No photo of Christopher Holligan

Christopher Holligan


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Area of academic 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

education department, Charles University, Prague

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
Scotland Medicine & Life Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
school Social Sciences
offense Social Sciences
prisoner Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
correctional institution Social Sciences
offender Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1995 2018

Alien conspiracy theory?: exploring ethnicity and drug supply in Scotland

McLean, R., Holligan, C. & Riaz, N. 22 Oct 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Deviant Behavior.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

place of residence

A verisimilitude of pessimism: Scottish prisoner mug-shots, 1883-1927

Holligan, C. 30 Aug 2018 In : Visual Studies. 33, 2, p. 172-185 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Class interest and the 'attainment gap'

Holligan, C. 20 Mar 2018 Scottish Left Review, 104

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access
Open Access

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: the strange case of the two selves of clandestine drug users in Scotland

McPhee, J., Holligan, C., Deuchar, R. & McLean, R. 27 Nov 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Drugs and Alcohol Today. 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Street Drugs
Drug Users
Social Identification

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Participation in conference

CiCe Association Conference

Holligan, C. (Speaker)
8 Jun 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

16th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology

Holligan, C. (Invited speaker)
21 Sep 201624 Sep 2016

Activity: Participation in conference

Press / Media

In 'tribal' Scotland, we must learn to know our neighbours

Christopher Holligan


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Poor Outcomes are Not All Due to Bad Doormen

Christopher Holligan & Lisa McAuliffe


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Blame children for own failure

Christopher Holligan


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Jury Out on Restorative Justice

Christopher Holligan


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Poor buildings encourage bad behaviour

Christopher Holligan


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment


data collection method
research method

Edward Beggan

youth work
social pedagogy

Hanane Belaidi

Lorraine Gilmour

law and order

Laura Graham