Craig Haslop completed his PhD in 2012 at the University of Sussex. His thesis analysed audience discourses regarding the televisual representation of fluid sexual orientations and considered connections between televisual textual readings and expressions of sexual identity. Prior to his academic career, Craig has 18 years’ experience in the cultural industries, as a PR consultant in both the charity, and the commercial sector, where he worked for various PR agencies. His current research interests intersect between his previous career in communications and his academic interests in the area of representations of LGBTQI+ people in the media particularly social media and television.
Craig currently leads two funded research projects, addressing increasing concerns about harassment on social media. The first is a one-year Higher Education Funding Council for England funded project – ‘#Speakout: calling out harassment, changing the online campus’. The project critically examines online harassment at the University of Liverpool, in support of its zero-tolerance stance on harassment, through action-oriented research. The project has two main aims: firstly, to develop a picture of the scale and nature of online harassment among students in this institutional context; and secondly, to use these findings to create a social media campaign that critically examines these practices, and provides students with information about how to address and challenge it, including how to report it and avail of support services at the university and the Liverpool Guild.
Craig’s second project is a three-year Economic and Social Research Council funded project for early career researchers - ‘#Ladcultures: young masculinities, laddism and social networking sites’, which is more tightly focused on gender issues. More specifically, this research explores the idea of ‘the lad’ as an identity focus for many young men, to consider its wider role as social and friendship ‘glue’ on social media and the role it plays in reproducing more toxic forms of lad identity for young men online. The project aims to move beyond often-polarised mainstream media discussions that demonise ‘lad culture’ as out-of-control or suggest that concerns about it are simply political correctness taken too far, to theorise and offer a nuanced understanding of the complex processes involved in the formation and reproduction of masculinity online as part of young people’s gender making practices.
Craig is also currently writing a book which is the first to consider the relationship between LGBT audiences, cult television and its queer sensibilities.