The Faculty offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught predominantly at the Chester Campus, but with provision in Public Relations and Policing taught at Warrington. A key feature of work in all four specialist subject areas below is the inter-relationship between social science and issues of everyday concern that have relevance for policy making.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Perspectives on New Gambia

    Perfect, Dr David (Informa UK Limited, 2019-02-05)
  • Characterising beach intertidal bar systems using multi‐annual LiDAR data

    Miles, Andrew; orcid: 0000-0002-4655-9729; Ilic, Suzana; Whyatt, Duncan; James, Michael R.; orcid: 0000-0002-9177-2588 (Wiley, 2019-02-05)
  • ‘Soldiering by consent’ and military-civil relations: Military transition into the public space of policing

    Murray, Emma; Taylor, Paul; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2019)
    Growth in the Armed Forces undertaking public policing is occurring in the United Kingdom and elsewhere and as such a complex security landscape emerges, both practically and conceptually. The aim here is to pose questions of the manifest and latent issues in the assemblage of multiple actors in public policing. It aks to reader to consider the implications of military actors transitioning from defence duties ordinarily associated with military work, to policing activities in public spaces. Taking the London 2012 Olympic Games as our point of reference, this article argues that to understand military presence, their role must be considered in the broader context of military and policing functions, the ‘war on terror’, accountability, and future priorities for public policing. We must be careful not to assign the presence of the military into pre-existing understandings of how mega-events should be secured – the military patrolling the streets of London represents more. Instead, as their presence comes to be legitimate in certain geopolitical contexts, critical questions must be asked especially as public and private arrangements are continually reworked in the domestic fight against terrorism.
  • Gestural repertoire size is associated with social proximity measures in wild chimpanzees

    Roberts, Anna I.; orcid: 0000-0003-1185-7897; Chakrabarti, Anwesha; Roberts, Sam G. B. (Wiley, 2019-02-01)
  • Equality at work? positive action in gender segregated apprenticeships

    Davies, Chantal; University of chester (Young Women's Trust, 2018-06)
    This research explores the attitudes towards and the use of positive action aimed at addressing gender inequality in apprenticeships offered in sectors in which women are underrepresented in England. This research has been conducted as a means of following up recommendations made in research undertaken by the Young Women’s Trust (YWT) in 2016. The YWT report recommended that where it can be shown that the number of women undertaking apprenticeships in any given sector is disproportionately low employers should consider whether they can take positive action to increase the participation of women. It was therefore considered that in the context of apprenticeships, the overwhelming gender disparity in certain sectors and in particular the attitudes towards and use of positive action in resolving this gender disparity required further exploration. The engineering, ICT and construction sectors have therefore been chosen by the researcher and the YWT due to the stark underrepresentation of women in these sectors in England. This research concludes with appropriate specific recommendations on positive action in relation to gender segregated apprenticeships in England within the particular sectors explored. However, it is hoped that these may provide a foundation for the development of wider recommendations in relation to the effective use of positive action initiatives more generally across the protected characteristics and beyond apprenticeships in the UK.
  • The politics of cycling infrastructure: introduction

    Cox, Peter; Koglin, Till; University of Chester, UK; Lund University, Sweden (Policy press, 2019)
    Introduction to edited collection. Provides an overview of the issues and introductions to chapters
  • Theorising infrastructure: a politics of spaces and edges

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Policy Press, 2019)
    As a growing number of authors demonstrate, ‘infrastructure is never neutral and always inherently political’ (Nolte 2016: 441, compare McFarlane and Rutherford 2008; Young and Keil 2009). Infrastructures of all types, whether hard (as in material structures) or soft (as in skills and knowledge) are those systems that support action. Infrastructures both provide the potential for social actions and processes and are produced by social actions and processes. In creating potential, however, infrastructures inevitably also order and govern the actions they make possible (Koglin 2017). Infrastructures organise and shape potentials, providing for some courses of action and not for others. The mechanism of ordering and governing is one of facilitation – infrastructural provision being the provision of material facilities or the facilitation of actions through social development. While certain actions are facilitated by both kinds of infrastructure, actions and practices that fall outside of its desired outcomes are rendered unruly, ungoverned, perhaps even ungovernable and deviant. Consequently, material infrastructures are not only comprised of their material dimension but also operate on discursive levels. Infrastructure’s multiple dimensions and impacts can be traced, according to Picon (2018: 263), as ‘the result of the interactions between a material basis, professional organizations and stabilized sociotechnical practices, and social imagination’. These interactions, and the constitution of those actants, are ably traced in individual chapters elsewhere in this volume. This chapter seeks to engage with a selected range of current theorisations of the politics of infrastructure, and to apply them to specific cases of cycle-specific infrastructures. It subsequently relates the ideas of social and spatial justice arising from these perspectives to bell hooks consideration of marginalisation, to consider how the patterns of marginalisation and mainstreaming revealed in the contributions to this volume might be understood through a lens of a critical and radical politics.
  • Affordable Housing

