This ethnographic study currently traces in situ urban maintenance practices across a number of professional and volunteer groups in Cardiff, UK. It is interested, broadly, in how the city is maintained on a daily basis, and explores the small-scale, street-level tactics and interactions that manifest in and constitute the daily round. Current interests are in members’ categorisation practices regarding people and place, and the implications of their public visibility and accountability as street-level bureaucrats responsible for, and category-bound to, the regular ‘dirty work’ of quotidian regeneration. Other research interests include the situated organisational accomplishment of teamwork, and the navigation of varying levels of practical skills between members in the context of the ever-broadening public requirements and obligations of urban public maintenance work.
The aim of this project is to explore the relationship between young people’s gendered bodies, their sexual practices and their sexual subjectivities in South Wales in its current ‘era of sexualisation’. ‘Gendered bodies’ are in this context understood to be bodies existing in and emerging from gendered discursive frames, in which hegemonic notions of masculinity and femininity have materialised and in which an automatisation of ‘gender-appropriate’ perfomativity has occurred (Butler, 1990). Since female bodies have been theorised to be more often objectified and ‘othered’, while male ones have been theorised to more often be presented as subjects and agents (Gill, 2008), this may include the extent to which young people’s bodies are lived and experienced as subjects or objects. ‘Sexual practices’ are in this context understood to be sexual behaviours young people engage in; and ‘sexual subjectivities’ are understood as the way young people understand themselves as sexual beings, and how they experience and make sense of sex, given the confines of their social worlds.
Although an open mind will be kept with regards to the nature of the relationship between young people’s gendered bodies, their sexual practices and their sexual subjectivities, two aspects will be foregrounded in the conduct and the analysis of the study. Firstly it will be emphasised what role the gendered body plays in determining young people’s sexual practices and sexual subjectivities, especially in relation to the accessibility and their experience of sexual pleasure. Accumulating knowledge as to how embodied notions of masculinity and femininity can have detrimental impacts on young people’s sexual experiences, including their sexual pleasure, will be beneficial in challenging such notions and working towards a society in which all young people are given the opportunity to enjoy their sexuality freely. Secondly it is of particular interest what role the sexual practices young people engage in play in reinforcing and subverting the process of the gendering of the body, as this may, as well as giving insight into the maintenance of the gendered body, present an opportunity for young people to work towards social and personal change should this be desired.
The project will take a participatory approach in which young people between the ages of 16 and 18 years, who will have often only just begun to engage in sexual practices with other people and are hence very much in a process of negotiating their changing subject positions, are given the opportunity to contribute to the design of the study and to express their thoughts and feelings in a variety of ways. The project will begin by carrying out focus groups with young people, in which the research questions will be addressed and the further conduct of the study will be discussed. Possible further steps include individual interviews, a range of creative methods such as diaries and collages, and a survey.
In what way, does school and civil society encourage pupils’ understanding of their indigenous identity, language ideology and cultural ownership?
There is increasing evidence of indigenous youth having multiple language varieties and multiple language use to perform certain identities to position themselves when interacting in peer-groups, classrooms, family homes, and outside of school. These varieties of identities are the day-to-day beliefs and language ideologies which young people co-construct according to the various challenges and opportunities they face. Indeed, by excluding beliefs and language ideologies of young people in school and society, there remains a strong distinction in the use of heritage languages within and outside the school gates.
Consequently, knowledge remains limited on how civil society and education negotiate a normative indigenous identity and language ideological space in its direct relation to shaping and/or neglecting a space for young people to negotiate their own distinctive one. This thesis will be focussing on two case studies where empirical fundamental differences lie in the curriculum and in the understanding of indigenous society. .
I intend to study equality and diversity training in workplaces using participant-observation and interviews. I am particularly interested in the political implications of E&D training and in the interactions that take place during training.
Selected Recent Publications
Duschinsky, R. and Chachamu, N. 2014 Abnormality, Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology
Duschinsky, R. and Chachamu, N. 2013 Sexual dysfunction and paraphilias in the DSM-5: Pathology, heterogeneity, and gender. Feminism and Psychology 23: 49-55
The proposed research is an empirical ethnography of an increasing number of Vehicle Dwellers (VDs), which could be considered to be a third generation of New Travellers (NTs). Recently, connections have been suggested linking this movement to unaffordable housing (e.g: Johnston, 2016; Nsubuga, 2016). I propose to research this movement empirically, in relation to the housing crisis, including responses from local authorities, and their impact.
