As Chair in Inclusive Societies I work both within USP and across the Faculty of Social Sciences and welcome contact from community leaders, policymakers and others interested in addressing these challenges. I am a member of the editorial advisory board for the journal Housing, Theory and Society and previously an editor of Housing Studies.
My work crosses the boundaries of urban and housing studies, sociology, geography and criminology. While my interests are broad much of it hinges on a concern to identify hidden and sometimes invisible social problems and issues. These interests started with my PhD which looked at household displacement from gentrification in London. I continue to be driven by an interest in the ways in which social inequality drives spatial problems. From 1997 I worked at the Department of Urban Studies, at the University of Glasgow, where I worked on issues of social exclusion and area effects (the compounding force of disadvantage faced by poorer residents in poorer areas). It was here that I also took an interest in the rise of gated communities in the UK, leading the first UK study and beginning to further consider the role of the middle-classes and higher income households in shaping social outcomes more broadly across the city. While my work on gentrification had viewed middle-class neighbourhood choices as a problem for working-class and poorer households I was now interested in much higher income groups while maintaining an interest in poverty, housing and exclusion.
From 2005 I directed the Housing and Community Research Unit, University of Tasmania, Australia, where a very different urban context and issues of indigenous health and housing influenced my thinking. My work here continued to focus on issues of gentrification, public housing and state-led strategies of social mixing to create more sustainable communities and I worked on a series of initiatives designed to generate more interest in these issues from policy-makers nationally.
From 2009 I moved back to the UK to the University of York where I became Reader in Urban Studies and Criminology and my work became more focused on questions of social harm and crime in urban contexts (a book on Urban Criminology, with Gareth Millington, is now in print with Routledge). Since moving to the University of Sheffield in 2014 I continue to work on urban social problems including the role of the super-rich in residential life in the UK (I am currently writing a book for Verso on this subject), gentrification, community trauma/violence and social vulnerability. My most recent book (Domestic Fortress, Manchester University Press), with Sarah Blandy from the School of Law, considers many of the long-term foci of my work – inequality, the private home, gating/fortification and social change more broadly.
I currently teach on the following modules:
I am primary supervisor for the following students:
- Dario Ferrazzi, Crime, criminality and urban space
- Alex Payling, Universities, gender and knowledge
Interested in PhD study?
I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who have interests in the following areas:
- urban patterns of wealth, inequality and segregation
- crime and disorder
- gated communities
- the meaning and roles of the contemporary home
- Atkinson R (forthcoming) Necrotecture: lifeless dwellings and London's super-rich. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. View this article in WRRO
- Hardey M & Atkinson RG (2018) Disconnected: non-users of Information Communication Technologies. Sociological Research Online. View this article in WRRO
- Atkinson RG, Parker S & Burrows R (2017) Elite Formation, Power and Space in Contemporary London. Theory, Culture & Society.
- Ho H & Atkinson RG (2017) Looking for big fry: the motives and methods of international property investors. Urban Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Burrows R, Webber R & Atkinson RG (2016) Welcome to Pikettyville? Mapping London's Alpha Territories. Sociological Review. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Atkinson RG (2016) Non-state space: The strategic ejection of dangerous and high maintenance urban space. Territory, Politics, Governance. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Atkinson R (2015) Losing One’s Place: Narratives of Neighbourhood Change, Market Injustice and Symbolic Displacement. Housing, Theory and Society, 32(4), 373-388. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Atkinson R (2015) Urban Policy, City Control and Social Catharsis: The Attack on Social Frailty as Therapy. British Journal of Criminology, 55(5), 866-882. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Atkinson RG (2015) Limited exposure: Social concealment, mobility and engagement with public space by the super-rich in London. Environment and Planning A. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Atkinson R & Rodgers T (2015) Pleasure Zones and Murder Boxes: Online Pornography and Violent Video Games as Cultural Zones of Exception. British Journal of Criminology. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Howley P, Neill SO & Atkinson R (2015) Who needs good neighbors?. Environment and Planning A, 47(4), 939-956. View this article in White Rose Research Online
- Dowling R, Atkinson R & McGuirk P (2010) Privatism, Privatisation and Social Distinction in Master-Planned Residential Estates. Urban Policy and Research, 28(4), 391-410.
- Atkinson R & Beer D (2010) The ivorine tower in the city: Engaging urban studies after The Wire. City, 14(5), 529-544.
- Atkinson R, Taylor E & Walter M (2010) Burying Indigeneity: The Spatial Construction of Reality and Aboriginal Australia. Social & Legal Studies, 19(3), 311-330.
- Atkinson R & Jacobs K (2010) Damned by Place, then by Politics: Spatial Disadvantage and the Housing Policy-research Interface. International Journal of Housing Policy, 10(2), 155-171.
- Savage M, Allen C, Atkinson R, Burrows R, Méndez ML, Watt P & Savage M (2010) Focus Article. Housing, Theory and Society, 27(2), 115-161.
- Atkinson R, Dowling R & McGuirk P (2009) Home/Neighbourhood/City/+. Environment and Planning A, 41(12), 2816-2822.
