Power, Space and Cultural Change

Power, Space and Cultural Change


Abdulaziz Almulhim

Abdulaziz Almulhim

'The effect of Urban Residents Characteristics on Household Water Consumption and Conservation Patterns in Saudi Arabia: The Case of Dammam City' 
Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau in London (SACB)
Supervisors: Dr Mark Riley, Dr Karen Potter and Dr Neil Macdonald
Description: The city of Dammam is located in an arid desert climate in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with little rain, no freshwater sources such as rivers or lakes, high patterns of water misuse and absence of water conservation policies. The research has three objectives: (1) to examine the existing patterns of household water consumption/conservation in Dammam; (2) to explore the socio-economic, demographic and socio-psychological factors shaping these patterns; and (3) to examine how water policy might encourage more efficient and sustainable water usage. The study will use both qualitative and quantitative method in data gathering, collation and analysis. The research questions and core objectives are addressed through a questionnaire with residents and semi-structured interviews with Dammam’s policy-makers. It is hoped that the study helps obtain useful insights about the how city officials may curb water shortages and create more sustainable water policies. - Email Abdulaziz

Josh Blamire

Joshua Blamire

'Just Simply Not Credible”?: Exploring the Transformative Political Potentialities of Anti-Austerity Resistance in Liverpool'
ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre Studentship 
Supervisors: Dr Andrew Davies & Dr Peter North
Description: As neoliberal austerity continues to ruin, multifarious forms of ‘anti-austerity’ resistance have emerged to oppose those unprecedented attacks to the welfare state and the final remnants of the social-democratic consensus. Can Liverpool be the hotbed of anti-austerity resistance, the site where radical alternatives can emerge (a la the socialist Liverpool council of 1983-87), or are their protests, as one senior Labour Party city councillor described, “just simply not credible”? This research, therefore, explores how those forms of anti-austerity contestation narrate, embody and mobilise particular place-based conceptions of (anti-)austerity, and explores the transformative political potential of the different anti-austerity discourses that are being (re)produced. - Email Josh

You can find out more about my research here: http://joshblamire.weebly.com/

Cameron Byron

'Mobilising geographies of deathscapes: unearthing (im)material and volumetric practices of territory'
Description: My research focuses on geographies of deathscapes and historical practices of territory, utilising archival methods to explore how political, economic, legal, and corporeal materialities are mobilised towards territorial constructs across a number of cemeteries on the Wirral, Merseyside, from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. My research also considers contemporary geographies of containment and capacity in relation to present day practices of burial and disposal, and the geographies of absence and presence. - Email Cameron

Ella Bytheway-Jackson

'Unlocking carceral geographies of care: The legacies of Wirral workhouse-hospitals'
Description: My research uses archival records of spaces, provisions and approaches to (health)care in the ‘carceral’ settings of workhouse-hospitals to reflect on current, local services and delivery. While the legacies of the poor laws remain contested, their physical legacies in workhouse buildings, infirmaries, schools and other systems and operations were transferred to municipal control and eventually the National Health Service in the 20th century. Consequently, as notorious institutions which continue to haunt landscapes up and down the country, the many untold stories of workhouses from their own vast records hold great potential for geographers. Developed alongside CASE partner, the Wirral Archives, this project focuses on workhouse historical geographies in the context of the Wirral and surrounding areas. Crucially, this project consequently hopes to raise local consciousness using a series of public and stakeholder outcomes. - Email Ella

Gavin Daly

'Planning for Degrowth: Shrinking Cities and Insurgent Praxis in an Age of Limits'
Supervisors:Prof. Mark Boyle & Dr Peter North
Description: This research seeks to theorise possible alternative post-growth trajectories for contemporary spatial planning practice within the context of unfolding 21st Century global socioecological realities. Using the Irish case study as an explanatory and exploratory account, the research critically examines how planning knowledge and its institutionalisation evolved, developed and circulated to install a growth-imperative as its governing rationality. Drawing on experimental, grassroots planning praxes in the abandoned urban spaces of post-industrial shrinking cities, as real-life proving grounds for ‘degrowth', the analysis seeks to identify possible theoretical openings to elicit a radical epistemological break from mainstream growth-orientated planning cultures and for steering transformative sociospatial change in the face of environmental limits to growth.​ - Email Gavin

Olivia Fletcher

'Healthy lifestyles or ‘dangerous competition’? – self-tracking and the geographies of surveillance in the lives of young people'
Description: As increasing numbers of people rely on digital technologies to track their ‘health’ in everyday life, this research examines how understandings of ‘health’ and the ‘healthy self’ are being (re)formulated through the everyday personal use of online data and its associated surveillance for young people. Through semi-structured interviews, netnography and content analysis, the project seeks to understand the interaction between self-tracking, social media, surveillance and the performance of the ‘healthy’ self through Foucauldian and social capital theory. This research will contribute to geographical knowledge through examining how bodies are present online, with the digital self being produced through the use of self-tracking data and the simultaneous online and offline performances of ‘health’ that such technologies allow. - Email Olivia

Madeleine Gustavsson

Madeleine Gustavsson

'The social and cultural importance of fisheries in a Welsh fishing community' 
Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool
Supervisors: Dr. Karyn Morrissey; Dr. Mark Riley; Prof. Andy Plater 
Description: The PhD thesis is looking at ‘fisheries sustainability’ from a social and cultural perspective. This will be done by an in depth study of the north wales fishing industry, conducting interviews with fishing household members.  I am interested in the identity, knowledge and activities these people have in relation to fishing. Before arriving in Liverpool I was doing a master’s programme at Stockholm University (Sweden). My background is in marine biology and natural resource management/governance. - Email Madeleine

