Department of Urban Studies and Planning
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Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
I joined the Department of Urban Studies and Planning in September 2016 as Reader in Urban Studies and I am the Department’s Director of Research. Prior to joining USP I worked for 14 years at the interdisciplinary Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University. I was awarded a BA in Economics and Public Policy from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2002 and I subsequently studied part-time for an MA in Human Geography (distinction) at the University of Leeds, graduating in 2006.
My academic background and orientation is multidisciplinary and cuts across urban studies, sociology, geography and politics, but my research is focused on urban marginality. I have always worked in a genuinely interdisciplinary environment and benefited greatly from exposure to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. I have worked on studies for the EU, ESRC, JRF, the Big Lottery Fund, DWP, CLG, Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government, Welsh Government, regional bodies, and various local authorities and charitable organisations.
I am a member of the Management Board of the international journal Housing Studies, Co-Editor of the international journal Human Figurations: Long-term Perspectives on the Human Condition and a Fellow of the Norbert Elias Foundation.
- Research interests
The central theme of my research is seeking to combine empiricism and theory in understanding the socio-dynamics of unequal power relations and their consequences in terms of urban marginalisation, both contemporary and historical. This includes access to housing and employment as well as wider questions of citizenship, urbanization, and the stigmatisation of "outsider" groups.
This reflects a commitment to striving for an objective understanding of the development of contemporary society and its unequal outcomes, alongside an explicit engagement with public policy and the challenges it faces. By extension, this often entails the exposure of policy "myths" and critique of the inadequacy of current conceptualisations. A distinguishing aspect of my research is sensitivity to a long-term perspective in terms of capturing the dynamic and intergenerational development of human societies and the cities they produce.
Presently I am working on two EU2020 projects, centred on advancing our understanding of migrant “integration” within the EU, with Sheffield colleagues in Sociological Studies and various European partners.
Current and recent research projects
- 2020-2023: MIMY - Migrant Youth Integration in Europe, EU Horizon2020
- 2020-2023: MIGREC – Migration, Integration and Governance Research Centre, EU Horizon2020
- 2019-2020: Making the case for affordable housing in Scotland, SFHA/Shelter Scotland/CIH Scotland
- The Power of Group Stigmatization: Wealthy Roma, Urban Space and Strategies of Defence in Post‐socialist Romania. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42(3), 423-441. View this article in WRRO
- Gypsy-Traveller sites in the UK: power, history, informality – a response to Richardson. Global Discourse, 7(4), 516-520.
- View this article in WRRO ‘Problems of involvement and detachment’: Norbert Elias and the investigation of contemporary social processes. Human Figurations, 6(2).
- Europe’s perennial ‘outsiders’: A processual approach to Roma stigmatization and ghettoization. Current Sociology, 65(5), 680-699. View this article in WRRO
- Young people and UK labour market policy: A critique of ‘employability’ as a tool for understanding youth unemployment. Urban Studies, 54(8), 1784-1807.
- Gypsy-travellers/Roma and social integration: Childhood, habitus and the "We-I balance". Historical Social Research, 41(3), 134-156. View this article in WRRO
- Putting the Squeeze on "Generation Rent": Housing Benefit Claimants in the Private Rented Sector - Transitions, Marginality and Stigmatisation. Sociological Research Online, 21(2).
- Introduction to the Special Issue of Human Figurations on Civilising Offensives. Human Figurations, 4(1).
- Housing Benefit Reform and the Private Rented Sector in the UK: On the Deleterious Effects of Short-term, Ideological “Knowledge”. Housing, Theory and Society, 32(3), 320-345.
- Editorial: Special Issue - 'Roma Integration in the UK'. People, Place and Policy, 8(1), 1-3. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The theoretical concept of the "civilizing offensive" (beschavingsoffensief): Notes on its origins and uses. Human Figurations.
- Loïc Wacquant's ‘Ghetto’ and Ethnic Minority Segregation in the UK: The Neglected Case of Gypsy-Travellers. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(1), 115-134.
- The English City Riots of 2011, ‘Broken Britain’ and the Retreat into the Present. Sociological Research Online, 17(3), 153-162.
- Gypsy-Travellers and Welfare Professional Discourse: On Individualization and Social Integration. Antipode, 43(2), 471-493.
- Spaces of Informalisation: Playscapes, Power and the Governance of Behaviour. Space and Polity, 14(2), 189-206.
- Bringing Incapacity Benefit numbers down: to what extent do women need a different approach?. Policy Studies, 31(2), 143-162.
- A Gendered Theory of Employment, Unemployment, and Sickness. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 27(6), 958-974.
- (In)formalization and the Civilizing Process: Applying the Work of Norbert Elias to Housing‐Based Anti‐Social Behaviour Interventions in the UK. Housing, Theory and Society, 26(3), 159-178.
- Understanding the Stigmatization of Gypsies: Power and the Dialectics of (Dis)identification. Housing, Theory and Society, 25(2), 87-109.
- Civilising offensives and ambivalence: the case of British gypsies. People, Place and Policy Online, 1(3), 112-123. View this article in WRRO
- On the planned environment and neighbourhood life: Evidence from mixed-tenure housing developments twenty years on. Town Planning Review, 78(3), 311-334.
- Twenty Years on: Has the Economy of the UK Coalfields Recovered?. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 39(7), 1654-1675.
- 'Ordinary, the same as anywhere else': Notes on the management of spoiled identity in 'marginal' middle-class neighbourhoods. Sociology, 41(2), 239-258.
- 'The contribution of rural community businesses to integrated rural development: "Local services for local people"'. Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales.
- Against the public interest: Power, financialization and PFI housing in England. Dialogues in Human Geography, 204382062098641-204382062098641.
- Everyday Roma stigmatization: racialized urban encounters, collective histories and fragmented habitus. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.
- Housing, Ethnicity and Advanced Marginality in England, Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis (pp. 187-212). Springer International Publishing
- Introduction: Putting Wacquant to Work, Class, Ethnicity and State in the Polarized Metropolis (pp. 1-21). Springer International Publishing
- Beyond "employability": youth unemployment, socialisation and social stratification In Becke G & Ernst S (Ed.), Transformationen der Arbeitsgesellschaft / Transformation of working Society (pp. 189-210). London: Springer.
- The Invisibilization of Anti-Roma Racisms In van Baar H, Ivasiuc A & Kreide R (Ed.), The Securitization of the Roma in Europe (pp. 91-113). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
- Youth unemployment, interdependence and power: tensions and resistance within an alternative, 'co-produced' employment programme In Bevir M, McKee K & Matthews P (Ed.), Decentring Urban Governance: Narratives, Resistance and Contestation (pp. 38-64). London: Routledge.
- Scottish enlightenment and the sectarianism civilising offensive, Bigotry, Football and Scotland (pp. 82-96).
- View this article in WRRO Housing and welfare reform In Foster L, Brunton A, Deeming C & Haux T (Ed.), In Defence of Welfare 2
- View this article in WRRO Civilizing Process In Cope H & Forsyth CJ (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Deviance
- Anti-social Behaviour in Britain Palgrave Macmillan UK View this article in WRRO
- Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Individualization and Social Dis/integration in Contemporary Society: A Comparative Note on Zygmunt Bauman and Norbert Elias, Norbert Elias and Social Theory (pp. 261-274). Palgrave Macmillan US View this article in WRRO
- "They Sing That Song": Sectarianism and Conduct in the Informalised Spaces of Scottish Football In Burdsey D (Ed.), Race, Ethnicity and Football (pp. 191-206). London: Routledge.
- Women on incapacity benefits: New survey evidence from the UK In Kemp PA (Ed.), Social Protection for a Post-Industrial World
- View this article in WRRO Civilising offensives: Education, football and ‘Eradicating’ sectarianism in Scotland, Securing Respect: Behavioural Expectations and Anti-Social Behaviour in the UK (pp. 219-238).
- Home-land: Romanian Roma, Domestic Spaces and the State, by Rachel Humphris, Bristol, Bristol University Press, 2019, 256 pp., £80.00 (hbk), ISBN: 978-1-5292-0192-5. Housing Studies, 35(7), 1332-1333.
- A Review of "The financialization of housing: a political economy approach", By Manuel B. Aalbers. International Journal of Housing Policy, 17(4), 603-605.
- Gypsies and Travellers: Empowerment and Inclusion in British Society. Housing Studies, 29(7), 994-996.
- The Public and its Possibilities: Triumphs and Tragedies in the American City. Housing Studies, 27(8), 1214-1216.
- Teaching activities
My primary teaching focus is on urban marginality, housing issues and the challenges facing cities and publics in the contemporary period. Housing is approached as a lens through which to understand a wide array of urban inequalities, antagonisms and environmental challenges. Yet is also a key field for innovative solutions, radical collectives, and alternative readings of universal concepts like home, shelter, dwelling, neighbourhood and sustainable city. Housing is therefore a site of struggle and contestation, of technological advancement and exploitation, a source of self-worth and stigmatization, and a potential anchor for alternative ways of inhabiting and orienting ourselves in an increasingly complex, interdependent and dynamic urban context. Effective housing policies require solutions across Global North and South
I teach on the following modules:
- PhD supervision
I welcome enquiries from research students but am particularly interested in supervising research in the following broad areas: Gypsy-Traveller and Roma stigmatisation and marginalisation; housing and inequalities; youth transitions and mental health; the government of marginality.
I am Primary Supervisor for the following research students:
- Abdulla Difalla: Toward a relational understanding of informal areas in Saudi Arabia (2nd Supervisor: Melanie Lombard)
- MinKi Jeong: Refractive spatialisation and gentrification in Seoul (2nd Supervisor: Ed Ferrari)
- Jeni Vine: Building cohesive neighbourhoods: conflict and rank awareness (2nd Supervisor: Paula Meth)