I am a Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth studies, teaching across Early Years and Childhood Studies, and Education Studies, and across a variety of levels, from Foundation Year to Masters. I previously lectured in Human Geography for two years, again at MMU, with an interest in children and young people's geographies. Prior to this, I conducted a post doctorate at The University of Nottingham, into home care for people with dementia. I studies at The University of Manchester for seven years prior to this, for my BA (Hons) Human Geography; MSc in Environmental Governance; and PhD in Human Geography.
I teach because I have conducted extensive research with children and young people, and love opportunities to feed my research into my teaching, so you are getting cutting-edge up-to-date lecture materials. Research I have conducted with children and young people includes my PhD into young people's alcohol consumption practices and experiences. Here, I am interested in relationships with family members and friends, and how these shape young people's drinking experiences. I am also interested in the role of spaces, places and atmospheres in shaping drinking occasions. More recently, I have worked on a project involving young people called 'Brews and Brows', which seeks to challenge the denigration of the scousebrow, and articulate the significance of this micro-gesture. I am also working on a project involving children called 'The Hair Study', which explores their experiences of hair transplant surgery. I really enjoy helping students on the transition from school / college on to future employment, and equipping them with really important skills.
Read, read, read! Reading of credible sources, such as journal articles and books, is an amazing way of enhancing your learning and understanding, whilst also enabling you to develop your writing style by being exposed to effective writing techniques.
I will teach through a variety of different styles embedded into one session; this will include some more traditional 'lecturing', alongside a host of innovative tasks, including: reading tasks; writing tasks; digital quizzes; short videos; and image deconstruction. I am approachable and friendly and aim to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for the sharing of ideas.
2012-2015 PhD in Human Geography, thesis title: Young People, Alcohol and Urban Life (completed within three years, and awarded with no amendments), The University of Manchester
2011-2012 MSc Environmental Governance (Distinction) The University of Manchester
2008-2011 BA (Hons) Geography (First class), The University of Manchester
September 2016-September 2018, Manchester Metropolitan University
Taught on a variety of undergraduate units, including: Introducing Human Geography; Social and Cultural Geography; Space of Culture and Identity; Economic and Development Geography; Contemporary Issues in Geography and the Environment; Tutorials; and Projects.
Sept 2015 – Sept 2016 The BOUGH project, the University of Nottingham, Institute of Mental Health, School of Sociology and Social Policy
The BOUGH project seeks to define good quality good home care for people with dementia. I was embedded within a Home Care organisation, working as a member of the home care provider’s team and in accordance with their operating procedures and guidance. My duties involved providing hand-on personal care for people with dementia, whilst also conducting team ethnography. I gained experience of working across organisational structures (e.g. home care provider, university, client’s home), and experience of conducting collaborative analysis using Nvivo
January 2012-September 2015, University of Manchester, School of Environment, Education and Development
I assisted on a variety of Geography units, including Maps and Politics; Tutorials and Book Review; The Geography of Life; Cities and Consumption; Understanding Human Geography; Geography in 21st Century; and Research Design and Crete Overseas Fieldwork.
January 2013- September 2013, University of Liverpool, Department of Geography and Planning
I assisted with seminars on Social and Cultural Geography, and co-delivered these with another colleague.
April 2017 - September 2018 'Scholars and Realising Opportunities Programme: Academic Tutorials, University of Liverpool'
• Working with partner schools/colleges to widen participation, promote fair access and social mobility for students from groups under-represented in higher education
• Allocated three tutees and mentored them throughout the process of applying for University, and writing an academic assignment
• Responsible for marking the assignments and providing feedback on a draft
I have peer-reviewed journal articles submitted to Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography; Health & Place; Children’s Geographies; Social and Cultural Geography; Social Inclusion; Drugs and Alcohol Today; Fennia: International Journal of Geography; and Geographica Helvetica
March 2018 - Co-convenor for the British Sociological Association (BSA) Alcohol Study Group
Early Years and Childhood Studies and Education Studies are fantastic degrees, with dedicated and enthusiastic staff. These are degrees which can lead to a range of fantastic employment opportunities, as it can equip you with a range of 'real world' skills.
I currently assit with lecture, workshop, and seminar delivery on a range of foundation and undergraduate units:
Childhood Youth and Society (24Z6004)
Critical Reflections on Academic Practice and Professional Development (224Z6002)
The Learning Process (223Z9008)
Foundations of Academic Practice (223Z9006)
Disciplinarities: Researching Beyond Boundaries (223K0005)
Supervised 20 student projects to-date, including the depiction of children in photographic imagery of the Syrian refugee crisis, and how effective this is in bridging gaps of difference; studentification in Fallowfield; the performance of identity in Gay Pride; and the motivations for, and experience of participating in Reclaim the Night marches. One student was nominated for, and awarded, the Manchester Geographical Society award for best student project.
