Robert Dingwall is a consulting sociologist and part-time Professor at Nottingham Trent University. His first degree was in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge (1971) and he then completed a PhD in medical sociology at the University of Aberdeen (1974). He worked for the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford from 1978 until 1990, when he became Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. He was the founding director of the Institute for Science and Society at that university in 1998, a post that he held until restructuring in 2010. He has written widely about issues in health care and health policy, professions, law and society, science and technology studies and research methods.
Dingwall and Lewis's renowned compilation of theorists and empirical researchers into the sociology of the professions was groundbreaking when first published in 1983 and has influenced scholars and professionals since. The new digital edition features a substantive new Foreword by Professor Sida Liu of the University of Wisconsin. Not limited to one occupation or field, as are many such studies.
Robert Dingwall, John Eekelaar and Topsy Murray's classic study of law & social work in action is based on the most extensive investigation of child abuse/neglect in Britain. It follows cases from the first detection of mistreatment to the resolution (or otherwise) of the problem. Famed for coining the oft-used (and misplaced) phrase "the rule of optimism," the book is updated in the 2014 edition.
Robert Dingwall's classic and original study of health visitors in the UK includes linked notes, tables from the print edition, linked index & active Contents. He studied the origins and rise of the health visitor (like physician assistants in the U.S.) from a sociological perspective, with interviews and pointed examples to show the path to professionalization of this health care service worker.