Existing theoretical frameworks regarding NTs will be developed and reformulated accordingly.
The following questions will be raised:
How do VDs identify themselves? Do they consider nomadism to be a part of their identity, or a matter of necessity?
To what extent is the housing crisis a motivating force – if it is at all?
How do local authorities respond to VDs? How does this shape the spatial practices of VDs?
Do city streets provide VDs with ideal spaces of tolerance and freedom?
Johnston, H. (2016) Meet the young women beating the housing crisis by living in a van. Available at: http://www.thedebrief.co.uk/news/real-life/meet-the-young-women-beating-the-housing-crisis-by-living-in-a-van-20160864383 [Accessed: 12/12/2016]
Nsubaga, J. (2016) IT worker saves £1k each month by living in a van in London. Available at: http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/04/it-worker-saves-1k-each-month-by-living-in-a-van-in-london-5734100 [Accessed on: 12/12/2016]
My project aims to examine how former coal and steel mining areas in South Wales and Yorkshire are represented in literature, film and other media and how these representations affect communities. The genre of the industrial novel has contributed to an image which can be perceived as one-sided, and in certain, circumstances, stigmatising. Academic and media reports of South Wales and Yorkshire can also present a negative perspective. This study will examine how literary and film projects and other meaning-making structures could counter these representations; and also how places like the South Wales’ valleys and South Yorkshire can become storied differently. The approach will be conceptualised through the suggestion that literacy practices are not independent of social context but are situated in an ideological framework in which reading and writing are intertwined with cultural and power structures. This project is linked to the WISERD Civil Society research centre and will contribute to two projects in the AHRC’s Connected Communities Programme: Representing communities: developing the creative power of people to improve health and well-being and Imagine: connecting communities through research.
Norms and Values in Defining a Sense of Place in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David magazine The Student Researcher, 2 (2), pp. 49-58, May 2013
In recent times the persistence of nationalist politics has been evident across Europe – of both stateless nations, e.g. Scotland, Catalonia, and of nation-states, e.g. Front National in France or UKIP in Britain. With the emergence of digital media networks provoking accounts of the enhanced agency of political actors and movements, this research will look to map the field of digital activity of nationalist movements situated in the UK. It will explore the structure and organisation of nationalist, but also broader civic, networks in the emerging digital public spaces of social media, the prominent modes and methods of social media usage by actors as well as prominent nationalist discourses and counter-discourses deployed and contested in these spaces. However, this will also be supplemented by investigating how such online activity is situated within broader offline strategies. This will involve conducting various event-based case studies, with the EU referendum anticipated as a prominent case where national identities are to be mobilised.
Investigation into misogynistic hate speech found on Twitter and other social media, employing big data collection and critical discourse analysis.
My research is an inquiry into, and a critique of the current social discourse of museums, in collaboration with the National Museum of Wales. Some of the central questions my research aims to address, include:
- Of what do museum’s speak when they speak of ‘society’?
- What are the principal determining factors that have influenced the contemporary societal discourse of museums?
- What is the ‘social purpose’ of museums?
- What can be said to constitute ‘social engagement’?
- Can the social practice of museums be said to verify their societal discourse?
Where once a colloquial term for some forms of casual employment (BIS 2013), the term ‘Zero-Hour Contracts’ (or No-Guaranteed Hours Contracts) has emerged as descriptive shorthand that encompasses a vast spectrum of employment forms. Despite this, much the of debate around ZHCs continues to pivot on a general “assumption that there is such a thing as a unitary notion of the Zero-Hours Contract – both in terms of a legal category of personal work relations, and as a clearly measurable statistical phenomenon” (Adams et al 2014: 3). Such assumptions have not been sufficiently challenged by the existing body of research (e.g. Brinkley 2013; CIPD 2013). There remains no systematic and context specific research into varieties of employment forms now included under the label. Similarly, there is no attempt to ground the concept of ZHCs – and the varieties of forms it covers – in relation to existing employment frames and ongoing processes of flexibilisation.
