Leeds Social Sciences Institute

Event Dummy

Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences, 2017 Call: Information session @ Social Sciences Building (Room 14.33)
May 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

For researchers interested in applying to the recently posted Open Research Area (ORA) for the Social Sciences, 2017 Call (deadline outline proposals, 5 July 2017) which includes funding from the ESRC, RIS in collaboration with LSSI will be running an information session on the call requirements and support available. We will be joined by Prof Jocelyn Evans from POLIS, holder of a current ORA award, who will provide further hints and tips about ORA.

As this scheme is hosted by several national agencies the requirements may not be as straight forward as normal calls. We therefore advise anyone who is intending to apply to this call to come along to this session if at all possible. The session will be call specific and isn’t suitable for those interested in other ESRC or EU funding calls.

If you would like to attend please email Josine Opmeer.  This is for catering purposes and to ensure the room does not exceed its capacity. Please do also get in touch if you are interested in the call but unable to attend the session so we can circulate the key information to you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Please note: there will be no institutional peer review process for this call. Peer review of any bids to this call will be dealt with within Faculties and Schools. Should there be a specific process within your faculty you will be notified ASAP.



Inequalities Research Lunchtime Café @ Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building Room MR (12.22)
May 31 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Bring your lunch and join us for the final Inequalities Research Lunchtime Café of the term!

The cafés offer a working group environment where members discuss and learn from each other about inequalities research from a range of perspectives including theory, methodology, fieldwork practice, and cross-sector cooperation.


Joining this  month’s café will be Meenakshi Sarkar, researcher at the Leeds University Business School, and Gill Crawshaw, Development Worker at PSI Network and Forum Central.

Menakshi will discuss her research on occupational segregation and equal opportunities, considering how inequality of access to education and knowledge creates a divide in labour markets.

Gill will talk about third sector involvement in health and social care strategy, focusing on a current project on accessibility of local businesses for disabled people.

Further information

Click here to learn more about the Inequalities Research Network, or to become a member.


LSSI Public Event: Reimagining the Future of Urban Public Space @ The Great Hall
Jun 5 all-day

This one day event will bring together academics (from diverse disciplines) and practitioners to explore the current challenges facing, and ways of reinvigorating, urban public space. It will explore both a number of contemporary themes and the manner in which these are played out in different types of public spaces – such as parks and green spaces; brownfield regeneration areas; market areas; and commercial and retail zones. Our intention is to deliver the conference around these significant themes and to provide a forum to debate current issues and explore new collaborations.   Potential questions for consideration include how might urban space be thought about and used in the future? What purposes might public space seek to secure? What are the core values of ‘publicness’ in public spaces?  And how do public spaces become sustainable?

The conference has been organised around the following key objectives:

  • to build new and enhance existing relations with external partners working in the design, management and governance of public space
  • to foster inter-disciplinary conversations and public debate about the future use, purpose and value of urban public space given the current social, economic and environmental challenges
  • to generate new research questions and future research collaborations and possibly to propose new experiments in the form and uses of public space in the city of Leeds for possible implementation
  • to bring together researchers across the social sciences, arts and humanities in Leeds working on aspects of urban public space and show-case existing and ongoing work and its impact


What we traditionally conceive of as ‘the public’ sphere is on the retreat: public services are at the mercy of austerity policies, public housing is being sold off or outsourced and the privatisation of public space is resulting in fears of exclusive urban developments and the ‘death of the public realm’. In a relentlessly neoliberal climate, the ‘urban commons’ offers an alternative to the 20th century battle between public and private. The idea of land or services that are commonly owned and managed speaks to a 21st-century sensibility of ‘participative citizenship’ and ‘peer-to-peer production’.

Programme (which is subject to change)

9.00 – 9.45am Registration and Coffee/Tea
9.45 – 10.00am Introduction/Welcome, Professor Jeremy Higham, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law, University of Leeds, and Professor Adam Crawford, Director of Leeds Social Sciences Institute, University of Leeds
10.00 – 11.30am Keynote Speakers:

Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology, Open University

Allison Dutoit, Gehl Architects
11.30 – 11.45am Break
11.45 – 1.00pm  Parallel Workshops – Types of Urban Spaces: 
Workshop 1: Parks and green spaces

Urban parks are at a critical juncture with regard to future sustainability and, for some, green spaces are under-utilised assets. For instance, the DCLG Select Committee Inquiry calls for a re-invigoration of the role of the contemporary park in relation to  health and well-being, the local economy, climate change, flood risk management, social cohesion, education and green infrastructure alongside leisure and recreation.

This workshop will engage with both the challenges and opportunities facing public parks, in Leeds and beyond, and how research has/can contribute to the reimagining urban parks and greenspaces.

Workshop 2: Marketplaces

Markets (indoor or street marketplaces where food and other services are sold) are important public spaces for interaction between diverse groups of people. Academic research has identified them as particularly beneficial for low income groups, migrants, elderly people and vulnerable people in general. However markets are at a critical juncture as many are owned and managed by public authorities under budgetary constraints and there a trends for the gentrification of markets which can exclude people at the margins. Leeds Kirkgate Market, one of the biggest markets in Europe mirrors some of these issues. This workshop will discuss the wider challenges of markets as public inclusive spaces and their future.

Workshop 3: City centre commercial areas

Further information to follow

Workshop 4: Edge regeneration areas

Leeds is an example of a core city that continues to expand.  As a city centres it continues to push out in many directions creating a novel development dynamic where it meets other areas. Key questions emerge including how do patterns of land ownership and value change, what new functions emerge, what are the approaches to design and placemaking, how is connectivity and sustainability ensured, what relationships are established with neighbouring inner-city low income communities, what attention is given to measure to promote inclusive growth? These are crucial issues to explore to ensure that edge urban regeneration areas continue to deliver prosperity for all.

Workshop 5: University campus as ‘living lab’

The University of Leeds Living Lab for sustainability creates a space where innovation and research can be tried and tested, driving us to think and operate differently. It provides a fantastic opportunity to pilot or trial scalable, interdisciplinary sustainability research in collaboration with students and academic, operational and professional staff, using the University as a test bed.

This workshop will provide a brief overview of our Living Lab programme and share some current projects through case studies, before opening a conversation and opportunity to suggest and develop future ideas. The Living Lab is open to everyone, whether it’s a research-led campus design project addressing the challenges of climate change, trialling new sustainability initiatives with staff or students, or integrating biodiversity and wellbeing. It’s about people, processes and infrastructure and focusses on the cultural and social sciences as well as the STEM subjects.

1.00 – 1.45 pm Lunch
1.45 – 3.00 pm Parallel Workshops – Thematic Focus:
Workshop 6: Regulating public space

Public spaces are often contested spaces in terms of competing use and perceptions of (dis)orderliness. This workshop will focus on the challenges to regulating public spaces in ways that are welcoming, inclusive and safe yet avoid being overly ordered, sterile and securitised. Both in the day-time and night-time, a key attraction of the city is its vibrancy, diversity and cultural heterogeneity. For many, however, the city’s public spaces (specific places at particular times) can be hostile and unwelcoming to certain social groups – as evoked in various programmes to ‘reclaim the city’. It will consider different modes and styles of regulation and their appropriateness for reimagining the future of public space.

Workshop 7: Co-production/public engagement

Coproduction has gained popularity in recent years as a way to collectively diagnose urban challenges and coproduce solutions which have greater durability and effectiveness. It is a useful method which can encourage individuals to work together across workplace silos and interstitial practices. This workshop will explore the multiple ways in which coproduction can be used in leeds, focusing particularly on how to facilitate public access to information and how to build up common assets that can make communities more resilient and sustainable.

Workshop 8: Multifunctional Urban Green Space

What functions are involved and what processes are available to minimise conflicts between these, and to maximise performance and value?

Subjects to be covered include amenity, recreation, active travel, flood prevention, biodiversity, pollination, microclimates, urban cooling, carbon sequestration, air pollution mitigation, urban agriculture, community engagement, commercial potential.

Workshop 9: Clean air and liveable streets

This workshop explores ways of creating inclusive streets and roads where everyone can move about freely, without the threat of traffic pollution and pedestrian casualties and deaths. Getting to the places where activities happen is such a basic requirement that it is often overlooked. Yet this can lead to wider problems of social exclusion, and car dependency, as well as unsafe exposure to traffic. Fairer allocation of road spaces, and removal of barriers to movement on foot, plays a vital part in determining whether people can participate in social, economic, political and cultural activities. We will discuss what really needs to happen to create public spaces where transport pollution is at legal and then safe levels and yet people have the mobility and accessibility they need to fully participate in society.  

Workshop 10: Reimagining Accessible  Public Space: Politics, Rights and Research

Despite twenty years of disability discrimination law and a range of campaigning activities, many urban public spaces continue to present accessibility and usability barriers for disabled and older people. This has recently been the subject of the House of Commons’ Women and equality Committee’s report, and recommendations, on ‘Disability and the Built Environment’. Technology has the potential to remove and reduce barriers as well as to exacerbate and create new forms of exclusion. This workshop will introduce academic and NGO research already carried out in the field and explore areas where there is a particular need for further co-produced research.

3.00 – 3.15 pm Break
3.15 – 4.30 pm Round Table/Panel Discussion
  with Anna Minton, Journalist/Author, University of East London; Matthew Bradbury, Parks Alliance; Irena Bauman, Architect; Lee Arnell, South Bank Development
4.30 – 4.45 pm Concluding Reflections
5.00 – 6.30 pm Networking Reception (Parkinson Court)

Delegates can get involved by following and live tweeting from the event using the hashtag #ReFUPS

Register for this event


Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Job title (required)

School / Department (required)

University / Organisation (required)

Speaker Biographies

Sophie Watson – Professor of Sociology in the Open University. Street markets as sites of sociality, cultural practices and innovation have been a longstanding area of her research since her study of Street Markets as Spaces of Social Interaction for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and her subsequent appointment as special adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Retail Street Markets in London.

Allison Dutoit – An Associate with Gehl Architects, she holds a position in the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment and the University of the West of England. Allison has practiced and taught in the United States, Denmark and the United Kingdom, as a building architect and as an urban designer, she is a regular guest critic and lecturer. She has led strategic and urban design work in the UK and Europe, and regularly deliver workshops and lectures.

Irena Bauman – Director of Bauman Lyons Architects and Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Her current practice based research is concerned with how architecture can facilitate local communities to mitigate, adapt and become more resilient. She recently completed research projects to develop Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and is currently working on Innovate UK projects developing MassBespoke digitally enabled construction system. She is author of How to be a Happy Architect (2008; Blag Dog Publications) which challenges architectural establishment to be more in tune with the needs of communities and she is currently writing a book entitled Retrofitting Neighbourhoods –Designing for Resilience collating some international case studies of transformative change at neighbourhood scale.

Ken Worpole – Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University. He has served on the UK government’s Urban Green Spaces Task Force, on the Expert Panel of the Heritage Lottery Fund, and as an adviser to the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes many books on architecture, landscape and public policy. His principal interests concern the planning and design of new landscapes and public institutions, whether parks, playgrounds, libraries – as well as in townscape renewal and new urban green networks – and learning the lessons of 20th century urban democracy and the rise of the environmental movement. His publications include: New Jerusalem: the good city and the good society (2015, Swedenborg Society), Here Comes the Sun: Architecture and Public Space in 20th-century European Culture (2000, Reakion Books), Towns for People (1992, Open University Press).

David Lambert – Director of the Parks Agency, a consultancy specialising in public parks. He was previously the first Conservation Officer for the Garden History Society for ten years. He has been a research fellow at both the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies at the University of York, 1984-88, and at the School of Conservation Studies at De Montfort University, 1990-93. David Lambert was an expert panel member for the Heritage Lottery Fund from its inception in 1996 until 2002, helping to establish and oversee its Urban Parks Programme. He has been a special adviser to a number of House of Commons Select Committee inquiries including the 1999 inquiry into town and country parks, and the 2000 inquiry into cemeteries.

Anna Minton – Writer and journalist and Reader in Architecture at the University of East London. Between 2011 and 2014, she was the Royal Commission’s Fellow in the Built Environment and in 2013 she joined the University of East London, where with Doug Spencer, she co-directors the MRes programme ‘Reading the Neoliberal City’. Anna Minton is author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City (2012, Penguin Books).

Matthew Bradbury – Chair and Chief Executive of the Parks Alliance. The Parks Alliance was established in 2013 by 40 key sector executives from across the UK to provide a single unified voice for parks and green spaces and to address the serious funding crisis in the sector. He has been Chief Executive of Nene Park Trust since July 2015.

Lee Arnell – Principal Regeneration Officer at Leeds City Council. He manages the delivery of the South Bank, Leeds regeneration programme – one of the largest city centre regeneration initiatives in Europe that will double the size of Leeds City Centre.


Public perceptions of inequality in changing times: Implications for politics and society @ School of Sociology and Social Policy, Social Sciences Building, Room 12.21/25
Jun 12 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

In recent years, there have been marked changes in the ordering of inequalities and social difference. Despite this, there is continued ambivalence in what the general public think about inequality and public policy responses to it. To temper inequalities of outcome and opportunity, social policy must effectively engage with and respond to this ambivalence. In this regard, sociological enquiry into public perceptions of inequality can provide insight into processes shaping the nature of public dissent, consent and institutional legitimacy surrounding inequality.

If social policymaking is shaped and constrained by public attitudes and policy preferences, this presents a number of important questions for sociology and social policy as academic disciplines and applied fields. How are the causes and consequences of inequality understood and justified by the general public? Why is it that extensive concerns about inequalities sit alongside distaste for redistribution and more punitive attitudes to certain forms of welfare? What role do public perceptions of inequality play in shaping the collective identity and orientation of social citizens? How do socio-economic inequalities relate to people’s beliefs about moral belonging? What bearing does this have on the progressive potential and direction of social and public policy?

To answer these questions, this half-day colloquium is organised by the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds in partnership with the Leeds Inequalities Research Network.

The event brings together a range of speakers to explore the ambivalent nature of public attitudes towards poverty, inequality, welfare and redistribution. This includes examination of everyday experiences and understandings of inequality and what bearing this has on the identity and policy preferences of individuals across the income distribution. In light of the evidence presented, the colloquium closes with a collective panel discussion to consider what challenges and opportunities this presents for progressive social and public policy in both the short and long term.


  • 1:00-1:10 – Welcome and Introduction
  • 1:10-1:50 –  “Why do people put up with inequality?”, Dr Wendy Bottero, University of Manchester
  • 1:50-2:30 – “Public perceptions of inequality and social structure”, Professor Sarah Irwin, University of Leeds
  • 2:30-2:40 – Break
  • 2:40-3:10 – “The ‘sociological imagination’ of unequal citizens”, Dr Daniel Edmiston, University of Leeds
  • 3:10-3:50 – “Nostalgia narratives? Pejorative attitudes to welfare in historical perspective”, Professor John Hudson, University of York
  • 3:50-4:25 – Facilitated Panel Discussion
  • 4:25-4:30 – Close

Registration and further information

To secure a place at this event, please register here.

Click here for further information about the location of this event.

LSSI Workshop – Researching Lives through Time: Qualitative Approaches @ Liberty Building
Jun 15 @ 9:45 am – Jun 16 @ 5:00 pm

Professor Bren Neale, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds will lead this two day methodology course which will provide a detailed introduction to Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) research methods.

The course will establish the significance and value of dynamic approaches to social enquiry and show how time is not simply a vehicle for a study, the medium through which it is conducted (as in classic longitudinal approaches) but is also a rich theoretical construct and topic of enquiry that drives the generation and analysis of data.

It will also highlight the power of QL research to discern the factors that shape the life course, to understand how and why changes and continuities occur, for whom, and under what circumstances (as opposed to a more narrow and surface picture of what changes and when, across broad segments of the population).

The course will be tailored to the needs of established researchers who are interested in dynamic approaches to social enquiry and wish to update or refresh their skills to support their current or future research. It will be delivered through a series of four lectures, four interactive workshops, and the provision of power point handouts and reading lists.



9.45-10.00 Registration and overview of the day
10.00-11.00 Lecture One: Researching Lives Dynamically through Time: Introduction

This session will give a broad introduction to Qualitative Longitudinal Research. We will trace the gradual development of a ‘temporal’ turn in contemporary social science and explore the synergies and distinctions between varied social scientific approaches that engage centrally with time, namely social anthropology, sociological community re-studies; and biographical and life course research. We will examine how these fields engage with time, considering, in particular the tempo and framing of these studies; the directional gaze of the researcher (prospective – retrospective); and the micro-macro dynamic focus of enquiry. The session will explore varied planes of time, and suggest new ways of drawing productive links between temporal theory and method.

11.15 -11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Workshop One: Generating Temporal Insights. Delegates will gain a greater appreciation of the conceptual building blocks for life course research (turning points, transitions, trajectories). They will try out varied ways to generate temporal data through one to one interviewing, before re-convening to share insights and observations.
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Lecture Two: Crafting Temporal Field Enquiry

This session will explore different approaches to the design and conduct of dynamic research, including the complex mix of ethnographic, interview based and documentary methods used to generate temporal data. The idea of temporal research as a craft, as much as a robust social scientific mode of enquiry will be introduced, and the rich repertoire of field methods and techniques designed to ‘capture’ time in the field, and to engage with and maintain samples over time will be explored and illustrated. Achieving a balance between depth and breadth of data generation is a particular issue in temporal research, one that impacts on sampling strategies and the choice of field settings. Creative ways of sampling, for example, through cross generational designs, will be outlined.

15.15.-15.30 Break
15.30-17.00 Workshop Two: Temporal Research Design. Delegates will work in small groups to design a study that engages with time, drawing on the principles of temporal logic, framing and sampling set out in the lecture.
17:00 Close


9.45-10.00 Registration and overview of the day
10.00-11.00 Lecture Three: The Ethics of Temporal Research

This session will begin with an overview of the key principles of qualitative research ethics and go on to consider how the need for ethical literacy is magnified and inflected through temporal research. Issues will include consent as an ongoing process, sustaining ethical relationships, including the balance between reciprocity and maintaining the boundaries of professional research relationships in the field; the nature and extent of participation in long term field research, and the resolution of ethical dilemmas, using both proactive and reactive ethical strategies.

11.15 -11.30 Break
11.30-13.00 Workshop 3: Temporal ethics. Delegates will work individually and in small groups to consider, tackle and resolve a number of ethical dilemmas that might arise in the field.
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Lecture Four: The Analytical Journey: Managing/Analysing Temporal Data

This lecture will consider the key principles of managing complex temporal data for long term use and re-use, an important issue in that temporal data are both complex and extensive, even where the number of cases in a sample is relatively small. The lecture will explore the process of analysing such data, beginning with an overview of the principles of qualitative data analysis and considering the complexities of temporal analysis that involves working across three dimensions: case, theme and time.

15.15.-15.30 Break
15.30-17.00 Workshop Four: The analytical journey. Delegates will work individually and in small groups to conduct an initial analysis of data drawn from the Following Young Fathers study. They will work with selected material from interview transcripts, and analytical files such as Pen Portraits, time maps, and framework grids. Some advance preparation will be needed for this workshop; materials will be sent to delegates in advance of the course.
17:00 Close

There will be a final short plenary session at the end of the course, followed by a social event.


The course is open to all established researchers in the UK, with a number of ring fenced places available for international delegates. 25 places are available, on a first come, first served basis.

A reading list will be provided for those wishing to prepare for the course. A small amount of preparation will be needed for the final workshop.

Please note: there is a course fee of £50 for the two days for external delegates to cover the costs of refreshments and room hire.

To register please complete the online booking form.

Suggested reading

It is recommended that delegates familiarise themselves with a number of texts before attending. Access the reading list here.

Professor Bren Neale biography

Bren Neale is Emeritus Professor of Life course and Family Research (University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy, UK) and a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (elected in 2010).

She specialises in research on the dynamics of family life and inter-generational relationships, and has published widely in this field. Her recent publications present findings from the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Following Young Fathers study. She is a founding member of the journal Families, Relationships and Societies, and chair of the journal’s Editorial Management Board.

Bren is a leading expert in Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) research methodology and provides training for new and established researchers, based primarily at the University of Leeds but also internationally (see the training programme for the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, and Professional Development programme run by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute).

From 2007 to 2012 she directed the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Timescapes Initiative, as part of which she advanced QL methods across academia, and in Government and NGO settings.

Over the past decade, she has developed an international role as advisor to QL projects across a variety of fields, including health, education, sociology, social policy, employment, criminology, migration and socio-legal research. She has given many key note addresses at conferences and continues to deliver public lectures at European Universities. In November 2016 she was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Vienna, where she delivered a programme of lectures, workshops, and a public lecture on the theme of Researching Lives through Time: Qualitative approaches.

Bren’s current roles include Chair of the Advisory Board for the Welfare Conditionality QPS study (ESRC, Dwyer, York); Consultant to the Housing and Poverty QL study (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Tunstall, York); and the Family and Work QL study (JRF, Millar and Ridge, Bath); Advisor to the Pathways to the Future QPS Study (Flecker, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Vienna); and the Education to Work: Foreign Labour Market Transitions QL study (Grobowska, Youth Research Lab, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw).

In 2016, she was appointed as consultant to PATH (a global health organisation), where she is supporting the development of a study designed to track the delivery and uptake of a new health care intervention in sub-Saharan Africa.


© Copyright Leeds 2017