britton.jpgDr Jo Britton

Senior Lecturer in Applied Sociology
Director of Postgraduate Affairs - Research

(BA, PhD)

Telephone: 0114 222 6431 (external), 26431 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG22


Jo first joined the Department of Sociological Studies in the mid-1990s as a postgraduate research student, having completed a Sociology degree at Liverpool University. After completing her PhD, Jo worked in the Sociology Department at Manchester University as a Research Officer and then a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, before returning to Sheffield as a lecturer.

Jo's research interests incorporate a number of key areas of sociological enquiry:

  • Theories of race and racism;
  • Theories of identity;
  • Muslim minorities;
  • Multiculturalism and citizenship;
  • Critical whiteness and ‘mixed race’ studies;
  • Inter-generational relations;
  • Qualitative research methods.

Jo has researched and written about the meaning and role of race, racism and identity in different contexts. She has a long-standing interest in Muslim minorities, focusing on changing gender and generational relationships in Muslim families, belonging and identity, and multiculturalism, cohesion and integration. This has included researching the impact of child sexual exploitation abuse scandals on Muslim men. Jo's current research interests also include a focus on inter-generational relations and critical whiteness studies. She has written about motherhood, whiteness and identity in mixed race families and was co-investigator on a research project exploring young and older people’s understanding of generational positions and relationships.


Jo teaches and supervise students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. All of her teaching is linked by a focus on examining patterns of social inequality and the operation of power and privilege in different social and political contexts. Most of Jo's teaching is research-led as she believes that the theoretical foundations of her discipline are best explained using real-life, empirical examples. Jo's aim across all of her teaching is to encourage students to develop a critical understanding of themselves as social actors who belong to a social structure and social order. In doing so, Jo also aims to provide students with the necessary tools to apply a sociological imagination to both their studies and everyday life. Jo encourages students to engage with and evaluate a wide range of theories and evidence in order to appreciate the distinctive and far-reaching contribution of sociology.

Jo currently convenes the following undergraduate modules:

  • SCS2005 Race, Immigration and Multiculturalism
  • SCS3021 Whiteness, Power and Privilege

Jo is also involved in the supervision of students taking extended essays and dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on the following modules:

  • SCS3001 Dissertation in Sociology
  • SCS3002 Dissertation in Social Policy
  • SCS3003 Extended Essay in Sociology
  • SCS3004 Extended Essay in Social Policy
  • SCS6330 Dissertation in Social Research

See our Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate taught degree pages.

Postgraduate Supervision

Jo welcomes applications to study for MPhil or PhD research degrees with her, either full or part-time, in any areas linked to the following broad themes:

  • Race and racism (including critical whiteness and mixed race studies);
  • Muslim minorities;
  • Identity.

Topics of her current and recent postgraduates include the Brexit vote’s implications for dimensions of belonging among British-born white working-class residents in England: Exploring the lived experiences of South Asian Muslim lone mothers, intersectionality and the role played by South Asian organisations in their lives; A study of everyday multi-culture in North Manchester; Transracial adoption; From farms to foundries: An Arab community in industrial Britain; and Risk and resilience in the lives of British Somali youths.

Find out more about our PhD programmes


Key Publications

Britton, J. (2019) 'Muslim Men, Racialised Masculinities and Personal Life', Sociology, 53(1): 36-51,

Britton, J. (2018) 'Challenging the Racialization of Child Sexual Exploitation: Muslim Men, Racism and Belonging in Rotherham', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42(5): 688-706,

(2015) 'Researching White Mothers of Mixed Parentage Children: The Significance of Investigating Whiteness', in Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries. Editors of book: Barn V, Harman V. 47-58. Routledge, London 04 Sep 2015.

(2015) ‘Muslims, Racism and Violence After the Paris Attacks’, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 20, No. 3,

(2015) ‘Young People as Moral Beings: Childhood, Morality and Inter-Generational Relationships', Children and Society, Vol. 29, No. 5. pp. 495-507. doi:10.1111/chso.12085.

(2013) 'Researching White Mothers of Mixed Parentage Children: The Significance of Kinship and Social Networks', Ethnic and Racial Studies, Vol. 36, No. 8, pp. 1311-1322.

with Devine, F., Halfpenny, P., and Mellor, R. (2008) 'Conserving the past of a quiet suburb : urban politics, association networks and speaking for 'the community'', in Blokland, T.a.S., M (ed), Networked Urbanism: Social Capital and the City, Aldershot, Ashgate.

(2007) 'Categorising and policy making', in Hodgson, S.M. and Irving, Z. (eds), Policy reconsidered : meanings, politics and practices, Bristol, The Policy Press.

(2005) ‘Southern Asians’ in C. Skutsch (ed.) Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities, New York: Routledge.

View the full list of publications here