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.

Journal articles

Featherstone, B., Morris, K., Daniel, B., Bywaters, P., Brady, G., Bunting, L., Mason, W. and Mirza, N. (2017) Poverty, inequality, child abuse and neglect: changing the conversation across the UK in child protection? Children and Youth Services Review.

Mason, W. (2017) ‘Swagger’: Urban Youth Culture, Consumption and Social Positioning. Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/0038038517698638

Mason, W. and Bywaters, P. (2016) Poverty, child abuse and neglect: patterns of cost and spending. Families, Relationships and Societies. 5(1): 155-161

Mason, W. (2015) Austerity youth policy: exploring the distinctions between youth work in principle and youth work in practice. Youth & Policy. 114: 55-74.


Bywaters, P., Bunting, L., Davidson, G., Hanratty, J., Mason, W., McCartan, C. and Steils, N. (2016) The relationship between poverty, child abuse and neglect: an evidence review. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Mason, W. (2013) ‘You Don’t Come to Maple or You Get Bullets in Your Head’: Somali Youth, Risk Talk and the Realities of Risk Avoidance', 28-30. In: Alexander, C., Redclift, V. and Hussain, A. (Eds) Th New Muslims. London: Runnymede Trust


Mason, W. and Featherstone, B. (2017) Reframing child welfare inequalities: making sense with research and changing the conversation. Discover Society: 45

Morris, K., Mason, W., Bywaters, P., Featherstone, B., Daniels, B. and Mirza, M. (2016) Why those most needing child protection might be east likely to get it. Community Care.

Mason, W. (2015) A critical case for participant action research in youth work. YResearch: Journal of Social Research and Evaluation. 1: 6-19.

Mason, W. (2013) Creating communities of risk: exploring the experiences of youth workers and marginalised young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Unpublished PhD Thesis. University of Sheffield.