Accessibility statement

Dr Jim Kaufman

BA (Newcastle), MSc (LSE), PhD (Glasgow)

  • Research Associate

Visit Dr Jim Kaufman's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse her research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • Social in/security and conditionality
  • Active labour market policy
  • Street-level bureaucracy and bureaucrats
  • Social practice and lived experience

Academic biography

My research is concerned with social security and insecurity, understood both as a set of policy interventions, but also in terms of everyday lived experience. I am interested in social policy as field of social practice with both emancipatory and disciplinary potential, and my work has sought to understand this tension. I have a particular interest in street-level bureaucrats and frontline service workers, and in the ways they cope with the various contradictions of their position.

I joined the school in 2021 as a research associate on Covid Realities, a research project looking into the experiences of parents and carers on low incomes during the pandemic. I work on the participatory strand of this project. Before joining the school, I taught Social and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow where I was also awarded a PhD in 2018 for an ethnographic study of welfare conditionality and welfare-to-work programmes. In 2018-19 I was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sheffield.


Current research interests and projects

Covid Realities is a participatory research project looking into the experience of parents and carers on low incomes during the pandemic. It seeks to better understand the struggles of daily life for low-income families, and help policy makers reach better decisions.

Research team members

Dr‌ ‌Ruth‌ ‌Patrick‌ ‌
Dr‌ ‌Geoff‌ ‌Page‌ ‌
Dr‌ ‌Maddy‌ ‌Power‌ ‌
Dr‌ ‌Katie‌ ‌Pybus‌ ‌

Substantial research project public output

Covid Realities write-ups


Recent publications

Kaufman, J. (2021). States of imposture: scroungerphobia and the street-level choreography of suspicion. In: Woolgar, S. et al. (Eds). The Imposter as Social Theory: Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats and Charlatans. Bristol: Bristol University press.

Kaufman, J. (2020). Intensity, moderation, and the pressures of expectation: Calculation and coercion in the street-level practice of welfare conditionality. Social Policy & Administration, 54 (2), pp.205–218. [Online]. Available at: doi:10.1111/spol.12559.

Professional activities


Social Policy Association

Jim Kaufman      

Contact details

Dr Jim‌ Kaufman‌
Research Associate
School for Business and Society

Tel: +44 (0) 1904 32 1229