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Personal profile

Research interests

My research analyses legal constructions of racialised and gendered identities and how these identities are negotiated by those who are subject(ed) to their force.

My monograph, Marriage, Gender and Refugee Migration (Rutgers University Press, 2021) won the British Sociological Association 2022 Philip Abrams Prize for the best sole-authored first book in the discipline of Sociology. Based on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork as well as interview data, the book provides empirical evidence on intimacy, gender roles and family life following refugee migration. Described as "not only brilliant but beautiful too" (Bridget Anderson), the book develops the use of ethnopoetics as a tool by which the reflexive sociologist can interrogate the production of narratives in interactional settings. You can hear me talk about this method and the book here. I continue this interest in innovative and creative methodologies through involvement in the Digital Futures Institute on research projects relating to emerging technologies and familial care.

With colleagues, I am involved in multiple research projects investigating the harms of safeguarding policies relating to female genital cutting, inaugerated by our ground-breaking report When Safeguarding Becomes Stigmatizing. I also have investigated multi-handed prosecutions of Child Sexual Exploitation and the experiences of migrant defendants and their family members in criminal prosecutions. This is an ethnography originally funded by the Journal for Law and Society.

I have a long-standing research interest in asylum and immigration law and its application. I am accredited with the Law Society as a Senior Immigration Caseworker and have over ten years of experience as a practitioner. I have published on topics including: the ongoing effects of colonialism in the UK border regime and the application of the Refugee Convention; the role of legal representatives in cultural translation and the drafting of witness statements for immigration appeals; and the gendered and ethnicised imagining of ‘Britishness’ in the regulation of marriage-related migration to the UK. I am a member of the Specialist Research Institute, Migration Mobilities Bristol, where I currently hold the role of Research Challenge Coordinator for Control, Conflict and Resistance. I am also a trustee of Bristol Refugee Rights. 

My PhD, supervised by Esther Dermott and Katharine Charsley, was awarded unconditionally from the University of Bristol in 2017, and received the Hilary Hartley prize for the best thesis of the year in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. I join SPS following two years as a post-doctoral researcher in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University.

External positions

Trustee, Bristol Refugee Rights

31 Oct 2031 → …

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • SPS Children and Families Research Centre
  • Gender Research Group
  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship

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