Manchester Metropolitan University

Meet Our Team

The Manchester Centre for Youth Studies Team:

hannah smithsonProfessor Hannah Smithson
Professor of Criminology and Youth Justice / Head of MCYS

‌I have worked within the field of criminology for over 15 years and ensure real-world relevance and impact for all research I conduct. I work collaboratively with a host of local, national and international communities/stakeholders. The majority of my work involves engagement with a number of communities in and outside of the university, including professionals, activists and the Third Sector. I have directed projects funded by the YJB, ESRC, AHRC, local authorities, police forces and charities. My research has been instrumental in shaping agendas in research and policy across three interconnected areas: Youth Justice, Youth Gangs and Community Safety and Crime prevention. Young people’s participation is at the heart of the research I carry out and I am committed to developing  research methods that enable this.    


melanie-tProfessor Melanie Tebbutt
Professor in History /Associate Head of MCYS

Melanie has written widely on British social and cultural history in works which include the history of pawnbroking and working-class credit, women’s social networks, gossip and leisure in working-class communities and regional identities. Her research in the last decade has turned to focus on the history of childhood and youth. Her most recent monograph, Being BoysYouth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years, published byManchester University Press, received funding from both the AHRC and British Academy.


paul gDr Paul Gray
Senior Lecturer in Criminology /Associate Head of MCYS 

Paul has been a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Manchester Metropolitan University since 2011. In the 15 years prior to that, he was involved in conducting applied criminological research in the private, public and voluntary sectors. He has managed, and contributed to, numerous multi-method evaluations for a wide range of funders - including the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Welsh Assembly, and the Ministry of Justice. His work has focussed primarily on youth justice, resettlement, substance misuse, and youth engagement.


mcys-staffRichard McHugh
Research Assistant in MCYS

Richard has worked in youth justice, youth and community work and education for 16 years. His experiences ranges from youth justice prevention, adult resettlement through to teaching on youth and community and education studies within higher education programmes. In recent years Richard has been working on his ongoing Doctoral study focusing on how education may take place within groups that are commonly described as ‘gangs’, with a specific focus on the role that social space may have within such educative processes.

Richard’s other research interests relate to informal educative practices and processes within groups that are identified or identify their self as being ‘outsiders’, as well as risk within research and researcher positionality.


Members of Manchester Centre for Youth Studies:

Mr Graham Smyth

Profile and research interests

Graham (LLB, MA) has been a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at MMU’s Sociology department since January 2006. He joined MMU following a career in which he worked for 26 years in criminal justice as an officer and a manager within the Probation Service, as a Safer Cities coordinator / community safety manager and as head of a Youth Offending Service. Graham’s research interests include youth justice; crime prevention; interventions with offenders designed to change their behaviour; probation. Graham’s research has looked at delivery of services to young people within the criminal justice system, intensive probation schemes, resettlement schemes for released prisoners, restorative justice schemes, and ‘life coaching’ within the secure estate.

Recent relevant publications/presentations

Refereed journal articles


  • GM. Smyth (2015). A Baseline Evaluation of Restorative Justice Work within Manchester Youth Offending Service. , Manchester Youth Offending Service.
  • GM. Smyth (2014). Evaluation of Coaching Inside And Out. n/a, Coaching Inside And Out.
  • GM. Smyth (2008). First Time Entrants to the Youth Justice System in Cheshire: Who Are They and How Can They Be Kept Out? A review.


Jo Jenkinson

Department: Manchester Fashion Institute

Role: Principal Lecturer

Profile and research interests

Jo worked as a designer in the fashion industry prior to teaching Fashion, initially at Manchester School of Art and then Manchester Fashion
Institute. Jo’s interest in Youth Studies grew out of a personal interest in the interactions between music, style, gender and youth. She is currently investigating these themes in her doctoral study which explores memory and narratives of youth through the lens of music and dress.

In 2016 Jo set up a Fashion and Business Saturday Club at the Manchester Fashion Institute working with 13-15 year olds from 20 schools across Greater Manchester.

The club developed Jo’s interest in youth, style and identity leading to further youth projects, working with colleagues in MCYS, including the ‘Portraits of Youth’ project. Jo and the ‘Portraits of Youth’ team are currently planning further workshops, with diverse youth groups, exploring and articulating identities of youth through clothing.

Contact Details

Dr Helene Snee

Profile and research interests

Helene’s research interests focus on young people and social class. In particular, Helene is interested in youth transitions, social mobility and education and social class (particularly concerning culture, consumption and identity). Helene is an advocate of collaborative research and a member of the ‘Res-Sisters’ feminist collective. As well as being co-convenor of the British Sociology Association’s (BSA) Youth Study Group Helene has a broad range of collaborative scholarly experience including contributing to recent work on Great British Class Survey project and as an organising member of digital methods as social science research network.

Recent relevant publications/presentations 

Featured Works

Books (authored/edited/special issues)

  • M. Savage, N. Cunningham, F. Devine, S. Friedman, D. Laurison, et al. L. McKenzie, A. Miles, H. Snee, P. Wakeling. (2015). Social Class in the 21st Century. Pelican Books.
  • H. Snee, C. Hine, Y. Morey, S. Roberts, H. Watson (2015). Digital Methods for Social Science: An Interdisciplinary Guide to Research Innovation. H. Snee, C. Hine, Y. Morey, S. Roberts, H. Watson. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • H. Snee (2014). A cosmopolitan journey? Difference, distinction and identity work in gap year travel.

