May 2013

SPRC NEWSLETTER – Social Policy Research Centre – Middlesex University
SPRC website:   To contact us:

May 2013





SPRC News: Prof Louise Ryan named as Sociology Super Author; KTP with Social Firms UK rated ‘very good’; Training Opportunities: Masters in Research Methods, Two-Day NVivo 10 training; Invitation To Participate In A Study; Recent And Forthcoming Projects; Recent Events; Publications; Papers Presented At Conferences; Focus on Multiple and Intersectional Discrimination


As one of Routledge’s more prolific authors in the social sciences, Louise Ryan has been included as one of the ‘Super Authors’ in  2013 ‘Sociology Super Author’  campaign.

As a result, a selection of articles she has written/ co-written and will be available for free during May.

Simply follow the link and register for free access to the papers.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) recently completed by the Social Policy Research Centre in partnership with Social Firms UK (SFUK) was rated as ‘very good’ by the KTP assessors and will be entered for the national KTP awards next year.

The project aimed to investigate the characteristics and needs of the UK sector of social firms, market-led enterprises set up specifically to create good quality jobs for people disadvantaged in the labour market. It also aimed to develop dedicated tools enabling SFUK to better support, strengthen and grow the sector. In particular, the KPT led to the production of ‘Social Firms InfoMine’,  an innovative online diagnostic toolkit designed to find information, support and resources on the social firms sector.

The Middlesex team, supervised by Alessio D’Angelo, included Mel Evans, Carly Malling and Magdolna Lőrinc.

Di Cunliffe, SFUK project officer, noted: “Our partnership with Middlesex University has supported our new strategic direction and enabled us to develop skills which will be essential for our future progress”.

For further information about the project click on the link.


Practical, hands-on support is offered throughout the Master’s course in chosen discipline. Step-off points at postgraduate diploma or certificate level are available.

The course enables students and practitioners to gain an overview of social research theories and methodologies, explore ways of conducting research ethically and cross culturally, receive training in quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (N VIVO) software packages, and engage in the community of practice of professional research in the University and wider world.

For more information about the course, please contact Professor Louise Ryan at

The SPRC provides an extensive suite of research training. The NVivo 10 workshops are suitable for anyone working with qualitative data, such as postgraduate students, research and teaching staff, community groups, researchers in business and healthcare organisations. Our training courses are designed to meet the needs of both beginners and advanced users.

For more information on the training, please contact Dr Lisa Clarke at .


A study of recently arrived Irish teachers in Britain

This work has been funded through the Third Sector Research Centre. The research will be carried by the Social Policy Research Centre, at Middlesex University, in partnership with the Federation of the Irish Societies.

In an attempt to gain a deeper insight into the experiences of migrants who have arrived since the economic downturn” we are carrying out a study of teachers through an on-line survey, in-depth interviews and a focus group.

The research project will be managed by Prof Louise Ryan working along with her colleague, Edina Kurdi.  If you are interested in participating, or you would like more information, please contact:


Middlesex University and Paiwand, ARDO and Afghan Association London have been working together to assess the welfare and advice needs of Afghan communities in the London borough of Harrow. The project aimed to investigate the impact of the current economic crisis and welfare restructuring on Afghan communities in the London borough of Harrow; to identify advice and welfare needs and gaps in service provision; and to inform local policy makers, service providers and the community sector on priorities and development needs. The research team included Dr Elena Vacchelli, Neil Kaye and Magdolna Lőrinc.

The 8th TurkMiS Seminar, on April 26th, included a presentation by Alessio D’Angelo on “Turkish and Kurdish communities in the UK: population profile and welfare needs in times of crisis”. The seminar was part of a series organised by the Turkish Migration Studies Group at Oxford University.

The presentation was based on an ongoing research project carried out by Middlesex University in partnership with Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre in London. The final report will be launched in summer 2013. A preliminary report was presented in February and is available online on the SPRC website; it also informed a statistical entry on the TurkMis website. For further information about the project visit our website. The research team included: Alessio D’Angelo, Ozlem Galip, Neil Kaye and Magdolna Lőrinc.

  •  Mapping of needs and social action activities in the Diocese of Westminster, Dec 2012 – May 2013

In December 2012, Caritas Diocese of Westminster commissioned Middlesex University’s Social Policy Research Centre to undertake an extensive research exercise to examine key statistical data relating to the diocese and to map the broad level of service provision within its boundaries with the aim of constructing both a hard-copy directory and a user-facing online search tool.  The research team included Prof Louise Ryan, Alessio D’Angelo, Neil Kaye, and Edina Kurdi.


Seminar on Empirical challenges facing Sociology

On 17 May, Prof Louise Ryan, along with Prof Linda McKie organised a seminar, hosted by the British Sociological Association, on the empirical challenges facing the discipline.  This event arose from the e-special issue of the journal Sociology that Louise and Linda co-edited.

The event was very intellectually stimulating and brought together leading professors at the cutting edge of sociological research methods – including Prof Roger Burrows, Prof Geoff Payne, Prof Malcolm Williams and Prof Richard Webber. Other presenters included Dr Evelyn Ruppert who spoke about how sociology is coming to terms with the research potentials and challenges posed by ‘Big Data’. Dr. Rachel Cohen considered feminism and quantitative research and Dr. Emma Uprichard spoke about the challenges of causality for sociological research. The discussant for the day was Prof Dave Byrne.

Prof Louise Ryan is programme leader of the Msc in Research Methods at Middlesex University and has a particular interest in reflexivity in the research process.