My research attempts to provide this clarity through institutional case studies in the Higher Education sector. Fieldwork involves qualitative analysis of formal employment contracts alongside interviews with HR personnel, managerial staff, trade unions, and employees. It is hoped that my research will improve our understanding of ZHCs as a labour market phenomenon. It should also help to provide a necessary level of detail for balanced and effective policy making (BIS 2013).
Museum studies and policy, and museums themselves, are increasingly concerned with contributing positively to the sort of concerns usually reserved for more traditional social policy interventions. The purview of the museum is no longer solely to hold historical artefacts in trust and offer educational programs and events to the public: they are now considered to have an important role in matters of social regeneration by supporting strong, healthy communities. I am interested in finding out what sort of community engagement is happening at present, and what opportunities there are for new modes of engagement – and, importantly, what works.
The PhD will explore the production and management of violent situations and identities, drawing from thinkers such as Erving Goffman and Randall Collins. Using the case of mixed martial arts fighting (MMA – a sport combined of practices such as kickboxing, Wrestling and Brazilian jiu jitsu) to elicit this topic, the study consists of three interrelating themes.
The first theme will focus on the strips of interaction in MMA’s ‘ethnographic places’ to elicit how ‘definitions of the situation’ relating to violence is organised and sustained. The second theme, the ‘fighting self’, takes interest in the strips of interaction through which being an MMA fighter are ‘done’, but also how they situate their self as violent, or not. The third aim draws upon the management and performance of the gendered sporting self, but also how the gendered body affects ‘doing’ fighter.
The research design is qualitative and ethnographic and will consist of several methods including participant observation, individual interviews, and analysis of online videos and comments. The sample will be gender balanced between men and women involved in MMA’s spaces, including coaches, competitive MMA fighters with varying skill status (amateur to professional), as well as non-competitive members of the MMA clubs.
The starting point for my Master’s research was the increasing privatisation and marketisation of residential care for the elderly in the UK. Anxiety over the ability of the residential care sector to promote elders’ quality of life has been expressed by the public, the media and within academia. The research reflected upon this anxiety in terms of wider literature concerning morality, emotion and work, considering whether declining conditions of service in the sector could be seen to rest upon a wider conflict between economic rationality and morality.
The research was conducted using a case study design which focused on one residential home, employing document analyses, participant observation and in-depth interviewing. An examination of the company’s discursive attempts to construct, manage and demarcate its employees’ emotional labour was carried out alongside an exploration of the carers’ own interpretations of, and enrolment in, the care-giving role. A consideration of the potential economic and emotional consequences of these occurrences was a key focus of the inquiry.
The study found that carers, encouraged by the company, naturalised their emotional labour. This had widespread consequences – from justifying the economic devaluation of the carer’s work to leaving her vulnerable to emotional over-involvement and client aggression. One positive consequence, however, was that the carer’s sincere identification with the care-giving role allowed her to uphold the rights of those within her care, even when these were in conflict with the economic motivations of her employers.
My PhD research intends to examine the care sector in greater depth, principally focussing on what it is that makes a residential home work to provide care which is socially valuable to both carers and the cared-for. By means of ethnographic research in several private residential homes, in-depth interviewing with carers and document analyses, I aim to consider the impact which factors such as training, institutional ethos, staff turnover, supervision, shift organisation, cost of care, engagement and reward, and physical layout have upon care-giving.
My PhD is concerned with the evaluation of the Foundation Phase in Wales, 10 years on from its initial implementation in Wales. The Foundation Phase is a Welsh Government flagship policy, which heralds a radical approach to early years education. Influenced by the reported success of programs in Reggio Emilia, Scandinavia and New Zealand, it is a child-centred, developmental approach which emphasises the importance of active, play-based, experiential learning.
