I intend to research the themes of identity, diaspora, and disadvantages among young Somalis in Wales especially with regards to their experience of hardships of spatial concentration, high unemployment, educational disadvantage and Islamophobia, with racism inhibiting their social and spatial mobility and fracturing their transitions from education to the workplace. I am particularly interested in how young Somalis develop creative coping strategies, using strong community bonds within and between age cohorts to offset the effects of racialized stigma. This includes forging ties with young people in Somaliland through reciprocal visits and social media, developing transnational entrepreneurial ventures and humanitarian initiatives. A key aim will be understanding the role and perception of their mobilities with regards to experiences of social exclusion and inclusion, as well as feelings of belonging. I aim to untangle, through engagement with young Somalis in Cardiff, the combined impacts of social exclusion, racism and other barriers, and the coping mechanisms they develop to overcome them.
In response to the crisis of refugees arriving in Europe over the summer of 2015, the Welsh Government held an emergency summit and reiterated its commitment that Wales should play a leading role as a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’. This is an interesting moment given that Wales doesn’t have direct responsibility for UK borders. What might it mean, in practice and in theory, for Wales to declare itself a ‘nation of sanctuary’? What are the theoretical and political imaginaries of sanctuary, national identity and citizenship at work in this context? What are their historical precedents? And how do they relate to political responses to the crisis across the UK and Europe more generally? This project will examine the political geographies of refugees, asylum seekers and citizenship in Wales, paying attention to Swansea and Cardiff as two declared ‘Cities of Sanctuary’ as well as other emerging groups across Wales that are committed to grassroots initiatives to build a culture of hospitality and welcome to refugees. The project will ask: what difference does an urban, regional or national imaginary of community make to the commitment to hospitality? What difference do different forms of welcome make?
This research will attempt to use the flow and the form of the River Severn as a thread with which to weave a particular emotional geography of the river, its banks and proximate settlements. This will be exercised through walking the Severn from source to mouth and exploring the forming of relations that take-place amongst the affective atmosphere of the river and its environs. It will be a narration of the convergence between air; land; water; embodied experience. In order to express the findings a range of arts and techniques will be used to portray the various affects; histories; futures and how they fold into, and are spun out from the here-and-now, and in so doing it is hoped that stronger links will be forged between geography and performance studies.
In simple terms the idea behind Personal Carbon Allowances is that each person has an allowance of carbon dioxide: when they purchase fuel for use in their homes or cars (or however they wish) the remaining allowance decreases. If and when the allowance has been fully consumed additional allowances would have to be purchased with further fuel purchases increasing the effective cost of the fuel. Conversely, surplus allowances could be sold for real money. As fuel usage generally rises with incomes it is not only a progressive policy but one that could potentially cause a step-change in attitudes towards fossil fuel use with commensurate benefits to the environment. The UK government commissioned a series of reports on Personal Carbon Allowances in 2006 but abandoned the policy in 2008 on cost and social acceptability grounds calling it ‘an idea ahead of its time’.
My work is initially focused on investigating and potentially eliminating the particular technocratic problems identified (cost; cost/benefit analysis; impact on those in poverty). It will then progress to examine social acceptability issues, utilising other scholars work in behaviour change and consumer psychology to plot a pathway forwards towards implementation. I will also be investigating whether there is scope for a ‘Wales-only’ solution.
This study aims to explore rural life expressed through case-study English sporting estates in order to evaluate their place today within the overall rural mosaic. Sporting Estates are privately owned land-based businesses which are arguably assuming an increasingly prominent place within today’s ever-changing rural economies (Scottish Land and Estates, 2018). Research will touch on issues such as the contribution of the estates to the rural economy, how they fit in respect of the contested nature of rural politics, and how they draw upon, reproduce and sometimes transform rural space in terms of its practices, representations and everyday lives (Halfacree 2006).
To date, the whole ‘country sports’ angle of rural use and life has been little studied beyond Scottish examples (Higgins et al 2002; MacMillan et al, 2010; McKee et al, 2013), despite the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) estimating that shooting is worth £2 billion a year to the UK economy, and equates to almost 10% of the total amount spent on outdoor recreation. Thus there is a need for research into English examples, with this research having a particular focus on the injustices and often overlooked complexities shaped in the English countryside surrounding the politically charged area of sporting estates.