Refereed journal articles

Chapters in books

  • H. Snee, F. Devine (2015). Young people’s transitions to employment: Making choices, negotiating constraints. In: Handbook of Children and Youth Studies. pp.543-555.
  • H. Snee (2011). Youth Research in Web 2.0: A Case Study in Blog Analysis. In: Innovations in Youth Research. Palgrave Macmillan,
  • The Res-Sisters I'm an early career feminist academic : get me out of here?. R. Thwaites, A. Godoy-Pressland.. In: Feminist Beginnings: Being an Early Career Feminist Academic in a Changing Academy. Palgrave Macmillan,


Selected invited papers

  • (2014) ‘Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology?’ Personal Development Workshop at British Academy of Management Conference, Belfast, September 2014.
  • (2010) ‘Framing Gap Year Places: representations of difference in online travel narratives’, Auras of Place Workshop, Morgan Centre, University of Manchester, March 2010.

Conference organisation

  • Member of Scientific Committee for Journal of Youth Studies Conference 2015.

Dr Haridhan Goswami

Department: Sociology

Role: Senior Lecturer

Profile and research interests

I have developed expertise on quantitative methods especially in survey design, testing reliability and validity of data collection instruments, multivariate analysis of data, and research with children and young people and their subjective well-being from the research I did in the Third Sector for almost 6 years and  Higher Education for over 7 years. Prior to joining the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, I designed, developed, and taught courses on quantitative methods for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in sociology for over 4 years. In teaching quantitative methods, I use real life examples from my own research. I believe this is crucial to explain the relevance and correct application of statistical techniques in social research which otherwise can be abstract and alien to many learners.

Areas of expertise

  • Research with children and young people
  • Quantitative methods
  • Subjective well-being
  • Survey design
  • Multivariate analysis of data
  • Inter-ethnic group relations

Current and future research with young people

I have been actively involved with Professor Gary Pollock and Professor Chris Fox and 11 European partners in bidding MYWEB (Measuring Youth Well-being) Project, which has recently won 1.5 million Euros funding from the European Commission (under FP7 call). The project aims to assess the feasibility of a European longitudinal study for children and young people.

I am currently involved in an another FP7 funded research project called MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy And Civic Engagement) which explores how young people’s social participation is shaped by totalitarianism and populism in Europe. Further detail of the project is available at


  • PeerJ
  • Drustvena istrazivanja: Journal for General Social Issues
  • Child Indicators Research
  • Safer Communities
  • Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research

Recent relevant publications

  • Goswami, H. (In Press). Socio-demographic factors and participation of the European youth: A multilevel analysis. Polish Sociological Review.
  • Goswami, H., and Pollock, G. (In Press). Correlates of Mental Health and Psychological Well-being of the European Youth: evidence from the European Quality of Life Survey. Perspectives on Youth. Issue 3.
  • Goswami, H., Fox, C., and Pollock, G. (2015). The current evidence base and future needs in improving children's well-being across Europe: is there a case for a comparative longitudinal survey? Child Indicators Research. Online First.
  • Franks, M., Medforth, R., Goswami, H. (2015). Barriers to the uptake of emergency accommodation by young runaways and thrown-out-children and the role of the ‘transitional person’. Children and Society. 29 (2), pp. 146-156.
  • Goswami, H. (2014). Children’s Subjective Well-being: Socio-demographic Characteristics and Personality. Child Indicators Research. 7 (1), pp.119-140.
  • Goswami, H. (2012). Social Relationships and Children’s Subjective Well-being. Social Indicators Research.107 (3), pp. 575—588.

Contact Details

E-mail:; Telephone: 0161 247 3078

Dr Rob Drummond

Rob is a sociolinguist who is interested in the language of young people who live in urban environments. His current project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, explores the ways in which young people enact identities through language and other social practices. Rob has a background in sociophonetics and dialect acquisition, and prior to becoming involved in working with young people his research looked at sociolinguistic variation in a second language, exploring social reasons behind the acquisition of local speech features in the language of Polish people living in Manchester. Rob was awarded his PhD from the University of Manchester, where he worked for several years before joining MMU in 2010.

Visit Dr Rob Drummonds staff profile

Clare Knox-Bentham

Department: Manchester School of Art

Profile and Research Interests

Clare is the Outreach Manager for Manchester School of Art. Her role is to liaise with schools, community groups, museums, galleries and creative and cultural organisation to see how Manchester School of Art can support and promote creativity in the region. Manchester School of Art Outreach Team can help in a variety of ways, through providing volunteers or mentors from our undergraduate cohort, or linking organisations with graduate practitioners; to running independent projects or providing CPD for schools and teachers. 

Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Within the School of Art, Clare coordinates interactive experiential workshops and exhibitions. The Outreach Team delivers the Art & Design Mentor programme for students which provides training, support and employability advice for students aiming to progress into teaching or who want to include public engagement/workshop delivery as part of their own practice.

Community Links

Clare also manages Marketplace Studios in Stockport, where Manchester School of Art graduates can set up their own creative practice. The studios provide graduates with a place to work independently, while still being supported by the University through mentoring, business advice, talks and workshops.


  • Knox-Bentham, C. (2015) 'Raising the Bar:', International Journal of Art & Design Education Conference, Tate Liverpool, 24- 25th November 2015.

