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  • GM 410 Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester Campus
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  • Who am I?

    Who am I?

    Originally from Yorkshire, I have lived in Manchester since coming to university in 1998 and the city is my adopted hometown. Sociology is not simply a job for me; I am ‘a Sociologist’ and it is part of my identity. My passion for the discipline comes from its potential to help us understand and challenge social inequalities. This has driven my research interests, which focus on young people and social class. I am an advocate of collaborative research and a member of the ‘Res-Sisters’ feminist collective. On a personal level, I love music, contemporary novels and cheesy horror films. I also enjoy yoga and travelling to diverse places; New York, Tuscany and the Orkney Islands are some recent favourites. At the moment I am on maternity leave with my first child and will return in Summer 2017.

    Why do I teach?

    I remember very clearly learning about the work of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu when I was a second year undergraduate. His work on the role of culture in reproducing inequality encapsulates everything I love about Sociology: the pulling apart of what is taken-for-granted. I call this my 'lightbulb moment' when my 'sociological imagination' was captured and I could reflect on both my own experiences and wider social life in a new and exciting way. I teach Sociology because I want to spark these lightbulb moments in others, to encourage students to look at the world around them differently, and hopefully change it for the better.

    Words of wisdom

    “I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ― Toni Morrison

    How I’ll teach you

    My teaching method is to balance critical pedagogy, which challenges how students see the world and act to change it, with a student-led, active approach. I’ll prompt you to leave ‘common-sense’ understandings of the social world behind by introducing you to sociological perspectives and research, and then guide you to develop your own ideas based on critique and evaluation. Reading is absolutely critical for studying sociology, so I’ll encourage you to read widely, but it’s also a practical discipline. Rather than tell students everything about a topic, my aim is to equip you with the empirical, theoretical and methodological tools to engage with real-life issues as sociologists. I am also working towards deconstructing my reading lists so that they don’t only feature the work of ‘old white men’ and instead promote diverse voices including working class, Black and feminist scholars.

  • Academic Biography

    Academic and professional qualifications

    (2010) PhD Sociology University of Manchester

    (2005) MSc Sociological Research University of Manchester

    (2001) BA(Econ)(Hons) Sociology (First Class) University of Manchester

    Previous Employment

    (2012 – 2014) Research Associate to Head of Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

    (2011 – 2012) Lecturer (Teaching Focused), Sociology, University of Manchester

    (2009 – 2011) Research Associate (with teaching responsibilities), Sociology, University of Manchester

    (2006 – 2009) Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sociology / Social Sciences, University of Manchester.

  • Teaching & Research Supervision

    Undergraduate courses

    Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)

    3rd supervisor for Charlene Crossley (Crime and Youth Transitions)

    I would be interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas (from 2017/18 onwards):

    * Social class (particularly with regards to culture, consumption and identity)

    * Youth transitions

    * Social mobility and education

  • Research Expertise, Publications & Grants

    Research expertise

    Cultural class analysis


    Youth and education

    New media research / digital social research

    Academic collaborations

    Contibuted to recent work on Great British Class Survey project.

    Organising member of Digital Methods as Social Science research network.

    Co-convenor of BSA's Youth Study Group

    • Publications

    • Invited keynotes and conference contribution

      • Invited papers

        (2014) ‘Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology?’ Personal Development Workshop at British Academy of Management Conference, Belfast, September 2014.

        (2013) ‘Analysing Blogs’ Workshop, NSMNSS One Year On, NatCen, Royal Statistical Society, London, April 2013.

        (2012) ‘Making ethical decisions in an online context: reflections on using blogs to explore narratives of experience’, NCRM Research Methods Festival, University of Oxford, July 2012.

        (2012) ‘Qualitative blog analysis: opportunities and challenges’, Blurring the boundaries: new social media, new social science? NCRM Network for Methodological Innovation Launch Event, NatCen, Royal Statistical Society, London ,May 2012.

        (2012) ‘Making ethical decisions in an online context’, SRA Social Research and Social Media Conference, March 2012.

        (2011), ‘Working with Digital Archives’ (Panel Member), Humanities Digital Network, University of Manchester, March 2011.

        (2011), ‘Web 2.0 in social science research: a case study in qualitative blog analysis’, SRA Social Research and Social Media Conference, London, February 2011.

        (2011) ‘What is blog analysis?’, methods@manchester, University of Manchester, January 2011.

        (2010) ‘Framing Gap Year Places: representations of difference in online travel narratives’, Auras of Place Workshop, Morgan Centre, University of Manchester, March 2010.

        (2008) ‘Web 2.0 as a Social Science Research Tool’, NCeSS Seminar Series, University of Manchester, December 2008.

    Conference organisation

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

    Expert reviewer for journals and publishers

    Reviews for Sociology; Sociological Research Online; The Sociological Review; Journal of Sociology; Qualitative Research; YOUNG; Cultural Trends; Qualitative Research in Psychology; Health Informatics Journal; Journal of Health Psychology.


    (2011) ‘Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology’ (Co-Investigator), ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Networks for Methodological Innovation Programme (£11,746).

    (2008) ESRC Government Placement Scheme: three-month funded placement at the British Library.

  • Awards, Honours & Distinctions

    Prizes and awards

    My book A Cosmopolitan Journey? Difference, Distinction and Identity Work in Gap Year Travel (Ashgate, 2014) was short-listed for the 2015 BSA Philip Abrahams Memorial Prize for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of Sociology.

    Membership of professional associations

    Member of the British Sociological Association and co-covenor of the BSA Youth Study Group