Current research projects

Civil Society: Civic Stratification and Civil Repair (2020-2024)

As a postdoctoral research associate for WISERD I am currently working on three projects within the Civil Society research centre:

  1. Populism, conflict and political polarisation
    • Examines the links between shifting political behaviours and changes in employment structures, as well as how populist politics are fostered within places and how civil society can act to address this.
  2. Patronage, elites and power relations
    • Explores systems of patronage within civil society and the connections between civil society, civic stratification and elite formation.
  3. New repertoires of contention and social mobilisation: shifting dynamics of civic stratification and the marketisation of social justice in the energy transition
    • Utilises comparative case studies in the UK and Australia to explore how new, technologically-enabled transnational repertoires of social mobilisation contribute to the shifting dynamics of civic stratification in the age of uncertainty.

How can family history help us to understand the roots of climate change?

Independently of my postdoctoral research I am developing a pilot study into how we can use family history to engage the public with the roots of climate change, through exploring personal familial connections with empire and industry. This is an ongoing project which has been well received so far, and I intend to develop it into a funding bid.

Past projects

Countercultural Cymru: stories of lifestyle migration to rural Wales, 1965-1980 (PhD: 2016-2021)

In the 1960s and 1970s, large numbers of people in the UK moved to rural areas in search of a better way of life. As part of the era’s counterculture they were dissatisfied with conventional life, seeking an escape from its consumerism, pollution, and political and economic uncertainty. Many of them found homes in Wales. Using interviews with a sample of people who moved to Wales between 1965 and 1980, I aimed to discover why they chose to move, what their day-to-day experiences were like, and how living in a rural Welsh community shaped their lives and identities. The interviews were the lynchpin of the project, supplemented by library and archive research into alternative literature from the time.

Telling stories, sharing values: the Tenby & Aberystwyth storytelling project (MA: 2016)

The central aim of this project was to gather together people’s stories, memories and anecdotes about the coasts and seafronts of Tenby and Aberystwyth. These stories were used to provide clues to what people value as their heritage, as it through story that people understand and explain the world around them. Stories thrive in coastal areas, around the meeting of land and sea. This is especially true in the UK, which has far more coast than middle, and yet these stories are frequently neglected by official heritage frameworks. The stories collected through this project were uploaded to the project website, to exist as a community resource and inspire people to think about how they define their own heritage.

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