Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Contact Details

Research Students

Dr Kim Allen

University Academic Fellow – Urban Sociology (Youth and Inequality)

My research is located at the intersections of youth studies, sociology, gender studies and the cultural studies of education. A feminist researcher, my work is informed by a commitment to social justice.

I have worked on a range of research projects, including one on ‘Celebrity Culture and Young People’s Classed and Gendered Aspirations’ (ESRC); and on young women’s transitions in austerity (British Academy).

I sit on the editorial board of Sociological Research Online; British Journal of Sociology of Education; and Gender and Education. I am a member of the British Sociological Association and Gender and Education.

Research Interests

  • The sociology of aspiration
  • Youth transitions and inequalities of social class, gender, race and place
  • Higher Education and social justice
  • Young people and celebrity culture
  • Representations of class and gender in popular culture
  • Social class, family life and the maternal
  • Inequality and diversity in the cultural industries


I have taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on topics including ...

  • higher education inequalities and identities
  • youth culture and sub-cultural studies
  • schooling and educational identities (class, gender, race)
  • gender, the media and popular culture
  • research methods (qualitative)
  • education policy and social justice.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised PhD and EdD students on topics related to inequalities of social class, gender, race and age in compulsory schooling and higher education.

I would be interested in supervising students in topics related to my research interest above, including interdisciplinary enquiries into social and cultural life.

Key Publications

Journal articles

  • Allen K, ‘Top girls navigating austere times: interrogating youth transitions since the ‘crisis’, Journal of Youth Studies, 19.6 (2016), 805-820
    DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2015.1112885, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/95783/

  • Allen K, Harvey L, Mendick H, ‘Justin Bieber Sounds Girlie’: Young People's Celebrity Talk and Contemporary Masculinities’, Sociological Research Online, 20.3 (2015), 1-15
    DOI: 10.5153/sro.3738, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/118884/

  • Allen K, Mendick H, Harvey L, Ahmad A, ‘Welfare Queens, Thrifty Housewives, and Do-It-All Mums: Celebrity motherhood and the cultural politics of austerity’, Feminist Media Studies, 15.6 (2015), 907-925
    DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2015.1062992, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/89991/

  • Allen K, Tyler I, De Benedictis S, ‘Thinking with 'White Dee': The Gender Politics of 'Austerity Porn’, Sociological Research Online, 19.3 (2014)
    DOI: 10.5153/sro.3439

  • Allen K, Hollingworth S, ‘Sticky Subjects’ or ‘Cosmopolitan Creatives’? Social Class, Place and Urban Young People’s Aspirations for Work in the Knowledge Economy’, Urban Studies, 50.3 (2013), 499-517
    DOI: 10.1177/0042098012468901

Media Contact Areas

  • Young people's aspirations
  • Celebrity culture
  • Gender and the media
  • Higher education and 'social mobility'

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