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Research Profile

Dr Stuart Tannock 

Dr Stuart Tannock
Position:Senior Lecturer
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 75113
contact info:

Address:Room 0.74, Glamorgan Building

Research Interests

My research interests focus on four distinct but related areas of work:

  1. Critical Youth Studies:  How is “youth” constructed as a social category, concept and identity in contemporary society? What political interests and ideological agendas are at stake in public, policy and media claims made about youth, and in the name of youth? How should we understand the growing interest in youth empowerment, youth participation, youth leadership and youth voice?
  2. Education in a Global Context:  Much of our educational theory, research and ideology has been constructed at the national level. But as education is increasingly shaped by global forces, and even organized globally, how does our thinking about educational practice and justice need to change? What are the global consequences of local educational practices and policies? How should we think about issues of educational equality and opportunity at a global level? How is education being used to shape and constrain the global movement of people between nation-states?
  3. Theories of Education, Equality & Social Justice:  Public and policy discussions about education have become ever more narrowly focused on economistic discourses. How do we need to think in the current context about the broader moral and political imperatives of education? How can we develop a theory and practice of using education to create a more democratic, egalitarian, just and sustainable society than the one we live in now?
  4. Immigration, Work & the Labour Movement:  My interest in this area of research began by studying the experiences of young people in low wage service sector jobs, and asking what role the labour movement was playing and could play in improving the conditions of these young workers. But as young people and immigrants often work in the same sectors of the economy, I became interested in the relationships between immigrants and local youth in the workforce, and more generally, in how understandings of fairness and justice in the spheres of immigration, labour and education are connected. Should immigrants be expected to do the jobs that “nobody else wants to do,” or should they have equal and open access to the labour market? Are immigrants “taking” jobs from local youth? Are local youth not working because they lack the necessary education, training and skill?  What role do job quality and the labour movement play in these dynamics?

In addition to these substantive areas, I am also interested in the opportunities and challenges of linking academic research, writing and teaching to collaborative work with labour and community organizations. This has involved exploring traditions of participatory research, action research, critical ethnography, public sociology and so on.

Current Research

At the moment, I am working on two research and writing projects.  The first is looking at issues of social justice and inequality in recent conflicts that have emerged in the UK around international students in higher education.

The second is a larger project, which is a book manuscript I am writing with a colleague, Mayssoun Sukarieh, who is based at the American University of Cairo in Egypt. The book, Youth Rising? The Politics of Youth in the Global Economy, investigates how and why youth has increasingly become a social category and concept that is central to global political and development discourse, and how “youth empowerment” has become a cause embraced by radical social movements and institutions such as the World Bank, World Economic Forum and US State Department alike. Our book looks at the role and representation of youth in the context of the recent global economic crisis and surge in unemployment and underemployment; in the student protest movements that have emerged worldwide over tuition fee increases, rising student debt, and concerns over education quality and content; and in the Arab Spring and other similar social movements and popular uprisings that have developed in Europe, North America and elsewhere in the last few years.