The Fall of Public Man’ (1977) in which he deals with the downturn of urban structure due to privatization in public space.  

Honorary doctor of the faculty of Cultural Studies


Richard Sennett was awarded his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1969. He grew up in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago when it was still new, before it gained notoriety in the popular media for racial segregation, poverty, and gang violence. Today he is one of the best-known sociologists writing about urban affairs, work, and the relationships between private and public life. In the 1970s Professor Sennett founded the New York Institute for Humanities at New York University. He later served as an advisor to UNESCO in the 1980s. In 1999 Sennett took up the post as Professor for Sociology at the London School of Economics and has been teaching in London, New York, and Harvard. Before turning to sociology, Sennett attended the Julliard School of Music, studying both piano and cello.

As a social scientist, Richard Sennett became well-known for his work in the field of cultural studies. Within his main areas of specialization, namely “city” and “work,” he has published numerous articles and a dozen monographs based on substantial empirical and historical material. His work has received widespread international recognition and has been translated into numerous languages including not only German but languages such as Chinese, Japanese and Arabic as well.


  • The American Historical Association
  • The American Studies Association
  • The American Sociological Association
  • The British Sociology Association
  • The International Sociological Association
  • Societe Europeenne de Culture
  • The Tocqueville Society
  • Society of Architectural Historians
  • 1985 - 1990: Editorial Board, Pequod
  • 1981 -- : Editorial Board, The Psychoanalytic Study of Society
  • 1976 --: Editorial Board, Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought
  • 1974 – 1981: Editorial Board, Theory and Society