My research will build on an extensive independent evaluation of the Foundation Phase which identified 12 pedagogical principles and made 29 recommendations to improve delivery, many of which were incorporated into the Welsh Government Foundation Phase Action Plan. My PhD will seek to examine the implementation of the Foundation Phase ten years after its initial roll out, and five years after the first evaluation and subsequent implementation of the Action Plan. It will evaluate changes in delivery and practice utilising many of the research tools and methods from the original evaluation in some of the same case study schools and settings. It will also explore why the Foundation Phase has seemingly had a limited impact on closing the attainment gap between particular groups of learners and identify factors associated with success.
My research explores queer(-ing) masculinity across South Wales and South West England. I consider how commodified and commercialised representational forms, critiqued for celebrating identities that assimilate with mainstream ideals around gender and sexuality, are reproduced, resisted and redefined through the digitally mediated cultures and practices of young men who have sex with men, and trans* and non-binary identities assigned male, aged between 18 and 25. In light of recent tensions between binary and non-binary gender and sexual identities, my project is committed to difference. I do not assume that any identity is more or less valid or inherently privileged or less subversive as identities mean and do different things for different people. Through adopting an unstructured and participatory approach, producing data with participants, I consider how gender and sexual identities, whether binary or non-binary, emerge from a variety of experiences, desires and anxieties that cannot be reduced to universal experiences, motives or effects.
Brain injuries can cause catastrophic impairments which leave profound implications for patients, their families, health and social care. Many people with brain injuries undergo a period of rehabilitation, a future orientated process which looks to maximize function, physically, cognitively and socially whilst minimising medical complications.
Positive relationships between patients, families and health care professionals are fundamental to good care. These relationships however can become extremely strained during rehabilitation as efforts to control the future, to influence the outcome of injury, and to shape the identity and care of a patient with brain injury has to be negotiated within a situation of extreme medical uncertainty.
Using the concept of `futures’ as a lens this research explores the challenges in negotiating the triad of patient, family and professional relationships generated by the `not yet’ (Adam and Grove 2007) but imminent aspects of care and treatment in the present.
This research seeks to answer:
How are the futures of people with severe brain injury, their families and HCPs shaped and negotiated during rehabilitation through:
a) Day to day interaction
b) Organisational process and practice
What constitutes positive relationships in brain injury rehabilitation?
What challenges and tensions arise in the relationships between patients, their families and HCPs during the rehabilitative process, what causes them, and how are they resolved?
Selected Recent Publications:
Latchem, J. & Greenhalgh, J. (2014). The role of reading on the health and wellbeing of people with neurological conditions: A systematic review. Aging and Mental Health. Early online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2013.875125
Latchem, J. & Kitzinger, J. (2012). What is important to residents with neurological conditions and their relatives in long-term neurological care settings. [Online]
Available at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/resources/Long_Term_Care.pdf
Latchem, J., Kitzinger, J. & Kitzinger, C. (2015). Physiotherapy for vegetative and minimally conscious state patients: family perceptions and experiences. Disability and Rehabilitation. Early Online pp. 1-8 http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09638288.2015.1005759
Latchem, J. & Kitzinger, J. (2015). Breaking down barriers: the importance of good relationships. Nursing and Residential Care 16(12), pp. 512-514.
Fuel poverty affects around 30% of households in Wales, over a third of which contain an older person aged 65 years and over. Older people are particularly susceptible to fuel poverty and are disproportionately affected by its consequences especially in terms of respiratory illness, cardiovascular events, and excess winter deaths. As well as its negative effects on health, fuel poverty can severely impact on many aspects of quality of life.
My research aims to explore the types of poverty and disadvantage that may exist in older households experiencing fuel poverty in Wales. I am particularly interested in food poverty, benefit uptake, and cognitive function in these households.
The commitment to the expansion of Welsh-medium education has been a key policy agenda for the Welsh Government, highlighted most recently in their Welsh Medium Education Strategy (WAG 2010).
There is no doubt that Welsh Medium education has played a crucial role in the successful revitalization efforts of the Welsh language, particularly across the compulsory education sector (primary and secondary phases). Yet, the progression of WM education and provision availability has not been as successful, and remains very limited across the Higher Education sector.
The establishment of Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in 2011 has attempted to tackle this issue by its commitment to develop and increase WM opportunities to students across all universities in Wales, and thus seeks to increase the number of students who undertake their degree courses, partly or entirely through the medium of Welsh.