International Projects

  • ‘Dare to Begin’ 2015, World Skills Competition, Sau Paolo Brazil
  • ‘Connected Explorers’ 2016, British Council, Rio Brazil


  • The Invisibility Tardis Shed of Navel Contemplation, interactive collaboration with Adriano DiGaudio July 2015; RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire
  • Window Box Wall (interactive exhibition), RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, 22nd - 26th July 2014, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire
  • Art School Allotment, RHS Flower Show Tatton Park,  2013, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire

Dr Katie Milestone

Department: Sociology and Criminology

Role: Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Profile and Research Interests

I have been researching aspects of youth and popular culture since commencing a career in academic research and teaching. My research career began on gaining a PhD scholarship at the MMU Manchester Institute for Popular Culture (MIPC). My PhD examined the role of pop and youth culture in transforming the area of Manchester now know as the Northern Quarter. Whilst at the MIPC I worked with colleagues on a number of projects focusing on Manchester’s youth culture including projects on club culture, music, youth employment and young women in creative industries. My youth related research has predominantly been connected with music and popular culture. I have researched and published work on the Northern Soul scene, Manchester’s transformation via youth and popular culture and histories of girls and youth subcultures. I have organised conferences and research events on these themes. I was commissioned to write an article on youth culture for the guardian newspaper which is available here

I have led research projects totalling £300,000 in grant funding from organisations including the European Social Fund (see below for details). Many of these projects had a youth focus. I have incorporated my research interests into a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and have supervised a number of Masters and PhD projects on youth related themes.

Katie’s main youth related research interests;

  • Gender and popular culture
  • Popular music and social change
  • Northern soul
  • Youth subcultures
  • Place and cultural identity 

Youth related current/future projects and presentations

Youth related publications/research reports/presentations

  • 2014 (forthcoming) Discothèque: The Revolutions of Dance Music Culture. (with Simon Morrison), London & Chicago: Reaktion and U. of Chicago Press
  • 2014 (forthcoming) Entry on ‘Northern Soul’ in the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World
  • 2014 (forthcoming) ‘Gender and Cultural Industries’ in The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries, Oakley,K and O’Connor,J (eds), Routledge


  • The Journal of Psychology and Popular Culture

Dr Deborah Jump

Department: Department of Sociology

Profile and Research Interests

Deborah Jump has over ten years experience of working in youth justice as both a practitioner and service manager. Deborah has implemented sporting programmes such as Splash and Positive Futures, and was the recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Fund grant evaluating the impact of sporting programmes on communities in the U.S.A. Deborah’s current research focuses on sport and desistance from crime, and she has recently completed an ethnography looking at the impact of boxing on young offender’s attitudes towards violent crime. She has published on qualitative research methods and national sporting policy evaluation.

Invited keynotes and conference contribution

Invited papers

  • British Society of Criminology symposium speaker on desistance. Publication forthcoming

Relevant Publications


Awards, Honours & Distinctions

Prizes and awards

  • Recipient of Winston Churchill Memorial Fund 2006

Editorial Board membership

  • I am on the editorial board for the Safer Communities journal

Membership of professional associations

  • British Society of Criminology
  • European Society of Criminology
  • Howard League for Penal Reform

Dr April Pudsey

Department: History, Politics and Philosophy

Profile and Research Interests

April has recently joined MMU, having taught and researched at Newcastle, Birkbeck, University of London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester. Her primary research interests are in children’s lives, agency and cultures in classical Antiquity, particularly Graeco-Roman Egypt, and in the demography of the ancient world. She is currently working on two internationally collaborative projects relating to ancient childhood. Growing Up in an Ancient Metropolis. Children in Roman Oxyrhynchos (with Ville Vuolanto, Oslo), is the first project of its kind, systematically examining thousands of Greek papyri from the Egyptian city to reconstruct the lives and experience of children in a variety of domestic, political, religious and community contexts. Material Cultures of Infant Feeding in the Classical World (with Sally Waite, Newcastle) systematically collates and examines hundreds of feeding and weaning bottles, cups and strainers from the Graeco-Roman world to explore how the materiality of infant feeding and weaning practices can help us understand demographic and cultural aspects of infant care (both maternal and wet-nursing) in the past, and how the materiality of objects can give presence to cultural norms and values of motherhood.

April is developing a network of scholars working on Children’s Cultures and Agency, Past and Present, which will see a number of academic and public events through the Centre for Youth Studies, the first of which will be an international colloquium on youth agency in April, 2016.

Blog on ancient children:

Web profile:

Youth Related Research Papers Delivered

University of Basel: ‘The Cultural Economics of Breast-Feeding in Roman Egypt’ (2015)

University of Tampere, Finland: ‘On the road: children’s travel around Oxyrhynchos’ (with Ville Vuolanto) (2015)

Newcastle University: ‘ “…and all the troubles of nursing, to which their station condemns them”: mothers, wet-nurses and the economics of breastfeeding in Roman Egypt’ (2015)

Universitet i Oslo: ‘Children’s experience and environment: the case of aunts and uncles in Oxyrhynchos’ (2014)

London, Institute of Classical Studies: ‘Population, Society and Family in Roman Egypt’ (2013)

University of Manchester: ‘Children in Roman Oxyrhynchos: everyday life in a metropolis’ (2013) (with Ville Vuolanto)

Gothenburg University , Sweden Arachne Gender Studies con.: ‘A truth universally acknowledged? Elite marital and social status in Roman Egypt’ (2012)

Rome, Institutum Romanum Findlandiae, Roman Family VI con.: ‘Egyptian monastic children’ (2012)

University of Manchester, Colloquium on Childhood in Antiquity: ‘Children and families in Roman Egypt’ (2011)

New York, Institute for Study of the Ancient World: ‘Household life-cycles in Roman Egypt’ (2008)

