Flutter, Lorna

Lorna Flutter
Start date:
October 2018
Research Topic:
London's Boat Dwelling Community
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Tom Hall and Kate Moles
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Urban Studies has lent heavily on the premise that people move between areas of dry land (Hall, 2012; Miller, 2008; Allen et al, 2003). However, 2.5% of London is made up of ‘blue space’, formed of canals and rivers that host an annually expanding floating population (NBTA, 2016). Increasing dramatically from 638 in 2012, there are now upward of 1, 954 ‘continuous cruiser’ boat-dwellers in London (NBTA, 2016; RBOA, 2017). Regulations state that ‘continuous cruisers’ can moor in one ‘neighbourhood’ for 14 days, putting them in constant flux through central and peripheral areas of the city (CRT, 2015b:11). Whilst mobility theorists analyse urban movement, work remains separate from the residential context (Jenson, 2010; Sager, 2006). Challenging the association of mobile dwelling with rural ‘traveller’ communities (Martin, 2002; Hetherington, 1998), London’s mobile boaters bring continuous residential mobility into the discussion of everyday urban life. This ethnographic study will explore practices of belonging, variant forms of mobile-home making, and urban interaction. Durational ethnographic engagement with ‘everyday life’ is intended to encourage understanding of the ‘rhythm and temporality’ of London’s urban water.

Gater, Richard

Start date:
October 2018
Research Topic:
Young men, masculinity, employment and de-industrialised areas
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Valerie Walkerdine and Phillip Brown
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship
Research keywords:

The study is situated in an ex-coaling mining community in the South Wales’ valleys and explores masculinity and its effects on young men’s attitudes towards employment. Incorporating the use of co-production research and in partnership with a local youth organisation, qualitative methods will be used in the form of ethnography, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. The research aims to investigate the historical legacy of industrial work in the area, its ties to masculinity and how this characteristic affects young men’s future employment ambitions and choices. Furthermore, the empirical findings of this research will be used to develop a pilot programme that aims to support and help the young men into employment. The programme will be trialled by the participants of the research and evaluated based on its overall success.

Greaves, Catrin

Greaves,  Catrin
Start date:
September 2020
Research Topic:
Heritage Education
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Bella Dicks
Supervising school:
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

I have an academic background in Social Anthropology (graduating from Queen’s University Belfast) but since returning to Wales, I have decided to explore my own society. This interest has been developed through my experience of working in Wales, particularly in the heritage sector and work as a tour guide at the Senedd (Welsh Parliament). These experiences have informed my research interest in the intersection of heritage/ museums and devolved politics in Wales.

Key research question:

How can local museums in Wales use the idea of young people as ‘active citizens’ to demonstrate social value?

Aims:
To gain an understanding of whether and how local museums in Wales engage young people in political education.
To demonstrate the value of museums in helping young people to become active in their local communities, through volunteering and activism.
To identify and explore factors affecting young people’s level of engagement around these themes e.g gender.
To recommend how museums can further contribute to young people’s political empowerment in Wales.

Purpose:
To gather evidence of how museums are currently engaging young people with political issues/ citizenship.
To address gaps in knowledge regarding museum work relating to active citizenship in Wales by focusing on local museums.
To inform future development of policy and practice regarding political engagement work in museums through analysing and comparing work across different locations in Wales.

Contexts:
The Senedd and Elections Bill 2019 will lower the voting age to 16 in Wales. Changes to the National Curriculum in Wales emphasise young people as ‘ethical, informed citizens’, but there is a current gap in political education in Wales as demonstrated by a report by the Welsh Youth Parliament ( 2019).

I am interested in how, as educational institutions, museums can address this gap.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines that:

Article 12:‘Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.’ and:

Article 31 ‘Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities’.

I am interested in how these two rights intersect in the context of young people’s ‘‘informal’ political action such as local volunteering and activism.

Museums are increasingly under pressure to articulate their value in terms of ‘social impact’. ( Kidd 2016:7) and I propose that contribution to young people’s political engagement is a key way in which museums can demonstrate social impact.

I am particularly interested in using a transformative approach and participatory methodology such as visual and creative methods to work closely with groups of young people in conducting my research.

