Research Staff Interests

Dr Kim  Allen

Biography

I entered education research following degrees in sociology and media and cultural studies and my work sits at the intersections of the cultural studies and sociology of education and youth. Informed by a commitment to social justice, my research falls into three key, overlapping areas: inequalities of social class and gender and young people's educational experiences, subjectivities and transitions; youth cultural practices; and representations of class and gender in popular culture.

I completed my PhD - on the aspirations and educational subjectivities of young women in performing arts education - at Goldsmiths College, London under the supervision of Professor Angela McRobbie. Since then I have continued to embark on theoretically-informed empirical research which examines how inequalities of class and gender are produced, remade and experienced within education, work, family and popular culture.

Much of my work has examined young people's classed and gendered aspirations for and transitions into education and work in changing times. This has included research on secondary pupils' aspiration; inequalities and 'diversities' in Higher Education; and students labour market transitions (including work with Sumi Hollingworth and Jocey Quinn).

A key area of interest is young people's engagement with celebrity culture. I am currently working on an ESRC project on 'Celebrity culture and young people's classed and gendered aspirations' (ESRC standard grant scheme, 2012-2014), with Heather Mendick and Laura Harvey at Brunel University. See http://www.celebyouth.org/

I have been awarded a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant for a new project entitled: Revisiting 'Blair's Babies' in new times: contemporary female subjectivities from New Labour to the Coalition. This project combines my interest in aspirations, youth transitions and neoliberalism, and in configurations of young womanhood in the contemporary.

I am also interested in representations of the maternal and classificatory struggles within popular culture (explored in work with Yvette Taylor; Jayne Osgood; and with Imogen Tyler and Sara de Benedictis)

I was co-investigator on the ESRC Seminar Series 'New Perspectives on Education and Culture', with Jocey Quinn of the Faculty of Education, University of Plymouth.

I am a member of the Centre for the Cultural Studies of Childhood and Children within ESRI and the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies.

I sit on the editorial board of the journals Sociological Research Online and Gender and Education, and I am an active member of the British Sociological Association and Gender and Education Association (GEA). I also contribute to a number of feminist academic networks including womantheory.com

Research Interests

Youth, aspirations, higher education, celebrity culture, girlhood, postfeminism, social class, gender, 'diversity'.

Research Groups

Difference, Diversity, and Social Justice
Centre for Cultural Studies of Children and Childhood
Manchester Centre for Youth Studies

Research Projects

Celebrity culture and young people's classed and gendered aspirations (ESRC standard grant, 2012-2014)

Revisiting 'Blair’s Babies' in new times: contemporary female subjectivities from New Labour to the Coalition (British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grant, 2013-2014)

Project Websites

www.celebyouth.org/

Refereed Journal Articles

Allen, K., Hollingworth, S. Mansaray, A., and Taylor, Y. (guest editors) (2013) Collisions, Coalitions and Riotous Subjects: Reflections on the English Riots: an introduction. Special issue of Sociological Research Online

Allen, K. (2013) 'Blair's Children': young women as 'aspirational subjects' in the psychic landscape of class. The Sociological Review [Online Early View on the 4th Nov 2013]

Allen, K. and Taylor, Y. (2013) Placing parenting, locating unrest: Failed femininities, troubled mothers and riotous subjects. Studies in the Maternal Special issue on Austerity Parenting, edited by Imogen Tyler and Tracey Jensen

Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (2013) Social class, place and urban young people's aspirations for work in the knowledge economy: "Sticky subjects" or "cosmopolitan creatives"?. Urban Studies 50(3) pp 499-517

Allen, K and Mendick, H. (2012) Keeping it real?: Social class, young people and authenticity in Reality TV. Sociology

Allen, K., Quinn, J., Hollingworth, S. and Rose, A. (2012) Becoming employable students and 'ideal' creative workers: exclusion and inequality in higher education work placements. British Journal of Sociology of Education

Allen, K. and Mendick, H. (2012) Young people's uses of celebrity: class, gender and 'improper' celebrity. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 34(1)

Hollingworth, S., Mansaray, A., Allen, K. & Rose, A. (2011) Parents' perspectives on technology and children's learning in the home: social class and the role of the habitus. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Special Issue 27 pp 347-360

Allen, K. & Osgood, J. (2009) Motherhood as non-ambition?: young women negotiating maternal subjectivities. Studies in the Maternal Issue 2

Book Chapters

Allen, K. (2013) 'What do you need to make it as a woman in this industry? Balls!' Work placements, Gender and the Cultural Industries. Invited chapter in Ashton, D. & Noonan, C. Cultural Work and Higher Education Palgrave Macmillan pp 232-253 [Research funded by the Equality Challenge Unit]

Allen, K., Quinn, J., Hollingworth, S. & Rose, A. (2012) Doing Diversity and Evading Equality: the case of student work placements in the creative sector. in Y. Taylor (ed) Educational Diversity: the subject of difference and different subjects Palgrave Macmillan pp 180-200