Youth Related Publications

  • (in progress) Growing Up in an Ancient Metropolis. Children and Everyday Life in Roman Oxyrhynchos. with Ville Vuolanto
  • (in press) with Vuolanto, V. ‘Children’s experience and environment: the case of aunts and uncles in Oxyrhynchos’, in Aasgaard, R., Laes, C. and Vuolanto, V. eds. Being a Child in the Roman World. Children and Everyday Lives Oslo
  • (under review) ‘Disability and infirmitas in the ancient world: demographic and biological facts in the longue durée’ in Laes, C. ed. Disability in Antiquity Routledge
  • (under review) 'Children, ritual and religion in Roman Egypt' in Beaumont, L., Harrington, N., and Dillon, M. eds. Children in Antiquity. Perspectives and Experiences of Childhood in the Ancient Mediterranean Routledge
  • (in press) ‘Children’s cultures in Graeco-Roman Egypt’ in Grig, L. (ed.) Popular Culture in the Roman World CUP
  • (2015) ‘Children and families in late Roman Egypt: family and everyday life in monastic contexts’ in Laes ,C., Mustakallio, K. and Vuolanto, V. (eds.) Children and Family in Late Antiquity. Life, Death and Interaction Leuven: Peeters: 215-234.
  • (2013) ‘Children in Roman Egypt’ in Evans Grubbs, J. and Parkin, T.G. with Bell, R. (eds.). Handbook of Children and Education in the Classical World Oxford University Press: 484 -509.
  • (2012) ‘Death and the family: widows and divorcées in Roman Egypt’ in Larsson Lovén, L. and Harlow, M. (eds.). Families in the Imperial and Late Antique Roman Worlds Continuum: 157-80.
  • (2011) ‘Nuptiality and the demographic life cycle of families in Roman Egypt’ in Holleran, C. and Pudsey, A. (eds.) Demography and the Graeco-Roman World. New Insights and Approaches. CUP: 60-98.
  • (2011) Demography and the Graeco-Roman World. New Insights and Approaches. with Claire Holleran, Cambridge University Press 


Dr Shoba Arun

Department: Department of Sociology

Profile and Research Interests 

Dr Shoba Arun completed her PhD from the University of Manchester (1999), after which she joined as Lecturer in International Development, at the University of Ulster. She has many years of experience in teaching in sociology and international development. Shoba Arun is an active and enthusiastic academic with wide ranging teaching and research interests. Her research goals are to better understand processes of global social change, as these processes are expressed in particular social and spatial contexts and differently, among diverse social constituencies. Her scholarship on sociology of development is seen in her overall research, teaching, and outreach activities, particularly on the causes, dynamics, and consequences of social and economic change, and engages this approach to undertake a number of parallel but distinct research interests. Foremost, her research publications and expertise concern gender matters in the global society, including Girlhood in a global context and knowledge economy. This includes research in the areas of neo-liberal policies and impact on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) based services, and its impact on gender and the labour market. In doing so, she has an international standing in this field of gender research in a sociological analysis of information systems. Her publications have informed policy reports and scholarly debates on the impact of IT based services within the gendered labour market, thus building such knowledge through engaged research with a wide range of constituencies. In addition her research focussing on how societal contexts respond to policies, and identify constraints in development pathways through the intersecting axis of social divisions of gender, ethnicity and class, illustrate the scope and meaning of development in a globalising world and can be seen in her work on assets, social networks among diverse households in India. Her research into global mobilities among skilled migrants also exposes gendered and racialised processes of global change.

Related Research Papers and Keynotes Delivered

  • Paradigms of feminisation of professional migration. Women on the move, but is gender? Seminar Presentation, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala. India. December 2013.
  • 'Technically Working' Lives: Women in ICT based Work Contexts in India and Sri Lanka , Annual BSA Conference, April 11-13. 2012 The University of Leeds (with S.Bailur and S. Morgan)
  • Do Asset-Accumulation Strategies matter? Adivasi Livelihoods in Southern India, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, Ten Years On, The University of Manchester. September 8-10, 2010 (with S.Annim and T.Arun).
  • Transnational Flows and Changing Work, Cultural Citizenship' Conference (2008) Annual Conference by Centre for Research on Economic and Social Change (CRESC). St Hugh' s college. University of Oxford, from 2-5 September.
  • Global Changes, Local Lives – Transnationalism in Crises, Annual Global Studies Association. 2nd-5th September, Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey (with R.Grimm).
  • Transnationalisation of Work.Cultures and/of Globalization, Annual Global Studies Association (UK and Europe) and Oxford Brookes University, September 3-5, 2008, Oxford.

Related Publications

Refereed journal articles

  • 2015. Do all networks work. Sociology.
  • 2013. Overcoming Household Shocks: Do Asset-Accumulation Strategies Matter?. Review of Social Economy. 71, 281-305.
  • 2013. Earnings Inequality in Sri Lanka. The Journal of Developing Areas. 47, 355-371.
  • 2012. 'We are farmers too': Agrarian change and gendered livelihoods in Kerala, South India. Journal of Gender Studies. 21, 271-284.
  • 2012. Bequest Motives and Determinants of Micro Life Insurance in Sri Lanka. World Development. 40, 1700-1711.
  • 2011. Transforming livelihoods and assets through participatory approaches: The Kudumbashree in Kerala, India. International Journal of Public Administration. 34, 171-179.
  • 2010. Social outsourcing as a development tool: The impact of outsourcing it services to women's social enterprises in Kerala. Journal of International Development. 22, 441-454.
  • 2004. The Effect of Career Breaks on the Working Lives of Women. Feminist Economics. 10, 65-84+187.
  • 2002. ICTs, gender and development: Women in software production in Kerala. Journal of International Development. 14, 39-50.
  • Gender at work within the software industry: an Indian perspective.
  • 2001. Gender issues in social security policy of developing countries: lessons from the Kerala experience. International Social Security Review. 54,
  • 1999. Does land ownership make a difference? Women's roles in agriculture in Kerala, India. Gend Dev. 7, 19-27.

