I am a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy in the Department of Applied Social Science at Lancaster University. I am also a member of the Centre for Disability Research (CeDR). My research interests include social security, income maintenance and labour market policy and their implications for disabled people.
My main current research interests are concerned with analysing contemporary and historical changes in income maintenance and labour market policy. I am interested in the ways in which such policies are shaped by concerns with groups in the population that are deemed to be 'problematic', such as lone mothers and young people, and the ways in which income maintenance and labour market policies are held to be more important because of their macro-economic benefits, rather than their social benefits.
I am currently engaged in research at the National Archives which is focusing upon the introduction of Family Income Supplement in 1971 and how one of the guiding principles - that market wages should not be subsidised by the state - which had shaped social security policy making from the introduction of the Poor Law Amendment Act, was overcome by policy makers in the 1970s.
More directly related to criminology, I am interested in the press reporting of crime, particularly the reporting of sexual offences and the ways in which groups in the population (most notably black and working class men) are constructed as sex offenders.