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Ethnicity, Class and Consumption - Continuity and change in ethnic minority cultural practice in the UK

Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences

About the Project

This research topic focuses on the intersections of ethnicity, class and consumption in contemporary British, and multi-ethnic spaces. In particular, the research will explore not only aspects which demonstrate changes in modes and patterns of consumption within settled and recently arrived ethnic minority communities, but also assess the extent to which some elements of cultural practice remain. By doing so, this research helps offer greater context around notions of belonging, citizenship and how identities are more accurately framed and examined through the overlapping lenses of class, locale, gender, age and taste.

Specific, though not exclusive sites of cultural practice may include, for example, weddings/marriage rituals and traditions, changes in dining culture, the consumption of media (film, music, literature, etc) as well as homes and their and renovations. This project hinges on identifying unusual, but also banal, zones of class and ethnic practice within the broader context of multi-ethnic cities.

While the researcher will need to demonstrate some familiarity with existing research literature around ethnic identity, consumption, social mobility and social class, the research will use a qualitative approach to generating data. This could be, for example, a project which uses ethnography as its primary methodology but similarly, use of focus groups, semi structured and unstructured interviews may also be appropriate.

As you might be able to infer, this is very much an intersectional, and multi-stranded piece of sociological research. We are hopeful that interested candidates can come up with novel, interesting but well thought out research proposals. To this end, the supervisor encourages interested candidates to discuss the focus of the research and its methodology.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. UK/EU applicants may be able to access the Doctoral Loan from Student Finance.

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