Liam Wrigley


Department of Sociological Studies

PhD Student

Liam Wrigley

Full contact details

Liam Wrigley
Department of Sociological Studies
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU
  • FHEA (Fellow of The Higher Education Academy)
  • MRes Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies, University of Manchester
  • BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology (Awarded with First Class Honours), Manchester Metropolitan University
Research interests
  • Bourdieu
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Narrative Research
  • Sociology of Education
  • NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)
  • Youth Studies
  • Social Exclusion
  • Youth and Community Studies
  • Social Isolation and Loneliness (Using Social Network Theories)
  • Qualitative Social Network Analysis (SNA)

Thesis Title: A narrative study of NEET young people’s capitals, social ties and networks in Greater Manchester

The thesis explores the lives of young people who are Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET). The thesis employs networks, social ties and capital theories as a conceptual framework, from social theorists such as: Bourdieu (1986), Coleman (1988) and Granovetter (1973) among others.

Using the qualitative turn in Social Network Analysis (SNA) and narrative methods, this research investigates the barriers faced by young people in accessing employment, education and training in their communities. It will also investigate how young people form social ties and networks with social support agents (such as local NGOs) and how these relationships strengthen or breakdown, using the spatial and temporal dimensions of social tie theories and longitudinal narrative approaches. Liam is interested in young people’s intersectional identities (i.e. ethnicity, gender and social class) and how this influences network and social tie formation. 

Liam is also currently exploring loneliness and social isolation of young people who are NEET, using qualitative SNA.

Research group


Teaching activities

Liam has taught undergraduate and postgraduate sociology, criminology, social policy and youth studies programs at a variety of Higher Education institutions since 2013. This has ranged from teaching classical sociological theory, contemporary criminology, research methods and youth justice studies.

Liam is a certified Fellow of Advance HE (Fellow of The Higher Education Academy).

Most recently, Liam has been a Teaching Associate at the University of Manchester teaching Youth Studies/ Justice.

Professional activities

Scholarships and awards

  • ESRC+3 WRDTP Scholarship.

Media appearances

ALL FM (2019) Suzi Hoffmann chats to Liam Wrigley on The Hype!: Community networks, struggles for empowerment and youth violence in Manchester. Live Broadcast August 2019. [Radio] 


Wrigley, L. (2020) ‘Young working-class men in transition. Book Review’. Boyhood Studies. Vol. 13 (1): [Ahead of Print].

Wrigley, L. (2019) '(Un)Happy 21st Birthday NEET! A Genealogical approach to understanding young people Not In Education Employment or Training'. Youth & Policy.  

Wrigley, L. (2017) ‘From NEET to Unknown: Who is responsible for young people Not in Education, Employment or Training?’. Youth & Policy.