Area of research expertise - Outline

My expertise has grown through engagement over my career with applied and 'blue skies' research in the fields of education, sociology and criminology. I have undertaken many funded and unfunded studies in those areas and published in many different international peer reviewed prestigious journals. In particular my use of qualitative and historical methodologies has the common thread of dealing with the social order, injustice, power, incarceration, street gangs and all representations of marginalisation. In terms of educational research I have undertaken collaborative studies of school leadership with Professor Ian Mentor of Oxford University, the training of school staff for leadership roles, the teaching in 'values education' in the pre-school period (funded by the Gordon Cook Foundation), and for the Scottish Office studies of school discipline and how teachers motivate classes to do well. 

Current research activities.

I'm engaged with the University of Leeds in collaborative work about the nature and origins of the attainment gap in education, and a statistical analysis of the census data over a twenty year period to determine whether or not Scotland is a meritocratic society or if class mobility is static over the generations. In addition I'm using achival historical data to examine the moral formation of working-class incarcerated persons during the early part of the twentieth century in Scotland. An aspect of this work is a visual sociology of photographic data. In that context I'm completing a study of militant suffraggete women in Scotland prior to the First World War through a gender analysis.

Desired research direction.

To pursue futher collaborative research partnerships within the UK and overseas. I'm currently investigating collaboration with the education department, Charles University, Prague and pursuing other funded opportunities for comparative educational and sociological studies. 

Target Collaborative Organisations (National, International, up to 3).

education department, Charles University, Prague


  1. CiCe Association Conference

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  2. 16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

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