School for Business and Society
Susan Watson has extensive interdisciplinary experience in Criminal Justice, Social Policy and Politics. Before embarking on an academic career as a mature student, Susan worked in political campaigning, research and policy development. Susan has previously worked as a staffer for a major political party; a Parliamentary Researcher on the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee; and has served as a researcher for numerous elected representatives, including Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament. She has also worked in an informal capacity for the Democratic Party in the USA.
Susan has significant experience in the criminal justice and social policy sectors, and has provided leadership, strategic direction, and policy development advice to a number of public and third sector bodies.
Susan now combines her past professional knowledge with her more recent teaching experience, with an emphasis on criminal justice and social policy. Her research interests include:
Susan has recently completed her PhD in Social Policy, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Her thesis is entitled “the role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: the challenge of vituperative communication in the age of new technology” and investigates the impact of online abuse directed at women holding senior positions within policing, journalism, academia and politics. A mixed-method, interdisciplinary study, it includes empirical evidence gathered from a series of semi-structured interviews with women in the UK and overseas, including interviews with current and former political party leaders and politicians, police officers.academics and journalists.
Susan is also a founder member of the New Methods for New Media Network, a global academic grouping based at Queens University, Belfast
Journal Articles (published):
Watson, S. (2022). Investigating the role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: the experiences of women police officers. Criminology and Criminal Justice.
Journal Articles (under review):
Watson, S. (2022). Online abuse of women: an interdisciplinary scoping review of the literature. Feminist Media Studies.
Watson, S. (2022). Investigating the role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: Drawing on the experiences of women politicians. Policy Research Exchange.
‘The Conversation’ Articles:
Watson, S. (2019). Analysis shows horrifying extent of abuse sent to women MPs via Twitter. The Conversation, November 6.
Using NVivo as an integral part of a scoping review of the literature (2021)
NVivo Virtual Conference
Investigating the role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: the experiences of women police officers (2021)
British Society of Criminology Conference
The impact of online abuse on the growing digital society (2021)
Architecture, Media, and Politics Society at the University of Hertfordshire
Exploring the impact of online abuse on gender-based violence: the ethical challenges of innovative research using new media (2020)
New Methods New Media Network Conference
“Words do hurt me”: The impact of online abuse on gender-based violence (2020)
Social Policy Association Conference (This presentation and associated paper were subsequently awarded the Excellence in Doctoral Research Award for 2021).
Using social media for gendered research (2020)
University of York, Department of Social Policy PhD forum