Susan Watson

BSc (Hons) Social Policy and Administration (London School of Economics & Political Science)
MSc Criminal Justice Policy (London School of Economics & Political Science)
MA Social Research (University of York)

  • PhD student

Thesis

Thesis supervisor 

Dr Rachel Morris and Professor John Hudson

Thesis topic

The role of social media abuse in gender-based violence: the challenge of vituperative communication in the age of new technology

My PhD is considering the  role of online abuse in gender-based violence, investigating the impact of abusive communication executed via new technology and how social media changes power relationships and interactions online, particularly in regard to participation in public life.

Research interests:

  • Crime
  • Feminist criminology
  • Penology
  • Feminist theory
  • Social policy
  • History of social policy

Biography

I graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) in Social Policy and Administration. After developing an interest in criminology and submitting a dissertation exploring the media reporting of street crime, I remained at the LSE to complete an MSc in Criminal Justice Policy. My dissertation examined the causes and consequences of the rise in self-inflicted deaths in women’s prisons in England and Wales. It was awarded the Mannheim Institute of Criminology Prize as the most outstanding piece of Masters-level research of 2004.

The LSE gave me a thorough foundation in both criminal justice policy and wider social policy. I have a particularly strong background in the history of social policy; and am also experienced in the linking together of criminal justice policy, criminological theories and feminism, which is where my PhD has stemmed from.

I came to York in September 2017 as a result of being awarded an ESRC 1+3 studentship by the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (within the Data, Communication and New Technologies Pathway), spending the first year completing the MA in Social Research in the Research Centre for the Social Sciences. I am delighted to now be a member of SPSW, and fully engaged on my doctoral research. My PhD is considering the role of online abuse in gender-based violence, investigating the impact of abusive communication executed via new technology and how social media changes power relationships and interactions online, particularly in regard to participation in public life. The study adopts a clear feminist perspective, and attempts to explore and understand underlying causes and manifestations of misogyny.

Between 1992 and 1999, I worked for the Labour Party as a campaigner; and between 1999 – 2000, worked as a researcher on the Home Affairs Select Committee. Since graduating from the LSE in 2004, I have continued working in the social policy sector, including as Senior Researcher to the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s Commission on Young Adults and the Criminal Justice System. I have also undertaken a wide range of voluntary roles, providing leadership and strategic direction to a number of public sector bodies.

Teaching

Seminar leader on Introducing Criminal Justice - SPY00021C.

Contact details

Susan Watson

PhD student, SPSW

Email: sew566@york.ac.uk

Twitter: @suwatson