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Personal profile

Approach to teaching

I teach on sociological courses including ‘Sociological Imaginations’, ‘Theorising the Social World’ and ‘Researching Social and Cultural Life’. I like to teach sociology by making connections between theory and everyday life, drawing upon examples to help students think through complex ideas. In seminar discussions I encourage students to think about their own experiences and the issues shaping society today and challenge them to think about sociology not only as an explanation and critique but a potential tool for change. I find that connecting sociological theory and methods is a great way to do this; I draw upon contemporary research to inform my teaching, getting students to think about how sociological research can impact society. As such, I encourage students to engage with classic and contemporary academic work alongside media representations and analysis of current affairs. I hope to create an active learning environment for students, helping to develop their understanding through discussion and the sharing of ideas.

Research interests

My research focus is the formation of classed identities. I am interested in the everyday experiences of people who live on council estates and the material and social conditions which produce and legitimate knowledges of these people and this place. My research explores the connections between place and identity through an analysis of the material and social production of the estate as a classed position. I am interested in the role of affect in the formation and reformation of classed selves. Specifically, developing Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of the habitus to explore the visceral sensation through which the body is disciplined in moments of difference.

Scholarly biography

I studied at the University of Sussex, where I completed a BA in Sociology, MSc in Social Research Methods and my PhD entitled ‘Located lives: an ethnographic representation of people and place on a British council estate'. I taught as an Associate Tutor in Sociology at the University of Sussex and as a Teaching Fellow in the Sociology of Childhood at the Institute of Education UCL, before joining the School of Applied Social Science as a Lecturer in Sociology in 2016.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising doctoral students in classed inequalities, urban sociology, social housing and ethnographic methodologies.

I am currently supervising the following projects:

Social and cultural exclusion through seaside gentrification on the south coast Bethan Prosser

Precarious practices and policies in the divided ‘smart city’ Matthew Smith

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sarah Leaney is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

stigmatization Social Sciences
social housing Social Sciences
neglect Social Sciences
identity formation Social Sciences
resident Social Sciences
community center Social Sciences
everyday experience Social Sciences
reformation Social Sciences

Research Output 2014 2019

identity formation
Open Access
social housing
community center
primary school

Re-thinking representation, foregrounding the moment: Lyrical sociology and a lesson for ethnography

Leaney, S., 2014, New frontiers in qualitative longitudinal research: Perspectives of doctoral and early career researchers. Hadfield, L., McGeeney, E. & Shirani, F. (eds.). National Centre for Research Methods, Southampton, p. 41-50

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Open Access

Activities 2018 2018

A right to Home?

Deanna Dadusc (Organiser), Sarah Leaney (Organiser)
8 Jun 2018

Activity: EventsConference