A tribute from A. Sivanandan, director Institute of Race Relations.
John Rex was one of the first sociologists in Britain to bring class to the study of ‘race’ – as his pioneering study (with Robert Moore) of housing in Sparkbrook (Race, community and conflict, IRR, 1969) showed so starkly. And that insight he brought into his work as president for eight years of the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. And when, in 1972, the staff and members of the Institute of Race Relations came together at an extraordinary general meeting to get rid of the colonial board of management that constrained research into racism, it was John Rex’s evocative speech from the floor that helped to swing the floating vote in the staff’s favour.
A rare and committed scholar, rarer still for these times.