An interdisciplinary approach to issues for education An interdisciplinary approach to issues for education


Critical Cultural Studies in Education brings interdisciplinary and exploratory approaches to contemporary issues for education and young people. Researchers working in this area are interested in popular cultures, media and public pedagogies and the ways they are folded into larger cultural, political and social narratives. Members are also interested in the changing nature and role of language in a range of contemporary contexts as well as the evolution of the field of digital sociologies and digital ethics. 

Members of this group have researched and published in the areas of social networking, youth identities, gender and sport, rhetoric and prosody in contemporary contexts, public pedagogy, youth literacies and technologies and more recently, the challenges of relativist approaches to ‘truth’, big data and the significance of young people’s dystopian visions of the future. The group, individually and as a unit, are active in developing and using new methodological and theoretical approaches to bring insights relevant to young people’s lives and education in the current socioeconomic, cultural and political moment.



Esther Priyadharshini - Research interests include public pedagogies, youth cultures, gender and schooling. Post-humanist perspectives (including post-colonial, post-structural and feminist) invariably inform her work. She is currently investigating how popular culture and schooling combine to shape young people’s (17/18 yrs) visions of futures and future selves.
Natalie Thurston  - Research interests lie in the area of physical education pedagogy with a particular interest in curriculum structure and interpretation and girl's engagement and participation in physical education.
Rebecca Westrup - Research focuses on the construction of learner identities within a range of formal and informal settings
Harry Dyer – Research interests lie in generating and progressing theoretical, ethical, and methodological perspectives around the relationship between the internet and society. Topics of interest include identities, sexuality, the construction and dissemination of knowledge, social media, and online design. Harry is currently conducting research in several areas, including the role of social media for users with pre-existing mental health issues, and the recent resurgence in flat-earth beliefs. Harry is an active advocate of public engagement. His writings on what pop culture tells us about society can be found on his website, and his recent TEDx talk can be found here. 

Present and recently graduated Ph.D/ MRes Students

Sonja Marzi: Aspirations and Social Mobility: The Role of Social and Spatial (Im)mobilities in the Development and Achievement of Young People’s Aspirations. (Ph.D)

Harry Dyer: # Selfie (PhD)

Edmund Barker: Bodies-in-Transition: an ethnography of the opportunities and constraints of BTEC performing arts students (PhD ongoing)

Claire Johnson: GameMaker: Computer game authoring in the UK Key Stage 3 ICT curriculum

Laura Tallant: The underworld and young children’s humour: A Bakhtinian exploration of humour in a nursery setting (Phd ongoing). (Best journal article by PGR student, 2015)

Alison Brown: Sensory pedagogies of place in the Year 9 Geography Curriculum (PhD ongoing)

Sam Whewall: An Exploration of the Social and Spatial Mobilities of Migrant Youth (MRes – Best dissertation prize for 2017)

Farhana Gaffar: Defensive Othering: Theorizing British Pakistani women’s strategies and constructions of self-identity within Higher Education (MRes ongoing)

Diane Rickaby: Inside pro-anorexia communities: Feminist perspectives for understanding youth (MRes ongoing)

Matt Skinner: An Interspecies Pedagogy: a pedagogy for the child, or a pedagogy

for the Anthropocene? (MRes ongoing)

Katie Godfrey:  Male gender identity and ‘lad culture’ in university sporting contexts (MRes ongoing)



Members edit the international journals Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Cambridge Journal of Education, Digital Cultures and Education and the book series Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education. Members sit on numerous editorial and review boards including Learning, Media and Technology, Informal Logic, Argumentation, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, Literacy, Changing English, Social Media and Society.


Consultancy and CPD

Areas in which we can undertake consultancies include:

*higher education

*writing development

*social media

*gender and education


*multiliteracies, critical literacies

*literacies and new digital technologies

*e-learning research methodologies

*ethics in online contexts

*graduate school development


*rhetoric and poetics


Recent publications 

Snell, J., Andrews, R. (2017) To what extent does a regional dialect and accent impact on the development of reading and writing skills?, in Cambridge Journal of Education, 47(3) pp. 297-313 Full Text UEA Repository 


Haythornthwaite, C., Andrews, R., Fransman, J., Meyers, E. M. (2016). The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research, Sage, ISBN 9781473902329 UEA Repository 

Ucci, M., Law, S., Andrews, R., Fisher, A., Smith, L., Sawyer, A., Marmot, A. (2015).

Indoor school environments, physical activity, sitting behaviour and pedagogy: a scoping review, in Building Research & Information 43(5), pp. 566-581 Full Text UEA Repository 


Carrington, V. (2018). How We Live Now: “I Don’t Think There’s Such a Thing as Being Offline, Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 12, 2017, p. 1-24.


Carrington, V. & Dowdall, C. (2016.) Vernacular creativity in urban textual landscapes, in R. Jones (Ed.). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Creativity, London: Routledge


Carrington, V. & Priyadharshini, E. (2016) (Eds) Special issue on ‘Food, Youth & Education’ for the Cambridge Journal of Education.


Carrington, V., Rowsell, J., Priyadharshini, E., & Westrup, B. (2016) (Eds.). Editors, “Generation Z: Zombies, Popular Culture, and Educating Youth”, Springer. Chapter contributions include:

(i) Carrington V., ‘The “next people”: And the zombies shall inherit the earth’;

(ii) Priyadharshini, E., ‘From Prom Queen to Zombie Barbie: A tutorial in make up, gender and living death’; and

(iiii) Westrup, R.,  ‘Students as Zombies: How can we awaken the undead?’


Carrington, V. (2015) 'It's Changed My Life' : iPhone as Technological Artefact. Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing discourse analysis in the digital age. Ed. / Rodney H. Jones; Alice Chik; Christoph A. Hafner. London: Routledge


Priyadharshini, E., & Godoy-Pressland, A., (2015) “Doing femininities and masculinities in a “feminised” sporting arena: The case of mixed-sex cheerleading”, Special issue on ‘Sex integration in sport and physical culture’ for Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics. Published online 30 October 2015. 


Dyer, H., (2018 – in press) Won’t somebody please think of the children? Boundary negotiation in socio-technical identity performance online and implications for the role of digital skills in education. SM+Society Special Edition 2018.


Dyer, H., (2018 – forthcoming) Public/private; a dichotomy or a scale? Special Edition of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology. Hanna, E., and Till., C (eds)


Dyer, H., (2018 – forthcoming) The role of technology in shaping student identity during transitions to university in Odeleye, N.D., and Rajendran, L.P (eds). Emerging Identities in the Futures of Place: Media, Space and Culture. Springer Series, Adaptive Environments.


Dyer, H., (2017) The presentation of Selfie in Everyday Life: Considering the relationship between social media design and user in the online actions and interactions of young people. Proceedings of Social Media and Society (SM+S 2017), Toronto, Canada.


Dyer, H., (2016) Interactivity, social media, and Superman: How Comic Books can help us understand and conceptualize interactivity online in Daniels, J., Gregory, K., and McMillan, T. C., (eds) Digital Sociologies. Policy Press, Bristol, pages 77-103


Dyer, H. (2015) All the web’s a stage. The effects of Design and Modality on Youth Performances of Identity. Journal of Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 19, Pages 213-242