Allen, K. (2011) The 'right' kind of fame? Celebrity Culture and the structuring of young women's fantasies of 'success'. in Negra, D. & Holmes, S. (eds) In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and Functions of Female Celebrity Continuum pp 149-173

Research Reports

Allen, K., Mansaray, A. and Minty, S. (2012) An evaluation of Media Trust's Youth Mentoring programme. [Funded by: Media Trust, March 2010-April 2011; £38,000; Role: Principal Investigator]

Osgood, J., Albon, D., Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (2012) 'Hard to reach' parents and early years music-making [Funded by: Youth Music, January 2011-April 2012; £40,000]

Allen, K., Quinn, J., Hollingworth, S. & Rose, A. (2011) Equality issues in higher education work placements in the arts and cultural sector [Funded by: Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), July 2009-April 2010; £18,000; Role: Principal Investigator]

Hollingworth, S., Allen, K., Mansaray, A. and Rose, A. (2010) An Exploration of Parents' Engagement with their Children's Learning Involving Technologies and the Impact of this in their Family Learning Experiences [Funded by: Becta, November 2008-August 2009; £80k]

Hollingworth, S., Allen, K., Kuyok, K. and Williams, K. (2009) The influence of new media technologies on young people's career aspirations [Funded by: Becta Small Grants, April 2008-April 2009; £40k]

Hollingworth, S., Allen, K., Hutchings, M., Kuyok, K. and Williams, K. (2008) Technology and school improvement: reducing social inequity with technology? [Funded by: Becta, August 2007-March 2008; £200k]

Ross, A., Izza, T. and Allen, K. (2008) Young people's educational attainment in London's Turkish, Turkish Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot Communities [Funded by The Mayor of London's Office, October 2007-March 2008; £10k]

Online Outputs

Numerous blog posts on celebyouth.org

Allen, K. and Mendick, H. (2012) Fame, Folk Devils and Generation X-Factor GEA website

Allen, K. and Taylor, Y. (2012) Failed femininities and troubled mothers: gender and the riots BSA: Sociology and the Cuts blog

Taylor, Y. and Allen, K. (2011) Sinking or Swimming? Academic Strokes, Anxious Provokes BSA: Sociology and the Cuts blog

Allen, K. (2010) Why is feminism a "dirty word" among teenage girls? Gender and Education Association website

Allen, K. and Mendick, H. (2011) Gender, Education and Jamie's Dream School? Gender and Education Association website

eSpace

link to eSpace publications

Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership

Gender and Education

Sociological Research Online

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

Allen, K. (2013) 'Aspiration as a cruel attachment? Young people's futures and vocabularies of inequality in an age of austerity.' Keynote paper at BERA Education, Youth Poverty and Social Class one day conference, Kingston University, 22nd November

Allen, K. Harvey, L. and Mendick H. (2013) ' "Aspiration nation"? Critically examining young people's imagined futures.' Keynote symposium at the British Education Research Association, University of Brighton, 3rd September

Evidence of Impact on Policy and Professional Practice

Kim has managed and conducted a number of research projects and evaluations for government, local authorities, charities and executive agencies including: Becta, Media Trust, Equality Challenge Unit, Department for Education, Youth Music.

Kim has produced a number of practical toolkits for practitioners based on her research, and written for practitioner publications, including:

Allen, K. and Quinn, I (2012) Higher Education work placements in the creative industries: good placements for all students? Networks Magazine (Arts, Design, Media Subject Centre)

Allen, K., Quinn, J., Hollingworth, S. and Rose, A. (2010) Higher Education Work Placements in the Creative Industries: Good placements for all students. A practical guidance toolkit for staff. London: ECU.

Allen, K., Quinn, J., Hollingworth, S. and Rose, A. (2010) Higher Education Work Placements in the Creative Industries: Good placements for all students. A practical guidance toolkit for students. London: ECU.

Hollingworth, S. and Allen, K. (2009) Messages from the evidence: Engaging with families. Coventry: Becta

Major Awards, Prizes & Honorary Degrees

AHRC doctorate

ESRC Standard Grant Award (Co-Investigator) 'Celebrity culture and young people's classed and gendered aspirations' (ESRC standard grant, 2012-2014, £210k)

ESRC Seminar Series, (Co-Investigator) 'New Perspectives in Education and Culture' (Seminar series competition, 2010-201, £13k)

BERA Meeting of Minds Fellow (2011-2012) [Mentor: Professor Bev Skeggs]

Conference Papers

Allen, K. (2014) ' "Disgusting celebrities": Celebrity motherhood and the cultural politics of austerity.' Lancaster University, Department of Education and Centre for Women and Gender Studies seminar, 5th February

Allen, K., Harvey, L. & Mendick H. (2013) Invited speaker at What is Digital Sociology? one day seminar, British Sociological Association rooms, London, 16th July

Allen, K. (2013) 'Doing Diversity, Evading Equality: Student employability and higher education inequalities.' Invited speaker on Early Career Panel at Divisive Realities: Lived Experiences ESRC seminar series, Critical Diversities@ the Intersection: Policies, Practices, Perspectives. London South Bank University, 7th June