    Fernandez, Rosa; University of Chester (Springer, 2020-08-26)
    This is a piece of work that intends to make a contribution to clarify the existing information available about what affordable housing means and what it involves, linking income with house prices but also with other variables, and indicating the different perceptions and problems depending on the country of reference.
  • Telling Our Stories: Towards an Understanding of Lived Methodism

    Graham, Elaine; Llewellyn, Dawn; Edwards, Graham M. (University of Chester, 2018-12-19)
    This thesis argues that a thorough understanding of Methodism must attend to the lived experience of Methodist people, expressed within Methodist church communities. I use narrative research methods to show the nature of local Methodist identity. This research was conducted using group interviews with participants from three Methodist churches in West Yorkshire. In analysis of these interviews, a ‘narrative of place’ is revealed: this is how participants talk about the experience of their church’s ‘space’ and make sense of their belonging. It communicates a shared sense of identity in each context. Through the narrative of place, I identify the shared experience of ‘lived Methodism’ that reflects my participants’ belonging within a Methodist church and within that tradition. In 1932, three independent Methodist church groups, each with their own practical and theological emphases, united to form The Methodist Church of Great Britain. The contemporary Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place as a ‘wide’ church, accepts a diversity of practice. Therefore, attempting to define Methodist identity can be problematic. This thesis argues that Methodist identity is not merely given to the church by the Methodist Connexion, or as a function of meeting in a Methodist building, instead it is appropriated and lived locally. A series of two group interviews in three Methodist communities generates the data recorded in the form of transcripts. Using a narrative research methodology to interrogate this data, I expose the narrative of place and its three core emphases, these show how lived Methodism is revealed in my work. Initially, place and community demonstrates how community is formed locally. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus, I argue that the language of place and community functions in setting the boundaries of that particular group in both conscious and unconscious ways. The community thus governs its practice and ecclesial identity. Secondly, place and memory is outlined. In the three church narratives, memory is used to claim validity for the current expression of the community, and to articulate the values the community wishes to highlight. These two areas highlight how the local churches own and understand their identity, leading finally to an analysis of place and tradition. This demonstrates an understanding of what it means to be a Methodist church. There exists a local tradition focussed on 'being the church here and now’, which is fed by a received tradition mediated by those who are part of a broader Methodist narrative. The interface of these two modes of tradition creates a contextual Methodist tradition in each setting. I argue that it is here that a rich understanding of Methodism exists. Methodism is not a gift offered to a community, but a lived reality, claimed and valued by those who tell its story. The local narrative of place allows the lived experience of Methodism, in local church communities, to be heard and understood.
  • Cancer Experiences in People with Intellectual Disabilities

    Hulbert-Williams, Nick; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; Flynn, Samantha E. (University of Chester, 2018-12-20)
    People with intellectual disabilities are increasingly being diagnosed with cancer due, in part, to increases in life expectancy for this population. Despite the growing number of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities, the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities are under-researched. Person-centred approaches to research are needed to better understand the needs and psychosocial outcomes of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. This thesis aims to better understand the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities, and the impact on the people who support them. The thesis comprises four related studies: (1) a systematic review of psychosocial experiences of cancer in people with intellectual disabilities; (2) a qualitative study of cancer experiences in people with intellectual disabilities using thematic analysis informed by grounded theory; (3) a survey of UK oncology nurses’ attitudes and care perceptions towards people with intellectual disabilities; and (4) a feasibility study of an intervention to improve healthcare professionals’ perceptions of communicating with people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. Five themes emerged from the ten papers included in the systematic review: delayed diagnosis; information, communication, and understanding; negative psychological consequences; negative physical consequences; and social support. Six of the ten papers included data from the same ethnographic study of 13 people, highlighting a paucity of empirical research regarding the psychosocial cancer experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. The qualitative study indicated that people with intellectual disabilities were often excluded from conversations about their diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care, and expressed confusion and anxiety about their cancer. Attempts to protect them from distress inhibited communication, but where additional support was offered, participants engaged more meaningfully in their experience and this should, therefore, be encouraged. In the qualitative study, oncology nurses were reported to be important figures in the care of patients with intellectual disabilities. The survey of oncology nurses highlighted that caring for cancer patients with intellectual disabilities may intensify their already difficult role; however, previous experience may ameliorate negative consequences. This sample identified their need for training about communicating with people with intellectual disabilities. The first three studies informed the development of a novel, brief, online, video-based intervention for healthcare professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities and cancer. The feasibility trial of this intervention indicated that there were problems with recruitment, high attrition, and intervention adherence. These problems were, most likely due to participants finding the content and delivery method to be unacceptable. It is clear that the intervention is not feasible in its current format, and that further theoretical and modelling work is needed before the intervention is feasibility tested again ahead of a definitive trial. This body of work has demonstrated that people with intellectual disabilities and cancer face multiple barriers to accessing cancer care, including informative and understandable communication with healthcare professionals. With appropriate support, psychological and physical outcomes can be improved for people with intellectual disabilities and cancer, but caring for people with cancer and intellectual disabilities can be challenging for paid and informal carers, and oncology staff. Difficulties with communication are bi-directional, and improving communication might be an appropriate first step to improving cancer experiences for this population, but developing effective interventions presents numerous feasibility challenges.
  • Children’s Decisions to Support Victims of Bullying: Friend and Peer Influences and the Effects of a Cross-Age Teaching of Social Issues Intervention

    Boulton, Michael J.; Lloyd, Julian; Rodway, Paul; Marx, Hedda (University of Chester, 2018-12-17)
    Bullying among school children is a social phenomenon that is now recognised as a widespread and serious problem across the globe. While decades of research have generated valuable insights as regards prevalence, main correlates and detrimental health consequences, many questions and gaps remain. For instance, it is unclear why the great majority of peer bystanders not intervene to support victims in a bullying conflict despite holding anti-bullying beliefs. Furthermore, great efforts have been made in the area of peer support and anti-bullying initiatives however there is still no intervention that has shown to be effective long term and cross-culturally. This thesis consists of two empirical studies. To advance knowledge of factors that influence pupils’ victim support behaviour, the first study examined the role of perceived friend and peer consequences in predicting intentions to three types of help: provide emotional support, help to stop the bully and get adult support. Structural equation modelling revealed that perceived friend consequences were significantly associated with each of the victim support behaviours studied. Additionally, perceived peer reactions predicted intentions to get adult help. These findings suggest that friends play a more important role than peers in affecting victim support. Some significant gender effects emerged, showing that the overall pattern of associations held for boys, but not for girls. The findings highlight the concerns children hold with regard to their (dis)approving views related to victim support. Outcomes further suggest that victim defending should not be regarded as a broad homogeneous construct. The second study assessed the effectiveness of a cross-age teaching of social issues intervention (CATS) on enhancing pupils’ knowledge on three victim support behaviours, and their awareness of the value of helping. In small cooperative groups older pupils were invited to step into the tutor role to prepare a lesson and teach it to two years younger tutees. An experimental-control group design was employed to test participants’ performance at three time points over a six to eight week period. CATS tutors significantly improved their knowledge and awareness of the provictim behaviours studied while no positive changes were evident for participants in the control group. Furthermore, children who participated in the project expressed high satisfaction with the intervention. Based on the positive findings it was concluded that CATS is a viable technique for enhancing pupils’ knowledge and awareness on prosocial topics. Helping children to see the value of supporting victims of bullying, in any of the ways studied, could help them avoid anticipating negative reactions from friends and peers, and in turn make it more likely that they would choose to help if the need arose.
  • The high prevalence of pre-existing mental health complaints in clients attending Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre: implications for initial management and engagement with the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service at the Centre