Drawing on their recently completed ESRC-funded study, Prof Louise Ryan and Dr Jon Mulholland have just published:

‘Trading Places: French highly skilled migrants negotiating mobility and emplacement in London ‘ published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies – published on-line 15 April 2013. DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2013.787514

  • Kofman, E. “Reviewing theories of gender and migration: perspectives from Europe and North America” Revisiting Theories on International Migration: a Dialogue with Asia. Scalabrini Migration Center, Manila, 25-26 April 2013
  • E. Kofman, Family migration, gender and integration discourses,  ESRC Seminar series Whose Security? Migration –(In)security Dilemmas Ten Years After 9/11, University of Warwick 7 March
  • E. Kofman ‘Gender, care and South-South migration’ Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, 7 March
  • E. Kofman ‘Gender and family migration policy in Europe’, Gender, Migration and Space, Centre for Citizenship and Governance, Open University, 8 March

The SPRC has undertaken several comparative European studies on multiple and intersectional discrimination, particularly in relation to employment and healthcare.  They are based on policy and legal analysis as well as qualitative research with individuals who feel they have experienced discrimination and with professionals (legal and healthcare).

Inequalities and multiple discrimination in access to and quality of healthcare report

The European Agency for Fundamental Rights has published (March 2013) a report on ‘Inequalities and multiple discrimination in access to and quality of healthcare.’ This report looks at how ‘multiple’ discrimination is addressed legally and examines relevant case law with a special focus on healthcare. It also explores health users’ and professionals’ views and experiences on how people of different gender, age, disability and ethnic origin experience discrimination and multiple discrimination when accessing the health system in Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

The report examines some of the practical barriers and experiences of unequal treatment in accessing healthcare that people may face because of a combination of their traits (e.g. ethnic origin, gender, age and disability). The report finds that in such cases, people and their legal advisors often have difficulties in bringing a complaint of discrimination on ‘multiple’ grounds to court. This is either because of a poor understanding of ‘multiple’ discrimination, or because legally it is simply easier to deal with a complaint on only one particular ground. In healthcare, moreover, lawyers often do not file complaints as discrimination cases, due to lower compensation compared to, for example, medical malpractice suits.

These findings will contribute to discussions on the adoption of the proposed EU ‘Horizontal Directive’, legislation that would extend equal protection against discrimination on age, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation to all fields, including healthcare. They will also improve understanding of how ‘multiple’ discrimination is experienced and addressed in policy making, and through complaints procedures.

The research for the report was coordinated by Professor Eleonore Kofman, Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University.  The UK team consisted of Alessio D’Angelo, Dr. Erica Howard, Dr. Mary Tilki, and Dr. Elena Vacchelli from Middlesex University, Dr. Margaret Greenfields (Buckinghamshire New University) and Professor Mark Johnson (De Montfort University, Leicester).

Read more about the research project here. To download the research report, click here.

GendeRace project

The earlier project GendeRace The Use of Racial Anti-Discrimination Laws: gender and citizenship in a multicultural context (2008-2010) focused more on the field of employment which was the most common ground of complaint.

The GendeRace project investigated the combined effects of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination in Europe, and indicated that men and women differ in their experiences and reactions. Although there are comprehensive legal frameworks at both a European and national level to ensure equal treatment, multiple discrimination needs greater consideration.

The project took place in six countries: France, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK. It investigated the intersection of racial/ethnic and gender discrimination, and how national and EU law is currently addressing this issue. The research indicated that gender has a significant impact on the experience of racial discrimination. Women are more often subject to harassment within the work place and in their neighbourhood, whereas men most commonly experience discrimination in places of recreation and leisure. The majority of those who experience multiple discrimination seem more aware of racial than gender discrimination. In terms of reporting or seeking support, victims perceive there to be a number of barriers. For example, in many contexts, women have a double burden of domestic and economic responsibilities, which can hinder their initiative to file a complaint. In addition, women’s organisations are often highly focused on political action, perhaps at the expense of the provision of legal support. In general, men tend to lodge more complaints and pursue cases further. Those who seek legal resolution tend to be in higher education and steady employment, suggesting it is the most vulnerable who are the least empowered.

The research revealed that although all six countries tended towards creating single laws and equality bodies, they still deal with different types of discrimination separately, and there were no specific legal provisions to tackle multiple discrimination. This could be due to several reasons: the lack of an operational definition of multiple discrimination, the specialisation of legal experts in one type of discrimination and the difficulty individuals have in identifying their experience as multiple discrimination. In general, the research found a scarcity of data on complaints and other measures related to multiple discrimination and little co-ordination of data at both national and local levels.

The full report can be found here.   

Other European studies on multiple and intersectional discrimination

  • E. Kofman ‘Exploring intersectionality: age and gender in immigration policies’, IMISCOE Annual Conference Liege, 9-11 September 2009
  • Howard, E. (2011)   ‘Multiple Discrimination in Law’. Paper presented at the ‘Think Equal, Symposium on Multiple Discrimination’, 1 November 2011, National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE), Malta. Available at:
  • Howard, E.and E. Kofman (2012)‘GendeRace –the use of racial anti-discrimination laws’ Gender, Work and Organizations Annual Conference 27-29 June
  • Carles, I., Howard, E. and Kofman, E. ‘Gendered experiences of racial discrimination: comparative socio-legal research’ in D. Schiek and A. Lawson (eds) Intersectionality and EU Non-Discrimination Law – investigating the triangle of racial, gender and disability discrimination, Ashgate, 2011, pp. 227-40.