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Power, Culture and Identities

The Power, Culture and Identities Research Cluster seeks to extend social scientific understandings of power, culture, and identity through critical, theoretically informed research, interdisciplinary modes of collaboration, and by embedding public engagement in our work. The diverse research agendas of the group’s members attends to the historical and contemporary production of social divisions and inequalities via an explicit reference to cultural processes and relations of power. We are interested in understanding how various cultural practices are manifested within the contemporary social world, and how those may be explored through developing methods that reshape ways of thinking about and doing social research.

Based primarily within the Departments of Social Sciences and Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing at Northumbria University, and with a commitment to critical understandings of class, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality, and disability, the group is interdisciplinary and international in the scope, ambition and focus of its research. The Group is committed to offering a platform for early career and postgraduate researchers as well as established academics and to advancing social research that is bold, innovative, and outward looking. 

This cluster includes research on:  

  • Disability, sexuality and identity 
  • Educational inequalities and disadvantage 
  • Mental health services and policy 
  • Media presentation, power and inequality  
  • Class and gendered inequalities and identities in consumption 
  • Contemporary social work with UK children and families 
  • UK social policy in relation to exclusion and poverty  
  • Sociology and social policy of happiness and identity  
  • Digital inclusion and exclusion 

The cluster is led by Associate Professor Emma Casey and Dr Edmund Coleman-Fountain. It runs a regular, well attended seminar series, involving presentations from internal and external speakers and currently welcomes Visiting Professor Imogen Tyler (Lancaster University).



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