Personal profile

Biography

I came to Manchester University as a student in 2008, having first studied at the University of Warwick. My research focuses on collective action, politics, everyday consumption practices and the new digital economy. 

I’m particularly interested in processes of change associated with protest, politicised forms of consumption and lifestyle, and the organisation of daily life. Currently, I'm looking at changes in the new economy: platform business models are transforming the way capitalism, employment and cities work, and what everyday life looks like. My research aims to compare and explain these shifts by looking at the conflicts and collective action that surround them. A recent public report on this topic is here.

Current and recent research projects have included the examination of corporate sponsored grassroots lobbying (or 'astroturfing') in platform economy businesses such as Uber and Airbnb, the relationships between social movements and the sociology of transformation, changes in everyday practices (around housing and food), the politics and sustainability of 'sharing', and 'everyday' and lifestyle politics, and the concept of prefigurative politics. See my Research and Publications tabs for more. 

I've been a co-organiser of Manchester’s long-standing research group on social movements movements@manchester since my PhD, and am a researcher in the Sustainable Consumption Institute and the Morgan Centre for the Study of Everyday Lives. I recently stepped down as reviews editor at Social Movements Studies and from the ESA Sociology of Consumption research network board. 

Research interests

Specific research interests

  • Social movements and political action
  • Sociology of consumption and socio-economic change
  • The politics and ethics of the new digital 'platform economy'
  • Everyday practices, particularly living arrangements, sharing, food, and households

Research projects and trajectory

My research focuses on collective action, politics and everyday consumption practices, especially how these play out in processes of change.

Theoretically I use social movements studies, the sociology of consumption, and theories of practice (and their link to collective action). These have developed through several concrete research projects, collaborations and affiliations described below (for more detail see my list of publications).

My PhD examined political and youth culture in Barcelona through a focus on spaces used for campaigning and alternative cultural production. This developed out of an interest in politicised forms of consumption.

In 2012 I took up the role of Research Associate at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, where I worked on projects with Alan Warde, Dale Southerton and David Evans about food and eating, waste, and everyday practices in the context of social and environmental change.

From 2014-2017 I was a Hallsworth Fellow in Political Economy in the Department of Sociology, looking at sharing, consumption and the environment. This has developed into new work which explores the political debates and struggles in the ‘sharing economy’ to better understand and characterise the consequences of the new economy/platform capitalism. Recent work on this topic has examined the phenomenon of corporate sponsored grassroots lobbying: how businesses such as Uber and Airbnb mobilise their users with tactics developed in civil society contexts. 

From January 2017 I have worked as a lecturer in Sociology. 

I am part of Manchester’s long-standing research group on social movements movements@manchester, a member of the Morgan Centre for the Study of Everyday Lives and I run the Collective Action and Movements research group in the Sustainable Consumption Institute where my office is located. Until recently, I was reviews editor at Social Movements Studies and a co-chair of the ESA Consumption network. 

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Consumption Institute
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Creative Manchester

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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