Current students

Summary profiles of the work being undertaken by our current students are provided in the table below.

postgraduate researcher Title of study Funded in collaboration with Main supervisor (2nd supervisor)
Maimon Ali Housing quality in Malaysia: an assessment on current practices Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia Barry Goodchild (Paul Hickman)

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Maimon Ali, MSc BA

0114 225 3562 /

Maimon is currently a full time phD student at CRESR and funded by Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. Her thesis entitled 'Housing Quality in Malaysia: An Assessment on Current practice'. Her research objectives are:

  • to undertake an evaluation of Malaysian practice in assessing housing quality
  • to examine the possibilities for development of quality assessment tools for Malaysia housing
  • to provide an appraisal of controlling quality in new housing development in Malaysia

In line with that, she will see the method and theory which practices in the United Kingdom and other countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong and the applicability of the theory and methodology for housing quality into Malaysian context.

Christopher Devany 'Hidden NEETs'; Understanding marginalisation through relational class Sheffield Hallam University Richard Crisp (Tony Gore)

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0114 225 3562 /

Chris' phD research aims to address the significant gap in knowledge around the experiences and conditions for young men who are NEET, whilst not claiming welfare. Recent evidence suggests that this problem is substantial, with 59.7% of unemployed young people not claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. This group is termed as the ‘hidden NEETs’, with the word ‘hidden’ denoting how being unemployed and not claiming benefits leaves young people obscured from the formal support structures of the state.

Methodologically his research shall compare the practices of young working-class and middle-class men in Sheffield around finding work and how they navigate their lives without work.

In addition to his phD research, Chris is also working for CRESR as a Graduate Research Assistant.

Julian Dobson Can urban anchor institutions become low carbon leaders? Sheffield Hallam University peter Wells (Will Eadson)

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Julian Dobson

0114 225 3562 /

Julian comes to CRESR following an extensive career as a journalist specialising in public policy and urban regeneration, and as a consultant and trainer working with practitioners. Through a range of writing and research projects he has explored the interface between policy and practice. He is the author of How to Save Our Town Centres, to be published by policy press in February 2015.

His phD will examine the link between concepts of urban governance and theories of low carbon transitions, examining in particular the role of non-elected 'anchor institutions' in major cities. He is particularly interested in ideas of civic leadership in the context of climate change, and the concepts of civic leadership and approaches to action deployed both in aspiration and in practice by influential organisations that do not have a democratic mandate.

Joe McMullan A Working-Class Backlash”? An Exploration of How Class, Culture and Identity Shape ‘Rupture’ in a Post Brexit World Sheffield Hallam University Rich Crisp (Bob Jeffery)

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Joe McMullan

Brexit has raised profound questions about the complex actualities of working-class life and the formations of class, culture and identity within ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods. The notion of Brexit as ‘backlash’ is variously presented as: the dissolution of the Labour vote alongside the rise of UKIP over fears of immigration, an assertion of control as a response to perceived marginalisation and an expression of frustration over a lack of economic opportunity. This timely study will critically interrogate the notion of Brexit as ‘backlash’ and question ‘against what’. In doing so, this PhD project will explore the social, economic, cultural and political processes that informed this point of ‘rupture’.

However, it is imperative to understand that the working-class did not vote as a homogenous group. Hence, this study will explore the differences and tensions within the way individuals, households and the wider community perceived and responded to the referendum. Ethnographic work on working-class life is relatively sparse and it is crucial to revisit and develop this in the context of the perceived socio-political rupture of Brexit, against a wider backdrop of political and economic crisis in the 'urban vortex' (Hall and Savage, 2015).

Jamie Redman An Investigation into Young Jobseeker's Experiences of Benefit Receipt in an Era of Conditional Welfare, Insecure Labour Markets and Pejorative Welfare Narratives Sheffield Hallam University Del Fletcher (Richard White)

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Jamie Redman

My PhD research aims to offer insight into the lived experiences of young claimants under a welfare regime that has increasingly endeavoured to re-condition their behaviour. Customarily, conditional welfare is understood of as cementing rights to benefit entitlements with responsible behaviour. For the young Jobseeker demographic specifically, conditional welfare is more concerned with utilising unemployed labour to ensure benefit entitlements produce economically conducive behaviour. The crux of this research will explore the perennial pressures and consequences that a conditional welfare regime can inflict upon young people, especially when contextualised against a backdrop of labour market fragility and dominant, pejorative welfare narratives.

Tom Shore Spaces of informalization: the geography of behaviours and manners at music festivals ESRC Ryan powell (Tony Gore)

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Tom Shore BA (Hons), MA

0114 225 3562 /

My phD explores the spatial and cultural politics of manners and behaviours at music festivals. Under the working title of 'Spaces of Informalization: The Geography of Behaviours and Manners at Music Festivals' this ESRC-funded research project explores many areas of human geography, the sociology of Nobert Elias, as well as, insights from wider philosophical and theoretical debates in spatial theory. The research project will investigate the notion that music festivals are in essence 'de-controlled' spaces where looser more informal behavioural alternatives become permissible.

My other main research interests include social and cultural geographies, historical geographies of 'modernity', critical Marxist theory - especially Lefebvre, Debord, Benjamin et al, and local geographies - the urbanisation of Sheffield.

Beth Speake Welfare reform as structural violence: women and the impact of benefit sanctions Sheffield Hallam University Kesia Reeve (Rionach Casey)

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This study will explore how the use of benefit sanctions in the UK impact on vulnerable groups of women, through use of the concept of structural violence. The research takes place in the context of increasing use and severity of sanctions imposed, following the Coalition government’s Welfare Reform Act of 2012. In contrast to dominant government and media discourse which characterises poverty as the fault of individuals and the perceived 'failings' of different social groups, this study will explore deeply entrenched structural inequalities in UK society, and how these inequalities make particular groups of women both more vulnerable to being penalised by the welfare benefit system, and more vulnerable to the adverse impacts that these sanctions have on their lives.

  Lucy Taylor The dehumanising of failed asylum seekers: challenging prevailing narratives and restrictive social policy Sheffield Hallam University David Robinson (Kesia Reeve)

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Lucy Taylor

0114 225 3562

Dominant discourses on migration and asylum serve to dehumanise failed asylum seekers. This reinforces and normalises a policy response which deems these people to be deviant and not worthy of the assistance of the British state. This phD will challenge this positioning of failed asylum seekers through an exposition of the reality of their situations, experiences, histories, motivations and aspirations. It will do so using in-depth life history interviews and photography.

  Abigail Woodward Community self-help in an age of austerity Sheffield Hallam University Dr Richard White (Peter Wells)

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Abigail Woodward

0114 225 3562 /

This PhD will explore how community self-help has re-emerged as a coping tactic during a time of increasing austerity. The study will gain a better understanding of the complex experiences of households and communities across Sheffield whilst also comparing the culture and drivers of reciprocal and mutual aid amongst established populations and minority ethnic groups. Addressing this critical gap in knowledge is fundamental and the inclusion of an ethnographic dimension to the study provides a significant opportunity for original knowledge contribution. This both compliments and adds to the understanding of sustainability, resilience and financial vulnerability of different populations.

Methodologically, the study will explore how society is shaped to respond to increasing austerity whilst also challenging concepts such as citizen responsibilisation and the 'welfare' state.

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For further information please contact Will Eadson at or call 0114 225 4173.

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