Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world



I am the Co-Director of the Kent Q-Step Centre. Please visit the Kent Q-Step website for details of the initiative and our new degree programmes.

The Teaching tab on this page gives information about my role as Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy.

For information about my other activities (research, publications and non-academic writing), please see my website.

Contact Information


Room E131
Cornwallis East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF

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Research Interests

Research interests

I have a wide range of research interests including disability, the workplace, inequality, the benefits system, addictions policy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and the relationship between evidence and policy.


My main current interests are eclectic and include:

  • the changing nature of work, how this affects people with health problems or disabilities, and the role of the benefits system;
  • new ideas for the welfare state;
  • the nature of stratification across the lifecourse;
  • the relationships between evidence, policy and critique.

I am also completing research on alcohol/addictions: the role of pleasure in alcohol policy and also whether “addictive industries” are part of the problem or the solution within the massive €9m EU 'Reframing Addictions' project (within which I am leading a work package on corporate influence).


I'm more than happy to supervise PhD or Masters students researching any of these topics. If you are interested in studying at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss this further.

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As it stands, social science undergraduates across the UK rarely have good quantitative skills (outside of Psychology or Economics) – that is, skills for interpreting or creating statistical analyses to help understand the social world. This causes problems for academia, for employers, and more broadly for having a citizenry who can critique the ever-increasing barrage of statistical information they face in their daily lives. The Nuffield Foundation, the ESRC and Hefce have therefore put nearly £20m into creating 15 'Q-Step' centres across the country, which were selected after a highly-competitive process.

Kent was one of the successful centres - and Trude Sundberg and I are Co-Directors of the initiative. Over the next five years, we – as part of our great team at Kent - will make this vision a reality, giving students new skills not just in quantitaitve methods but also in qualitative methods and wider critical thinking skills, as well as experience in applying this to the world around them. See the Kent Q-Step website for more details.

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Aside from my position at the University of Kent, I'm also attached to the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science; the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health, and I'm an associate fellow of the Strategic Society Centre. back to top

Other roles


From 2009-2012 I was an associate editor for the journal Addiction. I've peer-reviewed for the Journal of Social Policy, Social Science & Medicine, Addiction, Alcohol & Alcoholism, Contemporary Drug Problems and Drug and Alcohol Review.

I've acted as a (nominally) paid reviewer for the UK Department of Work and Pensions, Department of Health, and the Alcohol Education & Research Council (AERC).


I co-edit the blog Inequalities.

I've also written:

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 12/07/2017