Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Contact Details

Professor Tracy Shildrick

Professor of Sociology and Social Policy

I joined Leeds as Professor of Sociology and Social Policy in 2013 having previously worked at Teesside University. I have specialist research interests in poverty, young people and social exclusion. I teach on the Sociology and Social Policy programmes in areas around welfare, poverty and social exclusion.

Research Interests

My research interests span youth transitions, worklessness, poverty and social exclusion. Recent projects include two studies for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looking at the ‘low pay, no pay cycle’ and the idea of ‘intergenerational cultures of worklessness’. I also recently undertook work for the Webb Memorial Trust looking at myths about poverty. Most recently, I completed a review of the literature on ‘Poverty and Social Theory’ for the Joseph Rowntee Foundation, to be published early 2015, as part of their on-going anti- poverty strategy development.  I am Deputy Editor of Journal of Youth Studies and Co-Editor of Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. I regularly deliver keynote speeches and invited talks both nationally and internationally. I recently attended the First Global Youth Policy Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan as an invited expert (October 2014). I have been the organizer and co-organizer of several national and international conferences, including the forthcoming Routledge and Journal of Youth Studies international conference, to be held in Copenhagen in March 2015.


I teach across sociology and social policy and have particular interests in youth transitions to adulthood and poverty and welfare.

PhD Supervision

I supervise PHD students in the following areas: youth transitions, youth cultures and identity, social exclusion, poverty and worklessness, the sociology of labour markets, the changing nature of economic and social life, community studies and the contemporary significance of social class.

Key Publications

(2015) Shildrick, T. and Rucell, J. Sociological perspectives on poverty York, JRF

(2014) MacDonald, R., Shildrick, T. and Furlong  A. Benefits Street’ & the Myth of Workless Communities’ in Sociological Research on Line special edition on Benefit Street August 2014

(2013) Shildrick, T., and MacDonald, R,. ‘Poverty talk’, The Sociological Review Vol. 61, 2, pp 285 – 303 (winner of the best article in The Sociological Review in 2013).

(2013) MacDonald, R., and Shildrick, T., ‘Youth and wellbeing: experiencing bereavement and ill health in marginalised young people’s transitions’ Sociology of Health and Illness Vol. 35, 1 pp 147 -161

(2013) MacDonald, R., Shildrick, T., Furlong, A. (2013)  ‘Hunting Yetis and Shooting Zombies: in search of intergenerational cultures of worklessness’, Critical Social Policy 34 (2)

(2013) Shildrick, T. and MacDonald, R.  Child Poverty Action Group ‘The reality for low income households’ in The Double Lockout: How low income families will be locked out of fair living standards London, CPAG

(2012) Shildrick, T., MacDonald, R., Webster, C., and Garthwaite, K. Poverty and Insecurity: Life in low-pay, no-pay Britain, Bristol: Policy Press (winner of British Academy/ Policy Press Peter Townsend Prize 2013)

(2012) Shildrick, T., MacDonald, R., Furlong, A., Roden, J., and Crow, R., Are ‘cultures of worklessness passed down the generations?’ York: JRF.

(2012) MacDonald, R. and Shildrick, T. ‘In work and in poverty’ in Busting the poverty myths, New Statesman 22-28th March

(2012) Shildrick, T. ‘Low pay, no pay churning: the hidden story of work and worklessness  Poverty Issue 142 (Summer 2012)

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