Dr Aslı Kandemir

Dr Aslı Kandemir

School of Education
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Aslı is a Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Trust-funded project, “‘Free’ expression at School? The Making of Youth Engagements with Race and Faith” (2022-25), led by Prof. Karl Kitching and co-led by Dr. Reza Gholami. This mixed methods research project explores how race and faith-based expression is formed across school and public spaces before adulthood. 

Before coming to Birmingham, she worked as a Teaching Fellow in Sociology and Education at Keele University, and completed her PhD in Sociology at Liverpool Hope University. Aslı’s research focuses on challenging multiple inequalities in communities, education, and young people’s lives. She has a number of internationally peer-reviewed publications and opinion pieces on symbolic border(-making), ‘race’ and racism in (education) policy-making, and qualitative research methods as well as mentoring.

Aslı is currently writing her first book on tolerance, power, and community cohesion, exploring how the value of tolerance is instrumentalised through education policy and political discourse to govern ethnic communities and youth and reinstate cultural hierarchy in Britain.

Her work can be found at:


  • PhD in Sociology, Liverpool Hope University, 2022
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2017
  • MA in International Relations (Europe), Durham University, 2015
  • MA in Sociology, Ankara University, 2014
  • MEd in Philosophy Group Teaching in Secondary Education, Ankara University, 2008
  • Minor in History of Philosophy, Middle East Technical University, 2006
  • BSc (Hons) in Sociology, Middle East Technical University, 2006
  • EMCC qualified mentor
  • EU institutions qualified trainer in adult education


Aslı is a critical sociologist who undertakes interdisciplinary research with advanced qualitative methods. Having completed her PhD at Liverpool Hope University as a Vice Chancellor’s Scholar, her doctoral study lies at the intersection of state power, symbolic borders, and cultural racism. Prior, she gained an MA in International Relations from Durham University as a Jean Monnet Scholar, an MA in Sociology and an MEd from Ankara University, following her BSc in Sociology and a Minor degree in History of Philosophy from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

Aslı joined the School of Education at the University of Birmingham in September 2022 as a Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Trust-funded project of “‘Free’ expression at School? The Making of Youth Engagements with Race and Faith” (FrEx). The FrEx is a mixed methods research project exploring how pre-adulthood race and faith-based expression is formed across school and public spaces. Her ethnographic study focuses on Year 10 pupils, communities, and policy practitioners in Birmingham. She also analyses education policy regarding the relevant policy and political discourse having emerged between 2010 and 2022. Alongside, she is responsible for the administration, content-creation, and management of the project website and social media accounts. She also works on the dissemination activities of the project and presents research findings in academic conferences and public engagement events.

Before joining Birmingham, Aslı was a Teaching Fellow in Sociology and Education at Keele University and an Associate Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University respectively. She designed, convened, and delivered several modules, supervised undergraduate dissertations, and acted as a personal tutor. She was part of Sociology and Education exam boards and research sub-committees. Aslı also has experience outside academia. She performed as a project manager in several EU projects within a wide range of subjects from irregular migration to gender equality in the workplace and enhancing Turkey’s capacity in judiciary. In such projects, Aslı collaborated with various national and international non-governmental organisations, as well as European and Turkish ministries. She also acted as an advisor to diplomats in Indian and Sudanese embassies in Ankara. She was involved in research and fact-finding endeavours, as resources for diplomats to develop diplomatic and dialogical relationships with their Turkish counterparts.

Aslı has recently become a certified mentor/coach. Her focus is on academic mentoring as well as professional coaching, and their decolonisation. She is also a peer-reviewer for several international academic journals in the fields of sociology, education, and research methods. Aslı writes, teaches, and tweets in several outlets. She is a former radio DJ and an avid capoeirista.


Aslı is a MA Seminar Tutor for the module, Education, Policy and Society.