However, the lack of literature and research that focuses exclusively on the relationship between the Welsh language and HE and HE participation clearly justifies the need to further explore this under-researched and under-developed field. As of yet the demand for Welsh medium higher education has not been systematically investigated, and so this PhD will aim to address this deficit.
I am particularly interested in exploring the linguistic progression of Welsh-speaking students from the secondary phase to the HE sector – and more crucially to identify and explore the key factors that might influence students’ decisions to study their HE courses through the medium of Welsh.
The investigation will comprise of a mixed-method approach:
- Quantitative secondary data analysis of large-scale datasets including the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and the National Pupil Database (NPD).
- Longitudinal qualitative research by following a sample of Welsh speaking sixth form students as they make their decisions regarding HE and Welsh Medium Higher Education.
Focus Groups/Interviews with Welsh-speaking university students undertaking their degree, either partly or entirely through the medium of Welsh, and those who are studying through the medium of English.
The first part of this study aims at understanding the interactions and communications processes through which civic issues such as hate speech and freedom of speech are framed online.
As household income and home ownership rates increase, more people are having to decide how their assets will be distributed following their deaths. The focus of this research project is to explore the dilemmas which arise when people think about leaving an inheritance. The research is about the ways in which testators seek to balance competing rights and obligations between the self, the family, charitable organisations and the state. This research will be an intra-generational study which will explore whether potential dilemmas are approached differently depending on the testator’s gender, ethnicity and religion. This study should provide an insight into how the relationship between civil society, the state and the individual is regarded.
My research examines how older people are portrayed in popular discourse, particularly television, radio and online / printed media, and whether this cultural representation extends any influence on the attitudes and behaviours of health care staff. The study uses a mixed methods approach incorporating a quantitative media consumption survey and qualitative semi-structured interviews with NHS and social care staff, as well as discourse analysis of cultural texts that health care staff commonly engage with. It is expected that the study will provide critical insight into the social and cultural influences that may explain the delivery of quality care or the lack of dignified care in the health sector, as well as assessing the potential to accommodate messages from the media discourse of older people into more effective dignity training or campaigns.
Selected Recent Publications
- Hillman A., Tadd W., Calnan S., Calnan M., Bayer A. and Read S., Risk, governance and the experience of care. 2013, Sociology of Health and Illness [In press]
- Tadd W, Hillman S , Calnan S, Calnan M, Bayer A and Read S., From right place – wrong person, to right place – right person: dignified care for older people. 2012 HSRN/SDO supplement of the Journal of Health Services and Research Policy [In press]
- Calnan,M, Tadd, W, Calnan, S, Hillman, A, Bayer A and Read S ‘I often worry about the older person being in that system because often they – they’ve got more needs, are more vulnerable’: Providing dignified care for older people in acute hospitals Ageing & Society. [Accepted for publication]
- Tadd, W; Hillman, A; Calnan, S; Calnan, M; Bayer, A; Read, S. Right place – wrong person: dignity in the acute care of older people. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 2011; 12(1): 33- 43
This study aims to understand those complex social practices that shape energy consumption; how they are emplaced in geographical settings, and how they’ve evolved through time (both through individual life-courses and generational time), informed by sunk investments in domestic infrastructures, and habitual behaviours. I will be employing innovative (narrative, longitudinal and visual) research methods to aid people to think reflexively about the ways they use energy.
This study is linked to the ‘Energy Biographies Project’, and is sponsored by the Welsh Government (Climate Change and Water Division) and Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Institute. As I am a Welsh speaker, and I will be conducting my fieldwork in North-West Wales, information about my research will be available in both Welsh and English.
I am interested in the mental health and wellbeing of older adults, and the factors that influence this. My PhD will examine how social class impacts on the ability of people with dementia and their carers to live well. I aim to use a qualitative research methodology, which will include in-depth interviews and a potential ethnographic approach. The PhD will form part of the IDEAL study (Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life), a longitudinal study spanning several UK universities, charities and clinical research networks.
