Research Staff Interests

Dr Kim  Allen

Biography

I recently moved to ESRI from IPSE, London Metropolitan University. I came into education research following degrees in sociology and media and cultural studies, and this informs my interdisciplinary approach to examining young people’s educational subjectivities, experiences, transitions and ‘aspirations’.

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 daily practices and institutionalised relations of education, work, family and cultural life.

Much of my work has examined young people's classed and gendered aspirations for and transitions into work in changing times, including that for the creative industries and knowledge economy; and inequalities and ‘diversities’ in Higher Education (including work with Sumi Hollingworth and Jocey Quinn). I have also written about young people, celebrity culture and neoliberalism and am developing this work in 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 also recently 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 practices and representations of the maternal and parenting within policy and popular culture (explored in work with Yvette Taylor and Jayne Osgood). Theoretically, I am inspired by Bourdieuian work on social class, education, taste and culture; as well as feminist post-struturalist scholarship on gender and power. I am also interested in recent work attending to the affective, particularly in relation to classed regimes of personhood and mediated social relations within and through popular culture.

I am co-investigator on the ESRC Seminar Series 'New Perspectives on Education and Culture’, with Jocey Quinn of the Faculty of Education, University of Plymouth. See http://educationandculture.wordpress.com/

I sit on the editorial board of the journals Sociological Research Online and Gender and Education, and I am Executive Member of the Gender and Education Association (GEA) for which I regularly blog. Seehttp://www.genderandeducation.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

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. 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 online here

Allen, K., Hollingworth, S. Mansaray, A., and Taylor, Y., (ed) (forthcoming, November 2013) 'Collisions, Coalitions and Riotous Subjects: Reflections on the English Riots.' Sociological Research Online Special issue

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) pp499-517 online here

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

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 online here

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) online on iFirst here

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 pp347–360 online here

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

Book Chapters

Allen, K. (2013) ''What do you need to make it as a woman in this industry? Balls!' Female Higher Education students and the cultural industries' for Ashton, D. and Noonan, C. (eds) Cultural Work and Higher Education Palgrave

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 pp180-200 order here

Allen, K. (2011) 'The 'right' kind of fame? Celebrity Culture and the structuring of young women's fantasies of 'success'' in Negra, D. and Holmes, S. (eds) In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and Functions of Female Celebrity Continuum pp149-173 order here

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

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

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. online here

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]

Research-based Contributions to Practitioner and Academic Conferences

Allen, K. (March 2012) Young women and careers in the creative media industries. Invited paper at the OCR Annual Conference, London

Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (February 2011) The role of higher education work placements in cultivating a diverse workforce: key challenges and opportunities. Invited paper, presented at the UKADIA annual conference - Culturing Growth: The contribution of specialist arts education to the UK economy and society, Sadlers Wells, London

Hollingworth, S. and Allen, K. (February 2009) Learning in families and 'hard to reach' parents: a social justice approach. Paper given at a Futurelab and Becta Policy Seminar on Learning in Families using new technologies, London

Allen, K. and Hollingworth, S. (November 2009) Parents' perspectives on technology and children's learning in the home. Invited paper given at the Becta Annual Conference, Bristol

Conference Papers

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'? presented at Space, Place and Social Justice conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, June 2012

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'? presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, London, 11th-13th April 2012

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 2011

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

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 2011

Allen, K. Quinn, J. Hollingworth, S. and 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 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Allen, K. (2008) Conflicting aspirations and the burden of class reproduction: Lower middle class girls and their mothers, presented at The Educated Family seminar series, London Metropolitan University, October 2008 (with guest speaker Professor Fiona Devine)

Allen, K. (2008) The making of Creative Education policy: New Labour's New Elite, presented at the British Education Research Association Annual Conference, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, September 2008

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

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

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