Academic Career

  • 2013 onwards: Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. 
  • 2012: British Academy Mid-Career Fellow. 
  • 2010 onwards: Professor of Human Geography, Loughborough University. 
  • 2007: Philip Leverhulme Prize Winner. 
  • 1994 -2007: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in Human Geography, Loughborough University.

Professional Responsibilities

Sarah is a social and cultural geographer, with twin interests in ‘Geographies of Children, Youth and Families’ and ‘Geographies of Social Difference’.

Her current research explores these themes through a focus on geographies of education and learning, a field which foregrounds the ways wider social processes shape (and are reshaped through) formal and informal spaces of education, and considers how this is experienced, embraced and contested by educators and diverse subjects of education. Her research on primary education explores: neoliberal educational restructuring; the growth of enrichment activities for children; the changing nature of play; parenting education; and mothers efforts to balance earning a living with caring for their children. In the secondary sector, her research explores the marketisation of private tuition and socio-spatial differentiation in the use of tutors. In the university sector, she has explored implications of gender, sexuality and religion in young people’s accrual of cultural capital when they are internationally mobile for higher education.

Her previous research has investigated: (i) class differentiated geographies of childrearing; (ii) young people’s use of new technologies at home and school; (iii) gender and youth in domesticated and public drinking landscapes; (iii) racialisation of Gypsy-Traveller and rural racism.

Sarah’s teaching examines the importance of social divisions such as class, gender and race at local, national and global scales. Across the undergraduate programme, she considers: the empirical geographies of these differences; philosophical changes in geographical approaches to them; and the ways they shape geographies of housing, home life, and senses of being at home.

Current Postgraduate Research Students

  • Emma Bates: Discerning the perceptions of middle-class, pre-career women towards their careers and work-family balance
  • Aysegul Dilbirligi: Attitudes to parenting in Turkey and the UK

Recent Postgraduate Research Students

  • Sophie Beer (2018): Spaces of early education and care: exploring ethos, choice and parental engagement
  • Tim Fewtrell (2018): Geographies of youth, volunteering and religion: Narratives of young Muslim volunteers in Birmingham, UK
  • Stacey Balsdon (2015): 'Studentsification': Recognising the diversity of student populations and student accommodation pathways

Selected Publications