Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Contact Details

Dr Katy Wright

Lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy

I have worked in the School of Sociology & Social Policy since completing my PhD in 2012, having previously worked as a researcher at the University of Sheffield and at the UNESCO Centre, University of Ulster (Coleraine) and for several years outside of academia in public, private and third sector roles.

Research Interests

With an interdisciplinary background incorporating humanities, politics and the social sciences, my work over the last ten years has focused primarily on citizen participation, defined in a broad sense to incorporate informal social relationships (communities, networks of family and friends) and forms of mutual aid and support, as well as more formal modes of engagement like volunteering and political participation.  I have been particularly interested to explore how participation has evolved over time, how modes and domains of participation are shaped by broader trajectories of socioeconomic and political change, and to analyse the links between formal and informal modes of engagement.  My research has most recently involved exploring participation in community consultations for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, with a particular focus on energy developments, for which I was part of a team using the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay renewable energy development as a case study. 

More recently, I have carried out empirical and theoretical work on the concept of community resilience, which has linked into my ongoing interest in participation and engagement, whilst introducing a more explicit temporal dimension into my work.  This has led to a new strand of interest which focuses on various strategies taken by citizens, government and other organisations to prepare for different futures, and the different ways in which potential futures are discursively and analytically framed and understood.

My previous research has involved working with a range of public, private and third sector organisations, including UNESCO; Tidal Lagoon Power; the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP); local and national voluntary sector organisations; local authorities in Wales and England; the Royal College of General Practitioners; and sector skills councils.  I am committed not only to disseminating findings and insights through traditional academic routes, but also through direct engagement with different non-academic audiences.


I have taught on numerous different modules in the School of Sociology & Social Policy.  I am currently Programme Director of the MA in Social & Public Policy and co-convenor of the State Crime and Immorality undergraduate module, as well as teaching on the Researching Inequality in the Media MA module and the new Masters in Public Administration.


Key Publications

Journal articles


  • Wright KJ, Law IG, ‘Poverty and Income Maintenance’, in Understanding Race and Ethnicity, ed. by Chattoo S and Craig G, Second (Bristol: Policy Press, 2018) (Accepted)


  • Wright K, Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay: Community consultation and local perceptions of the proposed development, (Bauman Institute, University of Leeds, 2013)

  • Wigfield A, Wright KJ, Supporting Carers in General Practice: An evaluation, (CIRCLE, University of Leeds, 2012)

  • Wright K, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review of the Literature, (Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Philosophy & Religious Studies, 2010)

  • Marsh J, Brooks G, Wright K, Hughes J, Ritchie L, Roberts S, Digital beginnings: Young children’s use of popular culture, media and new technologies, (Literacy Research Centre, University of Sheffield, 2005)

Thesis / Dissertations

  • Wright KJ, ‘Participant Perspectives on Participation: A case study of a low-income neighbourhood in Leeds’

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