David Pearson

Adjunct Associate Professor
School of Social and Cultural Studies

David Pearson


BA (SocSci) (First Class Honours), PhD Leicester, UK.

Research specialties

Comparing settler societies (especially Australia, New Zealand and Canada); the British diaspora; ethnic politics; nationalism; social inequality.


Authored (4), co-authored (1) and co-edited (6) eleven books, including Tangata Tangata The Changing Ethnic Contours of New Zealand, co-edited with Paul Spoonley and Cluny Macpherson, Dunmore Press, 2004; and The Politics of Ethnicity in Settler Societies States of Unease, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001 (a Kirkus Best Political Sociology Book). Also published over 50 peer-reviewed international and local articles and chapters on ethnic relations and national identity, citizenship, and social inequality; especially relating to British settler societies. Currently working with J. R. Cody and R. Y. Cavana on modelling New Zealand liberalism and welfare 1870-1913 with intention of publishing journal article and a book chapter in international outlets.

Recent publications

Pearson, D. 2021. ‘Comparing Sociological and Demographic Imaginations’, Aotearoa New Zealand Journal of Social Issues, 1:1-10.

Pearson, D. 2019. National Ties Entwined: Civic and Ethnic Nationalisms in New Zealand in Jasper Trautsch, (ed) Civic Nationalisms in Global Perspective, Routledge, New York: 129-152.

Pearson, D. 2017. Review essay The Martin Presence Jean Martin and the Making of The Social Sciences in Australia. By Peter Beilharz, Trevor Hogan and Sheila Shaver, UNSW Press, New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 32, 2:213-217.

Pearson, D. 2016. ‘Settler societies’, in John Stone et al (eds) The On-Line Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Nationalism, Wiley-Blackwell, New York

Pearson, D. 2014. 'Ambiguous immigrants? Examining the changing status of the English in New Zealand', Nations and Nationalism, 20(3), pp. 503-522.

Pearson, D. (2014). ‘Disinterested relations?: Reflections on sociology and history in and beyond New Zealand’, New Zealand Sociology,  29(4):173-190.

Pearson, D. 2014. Review of Inequality A New Zealand Crisis?. By Max Rashbrook, Bridget Williams Books,  The Journal of New Zealand Studies, 18:177-179.

Pearson, D. 2013  'Comparing Cultures of Decline? Class Perceptions among English Migrants in New Zealand', New Zealand Sociology, 28(3), pp. 81-101.

Pearson, D. 2013. Review of New Zealand’s London A Colony and its Metropolis. By Felicity Barnes, Auckland University Press, New Zealand Journal of History, 47, 1:95-96.

Pearson, D. 2013. Review of Counting Stories, Moving Ethnicities: Studies From Aotearoa New Zealand. Edited by Rosalind McLean, Brad Patterson and David Swain, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Waikato University, New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 28, 1:181-183.

Pearson D. 2012. Review of Scottish Ethnicity and the Making of New Zealand Society, 1850–1930. By Tanja Bueltmann. The American Historical Review, 2012, 117(4):1209-1210.

Pearson D. 2012. Arcadia Reinvented? Recounting the Recent Sentiments and Experiences of English Migrants to New Zealand, in Lyndon Fraser and Angela McCarthy (eds) Far From ‘Home’ The English in New Zealand, Otago University Press, Dunedin: 145-164.

Pearson, D. 2012. ‘A Small Nation on the Move’, Review Essay on J. Martin, Honouring the Contract, and J. Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939, New Zealand Sociology, 27, 1:140-148.

Cody, J., Cavana, R.Y., Pearson, D. 2011. Maintaining disparities: analysis with a small evolutionary game model, Published Proceedings of the 29th International Conference of the System Dynamic Society, Washington, DC, System Dynamics Society: 1-25.

Pearson D. and Sedgwick C. 2010 ‘The English Question in New Zealand: Exploring national attachments and detachments among English Migrants’, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 16: (October, 2010), pp.1-22.

Memberships, appointments and other work

On review panels of Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. In the past three years, I have also been asked to review for The British Journal of Social Policy. Asked to examine MA and PhD theses, most recently for AUT, Auckland and La Trobe, Melbourne.

Recent Awards

  • Life Membership of Sociological Association of Aotearoa (NZ) SAANZ (2013)
  • SAANZ Scholarship Award for Exceptional Service to New Zealand Sociology (2012)