Academic career:

  • 2014-: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
  • 2013-2014: Teaching Fellow, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

Professional responsibilities

Sophie's research looks broadly at the relationship between global mobility, privilege and identity. This has taken two key forms.

First, she has examined how migration categories are produced and practised, from the perspective of understanding cultural geographies of migration and the cultural economies of migration industries. Her ESRC-funded research on ‘Following the Expatriate’ drew upon mobilities as a field to look at the different ways in which ‘expatriate’ comes to be understood. It looked at how the Global Mobility Industry, an industry that supports the management of expatriate relocation, helps to produce expatriate identities. This also considered how British migrants in Singapore use the term expat. In Loughborough-funded research she has also looked at Third Culture Kids (TCKs), people who spent part of their childhood growing up in a different country from that which their parents are from.

Second, she has looked at the influence of global mobility on young people’s identities. This includes research that looks at high school aged children, through Loughborough University funded research on youth global citizenship in international schools. More recently, it has expanded to thinking about international student mobility, through ASET funded research on how young people use international work placements in their career planning and RGS-IBG funded research that examines the children of British migrants at UK Universities.

Sophie teaches broadly across topics looking at the geographies of work and migration.

Recent postgraduate research students

Completed 2020: Charlotte Bolton: The English as a Foreign Language Industry: A Story of Contemporary Mobility Processes (University Scholarship).

Selected publications

  • Cranston, S. (2020) Figures of the Global: Privileged young people’s mobility journeys, Population, Space and Place, e2305. Invited contribution to special issue: Transnational Youth Mobilities.
  • Cranston, S., Pimlott-Wilson, H., Bates, E. (2020) International Work Placements and the Hierarchies of Distinction, Geoforum 108 139-147.
  • Cranston, S., Lloyd, J. (2019) Bursting the Bubble: Spatialising safety for privileged migrant women in Singapore, Antipode, 51(2) 478-496.
  • Cranston, S., Schapendonk, J., Spaan, E. (2018) New Directions in the Migration Industries: Introduction to Special Issue, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(4) 543-557. 
  • Cranston, S. (2017a) Expat as Good Migrant: Thinking through Skilled Migration Categories, Population, Space and Place. e2058.
  • Cranston, S. (2016a) Producing Migrant Encounter: Learning to be a British Expatriate in Singapore through the Global Mobility Industry, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 34(4) 655-671.
  • Cranston, S. (2016b) ‘Imagining Global Work: Producing Understandings of Difference in ‘Easy Asia,’ Geoforum, 70 60-68.
  • Cranston, S. (2014) Reflections on Doing the Expat Show: Performing the Global Mobility Industry, Environment and Planning A, 46(5) 1124-1138.