National Centre for Research Methods





Rachel Hurdley
Research Fellow


For Rachel's official Cardiff University biography page please click here.

Education and Qualifications
October 2001 – March 2006: PhD - Dismantling Mantelpieces: consumption as spectacle and shaper of self in the home, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University

2002: Postgraduate Diploma (Distinction) in Social Science Research Methods, Research and Graduate School, Cardiff University

2001: MSc (Distinction) in Housing, School of Planning, Oxford Brookes University

1995: BA (Joint Hons) Classics and English, Keble College, Oxford

Awards and Distinctions
Short listed for The Sociological Review Fellowship 2007
2001-2005: ESRC research studentship award (R42200134124)
1999-2000: ESRC postgraduate award (K00429923410) [as Mrs Rachel Didau]
1991-1995: Keble College academic scholarship

Academic Publications
2006: Dismantling Mantelpieces: narrating identities and materialising culture in the home, Sociology 40 (4): 717-733.

2007: Objecting Relations: the problem of the gift, The Sociological Review 55 (1): 124-143.

2007: Focal Points: framing material culture and visual data, Qualitative Research 7 (3): 355-374

Under Revision: Making History: Mass Observation Archive, Cultural Practice and Sociological Method. For Sociological Research Online.

Other disseminations

June 2007, February 2007; March 2005; April 2004: Radio Four interviews on Thinking Allowed with Laurie Taylor.

2005: Dismantle Your Mantelpiece and See What You Find, The Western Mail.

Papers and Presentations at Conferences, Seminars and Workshops


August 2005: Dismantling Mantelpieces: framing material culture and visual data. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia

July 2002: Burning Down the House: a consideration of consumption as director of mantelpiece displays in the home.
European Network of Housing Researchers Annual Conference, University of Vienna

April 2007: The Power of Corridors: Building identities, unseen spaces and work places in the interstices of an institution.
British Sociological Association Annual Conference, University of East London.

April 2007: Presentation and workshop on Multimodality and Audience Interpretation.
CAQDAS Network Conference, Royal Holloway College, University of London.

November 2005: Genius Loci: locating genealogies on the family mantelpiece. Seminar Series: Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge (by invitation).

October 2005: “No More Ballerinas”: the problem of the gift.
‘Doing Family’ Seminar Day: School of Criminology, Education, Sociology and Social Work, Keele University (by invitation).

September 2005: The Massed Past Mantelpiece: Mass Observation and Method. ESRC New Scholars’ Symposium, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

December 2004: Focal Points, Vocal Points: public and private aspects of domestic display.
Seminar Series 2004-2005: Centre for Women’s Studies, York University (by invitation).

March 2004: Reading Rooms.
British Sociological Association Annual Conference, York University
December 2002: Left on the Shelf: focusing on mantelpieces and the meaning of home. British Sociological Association Gender and Consumption Study Group Workshop, London Metropolitan University

September 2001: Dismantling Mantelpieces: a pilot study of the meaning of mantelpiece display in Britain.
Housing Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff University

Local and Departmental
March 2005: The Problem of the Gift.
Culture/ Subject/Economy Research Group, Cardiff School of Social Sciences

May 2004: Past and Future Narratives: narratives embedded in domestic display. Social Display Interdisciplinary workshop, Cardiff School of History and Archaeology

2003, 2004: Seminar presentation. Seminar series 2003-04; 2004-05, Cardiff School of History and Archaeology

May 2003, 2004, 2006: Annual papers based on PhD thesis.
University of Wales Postgraduate Geography Conference, Gregynog
2001-2004: Annual presentations in PhD presentation series, Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning




ESRC National Centre for Research Methods
ESRC - Economic & Social Research Council