Research Fellow - Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Cultures

United Kingdom
£33,797 to £40,322 p.a. pro rata
Oct 18, 2020
Oct 28, 2020
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Do you possess excellent qualitative research skills, with experience of ethnographic research?

Have you completed or are you nearing completion a PhD in communication studies, sociology, politics, or education?

Can you work confidently with a range of groups to promote engagement with new research?

This is an exciting opportunity to work on the AHRC-funded research project, 'Speaking Citizens: The Politics of Speech Education 1850-Present' . The project brings together a team of researchers who aim to work with educational partners and policymakers to provide the evidence needed to make the political case for the role of speaking skills in strengthening forms of citizenship.

This project aims to investigate how ideas about speaking and listening have changed in the era of compulsory education; the impact of technology and social media on speaking and listening; and the potential changes and requirements for future education and educational reform. Professor Stephen Coleman will be leading the contemporary strand of the research, using ethnographic methods to explore contemporary practices of spoken interaction in non-formal contexts on the subject of politics. Building upon the approach adopted in his books How Voters Feel (2013) and How People Talk About Politics: Brexit and After (2020), the study will undertake immersive observation and interviews of young trade unionists, nurses, young people going through the justice system, and artistic performers to gain a more nuanced picture of how people learn to practise political talk.

A key aim will be to observe communication in real-time, regarding it as a social practice that is both learned and improvised. Observation will be in online and offline contexts, acknowledging that lives are lived across both domains - often imperceptibly.

While communication challenges are likely to differ significantly across our four ethnographic contexts, the research objective is to develop a rich picture of the ways in which young people perform citizenship. An additional aim of this study will be to reflect on the potential and actual responses of individuals to interventions designed to enhance their confidence as speaking citizens.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Professor Stephen Coleman


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