Kim Allen

Job Title: UAF in Urban Sociology

My research is located at the intersections of youth studies, sociology, and the cultural studies of education. A feminist researcher, my work is informed by a commitment to social justice and ‘public sociology’. Broadly, my research falls into four overlapping areas:

  • youth transitions and inequalities of social class, gender, race and place;
  • young people’s cultural practices, in particular their engagement with celebrity culture;
  • the mediation of social inequalities and representations of class and gender in popular culture;
  • inequality and diversity in the creative and cultural industries

Working in academic research for six years, I have worked on, and led, a range of research projects in these areas. Most recently, I have been co-investigator on the ESRC funded project ‘Celebrity Culture and Young People’s Classed and Gendered Aspirations’ (CelebYouth); and PI on a British Academy-funded project which longitudinally examines young women’s education-to-work transitions in conditions of austerity.

I enjoy writing collaboratively and recent publications include papers on: young people’s engagement with discourses of meritocracy in celebrity culture in British Journal of Educational Studies (with Heather Mendick and Laura Harvey); and the gender politics of austerity and ‘Poverty Porn’ in Sociological Research Online (with Imogen Tyler and Sara De Benedictus).

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, Gender and Education Association (GEA) and Manchester Centre for Youth Studies. I also contribute to a number of feminist academic networks including

I have been appointed as UAF in Urban Sociology and look forward to developing research with colleagues in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and beyond. I am currently developing research proposals on areas including: young people’s transitions and experiences of ‘austerity’ and ‘the crisis’; and on TV production, creative labour and cultural representations of class.


I occasionally tweet from the CelebYouth twitter account which I share with Heather Mendick (

Academia Page:

Project website: