My research lies broadly in the area of media representation and discourses of social exclusion, and focuses specifically on theories of identity, multiculturalism and confession. My first book, The Search for Justice in a Media Age, 2005, examined two high profile cases: the US trial of British au pair Louise Woodward and the murder of Stephen Lawrence, in order to reveal how the organisation of public discourse around a sacrificial figure intensifies patterns of social inclusion / exclusion.
Further to this I have published peer reviewed articles and book chapters on the ever-shifting concept of British multiculturalism in the wake of the Macpherson inquiry report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and on the representation of Muslims in the media. I have recently completed work on the Muslims in the European Mediascape project with my colleague Dr Elizabeth Poole, which examined media impact on social cohesion in Germany and the UK.
Following on from my work on discourses of exclusion, my current book project entitled The Culture of Confession, aims to trace the confession in religious, legal, therapeutic and public discourse in order to show how it remains central to the formation of knowledge and power relations over time and space. Part of this work reveals how the contemporary media have become central to confessional practices through popular reality formats.
I am a member of the Centre for Social Policy hosted by the Research Institute for Social Sciences, the Cultural Research Unit, and convene the Ethnicities and Migration Research Group.