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Culture, values and practices


Research in the Culture, values and practices cluster is concerned with the representation, interpretation and evaluation of culture, as well as with how specific cultural forms and values are made and lived in practice. We look at a broad range of areas of culture, ranging from popular culture and everyday life through to the work of cultural institutions and industries. Much of our work is concerned with ongoing social and cultural change, including how transformations of media or citizenship play into this. Key cross-cutting interests include cultural participation, engagement and disengagement.

A wide range of methods - qualitative and quantitative - is deployed in our culture, values, practices research. We put a particular emphasis on exploring innovative approaches, including responsive, interpretive and conceptual techniques that recognize the fluid, sensory and reflexive nature of cultural practice.

Key themes:

  • capitalism
  • power and political economy experience
  • identities and everyday life inequalities
  • cultural politics intersections of the old and new

Substantive research topics include:

  • art and museums
  • digital and social media
  • migration and tourism
  • popular culture
  • race and ethnicity
  • urban culture
  • youth, politics, citizenship and participation

Research centres

CPAC - Centre for Political Youth Culture And Communication

CURB - Centre for URBan Research

ECCE - European Centre for Cultural Exploration

Staff members

David Beer - Popular culture, new media cultures, cultural theory, digital methods

Nik Brown - Sociology of health, regulation of bioscience, classical/contemporary social theory

Laurie Hanquinet - Culture, stratification, cities, cosmopolitanism

Nisha Kapoor - Racism, critical race theory, post colonialism, empire

Steph Lawler - social equalities and social identities (particularly class, gender and generation), theoretical work of Bourdieu and Goffman

Xiaodong Lin - Gender and migration, men and masculinities, gender and class, cultural values and China

Brian Loader - Social and community informatics, communicative technologies of governance, political sociology

Sharon Macdonald - Social memory, museums and heritage, identity and ethnicity, anthropological theory and ethnography

Nathan Manning - Political sociology, politics and emotions, conceptions of agency

Daryl Martin - Architectural theory, cultural geography, social and cultural theory, urban sociology

Gareth Millington - Urban disorder, 'race', noir culture

Ruth Penfold-Mounce - Celebrity, media, death, crime

Katy Sian - De/Postcolonialism, Race and Ethnicity, Culture, Identity and Diaspora

PhD Students


Alexandra Black - Insecurity, Marginality and Control in the Post-Industrial City

Richard Dixon - An ethnological study exploiting factors that influence the criminal careers and identities of heroin addict

Anaïs Duong-Pedica - 'Representation of suicide and suicidal behaviour in contemporary society'

Hannah Errington - Museum Shopping: Objects, Practices and Meanings

David Honeywell - Prisoner education; prisons and penology; the 'self' and identity; desistance from crime

Alejandra Jaramillo - Vazquez - Cultural Policy, Cultural institutions, creativity identities and power

Dawei Lu - Experiences of contemporary art exhibitions for visitors

Will Paterson - Community action, belonging, and the politics of space and place in the periurban

Jennifer Reynolds - Sex Trafficking and its implications of masculinity

Tom Rodgers - Towards a Political Economy of ‘Digital Cultural Production

Alex Simpson - Disorderly Elites: A profile of inverted social deviance

Matthew Sparkes - The structures of mobility: a study on the contemporary nature of social mobility, revealed through a dynamic interaction of social, economic, cultural and spatial class factors

Matt Spokes - The Contemporary Avant-Garde: Identity, Cartography, Technology and Resistance

Jenny Underhill - The relationship between class and achievement in education

Mark Johnson - Development, maintenance and organisation of global space programs from a sociological perspective 

Sarah Stephenson - Ethnography of a Working Kitchen

Jack Denham - Crime, celebrity and fandom: the seductiveness of notoriety
Gonul Bozoglu - Historical nostalgia, identity, cultural politics, museums, Turkey
Siriporn Srisinurai - multi-sited museography, community, sacred objects, Thailand, North Yorkshire
Holly Steel - Online news, social media curation, conflict and witnessing

Recently completed

Triona Fitton - Professionalisation and its Impacts: The Quiet Economy of the Contemporary Charity Shop

Graham Geddes - Security, diversity and locality: Community perceptions of crime, disorder and terror within everyday urbanism

Madeleine Frost - Online Meditations: an authethnographic study of prana, the body and identity in the internet age