Chapters in books

  • ICTs for economic empowerment in South India.
  • ICT initiatives, women and work.
  • Improved livelihoods and empowerment for poor women through IT sector intervention.
  • Trajectories of change: gendered technologies and perspectives.
  • ‘Caring’ cosmopolitans and global migration: plus ça change?.
  • 'Caring' professionals: global migration and gendered cultural economy.
  • 2001. Does ownership of land make any difference: The case of Kerala, India. Gender Perspectives on Property and Inheritance. A Global source book. KIIT Publishers.

Awards, Hours & Distinctions

Visiting and honorary positions

  • Visiting Fellow, Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna (CIMP), Patna,India (2013-)

Membership of professional associations

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academcy (HEA)
  • Global Studies Association (GSA)
  • Membership Secretary , Global Studies Association (2008-2012)
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • Development Studies Association (DSA)


Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole

Department: Department of Psychology

Profile and Research Interests

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole read Modern History and Philosophy at the University of St Andrews graduating with an MA (Hons) in 1989. In 1992, Katherine completed a PGCE in early years education at Chichester Institute. After a period as an early years teacher, Katherine returned to higher education in 2003 and completed her BSc (Hons) Open (Psych) First Class in 2007. In the same year, Katherine began her PhD at the University of Sheffield funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, which explored parental experiences of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Previous Employment

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole has previously worked as an early years teacher. Since completing her PhD, Katherine has worked as a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and in Disability Studies at Sheffield Hallam University as well as on a variety of research projects at MMU. Katherine is now Senior Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology in the Social Change: Community Well-Being (SCCW) Research Centre at MMU.

Other academic service (administration and management)

Katherine is a member of the Professoriate and Deputy Head of the Social Change: Community Well-Being (SCCW) Research Centre. Katherine is also a member of Metropolis, MMU's policy think tank @manmetropolis . In addition, Katherine also has responsibility for developing impact strategies and sharing good practice within SCCW and is group leader for the Critical & Community Psychology Research Group within SCCW. In 2015, Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole was a member of the review panel for The Economic & Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences Manchester events.

Research expertise

Katherine’s research is located in the field of critical disability studies. Critical disability studies aim to understand and challenge exclusionary and oppressive practices associated with disablism and consider the ways these intersect with other forms of marginalisation including hetero/sexism, racism, poverty and imperialism.

Katherine’s research has focused on the lives of disabled children and young people and their families and allies, and more recently her work has focused on the lives of people labelled with learning disabilities in a time of austerity . Katherine also has an interest in the developing field of critical autism studies which seek to explore the ways in which the label of autism impacts on the lives of people so labelled.

Katherine’s research draws on qualitative methods including narrative, multiple methods and participatory approaches. 

Youth Related Research Papers and Keynotes Delivered

Invited papers

  • Goodley D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (20150 Disability & Community, Disability. Austerity. Resistance. End of Project Conference for Big Society? Disabled People with Learning Disabilities and Civil Society, The University of Sheffield, Sheffiled, UK, 16th September, 2015
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2015) Big Society & Self Advocacy, Self- Advocacy and the care Act, Pathways Associates, Preston, Lancashire, 14th Septemebr, 2015.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2015) Listening to dis/abled children and young people: a creative approach, Young Voices Seminar Day, Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, 25th June, 2015.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2015) Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: listening to children, ‘The Listening School’ Conference, London South Bank University, 23rd April, 2015
  • Runswick-Cole, K. and Hodge, N. (2015) You Say … I hear: the gap in understanding in parent professional partnership, Educational Rights Alliance, Unconference on Inclusion, London, 3rd February, 2015.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2014) Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: from theory to practice, The School of Education Seminar Series, 11th November, The University of Exeter, Exeter UK.
  • Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2014) Reading Rosie: Four theoretical readings of disabled childhood in a time of Big Society, Medical Humanities Seminar Series, New Medical School of Nanyang & Imperial Universities, Singapore 30th July, 2014.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. and Goodley, D. (2014) Reading Rosie: stories about disabled children, Child And Adolescent Mental Health Conference, The University of Northampton, 2-5th July, Northampton, UK.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. and Curran, T. (2014) Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies: theory into practice, The Disabled Children’s Research Network Seminar, Queens University, Belfast, UK, 25th June, 2014.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2014) Listening to Disabled Children in Research, Education Research Group Seminar Series, Department for Education and Inclusion, Sheffield Hallam University, 20th February, 2014.
  • Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2013) Reading Rosie: what stories do we tell of disabled children’s lives? Health and Education Research Group Seminar Series, 27th March, 2012, The University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2013) Adoption Activity Days, The British Association for Adoption and Fostering Conference (Northern Ireland), 12th March, 2013, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2012) The magic of Oily Cart, Developing Different Voices, 28th September, 2012, Preston Pavilion, Preston, UK.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2012) Autism and Me: a mother’s story, 11th January, The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2011) Celebrating Cyborgs: photo-voice and disabled children, Researching the lives of disabled children and young people, with a focus on their perspectives, ESRC research seminar series, 21st January, 2011, The Norah Fry Research Unit Bristol University, Bristol, UK.
  • Goodley, D. and Runswick-Cole, K. (2010) The Violence of Disablism, Child, Family and Disability Conference, 28th April, 2010, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.
  • Runswick-Cole, K. (2009) ‘Nursery Stories: exploring inclusion in the early years’ at the Sheffield Early Years Special Educational Needs Coordinators Forum, 3rd July, 2009, Sheffield, UK. Runswick-Cole, K. (2008) ‘Between a rock and a hard place: parents’ attitudes to their inclusion of their children with special educational needs in mainstream schools’, British Journal of Special Education 35th Anniversary Conference, The Department of Education, Cambridge University, December, 2009, Cambridge, UK. 

