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Research Profile

Mr Matthew Jones 


Matthew Jones
Position:PhD Student
School:Social Sciences

Address:1-3 Museum Place

Qualifications

  • PhD: ESRC (Socio-Legal) 1+3 PhD Studentship (present)
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal) (Criminology)
  • LLB Law

Research Interests

Matthew’s research interests are situated within an interdisciplinary framework, bringing together academic perspectives from law, sociology, organisational studies and criminology in order to explore the treatment and experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals and communities in contemporary British society.  Specifically, he is interested in (i) the social construction, management and micro-political realities of sexuality; (ii) the aims and effectiveness of Equality and Diversity Legislation, and (iii) the organisational consequences of these overlapping concerns within institutional settings.

As well as these substantive interests, Matthew is fascinated by the methodological and epistemological hurdles surrounding the practical execution of research with LGB individuals. Particularly, he is interested in (i) epistemological and ontological debates underpinning the academic study of the subaltern; (ii) the scope and practical consequences of employing hyper-reflexive ethical approaches to research conduct; (iii) the academic propensity to combine quintessential face to face qualitative methods with innovative online approaches; and (iv) the wider ‘utility’ of academic research within this interdisciplinary field.

PhD Topic/ Area

Broadly speaking, Matthew’s interdisciplinary PhD is exploring the relationship between sexuality and policing by examining the occupational experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual  Police Officers throughout England and Wales. In an attempt to shed light on this hitherto neglected area, the focus of Matthew’s research is threefold:

1. Individual

Drawing upon interdisciplinary literature (e.g. Epstein and Johnson, 1994; Nayak & Kehily, 1996; Morley, 1999) Matthew is examining the subjective and micro-political realities of sexuality. Specifically, he will re-examine the 'dual persona' thesis put forward by Burke (1994) in an attempt to identify the extent to which contemporary LGB police officers 'manage' their sexual identities at work. Building upon previous research which identifies that motivations to join the police service are often misconstrued (Stone and Tuffin, 2000) and that such misconceptions lead to disenchantment and high personnel attrition rates (Holdaway and Barron, 1997),  Matthew’s research will also aim to examine the motivations and expectations of LGB police officers at different stages of their professional careers.

2. Organisational 

LGB officers’ experiences of the police organisation and its internal processes will form another focus of the study – specifically an examination of the heteronormative 'hodgepodge of cliques, cabals and conspiracies' (Van Maanen, 1978, p.322) which have become synonymous to police culture. Matthew aims to critically examine the historical and progressive evolvement of police practices (e.g. looking at the nature and effects of McPherson, 1999 & Morris, 2004 and the contribution made by key organisations such as the GPA) as well as recent paradigm shifts in relation to police cultural studies (specifically claims the police as an organisation is made up of multiple 'cultures' rather than a singular 'culture') in order to identify how the individual experiences of LGB officers vary according to differing professional environments/ police departments.

3. Community

The management of sexual identity in relation to LGB officers policing of non LGB and LGB communities will form the final component of Matthew’s research. Here, questions concerning police discretion, identity and synergy with differing social groups will inform the direction of his research strategy.  

Supervisors

Prof Debbie Epstein

Dr Matthew Williams