Allen, K. and Taylor, Y. (2013) 'Placing parenting, locating unrest: Failed femininities, troubled mothers and riotous subjects.' Invited speaker at the British Sociological Association Families and Relationship group one day conference Mothering and the New Politics of Parenting, London South Bank University, 9th May

Allen, K., Harvey, L. and Mendick H. (2013) 'Understanding the Affective – exploring young people's talk about aspirations and celebrity.' Paper presented at the Gender and Education Association biennial conference, London South Bank University, 23-26 April

Allen, K. (2013) 'Coalition policy and "Aspiration raising" in a psychic landscape of class.' Paper presented at the Journal of Youth Studies Conference, Glasgow University, 7th April

Allen, K. (2013 'Becoming "employable" students and "ideal" future workers: Student employability practices and higher education inequalities.' Invited speaker at Social Class inequalities and Higher Education seminar, University of Bath, 7th February

Allen, K. (2013) 'Celebrity culture and young people's classed and gendered aspirations.' Paper presented at Education and Social Research Institute seminar series, Manchester Metropolitan University, 6th February

Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (2012) 'Social class, place and urban young people's aspirations for work in the knowledge economy: "Sticky subjects" or "cosmopolitan creatives"?' Paper presented at Space, Place and Social Justice conference. Manchester Metropolitan University, June

Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (2012) 'Social class, place and urban young people's aspirations for work in the knowledge economy: "Sticky subjects" or "cosmopolitan creatives"?' Paper presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, 11th-13th April

Allen, K. and Quinn, J. (2011) 'The Silence of the Curriculum: equality as an intellectual absence in Higher Education for arts and culture.' Invited paper at (Not) Belonging in the Creative World: Challenging HE Exclusions, Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy and the London Paulo Freire Institute, Roehampton University, 17th November

Allen, K. and Mendick, H. (2011) 'Lines of distinction: Gender, Class, Celebrity and Young People's Identity Work.' paper given at Gender and Education Conference, University of Exeter, 28th April

Osgood, J. and Allen, K. (2011) 'Motherhood as non-ambition?: Young women negotiating maternal subjectivities.' Presented at Gender and Education, University of Exeter, 28th April

Allen, K. Quinn, J. Hollingworth, S. & Rose, A. (2010) 'Becoming the "ideal" heroic creative worker? Subjectification, Higher Education student work placements and processes of exclusion in the creative industries.' Presented at London Metropolitan University, 10 December

Allen, K. (2010) 'Constituting the self as future creative worker: Young women, self-formation and cultural capital.' Paper presented in Capital Ideas? Fresh perspectives on class, capital and education Symposium. BSA Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, April

Allen, K. (2010) 'Young people's personal hopes and fears for their future.' Paper presented at the Future Citizens Conference, Warsaw, Poland, January

Allen, K. & Hollingworth, S. (2009) 'Risky pathways? Social class, generation and young people's perceptions of work in the new knowledge economy.' Paper given at the BSA Youth Study Group Seminar Youth Transitions in Troubled Times University of Kent, October

Osgood. J. & Allen, K. (2009) 'Motherhood as non-ambition?: Young women negotiating maternal subjectivities.' Paper given at Discourse Power Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, April

Allen, K. (2009) 'Creative work, fame and young women: fantasies of "success" in neo-liberal times.' Paper given at the Gender and Education Conference, Institute of Education, University of London, London, March

Allen, K. (2008) 'Conflicting aspirations and the burden of class reproduction: Lower middle class girls and their mothers.' Paper presented at The Educated Family seminar series, London Metropolitan University, London, October with guest speaker Professor Fiona Devine. Allen, K. (2008) 'The making of Creative Education policy: New Labour's New Elite.' Paper presented at the British Education Research Association Annual Conference, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, September

Allen, K. (2005) 'Choosing Fame - Choosing a Self: Celebrity Culture, Performing Arts Education and Female Individualisation.' Paper presented at Celebrity Culture: an Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Paisley, Scotland, September

Allen, K. (2006) 'The young female subject, celebrity culture and creative education - a case study.' Paper presented at The Word Girl in a Global Frame, Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, June

Taught Courses

Masters in Education and Social Research

Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

Social class and gender in education
Aspirations and youth transitions
Contemporary girlhood
Higher education inequalities and the student experience
Critical policy analysis
Young people's cultural worlds

Postgraduate Students Supervised

Continuing joint supervisor at London Metropolitan University:

Sumi Hollingworth: Social mixing and the urban school

Anne Massey: Social constructions of age and 'the student': the experiences of older undergraduate students in higher education

Getachew Zergaw: Mature, non-specialist undergraduate students and the challenges they face learning Mathematics

Allen

Position/Post: Research Fellow
Tel: 0161-247-2094
Email: k.allen@mmu.ac.uk
Location: Room 1.9, Research Base, Didsbury
Web: mmu.academia.edu/KimAllen/About