Personal profile


For the first half of my career, from the mid 1980s onwards, I worked as a social historian at the Universities of Keele, Warwick, Cardiff and the Birmingham (1992-2002). I then took a break from academic life, becoming a consultant in the cultural sector, where, amongst other things, I applied my training a social scientist to researching and evaluating arts interventions in criminal justice settings. I joined CRESC (the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change) part-time in 2004 working on various cultural sector and research methods related projects with Mike Savage, Niamh Moore and others, including an ESRC Placement Fellowship at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2009. I become convenor of the CRESC’s core research theme on ‘Trajectories of Participation and Inequality’ in 2011, and a Reader in Sociology in 2012. I am currently involved in a number of large-scale research projects, including the AHRC and Creative Scotland funded Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values on which I am the PI, the EPSRC Step-Change in travel and transport behaviour project (Co-I), and the Great British Class Survey project.

Research interests

My primary research interests are in the field of culture and stratification, with a particular focus on issues of class, social mobility, and cultural participation. I am currently Principal Investigator on the AHRC large-grant project Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values ( and a Co-investigator on the EPSRC Step-Change in travel and transport behavior project ( I was a member of the Great British Class Survey team, which produced a new cultural model of class in the UK (Savage et. al. 2013),  and am a co-author of Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican, 2015).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Healthier Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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