I am interested in the multiple ways in which migrants as both local and transnational actors participate in and contribute to the (re)production of cosmopolitan cities as part of global restructuring processes. The research project is inspired by an emerging research agenda in migration studies which draws on sociological and anthropological studies of migration and transnationalism as well as discussions of urban transformations and spatialities in human geography and urban studies. With its comparative perspective, the project seeks to contribute to an empirically grounded understanding of the varying and dynamic relationships between international migrants and the cities of their (temporary) sojourn in a multiply connected but unequal world.
During my fieldwork in Seoul (2015/16) I am affiliated with the Institute of Globalization and Multicultural Studies, Hanyang University (ERICA campus, http://multiculture.hanyang.ac.kr).
Selected Recent Publications
Yi, H. and Shin, H. 2014. Conclusion: Border crossers as potentialities in globalising societies [German]. In Chang-Gusko, Y. et al. eds. Unknown diversity – Insights into the history of Korean migration to Germany [German]. Cologne: DoMiD Documentation Centre and Museum of Migration in Germany.
Scheffer, T. and Shin, H. 2010. The case in the case-system. In Scheffer, T. Adversarial Case-Making – An Ethnography of English Crown Court Procedure. Leiden: BRILL Academic Publishers, pp. 219-249.
Scheffer, T. and Shin, H. 2008. Book Review – Fighting for Political Freedom. Law and Politics Book Review 18(10), pp. 871-876.
My research will investigate how young people from unskilled households fare in gaining employment in local contexts of poor work and job shortages. The aim of this research is to evaluate different projects run by the People in Work Unit to discover the impact these programmes have had on individuals and in terms of a ripple effect in the wider community.
Some of the research questions for this project include:
- What careers do people go into from community development?
- Did those people who were engaged in the different projects become inspirational to others?
- Are these projects successful in creating or breaking self-image?
- What is the impact on Self Fulfilling Prophesy?
- Does a whole community approach create a cultural tipping point for cultural change in the value of education?
- Do people have aspiration without knowledge?
I will explore the subject of Reflexivity and ageing in relation to ‘personhood’ and the construction of the ‘self’ in late modernity. I will research the effects of the ‘reflexive imperative’ in the context of ageing, looking at cultural requirements around the performance of ‘choice’, autonomy, self-management and independence. Within this, I will explore issues such as stigma, consumption as identity performance, and social class.
The ethnographic study of a homeless shelter.
How space and place is created, used and known by members of the scene.
Looking at movements and the motivation for going and staying.
Sociology is a core social science. It is essential to the understanding of human behaviour and the wellbeing of citizens, generating useful knowledge and a diagnosis of our condition that informs policy and public understanding. Doctoral students on the sociology pathway will benefit from a distinctive combination of leading-edge theoretical work, empirical study, policy context, and methodological innovation and expertise.
The Sociology pathway sits within the interdisciplinary School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Sociological research here achieved a position in the top three in the UK 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The pathway offers significant research expertise in a range of fields including:
- culture, identity and transformation;
- place, space and mobilities;
- work and labour markets;
- biographical and narrative analysis;
- the sociology of knowledge and expertise;
- studies of health,
- illness and wellbeing;
- big data sociology and social media analysis; and
- aspects of sociological theory.
Cardiff University is also a recognised centre of excellence in the development of quantitative, qualitative and mixed sociological research methods.
The School of Social Science at Cardiff University has a vibrant research culture, and research students are a vital part of it. The School has a strong track record of international, peer-reviewed publication; it hosts several major disciplinary and methods-focused social science journals. Students on the sociology pathway routinely engage with staff and students from other disciplines and engage with the wide range of research centres, research groups and other forums hosted by the School. The School supports and organises a series of doctoral cohort events including an annual PGR dinner (a social event and celebration of doctoral accomplishment); an annual doctoral student conference (including paper sessions and poster competition); the student-run Postgraduate Café, and various reading groups which meet once a month to discuss a range of topics related to social research, politics and culture.
Students on the ‘1+3’ route follow the interdisciplinary Masters in Social Science Research Methods, and are provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist, and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. Students on the sociology pathway also take the subject-specific, compulsory module Advanced Concepts in Contemporary Sociology. Subject-specific training and student development continues throughout the doctorate with a wide range of reading and discussion groups, roundtable sessions, seminar series, and data analysis workshops.