External Examiner for Teeside University BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (International) (Levels 5&6) Tenure: 1 May 2018 to 31 December 2021
My research expertise is in utilising innovative, qualitative methods and applied health research projects. Recent projects include: 'The Hair Study'. I am co-principal investigator with Dr Catherine Wilkinson (Edge Hill University) on a project exploring the experiences of children and young people undergoing hair transplant study at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Dr Catherine Wilkinson and I are leading the work of a team, including: Professor Bernie Carter (Edge Hill University); Professor Partha Vaiude (Adjunct Professor Liverpool John Moores University, and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital), and Dr Bessam Farjo (Farjo Hair Institute). This project will be conducted in a participatory manner, using a range of creative methods: participant observation, conversational interviews, follow-up interviews, and diaries, which are supported by embedded activities. E.g. asking children / young people to project their understandings of their current hair loss, and vision for their future hair growth, onto Styrofoam heads.
I am also currently working on a project titled 'Brews and Brows: Shaping Stories from Eyebrows to Scousebrows'. I am working with an interdisciplinary research team across three institutions: University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University (specifically FACELAB – which explores art-science applications), and Edge Hill University, along with non-academic project partner, FACT, in Liverpool. This project entails gathering stories and creating a new taxonomy of the eyebrow where none currently exists. The aim is to formulate a shared understanding of the Scousebrow and articulate the significance of the micro-gesture. The project is supported by AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership Cohort Development Fund. We are providing training for these postgraduate students in various methods of data collection (focus groups; film production; social media; and face scanning). The team used ‘brews and cake’ style-interviews, 3D face scanning, and video methodologies
Previously, I was involved in a project, titled 'Exploring Airbnb: Perspectives from Manchester'. This was a Manchester Geographical Society funded project. I was principal Investigator on this project, undertaking research with a lecturer at Edge Hill University. The research aims to gain insight into the impact of Airbnb on communities in Greater Manchester. It uses participant observation, as guests staying in Airbnb properties in Manchester, and auto-ethnography, drawing on experiences of hosting guests in my own home
Before this, my post-doctoral research fellow role involved working with a home care organisation. A large part of the role involved me providing 'hands on' personal care for people with dementia in their own home, whilst using my reflections from this as a form of data. In order to equip myself with the necessary skills, I completed relevant certificated training in; Moving & Handling training; Certificate of Completion for Medication – Home Care 8 Administration Level training session; Certificate of Completion for CAREgiver Learning and Development. The research showed the valuable, skilled and complex work care workers undertake. For instance, the performative work done by care workers was brought to the fore, and the way in which care workers have to negotiate often complex relationships with family members.
Prior to this, for my PhD, I worked with a collaborative CASE partnership organisation, a community engagement specialist, Our Life. My research explored young people’s alcohol consumption practices and experiences in Chorlton and Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK. I used ethnographic methods, including: participant observation; in-depth interviews with young people and parents; peer-interviews; drawing elicitation interviews; diaries; mobile phone interviews; and text messaging. My research captured the fluidity and mobility of young people’s experiences as they move through streets, parks and bedrooms that make up the often over-looked settings of suburban drinking. The research was successful in demonstrating the centrality of care, friendship, intergenerational relationships and atmospheres of music and lighting to young people’s drinking practices.
I also have a research interest in animal geographies and maps. For my MSc, I completed a dissertation titled: 'Being Camilla: Towards Non-Anthropocentric Environmental Governance'. My dissertation aimed to ‘give voice’ to a captive chameleon, and move towards non-anthropocentric environmental decision-making processes. I conducted an ethnographic study of a chameleon in captivity at a leisure park, using: participant observation of the chameleon and human-animal interactions; video-elicitation interviews with leisure park visitors; and diaries with Camilla’s keepers. Additionally, my BA dissertation was titled: ‘Playing with Maps: Twinlakes Family Theme Park'. The aim of my research was to determine how well the map represented the Theme Park, in order to suggest improvements for a more effective product. I conducted an ethnographic study, involving: participant observation of people using maps, whilst embedded as a theme park worker; elite interviews with the theme park manager and the map designer; and walking interviews with leisure users as they navigated the Theme Park.