The research shall investigate:
- Historical background and politics of the English Sporting Estate
- Key pressures and opportunities facing the Estates today (Including in a Post-Brexit context and environmental)
- Social Justice, class, identity and relations of individuals and groups encountering these Estates both directly and indirectly
A Stateless person is defined in the 1954 UN Convention relating to Statelessness as “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. Globally, 10 million people are estimated to be stateless; every state and continent is affected. Causes include discriminatory policies towards gender or communities, conflicts and nationality laws. Statelessness is ever present in the modern world due to the great proliferation of geopolitical realities. For example, statelessness is a growing consequence of the Syrian conflict. Due to inconsistent citizenship laws, over 90,000 children are at risk, potentially creating a stateless generation. The UN estimates a stateless child is born every 10 minutes.
Compared to other similar areas of research, statelessness has been neglected. In 2014, the UNHCR recently produced the “Handbook on the protection of Stateless persons” to assist governments, policy makers, administrative adjudicators, the judiciary, NGO’s, legal practitioners, UNHCR staff and other actors in interpreting and applying the conventions. However, loopholes allow the avoidance of obligations and prohibitions. The UK introduced a specific Statelessness identification procedure in 2013. However, since its introduction, only 5.2% of stateless applications have been granted.
This study aims, through creative research methods, to contribute original knowledge on the experience of statelessness in the UK. This project also aims to discover if this status is truly understood by key stakeholders in the UK, from grassroots community organisations through to government representatives.
Heritage sites worldwide are increasingly adopting digital technologies such as 3D visualisations, mobile phone apps and interactive games to enrich visitor experiences and engage with wider audiences. The aim of this project lies in exploring the potential impact of these technologies to enhance public engagement at a number of Welsh archaeological heritage sites.
I am particularly interested in issues of community engagement, Welsh identity, landscape archaeology, heritage preservation, and the utilisation of technologies that allow two-way communication between professionals and the public (e.g. through the uploading of photographs, videos, stories or memories of archaeological heritage sites that are important to individuals and/or local communities but may be overlooked by heritage professionals). In this way the research aims to investigate the multifaceted nature of digital technologies in both enriching public engagement with Welsh heritage sites, providing potential new sources of research information, and in promoting sustainable protection of our finite heritage resource through increased awareness and ownership.
Over half of the 22.5 million refugees worldwide are children or adolescents who will be of ‘working age’ in the coming years. Globally, young people (aged 15-24) are often in the weakest position in the labour market, however refugees can face particular difficulties because of their marginalisation from full legal, social and civil participation. In Sub-Saharan Africa, which hosts 26% of the world’s refugee population, economic challenges are heightened by its “youth bulge” and high levels of youth unemployment. Despite these trends, there is a dearth of data on young urban refugees and a particular absence of studies looking at the livelihoods of young refugees and their safe pathways to economic resilience.
This research investigates the experiences and aspirations of young refugee workers in two cities in East Africa. From the perspective of refugees themselves it identifies the spatial and institutional geographies they inhabit, their past and potential livelihood pathways and their perceptions of their experiences both as refugees and young (sometimes undocumented) workers. This contributes to literatures on young refugees and the urban informal economy but also to a reappraisal of the humanitarian approach to refugee right to work, and its policy implications.
It uses an international case study approach in Kampala, Uganda, where refugees have the legal right to work, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they do not. It uses in-depth qualitative and participatory methods.
My research seeks to understand the dynamics of, and interconnections between, different agroecology stakeholders, consumers and policy makers in the Amazon region in Brazil.
Based on principles of knowledge sharing and legitimised by subsistence farmers and their families in the context of the Amazon region, agroecology has, to date, been incorporated on various institutional levels in Brazil, including through a national plan. However, efforts to support agroecology appear juxtaposed with economic development strategies based on ‘agro-neoliberalism’, producing a kind of ‘agro-extractivism’.
Brazil has recently elected a president whose manifesto included expansion of soya and cattle production in the Amazon for economic gains, prime examples of ‘agro-extractive’ activities. Important questions immediately arise in the context of this research project: at what price – with what consequences for agroecology communities and the practice of agroecology? At the same time, it must not be overlooked that this election was possible because of considerable popular support. This context calls for fresh investigation into the dynamic formation of identities, values and otherness in development frontiers, as the result of population migration, multiple struggles and intensive interaction with socio-ecological change.
Agri-food systems have become highly politicised; this context is ripe for examination into the politico-economic and socio-cultural aspects of agro-ecological transitions.
My research explores the co-constitution of energy and equity within our energy systems; with a particular concern for the role that community energy models play in contributing towards the (re)negotiation of social justice within energy systems broadly conceived. Large-scale, centralised models of energy systems, ubiquitous across the industrialised world, provide energy at an unprecedented scale in real time. More recently, however, research around the emergent theme of energy justice has unveiled that despite the outward appearance of an energy system that delivers safe, clean and affordable energy for all, access to energy is in fact highly contingent and fragmented whilst its associated benefits are unevenly distributed across space and time. With the increasing presence of communities playing an active part in the negotiation of their own energy futures, my research examines the role of community energy as a vehicle for achieving social justice objectives – particularly in the context of fuel poverty in Wales – and for mapping and examining local perceptions of community benefit as a tool for exploring the diversity of ways in which community energy contributes towards the mediation of local and social objectives beyond the environmental.
The study works directly with Welsh Government as an active partner and co-funder; with an explicit focus on the Ynni’r Fro community energy programme and participatory engagement with a range of communities from across Wales.
Focusing on cities, this project seeks to elucidate the interrelatedness of space, place-making, emotional experiences and emotion-articulations in interactions of different types of ‘bodies’. To narrow this broad scope, particular attention will be paid to emotional aspects of public interventions at night-time. I am interested to see how people navigate the city and to what extent their movement-patterns are reflected in or influenced by their emotional attitudes attached to certain locales. Self-perceptions, how people are externally framed, and collective as well as individual memories presumably affect how one uses cityscapes, which necessitates ethnographic methods to unearth narratives of emotional landscapes and meanings attached to a city’s ‘places’. In the context of interventions, the questions of emotionality of experience and self-expression will have to be asked for those intervening, those ‘receiving’ interventions at night and those who may have opinions about night-time interventions that based on non-experientially obtained ‘knowledge’. When booming digital and social media enable self-representation, opinion and information-distribution at a near-omniscient scale, it becomes easier to develop emotional atmospheres or form a picture of ‘places’ that rests on other people’s experiences. Also, the virtual realm may offer a different kind of platform to express emotional attitudes that remain obscure in real-life face-to-face interventions – for all involved. It will be interesting to follow digital footprints of nightly city-dwellers to investigate their (emotional) understandings of cityscapes. Hopefully, knowledge about mobility-patterns and emplaced sentiments, related to self-identification, stereotypes etc., helps improve communication between groups involved in interventions and establish a more positive emotional cityscape.
My research aims to evaluate and analyze the impacts of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, set within the context of increasing homelessness in the whole of the UK, including Wales. The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 aims to tackle homelessness through an increasing emphasis on prevention. This can be defined as different interventions and support structures for people in order to avoid them becoming homeless in the first place. I will be exploring how the policy changes have impacted key indicators such as health outcomes for different groups of people who have become homeless.
This project will be utilizing linked data, obtained through the Administrative Data Research Network. Use of this methodology will allow for original insights into the impact of housing interventions on key areas of people’s lives. Looking at linked data has the potential to create new knowledge about the impact of homelessness on people, overcoming some of the methodological issues which can affect studies into homelessness.
My research will be working within the paradigm of the right to housing, understood as a core human right. As a result, my research will also focus on the extent to which the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 can be seen as a part of the right to housing. I intend to explore whether increasing knowledge of housing rights can increase their efficacy and, whether the change in legislation has seen a resultant change in how housing rights are perceived by both policy makers and rights holders.
Food insecurity is the political issue of our time, and in the UK, its prevailing symbol is the food bank. With the significant rise in the demand for food banks across the UK in recent years, academic interest has turned to this phenomenon to try to understand these spaces and the experiences of those accessing such services. Investigating the relationship people have with food when they live on a low income, this research project explores everyday experiences of food insecurity for individuals accessing food aid in Bristol.
