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Professor Bella Dicks

Professor Bella Dicks

Professor in Sociology

School of Social Sciences




I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas of sociology:

  • Community, civil society, participation
  • Belonging, place, neighbourhood, inclusion/exclusion
  • Class, inequalities, identities
  • Heritage, collective memory, museums and science centres, cultural display
  • Regeneration, post-industrial identities of place/people
  • Digital and online interactions and methodologies
  • Qualitative methodology, multimodality.


I am currently Reader in Sociology at Cardiff School of Social Sciences. My research is in the field of digital qualitative methods, heritage, museums, culture-led economic regeneration, social disadvantage and class. I am particularly interested in how places and people deal with the cultural and social dislocations accompanying de-industrialisation and how regeneration strategies connect (or otherwise) with community members on the ground. My 2000 book Heritage, Place and Community, traces the processes through which a south Wales coal-mine was transformed into a 'living history' museum, while the 2004 book Culture on Display critically appraises the contemporary regeneration focus on the production of place 'visitability'. I am currently pursuing research on regeneration within the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), which is carrying out a number of comparative locality studies across Wales.

I have been an academic staff member at Cardiff University since 1993, when I arrived to take up a post as Tutorial Fellow in the then Dept of Social and Administrative Studies, and to pursue my doctoral research. I subsequently held a Research Fellowship working on the hypermedia project led by Prof. Paul Atkinson, Use Of Hypermedia Techniques In The Analysis & Dissemination Of Qualitative Data, and later became a lecturer in Sociology in the new School of Social Sciences.  Before coming to Wales, I was a researcher in at the then Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University) in the Dept of Media, Culture and Communication. There I undertook research into the coalmining communities of Doncaster, an area in which I grew up. This sparked a life-long research interest in coalfield culture and regeneration.















Bella's main research interests are in the field of cultural sociology, and particularly focus on placed identities, cultural representation, regeneration and heritage. They fall into three broad areas of research: