My research considers Muslim representation in the mainstream media with the aim of presenting an insight into its inner complexities. I present a theoretical case for understanding Muslim representation through the lens of political and social contestation, drawing on a theoretical framework based on Stuart Hall’s cultural hegemonic analysis of the media. In particular, my thesis focuses on exploring how journalists as cognisant mediators of this contested terrain understand and act in terms of Muslim representation. For this reason, I supplement Hall’s theory with a deeper exploration of the structure-agency dichotomy, and in particular the role of journalistic autonomy – a perspective significantly underdeveloped in Hall’s own work.
My wider research interests include: media and journalism; ideology, discourse and rhetoric; race and multiculturalism; ethnicity and religion, particularly in relation to Muslims and Islam; discourse analysis and discursive psychology.
My research interests are grounded in my work experience. For ten years prior to starting my doctoral research I worked as an international business journalist based in the Middle East, interviewing CEOs and senior government officials. Before this, I worked for several years in political communications for a consultancy at the heart of Westminster, tracking social policy and researching high-profile political events for government agencies and departments.
On a personal basis, I am highly committed to equality issues. I currently serve as the academic representative on the BAME staff network and committee member of the SPAIS Athena Swan self-assessment team. I also serve on the committee of the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership group - a new local Muslim organisation - advising on media and research issues and building projects to encourage public engagement with University of Bristol.
PhD Sociology (Current) - University of Bristol (2021)
PG Diploma Social Science Research Methods - University of Bristol
MA International Journalism (Distinction) - Edinburgh Napier University
MSc (Econ) Social Research - Cardiff University
BSc (Hons) Psychology (2:1) - University of Warwick
Undergraduate Unit: Thinking Sociologically (2017/18; 2018/19; 2019/20)
Academic lead, BAME Staff Network, University of Bristol
Committee Member, SPAIS Athena SWAN self-assessment team
Strategic Group Committee Member, Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group
MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association) Annual Conference 2020 – ‘The Journalist’s Perspective: Rethinking Muslim Representation in the Media’
4th Annual Conference on Communication and Media Studies (2019) – ‘Rethinking Media Discourse on British Muslims’
Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2019 – ‘Rethinking Mainstream Democratic Media Discourse on British Muslims’
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Emerging Scholar Award at 4th International Conference on Communication and Media Studies
The Sociological Review for ECR conference funding 2019.
ESRC IAA PhD Networking Award 2019
Co-investigator – ‘Policing and Muslims in Bristol: Promoting more Inclusive and Responsive Services’. Joint research project between BMSLG, Avon and Somerset Police and University of Bristol (2021).
Co-investigator – ‘Political and civic engagement of Muslims in Bristol’. Joint research project between BMSLG and University of Bristol (2019)
Written evidence to All Party Parliamentary Group on Religion in the Media – Inquiry into Religious Literacy in Print and Broadcast Media (2019)
Additional Research Training
Corpus Linguistics (Lancaster University 2019)
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