Research

My interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on debates, policy frameworks and interventions around gendered and intersecting inequalities, particularly in relation to sexual violence. My 2014 monograph The Politics of the Body analysed the difficulties of positioning for present-day feminist activism when faced with a dialectic between neoconservative moralism and regulation and a neoliberal emphasis on individuality and personal choice. I am currently working on a new monograph entitled Personal Business: the fight against sexual violence, which performs an intervention into contemporary ‘public feminisms’ around sexual violence. I argue that these feminisms cannot tackle the intersections of patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism which produce sexual violence, and that their more reactionary forms are complicit with the far-right politics also produced by this intersectionality of systems. My forthcoming trade book Me, Not You also presents some of these themes for a non-academic audience. 

My funded research has focused on how neoliberalism shapes contemporary higher education cultures and student communities, and produces/exacerbates intersectional inequalities and issues such as bullying, sexual harassment and violence. This has led to the collaborative Changing University Cultures project, which has created an innovative methodology called Grounded Action Inquiry that combines sociology and organisational development. We have fulfilled commissions at four universities so far, and contributed to Universities UK policy programmes around cultural change. We are also now embarking on a programme of capacity-building workshops for staff in equality & diversity and leadership roles at universities, to encourage a more dynamic and sustainable approach to promoting equality and tackling issues.