Youth Related Publications

Refereed journal articles

  • 2015. Raising Generation RX: mothering kids with invisible disabilities in an age of austerity. Disability & Society. 1-3.
  • 2015. Disability, Austerity and Cruel Optimism in Big Society: Resistance and “The Disability Commons”. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies. 4,
  • 2015. Big Society? Disabled people with the label of learning disabilities and the queer(y)ing of civil society. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research. 17, 1-13.
  • 2015. DisPovertyPorn: Benefits Street and the dis/ability paradox. Disability and Society. 30, 645-649.
  • 2015. Critical psychologies of disability: boundaries, borders and bodies in the lives of disabled children. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. 20, 51-63.
  • 2015. The DisHuman Child. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
  • 2014. Disabled children’s childhood studies: a distinct approach?. Disability & Society. 29, 1617-1630.
  • 2013. 'They never pass me the ball': Exposing ableism through the leisure experiences of disabled children, young people and their families. Children's Geographies. 11, 311-325.
  • 2013. The body as disability and possability: theorizing the 'leaking, lacking and excessive' bodies of disabled children. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research. 15, 1-19.
  • 2013. 'They never pass me the ball': exposing ableism through the leisure experiences of disabled children, young people and their families. Children's Geographies.
  • 2013. Disablism and Diaspora: British Pakistani Families and Disabled Children. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal. 9, 63-78.
  • 2012. Reading Rosie: The postmodern disabled child. Educational and Child Psychology. 29, 53-66.
  • 2012. Social policy and social capital: parents and exceptionality 1974-2007. DISABILITY & SOCIETY. 27, 1044-1045.
  • 2012. Book Review: Arnot, M. (2012) The Sociology of Disability and Inclusive Education: A Tribute to Len Barton. The British Journal of Sociology of Education. 27, 409-410.
  • 2012. The sociology of disability and inclusive education: a tribute to Len Barton. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION. 27, 409-410.
  • 2011. Time to end the bias towards inclusive education?. British Journal of Special Education. 38, 112-119.
  • 2011. Does Every disabled Child Matter? Hannah's story. Learning Disability Today. 11, 30-33.
  • 2011. Problematising policy: Conceptions of 'child', 'disabled' and 'parents' in social policy in England. International Journal of Inclusive Education. 15, 71-85.
  • 2011. Something in the air? creativity, culture and community. Research in Drama Education. 16, 75-91.
  • 2011. Not so usual families: overlaps and divergence in the practices of care within disabled and same-sex families. International Journal of Sociology of Families. 37, 243-262.
  • 2010. Len barton, inclusion and critical disability studies: Theorizing disabled childhoods. International Studies in Sociology of Education. 20, 273-290.
  • 2010. Living with dying and disabilism: Death and disabled children. Disability and Society. 25, 813-826.
  • 2010. Emancipating play: Dis/abled children, development and deconstruction. Disability and Society. 25, 499-512.
  • 2009. Needs or rights? A challenge to the discourse of special education. British Journal of Special Education. 36, 198-203.
  • 2009. From Advocate to Activist? Mapping the Experiences of Mothers of Children on the Autism Spectrum. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 22, 43-53.
  • 2008. Problematising parent-professional partnerships in education. Disability and Society. 23, 637-647.
  • 2008. Between a rock and a hard place: Parents' attitudes to the inclusion of children with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools. British Journal of Special Education. 35, 173-180.
  • 2008. Repositioning mothers: Mothers, disabled children and disability studies. Disability and Society. 23, 199-210.
  • 2007. 'The tribunal was the most stressful thing: More stressful than my son's diagnosis or behaviour': The experiences of families who go to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDisT). Disability and Society. 22, 315-328. 

Books (authored/edited/special issues)

  • 2014. [Author] Approaching Disability: Critical Issues and Perspectives. Routledge.
  • 2013. [Editor] Disabled Children's Childhood Studies: critical approaches in a global context. Palgrave MacMillan.
  • 2011. [Author] Qualitative Methods in Psychology. McGraw-Hill International.

