We’re delighted to announce the winners of our first Kick Start Grants competition. The scheme is designed to support individuals or small teams of early career researchers pursuing field-based sociological research. We’ll hear more about these projects as the year progresses but for now we’re pleased to introduce our first cohort of Kick Start fellows and their projects.
Anna Di Ronco (University of Essex)
The title of the project is ‘Law in action: local-level and collaborative governance of prostitution in two European cities’. The cities are Antwerp (Belgium) and Catania (Italy). The project focuses on two European cities where – in spite of the national legal framework that criminalises prostitution-related activities – relevant stakeholders (including local administrators, the police, residents’ groups, third-sector and sex workers’ associations) have established partnerships and devised initiatives aimed at more effectively co-governing prostitution at the local level. Ultimately, the research aims at identifying best practices in the local collaborative governance of prostitution that could inform the regulation of prostitution in other European contexts.
Eva Duda-Mikulin (University of Bradford)
The focus of this project is to consider how disability studies and migration studies may be brought into further conversation with one another to the benefit of both disabled people and migrants. Historically, disability studies have ignored the experiences of people who migrate, while migration studies frequently exclude disabled people. This is a surprising omission from both fields of study given that many disabled people are migrants and many migrants are disabled people.
Nikki Fairchild (University of Chichester)
My project proposal engages with posthuman methodologies to unsettle humanist visions of subjectivity and professional identity for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) professionals. I intend to explore how ECEC Professionals (working with children from birth to five) negotiate classrooms and outdoor spaces to reveal ecological relational connections with human and non-human bodies activating expanded forms of subjectivity and enactments within a more-than-human world. Adopting a 'walking-with' methodology ensures humans are not the only ‘object’ of study but that a host of other materialities, affects, elements, things and objects deserve attention as vital ontological players. In this conception matter has agentic potential and breaking nature: culture binaries open up more generative visions for relational more-than-human connections which can help theorise ‘other-than-socially-constructed components of subjectivity’.
Lisa Morriss (University of Birmingham)
The aim of the project is to explore the inscription of tattoos as an element of haunted motherhood experienced by mothers who live apart from their child(ren) as a result of state-ordered court removal. It builds on my work in the SR Stigma monograph. The mothers may carry images and the names of their children on their body in the form of tattoos. The tattoo can be seen as a way of embodying motherhood; allowing the mothers to keep their child(ren) with them - etched in their skin - until reunification
Elsa Thaiparambil Oommen (University Warwick)
The project is to conduct a pilot study on long term Caribbean migrants’ experiences of rights and restrictions in the UK, using the methods of archival research and semi-structured interviews. Drawing from Foucauldian methods of analysis, this proposed pilot study uses the concept of ‘dividing practices’ to understand historic and contemporary bordering practices of the UK state, to conceptualise a 'continuum of rights and restrictions' in the lives of long term Caribbean migrants in the UK.
Gareth Thomas (Cardiff University)
Gareth’s proposed project will explore the growing presence of positive disability imaginaries enacted through popular media (e.g. TV/film, newspaper articles, blogs/social networks), and how parents of disabled children create, negotiate, and/or resist configurations seemingly designed to enact a more visible and rounded portrayal of disability. Through textual analysis and interviews with parents of children with Down’s syndrome, he will examine how popular positive imaginaries of disability chime with, challenge, and/or complicate parents’ everyday experiences, especially in the context of a diminishing welfare system, increasing sanctions, rising disability hate crimes, and the deaths of people with disabilities.