Jill is the Research Associate leading on the ethnography in Aberdeen, working with Delyth, Mark and Andy; and is also researching the village social relations and histories.
My research interests have been strongly influenced, firstly by the work of CCCS at the University of Birmingham, where I gained my MA in the 1980’s, later by the work and guidance of my PhD supervisor, Prof. Celia Lury and more recently by my colleagues in CRESC, the Dept of Sociology at the University of Manchester and the UEP research project. I have been inspired in all these contexts by work that has taken seriously ‘the everyday’ and ‘the popular’, acknowledging that forms of everyday participation mean something significant, both materially and intellectually
Whilst at CRESC, I co-organised a successful workshop, It’s the Weekend, with speakers including Paul Morley, (author, critic and broadcaster). Latterly, I have worked on both Step Change and UEP research projects, in January 2014 being appointed as UEP Associate Researcher (Aberdeen). I co-edited a special issue of Leisure Studies on ‘The Weekend’ with John Walton. Further publications include: Working Lives in Black British Jazz. Milton Keynes, CRESC, Open University, with Mark Banks and Jason Toynbee; ‘Working at the Weekend: supermarket and shopping centre workers in Salford/Manchester (UK) and Porto (Portugal)‘ Leisure Studies 33:2; ‘Half-Holiday Excursions and Rambling Clubs – How did Leisure Shape the Mobilities of the Early Twentieth Century?’ in The Organization of Transport: A History of Users, Industry, and Public Policy London, Routledge. Most of this writing reflects my particular interest in the interface between labour and leisure and in how everyday participation might construct both ‘the social’ and ‘the utopian’.
I began working on the Understanding Everyday Participation project as a consultant interviewer in the Manchester-Salford ecosystem, walking the streets of Cheetham and Broughton with Delyth, to invite people to be interviewed. Subsequently, I was appointed onto the Aberdeen ecosystem. Here, my role has been to secure and manage our interviews, undertake an ethnography (during two months in summer 2014) and research the village social relations and histories (with Andy). I am beginning to write about this experience, discussing firstly, the ethnographic experience, secondly, the gendered and classed nature of volunteering and its relationship with the state, and thirdly, the relationship between place, identity and the everyday in the context of an economy which has moved from paper manufacture to one heavily dependent on ‘the oil’. You can read a little bit about that on the UEP blog here.
I like walking, particularly by the sea, sailing and swimming too…but in warm waters. Greece is perfect. I enjoy watching TV, an (historical) highlight being a particular BBC Wednesday Play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, a docu-drama representing the various Scottish clearances as represented by 7:84 Theatre Group. I Like listening to music (and dancing) – particularly reggae, soul, electronic, preferably a mix-up. I Really enjoy taking photos, but have to be in the mood… and love Scotland and going to cities (anywhere) I haven’t visited before.