- Atkinson R & Jacobs K (2009) The social forces and politics of housing research: Reflections from within the academy. Housing, Theory and Society, 26(4), 233-247.
- Atkinson R & Willis P (2009) Transparent cities: Re‐shaping the urban experience through interactive video game simulation. City, 13(4), 403-417.
- Atkinson R & Blandy S (2009) A Picture of the Floating World: Grounding the Secessionary Affluence of the Residential Cruise Liner. Antipode, 41(1), 92-110.
- Atinson R & Easthope H (2009) The Consequences of the Creative Class: The Pursuit of Creativity Strategies in Australia's Cities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(1), 64-79.
- Atkinson R (2009) The Politics of Knowing: Spatial isolation, disconnection and social withdrawal. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 91(4), 299-310.
- Atkinson R (2008) The Great Cut: The Support for Private Modes of Social Evasion by Public Policy. Social Policy & Administration, 42(6), 593-610.
- Atkinson R (2008) Commentary: Gentrification, Segregation and the Vocabulary of Affluent Residential Choice. Urban Studies, 45(12), 2626-2636.
- Atkinson R & Easthope H (2008) The Creative Class in Utero? The Australian City, the Creative Economy and the Role of Higher Education. Built Environment, 34(3), 307-318.
- Jacobs K & Atkinson R (2008) Special Issue: Theoretical Concerns in Australian Housing and Urban Research. Housing, Theory and Society, 25(3), 157-163.
- Atkinson R & Willis P (2007) Charting the Ludodrome: The mediation of urban and simulated space and rise of the flâneur electronique. Information, Communication & Society, 10(6), 818-845.
- Helms G, Atkinson R & MacLeod G (2007) Editorial: Securing the City: Urban Renaissance, Policing and Social Regulation. European Urban and Regional Studies, 14(4), 267-276.
- Atkinson R (2007) Ecology of Sound: The Sonic Order of Urban Space. Urban Studies, 44(10), 1905-1917.
- Atkinson R & Blandy S (2007) Panic Rooms: The Rise of Defensive Homeownership. Housing Studies, 22(4), 443-458.
- Atkinson R (2006) Padding the bunker: Strategies of middle-class disaffiliation and colonisation in the city. Urban Studies, 43(4), 819-832.
- Thomson H (2006) Do urban regeneration programmes improve public health and reduce health inequalities? A synthesis of the evidence from UK policy and practice (1980-2004). Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 60(2), 108-115.
- Atkinson R, Thomson H, Kearns A & Petticrew M (2006) Giving urban policy its 'medical': assessing the place of health in area-based regeneration. Policy & Politics, 34(1), 5-26.
- Atkinson R, Blandy S, Flint J & Lister D (2005) Gated cities of today?: Barricaded residential development in England. Town Planning Review, 76(4), 401-422.
- Atkinson R & Blandy S (2005) Introduction: International Perspectives on The New Enclavism and the Rise of Gated Communities. Housing Studies, 20(2), 177-186.
- Atkinson R & Flint J (2004) Fortress UK? Gated communities, the spatial revolt of the elites and time–space trajectories of segregation. Housing Studies, 19(6), 875-892.
- Atkinson R & Flint J (2004) Order born of chaos? The capacity for informal social control in disempowered and 'disorganised' neighbourhoods. Policy & Politics, 32(3), 333-350.
- Goodlad R & Atkinson R (2004) Sacred cows, rational debates and the politics of the right to buy after devolution. Housing Studies, 19(3), 447-463.
- Atkinson R (2004) The evidence on the impact of gentrification: new lessons for the urban renaissance?. European Journal of Housing Policy, 4(1), 107-131.
- Atkinson R (2003) Introduction: misunderstood saviour or vengeful wrecker? The many meanings and problems of gentrification. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2343-2350.
- Atkinson R (2003) Domestication by Cappuccino or a Revenge on Urban Space? Control and Empowerment in the Management of Public Spaces. Urban Studies, 40(9), 1829-1843.
- Parkes A, Kearns A & Atkinson R (2002) What Makes People Dissatisfied with their Neighbourhoods?. Urban Studies, 39(13), 2413-2438.
- Atkinson R & Kintrea K (2002) Area effects: what do they mean for British housing and regeneration policy?. European Journal of Housing Policy, 2(2), 147-166.
- Atkinson R & Kintrea K (2001) Disentangling Area Effects: Evidence from Deprived and Non-deprived Neighbourhoods. Urban Studies, 38(12), 2277-2298.
- Atkinson R (2000) The hidden costs of gentrification: Displacement in Central London. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 15(4), 307-326.
- Atkinson R (2000) Professionalization and displacement in Greater London. Area, 32(3), 287-295.
- Atkinson R (2000) Measuring Gentrification and Displacement in Greater London. Urban Studies, 37(1), 149-165.
- Atkinson R & Kintrea K (2000) Neighbourhood impacts. Policy and Politics, 28(1), 93-108.
- Atkinson R & Kintrea K (2000) Owner-occupation, social mix and neighbourhood impacts. Policy & Politics, 28(1), 93-108.