I hope that my research can contribute to practice around increasing young people’s interest in and engagement with politics in Wales as well as becoming ‘ active citizens’ as emphasised in the new curriculum.

Headington, Joshua

Start date:
October 2017
Research Topic:
A Critique of the Social Discourse of Museums
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Bella Dicks
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Wales DTP
Research keywords:

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?

Hunt, Miriam

Miriam Hunt
Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Portraying and engaging disabled people in the museum
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Bella Dicks and Dr Kate Moles
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship
External Sponsor:
National Museum Wales
Research keywords:
; ;

My name is Miriam Hunt and I am a PhD student working with Cardiff University and the National Museum Wales. I am interested in how museums make themselves accessible and relevant to disabled people, from how visitors move around exhibition spaces to how disabled people are represented or absent in stories about our history.

Discourses about the nature of disability have changed radically since the 1960s, shifting from a medical perspective focussed on cure to the influential social model, which is concerned with barriers to inclusion disabled people face from the built environment and social structures.

Museums, on the other hand, have changed the way in which they relate to their visitors. The curator role is no longer considered in terms of imparting universal truths to visitors, but instead encouraging complex discussions around multiple understandings of the world and supporting diverse learning styles. Part of this is looking to communities who have historically been underrepresented in visitor numbers, including disabled people.

My research sits at the intersection of these dynamic discourses.

Jones, Nikki

Start date:
October 2017
Research Topic:
Education
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Prof Chris Taylor
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

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.

Mathlin, Robert

Mathlin, Robert
Start date:
October 2020
Research Topic:
mobilities, space and place
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Charlotte Bates and Professor Tom Hall
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship
Research keywords:
; ;

My research aims to understand how people connect to green spaces and footpaths through their identity. Of particular interest is how the landscape is shaped by the individual and how the individual is shaped by the landscape. Whilst still in the very early stages I plan to use multimodal and sensory methods to gather data.

This research also contributes to the Ramblers Cymru Paths for People project. This project is about making sure footpaths aren’t lost and local communities know the rights they have over footpaths whilst increasing accessibility.

Nisa, Henna

Start date:
October 2017
Research Topic:
Daughterhood in Pakistani Families
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Sin Yi Cheung and Professor Emma Renolds
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My project will explore the inter-generational lived experiences of Pakistani women as daughters, doing daughterhood, in terms of family culture, education, employment and marriage.

It will look at the ways in which gender, class and ethnicity impact the daily life of Pakistani women and how factors such as patriarchy, religion, family values and practices may act as barriers to progression for women. It will also seek to understand the ways in which these processes are negotiated or changed as Pakistani women try to become agents of their own destiny.

This projects aims to recognise the complexity of family life and identity of Pakistani women as daughters, as most literature tends to present them as a homogenous group with similar experiences of gender, education, marriage, employment and family life.
In a rapidly changing gender landscape, this project also addresses a gap in literature as it is unique in its style of exploring experiences of being a daughter in a Pakistani family through the use of creative methods.

Ruet, Eve

Ruet, Eve
Start date:
October 2020
Research Topic:
The arts and the Welsh working-class: identities and communities -working tittle-
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Bella Dicks, Daniel Smith
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My research aims to analyse the construction of Wesh national and local identities through the arts and its reception. I am interested in investigating the questions of representations of “Welshness” in the arts, along with other identities such as those of class, gender and race. Moreover, this project aims to look at the place and construction of national identities in relation to questions around heritage, memories and identities. The PhD consists of a case-study research design with qualitative methods involving interviews, focus-groups and content analyses. This project will aim to be a contribution to national and cultural studies.

Williams, Joseph

Start date:
October 2016
Research Topic:
Homelessness Spaces Places Knowing
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Tom Hall, Robin Smith
Supervising school:
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

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.

Wolf, Som

Start date:
October 2019
Research Topic:
Ecological Identities in the UK
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Karen Henwood, Dr Abid Mehmood
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

I intend to explore current environmental social movements within the UK, and how nature relatedness may relate to the formation, and embodiment, of ecological identities.
I intend to investigate the consequences of ecological identities on pro-environmental behaviour, and possible ramifications for urban centres where green spaces are not evenly distributed.

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.