See above for academic collaborations
S. Wilkinson (2018). The story of Samantha: the teaching performances and inauthenticities of an early career human geography lecturer. Higher Education Research and Development.
S. Wilkinson (2018). Researching Drinking ‘with’ Young People: A Palette of Methods. Drugs and Alcohol Today. 18(1), pp.6-16.
S. Wilkinson, C. Wilkinson (2018). Night-Life and Young People’s Atmospheric Mobilities. Mobile Culture Studies. The Journal. 3(2017), pp.77-96.
S. Wilkinson (2017). Young people’s drinking spaces and Im/Mobilities: a case of ‘hyper’-diversity. Journal of Youth Studies. 21(6), pp.799-815.
C. Wilkinson, S. Wilkinson (2017). Doing It Write: Representation and Responsibility in Writing Up Participatory Research Involving Young People. Social Inclusion. 5(3), pp.219-227.
S. Wilkinson (2016). Drinking in the dark: shedding light on young people’s alcohol consumption experiences. Social and Cultural Geography. 18(6), pp.739-757.
S. Wilkinson (2016). Hold the phone! Culturally credible research ‘with’ young people. Children's Geographies. 14(2), pp.232-238.
S. Wilkinson (2015). Alcohol, Young People and Urban Life. Geography Compass. 9(3), pp.115-126.
S. Wilkinson (2017). Young Women's Careful and Careless Drinking Geographies. In: Children, Young People and Care. Routledge Spaces of Childhood and Youth Series,
S. Wilkinson (2016). Young People's Drinking Geographies. In: Geographies of Children and Young People.
S. Wilkinson (2015). Young People’s Alcohol-Related Urban Im/Mobilities. In: Drinking Dilemmas Space, Culture and Identity. Routledge,
May 2017- June 2018 I assisted with preparations for the School of Science and the Environment research day . Duties have involved, deciding the date of the event; the structure of the day; a conference theme; and which keynote speakers should be invited
April 2016: Assisted in co-organising a conference, titled: ‘Im/Mobile Youth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Spatial and Temporal Change in Young People’s Lives’. My role involved gaining funding; submitting a call for abstracts; reviewing abstracts; deciding the time/date/venue; promoting the event; assisting with catering organisation; and chairing a session
March 2016: Helped to co-organise the Alcohol Research UK Postgraduate and Early Career Symposium with Alcohol Research UK, and early career researchers, which took place in Birmingham. My role involved revising the call for abstracts; publicising the event; discussing the structure of the day; and reviewing submitted abstracts
Sept 2015: Co-organised a double session held at the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers ‘Geographies of the Anthropocene’ conference (University of Exeter), with a colleague at the University of Liverpool. The session was titled ‘(Un)Called for or Uncool?: Towards Young People Friendly Research Methods’. My role co-involved putting out a call for papers via various online platforms; applying to (and gaining) sponsorship from the Participatory Geographies Research Group; reviewing and accepting/rejecting submitted abstracts; chairing the sessions.
March 2014: I have helped to co-organise the Alcohol Research UK Postgraduate and Early Career symposium with Alcohol Research UK, Dr Linda Ng Fat (University College London), and Natasha Clarke (University of Liverpool). My role involved co-deciding the date, time and location of the Symposium; the format of the day; the length of papers; and reviewing submitted papers, and deciding which should be accepted/rejected
June 2018 Farjo, B., Wilkinson, C., Wilkinson, S., Vaiude, P., Falder, S. and Carter, B. International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery: Research Grant Application, $2000 applied for to assist with The Hair Study project
April 2018 Awarded £1002 from Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, this was a 3-4* Research Enhancement Fund to assist with the ‘Brews and Brows’ project.
