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Living Multiculture

The new geographies of ethnicity and the changing formations of multiculture in England

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Research team

The members of the research team are Dr Sarah Neal, Dr Katy Bennett, Prof Allan Cochrane, Dr Hannah Jones, Christy Kulz and Prof Giles Mohan.

Dr Sarah Neal, Principal Investigator

Sarah is a Reader in the Department of Sociology, University of Surrey. Her research interests are clustered around the areas of ethnicity/ies, identity/ies, multiculture, representation, community and corresponding boundaries of belonging and exclusion. Her research looks to empirically scrutinise how these boundaries are variously reflected in, and constitutive of, particular moments and narratives of identity and nation in contemporary Britain. It has incorporated a focus on senses of location and rural spaces and the ways in which these shape formations and notions of belonging, citizenship and inclusion. In particular it is the contradictions, tensions and conditionalities that cut across these formations and notions that bind her research concerns.

Dr Katy Bennett, Co-Investigator

Katy is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Leicester. Her research interests are in social and cultural geography with particular focus on issues of identity, emotion, home and community. Much of her research has examined how economic restructuring, regeneration and transformed landscapes impact on people's lives and her research practices are underpinned by growing lines of engagement between the social sciences and psychotherapeutic techniques.

Prof Allan Cochrane, Co-Investigator

Allan is a Professor of Urban Studies and Head of the Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University. His research interests lie at the junction of geography and public policy. He is particularly interested in understanding and exploring the ways in which the spaces of public policy are made up in practice, in ways that reflect relations of power within and beyond the state. It is in this broader context that his research has focused on a series of mainly urban sites through which it is possible to consider the workings of power, the possibilities of politics and changing forms of policy intervention.

Dr Kieran Connell, Research Assistant

Kieran was a Research Assistant in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University, working full time on the Living Multiculture project until February 2013. Having gained a degree in History at the University of Bristol, Kieran returned to his home city of Birmingham to complete an MPhil and a PhD at the University of Birmingham. His doctoral research, completed in late 2011, explored the cultural manifestations of race in the Handsworth area of Birmingham in the 1980s. Kieran is now a Research Fellow in the School of History and Cultures at the University of Birmingham.

Dr Hannah Jones, Research Associate

Hannah is a Research Associate in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University, working full time on the Living Multiculture project. Hannah’s doctoral work, completed in 2011, considered how local authority officers, politicians and partners work with the concept of 'community cohesion policy' to negotiate inequality, belonging and place. Hannah previously worked in local government in inner London for several years, and has conducted research on migration policy, local government, voluntary and community sector organising, regeneration and urban studies, and diversity and inequality.

Christy Kulz, Research Assistant

Christy is a Research Assistant in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology, The Open University, working part time on the Living Multiculture project since March 2013. Christy's doctoral work, based within the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths College, uses ethnographic methods to examine how neoliberal educational approaches contribute to the reproduction and reorganisation of social and cultural hierarchies within urban spaces. Christy has previously worked as a journalist, teacher and comedian.

Prof Giles Mohan, Co-Investigator

Giles is a Professor of International Development in the Department of Development Policy and Practice, The Open University. Giles is a human geographer whose work concerns the politics of development, particularly the intermingling of territorial scales and transnational networks. Giles has previously worked on the developmental impacts of the diaspora, based on both theoretical work and case studies of the Ghanaian diaspora in the UK and its linkages to Ghana. With his recent study of Chinese migrants in Africa he is keen to develop these insights around new migration trajectories and Africa’s development. This concern with the role of migrants in local development evolved out of his work on decentralised and participatory development, which is an on-going interest.

Latest Blog entries

  • It is has often felt like a winter of argument, contestation and crisis around migration and multiculture.

  • Rather unbelievably we are in the final weeks of Living multiculture being a ‘live project’.

  • A quick update on the various activities on the Living Multiculture project: we are deep in the data ‘cleaning’ and coding process still.

Contact us

For further information about the project, questions, queries and media enquiries, please contact Prof Allan Cochrane or a member of the project team.