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Urban regeneration, social disadvantage, class, place and community

My concern with the regeneration of coalmine areas stretches back to the early 1990s, and my first academic post as researcher at Sheffield Hallam University (then Sheffield City Polytechnic) on an ESRC project examining the ways in which miners and ex-miners and their families were coping with the threat or actuality of closure. This resulted in the 2001 book Out of the Ashes? (Routledge).

I continued examining coal-mining communities for my doctoral research at Cardiff, purusing my interest in the social and cultural processes through which heritage is instrumentalised for urban regeneration projects. Part of this is the ways in which ‘community’ becomes deployed as symbolic resource in the efforts of local inhabitants, organisations, groups and governmental agencies alike to build a sense of collective identity. One arm of this research has involved examining the ongoing and complex processes of Welsh identity-formation in the context of debates on national identity in relation to devolution, children and class.

More recently, I have been involved with the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), co-ordinating the Cardiff Localities team.  Through this programme of work, I have been involved in the production of major new qualitative datasets on the upper South Wales Valleys, an ex-coalmining area suffering long-term economic decline. This work requires a deep understanding of the dynamics of social disadvantage and class, and the ways in which policy frameworks envision and enact solutions.

Funded Research Projects

  • Dicks, B., Housley, W. and Williams, G. 'Coal, Slate and Culture’, Cardiff University Celtic Studies Fund; Start: 01.05.05 End: 30.04.06
  • Scourfield, J. (PI), Drakeford, M., Dicks B., Holland, S. The formation of national identity: the experience of children in Wales, UW Board of Celtic Studies, start date 01.06.01. End date: 31.05.02
  • Pithouse, P., Dicks, B., and Hall, T. 'The Welsh Assembly and the Voluntary Sector: a democratisation of relations?' ESRC, Devolution and Institutional Change Initiative. Start date: 5.4.99. End date: 31.1.00

Selected Publications

  • Dicks B. (2008) Performing the Hidden Injuries of Class in Coal-Mining Heritage, Sociology, Vol. 42, No. 3, 436-452
  • Scourfield, J., Dicks, B., Drakeford, M. and Davies, A. (2006) Children, Place and Identity, London: Routledge
  • Waddington, D., Critcher, C., Dicks, B. and Parry, D. (2001) Out of the Ashes? The Social Impact of Industrial Contraction and Regeneration on Britain’s Mining Communities London: Routledge
  • Dicks, B., Hall, T. and Pithouse, A. (2001) 'The National Assembly and the Voluntary Sector: An Equal Partnership?' in P. Chaney T. Hall and A. Pithouse (eds.)  New Governance - New Democracy, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  • Critcher, C., Waddington, D. and Dicks, B. (1999) 'Qualitative methods in welfare research' in A. Oakley and J. Popay (eds.) Future Directions for Welfare Research, UCL Press
  • Dicks, B. Waddington, D. and Critcher, C. (1998) 'Redundant Men and Overburdened Women: Local Service Providers' Views of Gender Roles in Ex-Mining Communities’, in J. Popay, J. Hearn & J. Edwards (eds.) Men, Gender and Welfare, Routledge, London
  • Waddington, D., Dicks, B. and Critcher, C. (1998) ‘Who's Coping? Gender difference in the Management of Stress’, in J. Popay, J. Hearn & J. Edwards (eds.) Men, Gender and Welfare, Routledge, London
  • Dicks, B. (1996) ‘Women in ex-mining communities: stress, coping and gender identity in the wake of pit closure’ in Coffey, A. and Pilcher, J. (eds.) Gender and Qualitative Research, Avebury
  • Waddington, D., Dicks, B and Critcher, C. (1994) ‘Community Responses to Pit Closure in the Post-strike Era’, Community Development Journal 29 (2) pp. 141-150.
  • Dicks, B. Waddington, D and Critcher, C. (1993) ‘The Quiet Disintegration of Closure Communities’, Town and Country Planning, 62, pp. 174-177