    Manning, Daisy; Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya; Mattison, Michelle Louise Ann Marie; White, Catherine; University of Manchester Medical School; Saint Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019)
    Background: The Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre has a unique service delivery model whereby it provides an integrated physical and psychological support services to clients, women men and children, living in Greater Manchester. The service is available to those who have reported rape or sexual assault, whether this is recent or historic. Clients living in surrounding areas of Cheshire are provided with forensic and medical services at Saint Mary’s Centre, with follow-up care provided locally, as appropriate. Aims: The primary objective was to identify the prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints amongst adult clients who attended Saint Mary’s Centre for a forensic medical examination. The secondary objective was to consider levels of engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service by comparing clients who reported a mental health complaint to clients who did not. Method: One-hundred and eighty sets of client’s notes from 2016 were retrospectively analysed. Client inclusion criteria were that they were (a) over the age of 18 years when attending the Centre, (b) had attended for a forensic medical examination. Results: 69% of clients analysed reported a pre-existing mental health complaint. The time taken for clients to present to Saint Mary’s Centre following a reported assault tended to be later for the clients with self-reported mental health problems than those without. However, there was no difference in the long-term engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service at the Centre between the two groups. Conclusion: Prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints is extremely high in clients presenting at Saint Mary’s Centre as compared to national and regional prevalence rates for mental health complaints in the general population. The vulnerability of this client group should be considered when they attend a SARC and support provided should be appropriate and accessible to their needs. Staff should have adequate training and supervision to be able to respond in this way.
  • Preface

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester (German Environment Agency / European Cyclists' Federation, 2018-11)
    Preface to volume
  • Social practices and the importance of context

    Cox, Peter; Bunte, Heike; University of Chester: German Environment Agency (German Environment Agency / European Cyclists' Federation, 2018-11)
    Social practice theory provides insight not only for analysis of existing social habits but also into their formation. Better understanding of the complexity of practices also allows insight into their relative degrees of obduracy: the potential for change or resistance to change. Characteristic of much work in recent analysis of cycling promotion is a tendency towards abstract generalization that ignores the specificities of practices as they occur in given locations. Cycling practices are not only located in space but also in time, and meanings, competencies and technologies are all inheritors of particular histories. This paper argues that much current promotional activity and research into changing behaviour is problematic inasmuch as it is ahistorical, lacking in analysis of the social and political forces that are responsible for the sedimentation of current practices. Following Oosterhuis’ (2016) argument, the paper argues that without embedding analysis of transport processes in a much broader context, that pays heed to forms of governance, citizenship, the relative competencies of different levels of polity and the ways in which these forces are historically constructed, interventions aimed at behavioural change have little chance of success. Developing the work of Aldred (2010) on cycling and citizenship and Shove (2015) on social practice and policy, the paper links these to the field of comparative environmental politics (Steinberg & Van Deever 2012) through a lens of historical analysis. Drawing on a survey of over 100 recent papers analysing problems and interventions designed to promote modal shift in general and toward cycling in particular, the paper considers the degree to which these are sensitive to the social political and historical forces against which they operate. It then uses a comparison between historic campaigns for change in the UK and Germany to argue that the impact of interventions is less to do with their design than with the political context into which they are introduced.
  • The Penal Voluntary Sector: A Hybrid Sociology

    Tomczak, Philippa; Buck, Gillian (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-01-09)
  • By any other name? The impacts of differing assumptions, expectations and misconceptions in bringing about resistance to student-staff ‘partnership’