February 2018 Applied for £600 from Manchester Geographical Society to present a paper to the title ‘Working From Home: Academics and Airbnb, an Autoethnographic Account’ at the international workshop on ‘Short-Term Tourism Rentals: Observation, Regulations and Labor Reconfigurations’, organised by the EIREST, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, in March 15th 2018 in Paris
January 2018 Alcohol Research UK, £300, to present at the International Conference on the Urban Night: Governance, Diversity, Mobility. 7 June 2018 , Sofia University Bulgaria. Paper titled: ‘The (Sub)Urban Night and Young People’s Drunken Im/Mobilities’
December 2016 Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, £1600, to attend the Annals of Association of American Geographers Conference in (April 2018, New Orleans)
May 2017 Research Centre for Applied Social Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, £687, to attend the Royal Geographical Society Conference with Institute of British Geographers (29th August – 1st September, 2017, London)
May 2017 British Council Newton Fund. Awarded £150 to attend the Employing Information and Communications Technologies in Homes and Cities for the Health and Well-Being of Older people (August 2017, Bradford)
March 2017 Manchester Geographical Society, £527, joint application with Dr Catherine Wilkinson to conduct ethnographic research into: ‘Exploring Airbnb: Perspectives from Manchester’
July 2016 British Council Newton Fund. Awarded £1200 to attend the Employing Information and Communications Technologies in Homes and Cities for the Health and Well-Being of Older People (August 2016, Chengdu, China)
Oct 2015: Manchester Geographical Society, funding to cover flights from Manchester to Amsterdam for attendance at an international seminar, titled: ‘YOUNG DIVERCITIES: Encountering and Living with Hyper-Diversity: Young People’s Urban Experiences’, Utrecht, the Netherlands 5th-6th November, 2015
July 2015: North West Doctoral Training College Interdisciplinary Fund, £614 for co-organising a one day conference with a colleague from the Sociology department at The University of Manchester on the theme of ‘Im/mobile Youth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Spatial and Temporal Change in Young People’s Lives’. Event took place in April 2016
June 2015: Manchester Geographical Society, £250 towards attendance at RGS/IBG conference (1st-4th September, 2015, Exeter)
June 2015: School of Environment, Education and Development Conference Support Fund, £263 towards attendance at the RGS/IBG conference (1st-4th September, 2015, Exeter)
March 2015: Manchester Geographical Society, £250 towards attendance at 4th International Children, Youth and Families conference (12th-15th January, 2015, San Diego)
Sept 2014: North West Doctoral Training College Interdisciplinary Fund, £145 awarded towards attendance at Children, Young People and Families in Changing Urban Spaces conference (3rd - 4th September 2014, Northampton)
August 2014: Manchester Geographical Society, £100 towards attendance at RGS/IBG conference (26th-29th August 2014, London)
2011: Awarded Kathleen Tootill and Elsie Grimshaw Masters Award of £2,500 (2011), awarded for continuation to masters study, due to outstanding undergraduate degree results
2008-2011: Manchester Advantage Scholarship of £5,000 per year (2008-2011) = £15,000, due to outstanding A Level results
• Ethnographic research Dr Lucy Perry-Young and I conducted on the BOUGH project over 10 months in 2016-2017 at The University of Nottingham fed into the design of ‘Winston’s World’ – a book / resource for learning about home care, specifically for people with dementia. The narrative and dialogue based on the study were written by Justine Schneider. The drawings are the work of Tony Husband. The book is downloadable for free, and hard copies are available for a small fee.
• Ethnographic research Dr Lucy Perry-Young and I conducted on the BOUGH project over 10 months in 2016-2017 at The University of Nottingham fed into the design of Silver Lining’s Care Plan, a performance by Elspeth Penny at Nottingham Contemporary. The performance shines a light on the experiences of paid carers for persons with dementia.
• Met with Sir Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and acting Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade, in Chengdu, China. Discussed young people’s engagement with China through researcher activities including Researcher Links workshop. The aim was to promote more British people coming to China for study and internship.
• During my PhD, I contributed to my CASE partner’s, Our Life’s, public engagement activities by attending, and presenting at, their citizen inquiry community workshops. Community members used the findings I presented at the Halton Alcohol Inquiry to suggest recommendations to educational figures; alcohol licensing bodies; the police; and public health bodies, at a launch event. This led to the signing of a pledge between these bodies regarding how they would work ‘with’ community members to see their recommendations come to fruition. Findings have fed into Our Life’s report, which outlines recommendation for how Halton can have a healthier relationship with alcohol. I also participated in a workshop in order to critically evaluate Our Life’s ‘Under the Influence? Alcohol Discussion Kit’, consequently suggesting improvements for a more effective product
• Ray Hodgson Award for Best Paper at Alcohol Research UK Postgraduate and Early Career Symposium 2016 (2016) (certificate and £100 prize)
• Manchester Geographical Society ‘Outstanding Overall Performance in Finals’ (2011)
• The University of Manchester ‘Highly Commended Performance in Final Honours Geography Dissertation’ (2011)
• The University of Manchester ‘Richard Thomas Award 2009/2010 ‘Outstanding Achievement in Second Year Geography’ (2009)
• The University of Manchester ‘Creativity Award’ (2009)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (June, 2017)