Calum Webb

MA Social Research (Dist.), the University of Sheffield, UK
BA(Hons) Sociology (1st), the University of Sheffield, UK

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Thesis title / scope of research

Compound Poverty: the impact of cycles of deprivation, income volatility & labour market insecurity in the UK

My doctoral research is situated within what Shildrick et al. (2012) term ‘the dynamic study of poverty and working lives’. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) funded five complimentary research projects, all published in 2010, to explore the dynamics of poverty over the life course. Researchers found that a group of ‘recurrently poor’ households, households where income fluctuated over time to put them above or below the poverty line, represented around one-fifth of all poverty experiences in the UK (Tomlinson & Walker, 2010). The identification of this recurrent feature of poverty was not in isolation. Further research has identified the issue of precariousity and insecurity as characterising the experiences of the working poor (Shildrick et al. 2012; Standing, 2011), as well as mentions of rising levels of variance at lower stratifications of income levels in US based studies (Hacker, 2008). Within Social Policy deregulation of labour markets and increases in ‘flexibility’ of labour relations, alongside cuts to social security, have raised concerns regarding the long-term effects of increasingly rapid movement in and out of work and the placement of greater levels of risk onto workers (Heyes & Lewis, 2014).

My research project aims to investigate the extent to which these areas of research can be drawn together within a continuous methodological and theoretical framework and explore the impact of cycles of deprivation, recurrent poverty and labour market insecurity on peoples’ psychosocial health, wellbeing & life chances.


  • Dr Mark Tomlinson

Other experience / research interests

I have worked in research, monitoring and evaluation in a number of third sector organisations and held a number of research posts at the University. Full details of my experience and training can be found in my online CV at

Research Interests

  • Poverty and Deprivation
  • (Advanced) Quantitative Methods
  • Labour Markets
  • Psychosocial Health & Wellbeing
  • Innumeracy & Public Engagement with Statistics
  • Social Policy & the Political Economy of Welfare

Research Projects

ESRC Partnership Award Fund – Developing a policy learning tool for anti-poverty policy design and assessment – Research Associate


Bywaters, P., Webb, C. and Sparks, T. (2017) Ofsted ratings do reflect local authority deprivation and spending, Community Care, 18 January 2017 (


ESRC White Rose DTC Scholarship (1+3)