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Gemma Edwards


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Personal profile


Postgraduate Opportunities

I currently supervise the following PhD students:

  • Matteo Tiratelli (riots)
  • Mertcan Ozturk (social conflicts in Turkey)

Recently completed PhD student projects include:

  • 2017 Rachel Emms (metal music)
  • 2018 Laura Fenton (women's experience of drinking in post-war Britain)
  • 2017 Aimee Harragan (youth politics and participation)
  • 2017 Pete Lampard (popular culture and activism)
  • 2017 Nadim Mirshak (Political Education in Egypt)





  • Contemporary Social Thought (UG1)
  • Global Social Challenges (UG1)
  • Power & Protest (UG3)

Prizes: 2015 University Teaching Excellence Award 


Gemma Edwards is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester, where she has worked since 2007. Her research expertise is in Social Movements and Protest, and critical social theory (esp. Habermas). She has researched a variety of historical and contemporary social movements, from the labour movement to the Suffragette Movement. Gemma is interested in the way in which interpersonal social networks shape participation in activism, particularly high risk forms of activism on the part of women. She has pioneered mixed method social network analysis techniques for the study of social movements, alternative lifestyles, and historical networks. She co-leads the research group movements@manchester and is a member of the Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis, and the Morgan Centre for the Study of Everyday Lives. Key publications include Social Movements and Protest (Cambridge, 2014), Social Network Analysis for Ego-Nets (Sage, 2015), and Shared Housing, Shared Lives (Routledge, 2018).

Current Research:

  • Misbehaviour on Southern Rail (passenger protests against southern rail)
  • Friendship networks and the anti-war activism of women in WW1 (with Dr Ali Ronan)
  • The social networks of shared living
  • Using social network analysis to research the suffragettes

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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy

Award Date: 5 Dec 2007

Master of Social Science

Award Date: 30 Sep 2003

Bachelor of Social Science

Award Date: 30 Jun 2002

External positions

Editor, Social Movement Studies

Editorial Team, Transforming Capitalism Book Series (Rowman and Littlefield)

Editorial Advisory Board, Acta Sociologica

Editorial Advisory Board, Manchester University Press


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