Carrying out ethnographic research in two Trussell Trust foodbanks, a FoodCycle Community Kitchen, and a Real Economy Community Food Centre, I ask, what role does the food bank hold for people experiencing food insecurity? How do people exercise agency in this context? What impact does the service itself have on those individuals? How do these services position themselves with/against one another? By addressing these questions, I have sought to understand different approaches to tackling food insecurity; the position of the food bank within the individual lifeworlds of those using them; and at what stage people may use alternatives to food banks. Engaging with debates around cultural foods, surplus food waste, and food sovereignty, this project is based on material collected over 10 months using participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
This research looks at the newly completed Wales Coast Path, a continuous path along the whole Welsh coastline. This is a world first, as Wales is now the only country in the world with a continuous path around its coast.
The project will look at the physical act of walking and how being able to walk freely along the whole national coastline creates a sense of identity, connection (to Welsh nationality and the Welsh language), community, sociability, pleasure, consumption and leisure. It will address the different uses of the path and how different people engage with the materiality of the path, as well as how its affordances enable (or in some cases obstruct) people to walk along it.
I am particularly interested in issues of mobility and movement and how walking unhindered along a continuous coast path could connect people to Wales, facilitating a feeling of belonging to the land and to the Welsh nation. I am also interested in discovering if walking along the same route/sharing the same space establishes a relationship and unites all those who walk the Wales Coast Path. Issues of mobility also draw attention to issues of constraints; that is, not everyone will have an equal relationship with the path such as the elderly, minority groups or the disabled. It is important to acknowledge that there are different physical, social and political affordances for movement which determine mobility for different people.
The study is concerned with the financialisation of rural development in liberal-market economies (UK) through the commodification of financial risk. The process of financialisation is situated within a wider discussion of rural governance in the ‘risk society’ (Beck, 1992) and green finance as an institutional apparatus of reflexive modernisation.
The research is divided into three parts, investigating:
- Optimisation of financial risk, spatial planning and territorial cohesion policy in Welsh Agriculture.
- Institutional apparatus and ‘commoning’ of financial risk in (sub) sovereign green bonds.
- Data justice, financialisation and participation in ‘smart’ rural development.
Rural economic geographies provide a key research site for investigating the environmental politics of green finance and resourcing the transition to a low-carbon economy. The site of such politics is assumed to be in ‘feasibility assessments’ of financing rural firms in transitioning land uses.
The thesis aims to elucidate interactions between the optimisation of financial risk through market instruments and existing frameworks of rural governance. These include notions of sectoral integration, territorial cohesion, sustainable place-making (Marsden, 2017; Woods, 2007) and social justice (Harvey, 2009) in rural space.
Rooted in global pollinator decline and challenges to food security and biodiversity, my thesis examines the traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) of beekeepers, and how this can be better utilised to support environmental sustainability. Preliminary research carried out during my MSc found that beekeepers hold very high levels of knowledge of pollinator health, as well as wider agricultural and environmental conditions. This knowledge was frequently ahead of mainstream understandings of such conditions, and reflected beekeepers’ long-term, intimate working knowledge of bees and the wider environment. Recent years have seen the rise of a range of policy initiatives to address pollinator decline; many discuss the need for a participatory approach to policy formation, and the importance of engaging with beekeepers. Wider work in the social sciences has highlighted potential challenges to such engagement, due to differing epistemologies, value systems, and the prioritisation of scientific research over other forms of understanding. The role of Citizen Science in gathering information on environmental change, and monitoring our ecosystems, is increasingly important. My research explores the environmental benefits of deeper engagement with beekeepers, as their long-term, intimate engagement with bees and their surrounding ecosystem develops unique, rich knowledge of the environment.
The focus of my PhD research is on evaluating HAPPEN: a network combining multidisciplinary expertise through a unified system of research, education and health specialists. The network allows child health information (such as nutrition, physical activity, sleep, wellbeing, concentration in class) to be used to link to routinely collected education attainment data in the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) databank.
- To develop and evaluate HAPPEN: a collaboration of education, health and research professionals who will work off a shared online resource facilitating knowledge exchange
- To examine whether children aged 9-11 attending schools in the network area show improvement in attainment and attendance compared to those outside the network area
- To examine early predictors of children at low education attainment through the use of child collected and routine data.
Arctic gas reserves will become more economically attractive as a source of energy as currently available resources are depleted. Thus political and economic cooperation and joint infrastructure networks must be established to ensure the energy security of Europe. The unique physical environment of the Arctic will be examined against its complex geopolitical background in order to demonstrate why energy policy in the Arctic and in Europe should remain de-securitised and how this could be achieved through international cooperation.
