Will Mason

Dr Will Mason

Lecturer in Applied Social Sciences

Twitter: @William_J_Mason

Email: w.j.mason@sheffield.ac.uk


Will is a sociologist with interests in the study of childhood and youth, consumption, families, identities and inequalities. Before joining the Sheffield Methods Institute as a lecturer in Qualitative Methods, Will spent one year as a University Teacher in the Department of Sociological Studies (University of Sheffield) and two years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, working on the Nuffield-funded Child Welfare Inequalities Project. This UK comparative study used mixed methods to identify and explain unequal rates of child welfare interventions, revealing strong relationships between area level deprivation and families’ chances of engagement with child protection services. Will’s ongoing research projects use a co-production approach to explore residents’ experience of community services in a low income neighbourhood and to explore the everyday lives of marginalised young people in a Northern inner city neighbourhood.

Research interests

Childhood and youth, youth work, social work, consumption, families, identities, inequality, qualitative research methods, mixed methods.

Most Recent work

Mason, W. (2019) ‘No one learned’: Interpreting a drugs crackdown operation and its consequences through the ‘lens’ of social harm. British Journal of Criminology. 

Mason, W., Morris, K., Webb, C., Daniels, B., Featherstone, B., Bywaters, P., Mirza, N., Hooper, J., Brady, G., Buntin, L. and Scourfield, J. (2019) Toward Full Integration of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Case Study Research: Insights From Investigating Child Welfare Inequalities. Journal of Mixed Methods Research.

Journal articles


  • Bywaters P, Bunting L, Davidson G, Hanratty J, Mason WJ, McCartan C & Steils N (2016) The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: a rapid evidence review View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason WJ (2013) ‘You Don’t Come to Maple or You Get Bullets in Your Head’: Somali Youth, Risk Talk and the Realities of Risk Avoidance View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Mason W Knife crime: folk devils and moral panics?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason W & Walsh J ‘Reproducing the Stereotypes’: Family Complexity, Resource Scarcity and Social Work Decision-Making.. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason WJ “No one walks out their house without a knife”: living with violence as a daily threat. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason WJ & Featherstone B Reframing child welfare inequalities: making sense with research and changing the conversation. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Morris K, Mason W, Bywaters P, Featherstone B, Daniels B & Mirza N Why those most needing child protection might be least likely to get it. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mason WJ A critical case for participant action research in youth work. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download