Abigail O'Connor

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology



Abi completed a BA (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Liverpool (2014-2017), gaining a first-class degree and being awarded the Lundie Memorial Prize for best overall GPA in the final year. Following receipt of a departmental scholarship, Abi completed an MA in Social Research Methods at the University of Liverpool (2017-2018). She began her ESRC funded PhD studentship in 2018.


Abi's PhD research is a place-based study of Liverpool which explores how processes of stigmatisation shape and are shaped by the urban political economy, examining various articulations of social control over time within the city. Her undergraduate research was titled 'Truth as Justice, Truth as Violence' which was a longitudinal study of the competing accounts of the Hillsborough Disaster (1989). Abi's MA research titled 'the changing face of urban regeneration' explored the consequences of shifting political ideologies and economic conditions on contemporary urban governance both locally and globally through a case study of the 'Anfield Project'. 

Theis title

Stigma and the City: A sociological exploration of the political economy of stigmatisation through a case study of Liverpool


Abi presented at the 2018 British Criminological Society annual conference, discussing her research on the politics of knowledge and truth in relation to the Hillsborough Disaster (1989). She was also invited to present at the International Political Economy annual conference in October 2018. Her discussion addressed the ways in which territorial stigmatisation within Liverpool is reliant on a relationship between stigma, place and class within urban space and the ways in which a case study approach allows understanding of how local and global economies are connected. In June 2019 Abi presented research with Dr Kirsteen Paton at the 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting in Trondheim, Norway. Their paper titled ‘Rent Gap Revised at 40: Rent Cap, Revanchism and Living in the Gap’ explored life in the rent gap in Liverpool, identifying how profits are extracted from cities.