The project brings together international relations theory (Copenhagen and Welsh School of Thought) with current approaches in political geography. Methodology entails qualitative research: interviews with officials, archival and discourse analysis, and international policy analysis.
Geography, Energy and International Relations are combined under the Arctic umbrella. As ESRC quotes, “…we need a better understanding of geo-politics, regulation and energy security as well as developing further insights at individual, household and organisational levels of patterns of consumption and how best to motivate behaviour change”.
The research aims at investigating how community food growing in Wales contributes to the food sustainability of the communities, what role it plays in creating awareness for more sustainable way of living and reconnecting people to the food chain, and whether there is a potential to make it a widespread practice playing an important role in the urban food planning.
The Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme is, in the realm of political symbols, hugely important in signifying and validating Wales’ engagement globally. It is within this context that the research aims to investigate the impact of development aid as a two way exchange between linked communities in Wales and Africa.
This research examines what the growth of the self-storage industry in the UK can tell us about our modern material lives. By examining the changing landscape of storage an understanding has been gained of how the needs of individuals and families have changed over the last half-century. Interviews using object-elicitation were undertaken with self-storage users to learn about their motivations to rent self-storage, material and spatial practices, as well as the stories behind the (often) dormant objects. Developing new lines of enquiry that consider the role of domestic materiality beyond the home, my research builds on scholarship that works to re-materialise social and cultural geography and make the mundane spectacular. As indicated by the publication list, self-storage is a useful lens to think through several themes: (i) grief, death and memory; (ii) identity and gender; (iii) home-making in times of austerity; (iv) mobility, home and belonging; and (v) materiality and the life-course.
This research explores how rural Wales is being progressively disadvantaged by improved broadband provision and greater uptake elsewhere. Broadband supply is now predicted to reach 96 percent coverage in Wales by the end of 2015, with the remaining 4 percent representing approximately 90,000 homes primarily in rural areas. The urban-rural digital divide parallels traditional urban-rural divides and the nexus of rurality, socio-economic deprivation and digital exclusion indicates that access to broadband is an issue of economic, social and cultural importance.
Access to broadband allows interactivity between individuals, businesses and the external world, providing information, resources and access to services which are becoming increasingly, and sometimes exclusively available online. Consequently there are particular benefits associated with broadband connection for those in rural areas, given that this technology has the potential to overcome geographical and social isolation. However, these factors also constrain broadband diffusion. Previous studies have focused primarily on factors involved in technology acceptance and these are implicit within policy and Internet Service Providers’ strategies, which aim to increase broadband supply, demand and adoption.
I am particularly interested in exploring factors involved in demand and adoption, with specific focus on non-adoption in rural areas. Non-adopters include those with supply who do not subscribe, and those without supply who may or may not wish to access broadband. In-depth analysis of rural non-adopters has the potential to reveal factors and processes which are specifically related to non-adoption. Identification of these may reveal a typology of rural non-adopters whose characteristics and experiences can be better understood to influence broadband supply, demand and adoption in this context
This research explores how futures are imagined in Wales, in light of environmental change and the notion of the ‘Anthropocene’. Increasingly, imaginations of the future are seen as influential to social change because they are a part of how possible futures are pre-experienced and set in motion, and yet the ways in which futures are imagined and predicted are given little attention. Wales provides an interesting context for this research as its Government is one of only a few in the world to have sustainability as a central organising principle in its constitution, an approach which includes the pioneering One Wales: One Planet manifesto and the Well-being of Future Generations Act. This project engages with a range of case studies in Wales, from environmental art projects to Government initiatives, and aims to contribute to discussions and understanding about the role of imagination (particularly imaginations of the future) in behavioral and political responses to global environmental change.
This research explores the cultural geologies and global circulations of Welsh slate before, during, and after its extraction from the mountains of North Wales. The social and language-based histories of Welsh slate are well covered in the literature and are now becoming integrated into the bid to UNESCO for World Heritage status for the slate-producing landscapes of Gwynedd, North Wales. However, the subterranean and off-site geographical, social, technical and aesthetic legacy of Welsh slate is less understood. This research aims to gain a greater understanding of these global impacts of Welsh slate through a multi-disciplinary mapping of the connections that slate is involved in across the world.
