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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.



  • Dicks, B. 2018. Heritage as a social practice. In: Hooper, G. ed. Heritage at the Interface: Interpretation and Identity. Cultural Heritage Studies Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, pp. 11-24.












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:


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