Chapters in books

  • 2015. The Dis School. Disability studies: Educating for inclusion. Sense,
  • 2015. The Learning Disabled Child. Children in Society. PCCS Books,
  • 2014. Disability Hate Crime. In: P. Taylor, K. Corteen. A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk. Bristol: The Policy Press, 200-201.
  • 2014. Resilience and Work in the lives of disabled people’. In: P. Taylor. Work and Society: Places, Spaces and Identities. Chester: University of Chester, 173-195.
  • 2013. Disability: Cripping Masculinity?. In: P. Pini. Men, Masculinities and Methodologies. 152-156.
  • 2013. Wearing it all with a smile:’ emotional labour in the lives of mothers of disabled children’. In: T. Curran. Disabled Children's Childhood Studies: Critical approaches in a global context. 105-118.
  • 2012. Decolonizing methodologies: disabled children as research managers and participant ethnographers. In: S. Grech, A. Azzopardi. Communities: A Reader. Rotterdam: Sense,
  • 2012. Commodifying Autism: The Cultural Contexts of 'Disability' in the Academy. In: D. Goodley, B. Hughes, L. Davis. Disability & Social Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 33-51.
  • 2012. Oily Cart: unraveling the magic. In: M. Brown. Oily Cart: impossible theatre for young audiences. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham,
  • 2012. Len Barton, inclusion and critical disability studies: Theorising disabled childhoods. In: J. Soler, C. Walsh, A. Craft, J. Rix, K. Simmons. Transforming practice: critical issues in equity, diversity and education. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 139-160.
  • 2010. Parents, professionals and disabled children: exploring processes of dis/ablism,. In: L. O'Dell, S. Leverett. Working with children and young people: co-constructing practice. Buckingham: Open University Press


Samuel Larner

Profile and research interests

Samuel is a forensic linguist in the Department of Languages, Information and Communications and Associate Head of the Centre for Applied Pragmatics and Forensic Linguistics. Prior to joining Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014, Samuel was a lecturer in linguistics at the University of Central Lancashire and Newman University, and held research posts at Lancaster University and Aston University. His research primarily explores individual linguistic variation and how this relates to forensic authorship attribution, having published several articles and a monograph in this area. However, an emerging area of interest is in the language of sexual abuse disclosures made by children and young people, since their linguistic capabilities may limit the extent to which they can make a full and clear disclosure. This may be problematic from a safeguarding perspective since the recipient of the disclosure may not realize or fully appreciate what the child or young person is trying to disclose, or even that they are attempting to disclose. His current research project explores the language of sexual abuse disclosure through a corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS) approach. CADS combines traditional qualitative discourse analysis (e.g. use of metaphor, ambiguity, equivocation) with quantitative analysis of word and word-cluster frequency lists, comparative keyword lists, and analysis of concordances (examples of language use in context) to uncover the hidden and complex meanings conveyed in discourse.

Recent relevant publications/presentations  

Featured Works

Books (authored/edited/special issues)

  • S. Larner (2014). Forensic Authorship Analysis and the World Wide Web. Palgrave Macmillan.

Refereed journal articles

Chapters in books

  • PJ. Taylor,, SD. Larner, SM. Conchie, S. Van Der Zee (2014). Cross-cultural deception detection. PA. Granhag, B. Verschuere. In: Deception Detection: current challenges and new approaches. London: Wiley, pp.175-201.
  • SD. Larner Formulaic Word N-grams as Markers of Forensic Authorship Attribution: Identification of recurrent n-grams in adult L1 English writers’ short personal narratives. In: Phraseology in Legal and Institutional Settings. A Corpus-based Interdisciplinary Perspective. Routledge,


  • SD. Larner Investigating Formulaic Language as a Marker of Authorship. In: Proceedings of The International Association of Forensic Linguists’ Tenth Biennial Conference. Aston University, Birmingham, 7/2011

Dr Rob Ralphs

Department: Department of Sociology and Policy Evaluation Research Unit (PERU) -

Profile and Research Interests

Dr Rob Ralphs is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology. He has 15 years experience of research and lecturing in the areas of substance misuse, youth crime, violent crime, gangs, criminal justice policy and criminological theory. Rob teaches in the areas of criminological theory, youth and crime, substance use and violent crime.  He has a particular expertise and knowledge in the fields of drug use (both problematic and recreational) and gangs and related violent crime, i.e. gun and knife crime and drugs.  He currently supervises both postgraduate and undergraduate students in research on alcohol, drugs, gangs, violent crime and youth justice policy. 

Rob has a particular focus on youth and violence, teaching on units such as Crime and Violence, Contemporary Issues in Deviant Youth Lifestyles, Troubles of Youth, Youth Justice and Juvenile Delinquency and Managing Offenders in the Community. Rob an advocate of research led teaching and has recently developed a third year undergraduate unit: Contemporary Issues in ‘Deviant’ Youth Lifestyles’ that combines his research interests in focusing on substance (mis)use, gangs and related drug dealing, gun and knife crime.  He is currently developing a year two unit that focuses on substance misuse and responses. Rob teaches and conducts research  in the areas of criminological theory, youth and crime, substance use and violent crime.  He has a particular expertise and knowledge in the fields of drug use (both problematic and recreational) and gangs and related violent crime, i.e. gun and knife crime and drugs. Rob has a particular focus on youth and violence, teaching on units such as Crime and Violence, Contemporary Issues in Deviant Youth Lifestyles, Troubles of Youth, Youth Justice and Juvenile Delinquency and Managing Offenders in the Community.

Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

Rob currently supervises both postgraduate and undergraduate students in research on alcohol, drugs, gangs, violent crime and youth justice policy.

Research expertise

Rob is particularly interested in two broad areas of research: drug use, gangs and (violent) youth crime.

Some of Rob’s recent research includes being the lead researcher on an ethnographic study of youth gangs, the ESRC funded project Youth Gangs in an English City: Social Exclusion, Drugs and Violence. Articles from the research have been published in Children and Society(, Research Ethics Review, the Journal of Youth Studies, and in a number of edited collections. A book based on this research 'Youth Gangs in an English City' is due for publication by Routledge in 2012. Other major research projects have included the ESRC funded project Governing Drug Related Crime in the Risk Society (Jan 2007-June2009). Publications based on this research have been published in the British Journal of Criminology and Drugscope with the related book: 'Tough Choices: Drug policy and the risk-security nexus' in press and due for publication with Oxford University Press in early 2012. He has also been the lead researcher for the following research projects: exploring parents of ‘gang’ members support needs; ‘8 ‘til late’ mentoring evaluation; a local authority funded research project into the 'extent and nature of violent gangs'; training ex-offenders in research methods and the UK Drug Policy Committee funded, ‘Barriers to Employment for (Ex)-Problematic Drug Users’.

Academic collaborations

Rob is also a member of the Eurogang Network of gang researchers and subsequently disseminates his research across Europe and beyond with recent conference presentations of his work taking place in America, Australia, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Rob has developed an international reputation for his gang expertise and research and is currently exploring the possibility of cross-national research in this area with fellow gang researchers.

Youth Related Publications

Books (authored/edited/special issues)

  • 2012. [Author] Tough Choices. OUP Oxford.

Refereed journal articles

  • 2013. Used and abused the problematic usage of gang terminology in the united kingdom and its implications for ethnic minority youth. British Journal of Criminology. 53, 113-128.
  • 2012. Hidden Behind the Gunfire: Young Women's Experiences of Gang-Related Violence. Violence Against Women. 18, 653-661.
  • 2012. Mentoring Siblings of Gang Members: A Template for Reaching Families of Gang Members?. Children & Society. 26, 14-24.
  • 2011. Blame the Parents? Challenges for Parent-Focused Programmes for Families of Gang-Involved Young People. Children & Society. 25, 371-381.
  • 2009. Who needs enemies with friends like these? The importance of place for young people living in known gang areas. Journal of Youth Studies. 12,
  • 2008. Gang research in the UK: is it too dangerous?. Social Science Teacher. 38, 12-16.

Chapters in books

  • Dangers and problems of doing 'gang' research in the UK.
  • Collateral damage: territory and policing in an English gang city.

Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Consultancy and advisory roles

Rob is regularly asked to be an expert consultant and his consultancy work has included Gang, gun and knife related Consultancy for Hackney Borough Council, Manchester City Council, the North West Development Agency the Scottish Government and other local authorities, concerned about violent offending, drug use and emerging gangs.

Community, charity and NGO links

Rob's involvement in gang related work extends beyond his academic life and he is a Trustee of the charity Mothers Against Violence who work to reduce gang membership and related violent crime. He was also a founder member and secretary of GMPs Trafford division Gun and Gang Independent Advisory Group and is involved in the Inter Community Defence Council which provides conflict mediation around gang related disputes and supports many other local community initiatives and individuals that work to tackle youth crime, substance use, and violent crime. He has recently helped to set a 'recovery in the community' arm of Mothers Against Violence (MAV) which now works with problem drug users at various stages of recovery, vulnerable young sex workers in the city centre. Together with fellow MAV members and partenr agencies such as the Angelus Foundation and North Base, he is working on developing a harm reduction and education package around legal highs.

Impact and influence on policy

His research into gangs has resulted in inputs into policy developments and think-tanks at local, national and international level.

Media appearances or involvement

His knowledge and experience of gangs means that he is also regularly in demand for media interviews and comment on developing gang policy, violent incidents (e.g. the 2011 English riots and the 2011 coalition's gang strategy). Rob contributes to local, national and international media discussions on gangs. His views have been sought by crime documentary teams (e.g. Discovery) SKY news, ITV, the BBC, the Guardian, The Independent and news agencies in Denmark, Germany and Australia where he has conducted various TV, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews.


Professor Steve Miles

Department: Department of Sociology and Policy Evaluation Research Unit 

Profile and Research Interests

Professor Steve Miles has recently been writing a book to be published by Routledge and entitled, ‘Retail and Social Change’ and am involved in a number of other publishing projects. Steve is also working with the British Council to advise the Brazilian government as to the role of the creative industries in economic development. He was co-investigator on an AHRC research project, ‘the Brighton FUSE’ designed to look at what can be learnt from the Creative, Digital and IT cluster in Brighton and was responsible for designing Impacts08 the largest research programme looking at the social, cultural and economic impacts of European Capital of Culture, worldwide.

Research and areas for potential PhD supervision

  • Consumer culture and identity
  • Commodification of the city
  • Regeneration of the city
  • Retail and social change
  • Young people and cultural production/consumption
  • Cultural industries

Recent Related Publications

Refereed journal articles

  • 2014. Young people, flawed protestors and the commodification of resistance. Critical Arts. 28, 76-87.
  • 2014. The Beijing Olympics: Complicit consumerism and the re-invention of citizenship. Contemporary Social Science. 9, 159-172.
  • 2013. The Beijing Olympics: Complicit consumerism and the re-invention of citizenship. Contemporary Social Science.


Claudia Conerney

Department: Initiatives and Developments: External Activities (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

Claudia Conerney is the Schools’ Liaison Coordinator for the Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Manchester Metropolitan University. Claudia previously spent six years working in several secondary schools across Manchester as an English teacher and a Literacy Coordinator. The schools that Claudia has worked in are all based in areas of high economic and social deprivation; among them Moss Side, Gorton and Beswick.  Consequently,  Claudia is acutely aware of the barriers to learning that the pupils in these areas face and has created schemes of work that raise the attainment and aspirations of pupils with English as an Additional Language as well as struggling and reluctant readers and writers. In her current role as Schools’ Liaison Coordinator she is responsible for a wide portfolio of creative outreach projects and events for schools and colleges called ‘Walking in their Shoes’. Claudia is also responsible for coordinating schools’ events for the Manchester Children’s Book Festival.


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