Research advisory group

We are very fortunate to have the support of the following academic advisors to the project:


John Goodwin is Professor in Sociology at the University of Leicester. His principal research interests include the sociology of work, (especially youth and gender), research methods (life histories, auto/biography, data re-use, archival and ‘non-standard’ data) as well as the history of sociology. Reflecting these interests John has recently edited three major works for SAGE – Biographical Methods, Secondary Analysis and, with Jason Hughes, Human Documents and Archival Research. With Henrietta O’Connor, John conducted the highly rated ESRC funded From Young Workers to Older Workers project – research that uniquely combined secondary analysis with the tracing of respondents from the 1960s for restudy. Along with Andy Furlong and Henrietta O’Connor he is currently working on another ERSC funded project Making the ‘Precariat’: Unemployment, Insecurity and Work-Poor Young Adults in Harsh Economic Conditions. John is an Associate editor of the Journal of Youth Studies and an editorial board member of the Industrial Relations Journal.


Andy Furlong is an educational sociologist and Professor of Social Inclusion and Education at the University of Glasgow. His research interests revolve around the experiences of young people in education and their transitions from education to employment. He also has interests in youth cultures and lifestyles, young people’s health related behaviours, risk, crime and political engagement. His personal website provides an overview of current activities and interests and details of current projects and new publications.


Rob MacDonald is Professor in Sociology at the University of Teesside. His research interests span sociology, criminology, social policy and youth studies and he is deputy editor of the Journal of Youth Studies. Rob has been principal investigator or co-investigator on a series of five projects that comprise the Teesside Studies of Youth Transitions and Social Exclusion. Beginning in the late 1990s and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, these studies have examined the long-term transitions of young adults growing up in contexts of multiple deprivation and social exclusion. Recently, this extensive qualitative research has been used as the basis for critical engagement with sociological questions and social policy orthodoxies about the ‘low-pay, no-pay cycle’ and ‘intergenerational cultures of worklessness’.


Henrietta O’Connor is Professor in Sociology at the University of Leicester. Henrietta’s principal research interests focus on the Sociology of Work, in particular debates around transitions to and from the labour market. For example, together with John Goodwin, she has carried out research and published widely in aspects of transition such as young people’s transition from school to work and, more recently, older worker’s transitions out of the labour market and in to retirement. Another area of research is concerned with community restudies. With John Goodwin, she is currently working on restudies of the three inter-related projects all originally carried out in Leicester during the 1950s and 1960s: the Young Worker Project which is focused on the transition from school to work in one community; the Married Women’s Study, a study of married women workers employed in a Leicester textile factory in the 1960s and based on work by Pearl Jephcott in Bermondsey; and the Established and Outsiders, a study of a community known as Winston Parva, carried out by Norbert Elias and John Scotson in the late 1950s. Henrietta also has an active interest in research methods, including the secondary analysis of qualitative data and the use of the internet as a research tool.


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