    Healey, Ruth; Lerczak, Alex; Welsh, Katharine; France, Derek; University of Chester (McMaster University, 2019)
    Most of the existing literature on student-staff partnership explores the experiences of people who are keen to be involved and who have already bought into the ethos of students as partners. We explore the challenges of conducting student-staff partnership in the context of resistance. Specifically, we focus on the interpretations of ‘partnership’ by students and staff who were attempting to work in partnership for the first time. The views of the participants were captured during a six-month project in which four undergraduate students were employed to work with eight academics to re-design the second-year undergraduate curriculum on one programme. Notwithstanding an introductory briefing and on-going support, some participants showed indications of resistance. Our findings suggest that different perspectives on ‘partnership’ influenced participants’ experiences. We argue that assumptions and misconceptions around the terminology used to describe ‘students as partners’ practice may hinder the process itself, as some people may not ‘buy-in’ to the practice. However, despite the challenges of this project, the experience of being involved has led to reduced resistance and emerging partnership practices throughout the department.
  • Sensory ethnography and film interpretation: sociological readings of historical archives

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-06-19)
    Recent work in sensory ethnography, especially as applied to the study of mobilities makes extensive use of video recording as a means of making field notes. A body of literature has built up around these mobile methodologies and the practices of interpretation connected with using this data. Drawing on these approaches to mobile methods and visual research the author undertook a six month study to explore the sensory experiences of cycle riders as urban (and peri-urban) travellers. At the same time, investigations were undertaken using conventional analyses of photographic and written archive materials to locate current practices in historical contexts. During the course of this investigation it became clear that there were also film documentary sources that could inform this research. This then raised a question as to whether existing historical film sources could be “read” and interpreted using the same analytical frameworks deployed for the interpretation of the video field notes captured in the investigation of sensory experiences. This chapter outlines the methodological procedures involved in the analysis and the result of initial attempts to deploy these in relation to historical sources. By connecting approaches developed in the context of digital recording of mobile experience to extant analogue film sources it considers whether such connections can enable a richer understanding of historical mobile subjects. While visual analysis suggests that film-makers’ intentions, especially in framing and editing their subject matter, are always inescapable, interpretative practices applied to digital recordings of public space today suggest there may be value in considering incidental “background” mobilities in historical documentary film and incidentally explains how a critical sociologist comes to be developing historical research tools.
  • Cycling: a sociology of vélomobility

    Cox, Peter; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-04-08)
    Cycling: a Sociology of Vélomobility explores cycling as a sociological phenomenon. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, it considers the interaction of materials, competences and meanings that comprise a variety of cycling practices. What might appear at first to be self-evident actions are shown to be constructed though the interplay of numerous social and political forces. Using a theoretical framework from mobilities studies, its central themes respond to the question of what is it about cycling that provokes so much interest and passion, both positive and negative. Individual chapters consider how cycling has appeared as theme and illustration in social theory and considers the legacies of these theorizations. It expands on the image of cycling practices as product of an assemblage of technology, rider and environment. Riding spaces as material technologies are found to be as important as the machineries of the cycle, and a distinction is made between routes and rides to help interpret aspects of journey-making. Ideas of both affordance and script are used to explore how elements interact in performance to create sensory and experiential scapes. Consideration is also given to the changing identities of cycling practices in historical and geographical perspective. The book adds to existing research by extending the theorisation of cycling mobilities. It engages with both current and past debates on the place of cycling in mobility systems and the problems of researching, analysing and communicating ephemeral mobile experiences.
  • Fieldwork@40: fieldwork in geography higher education

    France, Derek; Haigh, Martin; University of Chester; Oxford Brookes University (Taylor & Francis, 2018-09-09)
    Fieldwork is the most powerful learning invitation in the toolkit of Geographical Education. This review of papers in The Journal of Geography in Higher Education (JGHE) suggests seven modes in the development of fieldwork. These are arrayed as a kind of historical, perhaps evolutionary, sequence but most remain current in Geography fieldwork practice. At the far end (1960s) of the sequence are didactic modes that are teacher centred and use the field as an adjunct to the classroom, in the middle (1990s) are modes that involve active learning and focus on the development of students as investigators and at the near end (2010s) are those that centred on the field study area and its qualities, that involve concern about the ethics of student engagement and that employ blended learning technologies. The review charts the JGHE’s gradual shift away from its original, almost exclusively, UK-focus toward something rather more international and inclusive. Fieldwork is where Geographers learn “from doing” Geography to “do” Geography. Its special attributes include providing experiential, sometimes transformative, learning through the immersion of the learner in the field experience. In 40 years, JGHE has helped Geography Fieldwork move from the margins of the curriculum to its current place at its core.

View more