People, place and policy

Our work in this area is united by a rigorous application of empirical methods to explore the ways in which a sense of place shapes people’s identities and experience.

Research activity sits broadly within two categories:

  • Culture, Interaction and Everyday Life
  • Social and Public Policy.

Culture, interaction and everyday life

Our research explores how space and place, the cultural and material, and the psychosocial interact and are socially organised within past, contemporary and future societies.

We have particular interest in qualitative and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of everyday life, with completed and ongoing projects in the following areas:

  • Urban life, regeneration, heritage, and consumption
  • Community and localities, memory and belonging
  • Cultural theory and artistic practice
  • Subjectivity, identities, and categorisation (particularly class and gender)
  • Interaction, talk, and embodiment
  • Care, health and well-being

Studies have focused on topics such as: the experiences and mobilities of young people; studies of skilled practice (including opera singing and Capoeira); homelessness and outreach work; museums and science education centres; unemployment in post-industrial communities; digital and social media; civil society.

We have contributed to key developments in ethnography, visual, mobile, and multimodal methodologies, and the analysis of material culture, discourse and talk-in-interaction.

Social and public policy

We have expertise in a number of key areas within Social and Public Policy.

  • Governance of social and public policy
    • We focus on devolution and social policy-making in Wales, as well as examining how multi-level governance is enacted through devolved, UK-wide, and supra-national bodies such as the EU or the UN.
  • Policy-related areas
    • Our key themes within this area include citizenship, comparative social and public policy, governance, poverty analysis, the environment, equal opportunities, and gender.
  • Conceptualisation, measurement and analysis of poverty
    • Our work in this area is the subject of a number of ongoing, externally-funded projects and extends beyond the UK and Europe.
  • Equal opportunities policy
    • We focus on both a critical analysis of key concepts relating to equal opportunities, as well as of UK policies and practices. Of particular interest are gender, sexuality and religion.

Research links

We have links with the following centres and groups: