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Research focus

Bodies, technologies and conflict

Society is lived, communicated and experienced through bodies. Through this premise we explore myriad interactions between bodies, environments and technologies as sites of social change and conflict. We study body modifications, body politics, dance, experiential geographies, resistances and technologies (digital, robotic and urban). Our research examines classic sociological concerns such as gender, race and class, and contemporary challenges including “big tissue”, gender performativity, and digital urban transformations. 

Control and responses to control

Our research examines social control through, for instance, state and corporate regimes of (digital) surveillance, urban governance and social, environmental and education policy. Research also attends to modes of resistance to marginalisation and disenfranchisement such as activism, and creative participatory responses such as alternative media projects. Emergent technologies are explored as drivers of change in the nature of politics and work. Cluster members focus on multiple scales from the politics of urban space to global agendas shaping social policy and education systems. Often working alongside activists, research is empirically innovative and engages theoretical approaches including anarchist social theory, world systems theory and decolonial theory. 

Cultural production and creative processes

Our research on cultural production examines difference and inequality across social structures and how diverse groups resist their representation. Linking UK and international contexts, our work spans cultural forms from comedy to architecture. This research is distinguished by theoretically and methodologically distinctive approaches that are public and industry facing, collaborative and often co-designed with non-academic partners. We construct analytical work that is both about cultural production and informed by the creative processes of its development.