In 2014 the Welsh Government commissioned an all-encompassing review of the Welsh National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its primary purpose was to examine how they can adapt to meet the radically different challenges and conditions they now face compared to when they were first established. The final report’s overarching theme is that there needs to be fundamental change in institutional and inter-agency culture and working practices. Additionally, whilst conserving the natural beauty of the areas will still be of primary importance, one of the key proposals is to include an additional purpose of promoting ‘sustainable forms of economic and community development’. Therefore, there is likely to be tensions where these apparent contradictory purposes interact.
I will be examining these possible contestations, together with the practical consequences of specific changes, especially in relation to how Welsh identity is tied to the landscape and how this might differentiate Wales from other parts of the United Kingdom. An important aspect of the project is the partnership with Landscapes for Life and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. This access will allow me to obtain a unique perspective on the impact of the proposed changes on landscape governance.
This research will be exploring how relationships between environmental values and the cultural landscape are lived out on the frontiers of climate change in the Arctic. Svalbard, home to some of the Northern- most settlements on Earth, offers unique opportunities to delve into various relationships between human, non-human life and the material world. The three case study sites will aim to encompass a broad temporality of these relationships, spanning past, present and future: Pyramiden (an abandoned Russian mining settlement and tourist ‘Ghost town’), Barentsburg (an active Russian mining town) and Longyearbyen (the home to the Global Seed Bank and main university research centre). The unique characteristics of these places will be investigated using ethnographic and participative research methods.
This research aims to examine how participation in charity sport events shape personal and collective identities and how feelings of personal achievement, motivation, social and civic responsibility, altruism and reciprocity can manifest through these mobilities.
The project will also investigate who participates in these activities (exploring issues of gender, age, class and personal fitness), what kinds of embodied efforts are involved (training undertaken, personal understandings of effort, limits and achievement), and how this sporting participation shapes peoples experiences and lifeworlds (how are people inspired to get involved and what are the results of these practices on the future lives of participants).
This project will consider the unique socio-political climate in Detroit and the potential for food sovereignty frameworks to have a direct influence on policy. It will analyse to what extent food sovereignty is practiced and if it fails or succeeds as a frame for the political objectives of Detroit farm’s. This project will investigate the indirect influences on policy that urban farms can have alongside the direct roles that participants in urban farming are taking to shift political paradigms. It will question how the value of community-grown farms challenges dominant neoliberal structures, considering what steps are being taken by Detroit farms to highlight the need for a ‘Post-Capitalist’ economy and engender political and economic reforms. With President Donald Trump calling for a more nationalistic agenda, we may already be moving into a ‘post-neoliberal’ era, but one that is still pro-corporate, racist and elitist. How will this affect both food governance and the potential of the food sovereignty framework in Detroit?
Are the activities and example of Detroit Farms transforming political paradigms?
This question will be explored in the following ways:
- To assess the radical alternative economic and transformative potential of Detroit’s urban farming systems.
- To explore the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the food sovereignty framework within Detroit farming. Does this framework nourish the non-capitalist values displayed by urban farms and demonstrate how community food production and food sovereignty has the potential to revive communities mired in racism and poverty.
- To analyse the constraints of neoliberalism on the urban agriculture movement. How do farms frame and value their community contribution? Do Detroit farms authenticate alternative values enabling the creation of policies that benefit sustainable food production so that it is viewed as a public good, and residents have a right to its access? How does this enable and empower them to shift political and economic paradigms within the city and beyond?
Modern surfing has been growing in popularity, and is now a common feature in littoral spaces around the globe. As Barilotti states, “everyone today wants to be a surfer” (Barilotti & Heimann, 2006, p. 89)Yet going hand in hand with this rise in popularity is the growing pressure on both the use of the surf zone, and the wish to protect it. Surf spaces are under pressure from a range stakeholders including coastal engineers, resource developers, and marine gentrifiers (through, for example, marina development and beach privatisations). In response to this pressure, surfers are shedding the cultural stereotypes of ‘slacker’ and ‘beach bum’ in an attempt to create a stewardship solution for coastal protection.
Following a rise in political activism through organised groups such as Surfers Against Sewage, Save the Waves, and the Surfrider Foundation, surfing has been transformed into a movement that no longer seeks an “outsider” position in relation to conventional political spaces, but rather seeks to lobby, advise, and even take action on key coastal planning debates. This research seeks to explore the motivations, meanings, and political significance of this transition of surfing as a New Social Movement.