Research interests

Ethnic, racial, and religious inequalities, class inequalities, political philosophy, social and education policy, state power, symbolic border(-making), cultural racism, the decolonisation of mentoring, and advanced qualitative research methods

Current projects

”Free” expression at School? The Making of Youth Engagements with Race and Faith’, Leverhulme

Principle Investigator: Prof. Karl Kitching
Co-Investigator: Dr. Reza Gholami

This mixed methods research project explores how race and faith-based expression is formed across school and public spaces before adulthood. Aslı is working on the qualitative component undertaking an ethnographic study in Birmingham schools/communities, analysing education policy, and interviewing governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Alongside, she provides digital visibility for the project.

Inclusive British Values (IBVs) Project

Principle Investigator: Dr Aslı Kandemir. Awarded CoSS Enterprise, Engagement, and Impact Funding. 

Aslı has designed and developed a Learners’ Guidebook titled British Values from a British-Turkish Community Perspective. The Guidebook presents three values namely equality, good character, and friendship and provides their definitions, illustrations, and supporting learning activities. This way, it aims to give space to the voice of British-Turks, especially the youth. The Guidebook is publicly accessible in five languages and its voiceovers are also accessible in two languages via  Aslı’s research webpage.


Other activities

  • European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), Global Network, 2021 – Present
  • Middle East Technical University (METU) Alumni Association; UK Branch, 2021 – Present, London, UK
  • Jean Monnet Scholarship Alumni Association, 2021 – Present, Ankara, Turkey 
  • Liverpool Turkish Society Association, 2017 - Present, Liverpool, UK


Recent publications


Kitching, K, Kandemir, A, Gholami, R & Rahman, MS 2024, 'Education policy and ‘free speech’ on race and faith equality at school', Journal of Education Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2024.2350039

Kandemir, A 2024, 'Genç İngiliz-Türklerin Gözünden ‘İngiliz Değerleri’', Heybe: Sosyal Hizmet ve Sosyal Politika Dergisi , vol. 6, 9, pp. 93-102.

Kandemir, A 2020, '“Intertwangerlings”: A Multiple (Auto) Ethnography of Journeys, Gentle Collisions-Hard Boundaries, Statues, and Tilt and Turn Gate/Bridges at the 13th International Congress of Qualitative Research', Qualitative Inquiry.

Kandemir, A 2018, 'Using Vignettes to Explore Reality and Values With Young People', Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research. https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-19.2.2914

Kandemir, A 2017, 'Distress in the city: racism, fundamentalism and a democratic education', Studies in Continuing Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037x.2016.1249599

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Garvey, B, Gannon, J, Kandemir, A & Karabatak-Binns, H 2023, Reciprocal Mentoring in the Third Sector: Reciprocal Mentoring for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity: The Case of ODTÜMİST Mentoring Programme(s) for METU Graduates in Turkey . in J Haddock-Millar, P Stokes & N Dominguez (eds), Reciprocal Mentoring . 1 edn, Routledge, pp. 262-290. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003302537-4


Kandemir, A 2018, 'Ambivalent citizenship', University of Liverpool.

Kandemir, A 2017, 'Expert Comment on the Race Disparity Audit', Liverpool Hope University.

Commissioned report

Koebke, G & Kandemir, A 2012, Opening Gates to Gender Equality in Working Life in Turkey. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security Republic of Turkey.

Digital or Visual Products

Kandemir, A, Inclusive British Values Guidebook_ENG_Voiceover, 2023, Digital or Visual Products, University of Birmingham.

Kandemir, A, Inclusive British Values Guidebook_TR_Voiceover, 2023, Digital or Visual Products, University of Birmingham.

Other contribution

Kandemir, A 2023, British Values: From a British-Turkish Community Perspective. University of Birmingham.

Koebke, G & Kandemir, A 2012, Gender Equality in Working Life. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security Republic of Turkey.

Other report

Rahman, S, Kitching, K, Gholami, R, Kandemir, A & Khokan, MR 2023, Youth Engagement with Race and Faith at School: National Pupil Survey Headline Findings Report. University of Birmingham. <https://more.bham.ac.uk/youth-engagement/wp-content/uploads/sites/70/2023/11/National-Pupil-Survey-Report-Final.pdf>

View all publications in research portal