Ian’s work is focussed on the sociological analysis of youth and youth services. His research has taken place within youth service providers, and has focussed on how policy on education, youth and localism relates to the identities and practices of youth workers and related occupational groups. Central to his work is a concern with inequality and social justice, and the role youth services can play in working towards greater inclusion and equality. His work has a central conceptual focus on the politics of subjectivity, and engages with post-structural theorists including Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault.
Masters in Educational and Social Research
BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work
Ian joined the University of Birmingham School of Education as a lecturer in 2013, immediately following the submission of his ESRC funded doctoral research at the Institute of Education, London. His undergraduate study was in youth and community work at the University of Durham, and after completing his degree Ian worked in the voluntary sector in East London initially in provision for young people and subsequently coordinating and managing education and advice services for adults. Ian then joined the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (the RSA), leading their work in education policy and curriculum innovation.
Ian teaches on the BA Education undergraduate degree course.
The New Youth Service Assemblage
Ian’s ESRC funded doctoral research investigated the production of youth work subjectivity and practice in the context of youth service policy following the election of the Coalition Government. Based on case-studies in ten sites of youth service provision across England, it analyses the effects of a new phase of ‘post-neoliberal’ policy making on the provision of services to marginalised young people. It argues that although there is continuity with neoliberal phases of policy making that have operated to disconnect youth services from communities and formalise interactions with young people, current policy is distinct in reforming local communities and their service providers as an opportunity for ‘social investment’, and in driving greater employment insecurity amongst workers. Each of these connected reforms have significant effects on occupational identity. The research utilises Deleuze & Guattari’s notion of the assemblage to develop education policy sociological perspectives with respect the relations of policy to institutional spaces and processes of subjectivation
Building Global Civics
This research project will investigate new forms of youth civic learning and action across diverse contexts in globalizing times. Case studies produced in numerous national contexts will offer accounts of young people’s civic learning and action and the pedagogic strategies that are effective in supporting them. The project will identify commonalities and differences across these contexts, taking into account young people’s varying experiences of marginalisation. The purpose of the project is to develop new conceptual frameworks that can inform and support civic action relating to marginalized youth in globalizing times. As part of a network of international researchers, Ian will undertake a UK case-study and contribute to the production of analysis.
Ian has undertaken work for the University of Birmingham’s Public Service Academy, investigating approaches to youth unemployment and their effectiveness. This work supports the Public Service Academy’s contribution to research, policy and practice in a range of public service areas.
Ian is co-convener of the BERA Youth and Informal Education Special Interest Group
Bradbury, A., McGimpsey, I. and Santori, D. (2012) Revising Rationality: the use of ‘Nudge’ approaches in neoliberal education policy, Journal of Education Policy DOI:10.1080/02680939.2012.719638