Sociology Research and Collaboration
Our research is steeped in sociology’s key areas of inquiry, from health and illness to families and relationships, and current social movements. Additionally our work covers contemporary forms of social change relating to cosmopolitan identities, migration and human trafficking, youth and popular culture, consumerism and contemporary social media.
Communities, citizenship and identity
A major strand of our research agenda involves working with local government bodies and interested parties in community based research around deprivation and regeneration in Margate, spearheading community engagement through the use of Positive Asset Mapping.
In addition our team are involved in research around areas of social exclusion, deprivation and exploitation. Our team are involved in the contestation of notions of locality, community and the intersection of globalising forces, unpacking the historical and contemporary landscape of issues around human trafficking and migration.
Through our community partnership schemes our team are engaged in research into areas of social exclusion, deprivation and challenge to marginalised groups. We provide sociologically informed ways to tackle these issues and offer policy initiatives by working closely with local charitable bodies.
Health, risk and power
Members of our team are engaged in work on the intersection of race, ethnicity and health, contextualised by an analysis of discourses of risk and power identified in policy literature and contemporary work in genetics around ethnic groups and diabetics. Other members of our team are engaged in on-going research into Complimentary & Alternative Medicine and medical pluralism in the UK as well as Israel and Portugal.
Our team also have expertise in the areas of contemporary cultural practices, notably the areas of families, relationships and gender as well as popular culture, consumer culture and new social media. This research identifies novel developments in the areas of coupling, intimacy and commitment while also investigating the lingering power of traditional normative features in contemporary families and relationships. Our team also are active in the areas of popular culture and new media, value, identity, celebrity culture and new forms of sociality through an analysis of YouTube, brand-name corporations and marketing programmes.
As part of an interndisciplinary project, we are working with colleagues from Politics and International Relations to conduct research into modern day activism and protest. The questions we seek to address include: ‘What makes for successful activism’? ‘How can activism both inform and transform the political agenda?’ and ‘What is and ought to be the relationship between academics and activists?’ You can find out more about this project by visiting our activism research page.
We provide opportunities to foster student engagement with our research. By securing funding for paid internships our students are offered the chance to work alongside staff as research assistances and collaborators in knowledge production. Our students are not consumers but producers of new knowledge as they are given the chance to contest existing theories and assumptions.
At the centre of our agenda is the use of sociology to better people’s lives. At a scholarly level we integrate social theory with rigorous research methods and on the ground we utilise our community partnership schemes to assist with charitable organisations and local government bodies to effect social change and justice. While at a wider level, our research has global reach with our academics working in other parts of Europe as well as South Asia. This research has also received third-party funding from prestigious granting bodies, including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Association for Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and Comic Relief.
Our academics have been external examiners and supervisors on PhDs and Masters at the Universities of Bath Spa, Portsmouth, Bedfordshire, Lancaster and Cambridge. Alongside supervision work, our academics are also reviewers and editors for a number of publishing outputs, including Sociology , Ethnic and Racial Studies, Families, Relationships and Societies, Sociology of Health and Illness , as well as more diverse journals such as Contention and Journal of Human Trafficking .
Furthermore, our academics are also actively involved in professional and scholarly networks, including membership to the BSA
as well as the NWG
(National Working Group), Home Office Trafficking Group and Global Studies.