My project will look to analyse previously collected semi-structured interviews conducted in Zambia with members of the Siavonga community (Southern Zambia). This area has been introduced to aquaculture of tilapia and other fishing practices yet is still an impoverished area. During analysis, social-political and ecological-environmental frames will be used to try and determine the extent and drivers of poverty in the area and use this as a possible platform for rebuilding fisheries.
My research seeks to address the relationship between industrial heritage and identity in post-industrial urban spaces in the UK. I’m engaging with critical investigations of constructions of heritage, familial narratives, and (post-)memory to understand the enduring relevance of industrial Britain to masculine identities. My methods will include familial interviews and walking interviews with participants.
This project focuses on the social perceptions of vegetation fires in the UK, both as a hazard and management tool. With the behaviour and activity of vegetation fire phenomenon changing over the past century, it is a current issue with multiple different stakeholders having significant interest in the issue. The project steps to obtain nuanced understanding of how different groups experience, understand and react both to threats from wildfire and to managed burning. There is little understanding of the social understanding of vegetation fire, especially in the UK, so there is a significant gap in research, especially relevant as people play such a key role in ignition in the UK.
This work will use head-mounted logging technology to document the behaviour of people whilst they navigate around urban and wild spaces. Special software will identify particular behaviours and relate them to environmental features and navigation behaviour. Subsequently the study will attempt to determine what features of the environment and of the people negotiating that environment lead to particular behaviours. An important aspect of this work will consider of how use of mobile technology modifies behaviour.
This research examines the social and cultural geographies of European diasporas in Wales. While much diaspora research focuses on migrations between former metropolitan powers and their former colonies, relatively little attention has been paid to the experiences of migrants from other European countries to the UK. This neglect is surprising considering facilitation of movement between one member state and another by the European Union, as well as the single market creating more opportunities and incentives for intra-European connections. Significantly, migration to the UK from the Accession 8 (A8) group of states that joined the EU in 2004 has brought significant demographic changes both to many localities in particular and to the UK as a whole. An academic study of contemporary A8 diasporas is particularly pertinent for a number of reasons. Firstly, these EU nationals’ negotiation of belonging along several facets of identity allows for a study that does not experience these post-colonial ties. Secondly, much of the academic literature on diasporas is concerned with the way in which race and racial differences are experiences and negotiated. As A8 migrants are mostly from a white ethnic background, such a study has potential to examine alternative conceptualizations of race in diaspora through whiteness. This study focuses on the experience of members of the Polish diaspora in Wales. The overwhelming majority of A8 migrants to the UK are Polish nationals; for reasons of practicality in accessing sufficient participant numbers, as well as the candidate’s own research interest and positionality, it is proposed to focus on the experiences of Polish diasporas.
The Economic and Social Research Council’s recent International Benchmarking Review ranked UK Human Geography number one globally, and it was the first social science to be rated in this way. Human Geography is an agenda-setting discipline characterized by empirical and conceptual innovation, diversity, and vibrancy.
The Human Geography pathway is founded on longstanding institutional links between Aberystwyth’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Cardiff’s School of Geography and Planning, and Swansea’s Department of Geography. All three units demonstrated outstanding quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. As well as a clear collective vision, the pathway provides both depth and breadth of expertise. It incorporates strengths in:
- cultural and social geography (with media geography and mobilities research specialisms);
- economic geography;
- historical geography;
- political geography;
- population geography and demography (with a migration studies specialism);
- quantitative geography and GIS;
- society and environment research; and
- urban geography.
Further specialisms in rural geography, landscape studies, and environmental sustainability add to the world-leading expertise the pathway encompasses.
Students are attracted by the vibrancy and vitality of our research environment, which, in emphasizing co-produced research, involves collaborative partners such as Welsh Government, European Commission, United Nations, Ordnance Survey, Natural Resources Wales, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Muslim Council of Wales, Welsh Refugee Council, etc., and connects with a broad social-science community through the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) network and such facilities as the £8 million ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for Wales.
For students on the ‘1+3’ route, subject-specific training modules follow a common syllabus which culminates in jointly taught residential courses. Subject-specific training and student development continues throughout the doctorate through a coordinated programme of standalone workshops. Topics include: using GIS; publishing and dissemination; achieving impact; policy-research opportunities; and preparing for an academic career.