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Dr Esther Muddiman

Dr Esther Muddiman

Research Associate, WISERD

School of Social Sciences

Email:
muddimanek@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2087 0985
Location:
Rm 2.06,

I’m a postdoctoral researcher with a particular interest in identity, belonging, civil society, sustainability and youth engagement.

I currently work in WISERD on a project that explores the role of family in peoples’ accounts of civic engagement – focussing on the values and behaviours that get shared between different generations. We are collecting survey and interview data from three generations of participants from across South and West Wales to identify patterns of political, religious, social and environmental engagement.

I have become increasingly interested in eating habits and how people make choices about food in relation to family, environment and sustainability and was delighted to be part of the 2018 GW4 Crucible on the theme of ‘Resilience, Environment and Sustainability’ and to be PI on a subsequent scoping study -  ‘Community Resilience, Place and Wellbeing in Bristol'.

I enjoy experimenting with methods, and in particular am interested in family tree mapping methods, the analysis of participant marginalia and Q methodology.

I currently work as a Research Associate in WISERD on a project exploring the role of family in peoples’ accounts of civic engagement – focussing on the values and behaviours that get shared between different generations.

Prior to joining WISERD in 2016 I worked at CUREMeDE where my primary focus was a longitudinal mixed methods evaluation of a generalist postgraduate medical education training programme. In this role I explored the rising importance of medical generalism and how it may trouble existing categories of professional identity.

I studied for my BSc Econ degree in Sociology at Cardiff University and continued in the School of Social Sciences to complete an ESRC funded MSc in Social Research Methods, and PhD focussing on the educational experiences and civic values of university students in Britain and Singapore.

Academic positions

  • 2016- present: Research Associate at WISERD
  • 2014-2016: Research Associate at CUREMeDE
  • 2010-2014: PhD Candidate, Cardiff University
  • 2010-2014: Graduate Tutor, Cardiff University

Speaking engagements

  • Muddiman E, Taylor C, Power S, and Moles K. (2017) The Role of the Family in Civil Society. WISERD Civil Society Seminar, Cardiff University
  • Muddiman E. (2017) Keeping it in the family? The role of intergenerational relations in shaping youth social action. WISERD Lunchtime Seminar, Cardiff University.
  • Muddiman E, Pearce S, Fox S, Evans D. 2017 Minding the Gap: Young People, Brexit and the Generational Divide. Workshop presented at Hay Festival. June 2017.
  • Muddiman, E. 2017. Politics, intergenerational conflict and family relationships. WISERD Annual Conference. Bangor. July 2017.
  • Muddiman E. and Moles K. (2016) How do civic values get passed between different generations within families? Childhood and Youth Group. Cardiff University.
  • Muddiman E. (2016) University students’ accounts of personal success and civic responsibility: a comparative study. WISERD Lunchtime Seminar, Cardiff University.

2019

2018

2016

2015

I have taught on both methodological and substantive undergraduate modules in the School of Social Sciences, and have experience supervising undergraduate students, masters students and an intercalating medical student.

Extending an interest in South East Asia that I developed during my doctoral studies, I am currently supervising a student based in Singapore enrolled on the Skills and Workforce Development MSc hosted by Cardiff University and the Institute of Adult Learning.

My research interests include:

  • Family and civil society
  • Higher education and civil society
  • Young people, identity, transitions and belonging
  • Food and sustainability
  • Political, religious, cultural and environmental engagement
  • Intergenerational ties
  • Critical theory
  • Creative methods

My WISERD Civil Society project explores the role of family in peoples’ accounts of civic engagement – focussing on the values and behaviours that get shared between different generations. The project draws on survey data from three generations of participants from across South and West Wales to identify patterns of political, religious, social and environmental engagement. We have also incorporated a family tree mapping exercise during qualitative interviews with a sub-sample of participants to explore the role of family in people’s accounts of civic engagement. The result of the EU Referendum and perceptions of a ‘generational divide’ has emerged as a prominent theme in participant interviews, so I presented a workshop on Young People and Brexit at the Hay Festival with colleagues in 2017. Together we explored perceptions of a ‘generational divide’ and familial influences on young peoples’ political engagement in relation to education and engagement with different medias.

I’m a keen collaborator and am enjoying working with colleagues both within and beyond WISERD in a number of different areas including: investigating the intergenerational transmission of Euroscepticism using the UK Household Longitudinal Survey; using mixed methods to explore the relationship between religion and civic engagement over time; and working with partners at EYST to explore youth ethnic minority experiences of Brexit.

Methods

I enjoy experimenting with different methods and have three particular areas of interest:

  • Family Tree Mapping: With help from our undergraduate research placement students we have developed a way of mapping out family trees with interview participants and marking the different values and behaviours that get shared between different members as a vehicle for in depth discussions about identity, belonging and family practices. This method has potential for other projects exploring the themes of intergenerational justice and the (lack of) resilience of particular ideas or behaviours over time.
  • Participant Marginalia: We noticed that many young people in our study had drawn or written in the margins of their surveys – particularly on sections relating to family relationships and decided to analyse these additions as data in their own right. Analysis of participant marginalia is not well-developed in the social sciences, but a handful of studies demonstrate the importance of listening when participants ‘speak back’ and suggest that paying attention to this type of data can help to further our understanding of participant identities and the power dynamics embedded in the research process.
  • Q Methodology: I have used Q methodology to explore individual subjectivities in relation to professional identities in a previous research post. Whilst under-used in the social sciences it has the potential to enhance the collection of sensitive data in areas such as social desirability, acquiescence, extreme response style and attitudes towards controversial issues. I have delivered workshops on Q methodology to a range of postgraduate researchers and medical practitioners both in Cardiff and at a partner institution in Taiwan.

Areas of expertise

External profiles