Michael King

Michael King

'Heavy Trains – strategic decision with the ‘wrong’ environmental outcome? Nobody said “make sure they are heavy'
Privately funded
Supervisors: Dr Peter North; Dr Alex Lord, Dr Olivier Sykes
Description: This research looks at strategic decisions and environmental outcomes. Prior research shows UK trains getting heavier over time – a strategic decision with a ‘wrong’ outcome for an asset with a 30-40 year lifespan. During the strategic decisions to procure and build these trains it is highly unlikely anyone said “Make sure they are heavy.” So how has this happened? Literature to inform theory-building includes decision making, Social Issues in Management and Michel Foucault’s work regarding power. Beyond this case in GB Railways, the goal is to understand how strategic decision making can be managed to deliver better environmental outcomes. - Email Michael

Billy Hepworth

'Turning the tables: fighting furniture poverty through social enterprise' 
Supervisors: Professor Peter North, Liverpool, Dr Kathy Burrell, Liverpool, Dr Helen Holmes, Manchester, Ms Claire Donovan, FRC Group (non HEI partner)
Description: Prior to starting this project I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology and an MA in Social Policy at the University of Durham. The studentship is  supported by Liverpool's Furniture Resource Company (FRC) whose goal as prominent social enterprise in the UK is to End Furniture Poverty. The PhD covers a range of themes including the 'diverse economies' perspective, the role of social enterprise within diverse economies, and how furniture and furnishings in the home facilitate a decent quality of life and the ability to participate in the norms of society. - Email Billy

Olly Mcdowell

'Food, people and places: the role of community initiatives in imagining diverse urban food economies'
Description: My research explores the role of community-based food economies in empowering communities in post-industrial urban environments. Reading from a diverse economies perspective, it looks towards situating a ‘politics of possibility’ (Gibson-Graham, 2008), where sustainable and just food futures are imagined by urban communities. Rather than focusing solely on the negative aspects of food injustices, I use food as a lens through which to explore and illuminate more positive accounts of how a community in Liverpool is looking to create prefigurative spaces of hope and justice through diverse engagements with food.

The research engages with a mixed-methods approach, initially operating as a participatory, ethnographically focused project with a community food organisation based in South Liverpool, before moving towards remote, interview-led methods as a result of COVID-19. - Email Oliver

Lena O`Connell

Lena O’Connell

'Proximities of care: exploring the spatial relations of voluntary and technological support for those living with dementia'
ESRC North West Doctoral Training Centre Studentship 
Supervisors: Dr Bethan Evans, Dr Mark Riley, Prof. Christine Milligan (Lancaster University)
Description: Provision of care to people living with dementia in the context of major transformations of social care services in the UK has seen a turn to voluntary and community based support, alongside an increasing interest in technological innovations, such as tele-care. The project explores spatial interrelations of care through a case study of a befriending scheme for people with dementia which incorporates technologically delivered support into service provision. The ways in which care relationships are constructed, shaped and reshaped and the impact of assistive technologies on independent living are also examined. Research findings will contribute to the development of policy and practice around the use of voluntary and technological means to support independent living. - Email Lena

Harry Roberts

Harry Roberts

'British Nuclear Culture in the Rural Periphery: 1945-1991'
Funded by AHRC
Supervisors:Dr Jon Hogg (History); Dr Chris Pearson (History); Dr Mark Riley
Description: During the Cold War the British nuclear-state operated a series of secret 'nuclear sites', from which the clandestine policies and military operations of the Cold War were devised and implemented. These sites were top secret and buried deep in the British countryside, leaving indelible marks on both the rural communities and physical landscapes they were situated within. The military appropriation of rural space for emergent and experimental nuclear technologies had broad social and cultural impacts, sweeping aside generational farming practices by controlling and regulating rural 'space' for the nuclear technologies of the Cold War and nuclear power industry.

Taking an oral history approach, my project seeks to collate and codify the varied responses of the local citizens who built, lived alongside, and operated the nuclear technologies of the late 20th Century. By conducting a series of walking interviews with current and previous residents and workers, I hope to analyse how the nuclear-state influenced local experiences and identities; specifically, how peripheral communities and spaces served at the behest of British Cold War policymaking, and how resistance groups appropriated these spaces to subvert official Cold War narratives and policies. - Email Harry

Hannah Slocombe

'Beyond Food Banks: Everyday Geographies of Coping in Austere Times'
Description: My research explores the classed and gendered realities of austere policies, focusing on different forms of charitable schemes within Merseyside in the North-West of England. Utilising interviews and ethnography, this research aims to offer new insights into how people have responded and managed in the face of economic hardship, and the diverse nature of community-based social infrastructures which have been developing with and around them. - Email Hannah

Ahmad Tareemi

Ahmad Tareemi

'Sustainable Water Demand Management Strategies In Saudi Arabia'
Supervisors:Dr Mark Riley and Dr Neil Macdonald
Description: As the largest country of the Arabian Peninsula and second largest of the Arab world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) develops with great acceleration. Saudi Arabia faces a potential water crisis, with limited water availability comparative to need. The fundamental cause of this is increased consumption per capita rising population and constant exhaustion of available water resources and potential reduction of water quality. The study seeks to critically examine the challenges of water resource availability and use. The first stage of the research is to develop a holistic framing to recognise the interplay between technical issues, economic imperatives and public awareness in Saudi Arabia’s water problems. The research intends to take a case study approach, focusing on the city of Jeddah, and will utilise pre-existing data sources alongside stakeholder interviews to determine effectives of current water demand management strategies in KSA and potential improvements. - Email Ahmad