Deptford is Changing

Anita Strasser talks to Les Back about her book and PhD Research
3 August 2022

In this edition of Street Signs, Les Back meets visual sociologist Anita Strasser and talks to her about her book Deptford is Changing. This unique document of south London urban community is produced through a combination of photographic portraits and vivid life stories.  Anita tells Les about her desire to create a collaborative sociology that really captures the spirit and defiant hope of this place, while at the same time showing the threats posed by property development, austerity and gentrification.  Unlike other academic research on urban community that extracts information, this book creates a sense of community at the heart of the research process itself through collaboration that residents participate in and authorise. Deptford is Changing is a compelling example of how to write a hopeful sociology and in this edition of Street Signs we learned how it was achieved.  

Deptford is Changing is available over the counter at The Word bookshop in New Cross, London SE14.  You can also read it online for free at

︎ credit : Petra Rainer

Les Back is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Director of CUCR.

Anita Strasser is a PhD candidate in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.