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About Dr Julia Bennett

I completed my PhD in Sociology at the University of Manchester in 2012 and then spent four years researching and teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University before taking up a temporary teaching fellowship at Durham University, until June 2018, when I joined the sociology team at Chester. I am a member of the British Sociological Association and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I am module leader for The Sociological Imagination (level 4), Public Sociology (level 6)  and Advanced Social Theory (level 6). I also contribute to teaching on Self and Society.



My research centres on belonging and place, the subject of my PhD and subsequent research, and in particular around spatial, class, race and intergenerational inequalities.  I study what might be called 'contested communities', in particular the role of communities of place, identity and interest and their impact on everyday life.

Current projects include creating a series of short, fictional stories from a collection of Lockdown Diaries and ‘Decolonising Chester: a walk through the university city’ on the theme of Chester’s links to colonial histories.’

Previous projects have included the impact of Christmas/Winter Lights on communities.

Published Work

Journal Articles

Bennett, J. (2022) ‘Creels and catenary wires: Creating community through winter lights displays’, Journal of Material Culture. 10.1177/13591835221089547.

Bennett, J. (2021) Lockdown Scrapbook Journal of Narrative Politics 7(2) 68-73.

Bennett, J. (2020) Work, Identity, Place, and Population. A Changing Landscape Frontiers in Sociology

Bennett, J. (2019) Imagining Englishness through Contested English Landscapes European Journal of Cultural Studies 22 (5-6) pp 835-848 doi: 10.1177/1367549418786414

Bennett, J. (2017) Whose place is this anyway? An actor-network theory exploration of a conservation conflict Space and Culture 21(2) pp 159 - 169 doi: 10.1177/1206331217734182

Bennett, J. (2015) ‘Snowed in!’: offbeat rhythms and belonging as everyday practice Sociology 49(5) 955-969. doi: 10.1177/0038038515589299

Bennett, J. (2015) Narrating family histories: Negotiating identity and belonging through tropes of nostalgia and authenticity Current Sociology 66(3) pp 449 – 465. doi: 10.1177/0011392115578984

Bennett, J. (2014) Gifted Places: the inalienable nature of belonging in place Environment and Planning D Society and Space 32(4) 658 – 671. doi: 10.1068/d4913p

Bennett, J. (2014) Researching the intangible: a phenomenological study of the everyday practices of belonging Sociological Research Online 19 (1). doi: 10.5153/sro.3187

Bennett, J. (2014) Using Diaries and Photo Elicitation in Phenomenological Research: Studying Everyday Practices of Belonging in Place in SAGE Research Methods Cases. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd. doi: 10.4135/978144627305014539100

Bennett, J. & Lee-Treweek, G. (2014) Doing Race: how secondary school pupils and teachers in mainly white schools construct ‘race’ Power and Education 6(1) pp 32-45.

Book Chapters

Bennett, J. (2019) Belonging, place and identity in the 21st century in Bissell, D., Bruce, M., Keane, H., Tsalapatanis, A. (eds) Social Beings, Future Belongings: Reimagining the social Routledge Sociological Futures Series

Bennett, J. (2017) Walking to the beat: (re)producing locality through Walking Days in Low, K. E. Y. and Kalekin-Fishman, D. (eds) Senses in Cities Experiences of Urban Settings London: Routledge

Other Publications

Bennett, J. (2021, June 1). Lockdown Diaries 3rd March 2021: Judy, Bill and Irene [Online]. The Sociological Review.

Bennett, J. (2020). Nostalgia. In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, G. Ritzer (Ed.).

Bennett, J. (2019) Familiar Places, Everyday Lives Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology 30 (2)

Bennett, J. (December 2018) The Great British Nostalgia Fest The Sociological Review Blog available at

Selected Conference Presentations

2022  Lockdown Scrapbook Women Talk Place, Manchester

2021 Lockdown Diaries BSA Auto/Biography Study Group, Online

2021 Work, Identity, Place and Population Working Class Studies Association, USA Online

2019  Decolonizing the neo-liberal university: views from teaching-led institutions ACRE: Beyond the Neoliberal University, Edgehill University

2019   Lighting Up Hoole: an exploration of community-based volunteering, social inclusion and the future role of the city council European Sociological Association, Manchester

2017   ‘I can’t really see a reason why you’d want to live anywhere else’: Belonging, place and identity in the 21st century British Sociological Association, Manchester

2016 Place(less): Place and Identity in a Globalised World Night of Philosophy School of Architecture, TU Delft: invited keynote speaker

2016   Whose place is this anyway? ISA 3rd Forum of Sociology, Vienna

2015   ‘Snowed in!’: offbeat rhythms and belonging as everyday practice ESA, Prague

2015   A tale of a hill, a heath and some big weeds Research Institute for Health and Social Change Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University

2015   Narrating family histories: Negotiating identity and belonging through tropes of nostalgia and authenticity Unofficial Histories, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam

2013   The failings of anti-racist education in the 21st Century Education and Learning: Sociological Perspectives, University of Surrey

2013   Gifted places: belonging as temporal encounters with place / emplaced encounters with time Encounters, Morgan Centre, University of Manchester

2013 Doing Race: how secondary school pupils and teachers in mainly white schools construct race Discourse, Power, Resistance, University of Greenwich, London

2012   Imagining Us British Sociological Association Annual Conference, University of Leeds


  • 2007 BA (Hons) Philosophy and Applied Social Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2008 MSc Sociological Research, University of Manchester
  • 2012 PhD, Sociology, University of Manchester
  • 2014 PGC in Academic Practice, Manchester Metropolitan University