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Accepting Doctoral Students


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Personal profile

Research interests

I joined the University of Bath in 2015, having previously held lectureships at Royal Holloway, University of London and Queen’s University, Belfast. In 2009 I was a Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s Center for Cultural Sociology, and in 2019 I was a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s Humanities Research Centre.

I am the author of four books, with a fifth in preparation, and over 15 book chapters and articles in, amongst other journals, Sociology, British Journal of Criminology, Health, Risk, & Society, and Crime, Media Culture. My first monograph, Ribbon Culture: Charity, Compassion, and Public Awareness (2008/2010, Palgrave Macmillan) was awarded the 2009 British Sociological Association Philip Abram’s Memorial Prize for ‘Best first book in Sociology’. My most recent book -- a co-authored monograph, titled Detecting the Social: Order and Disorder in Post-1970s Detective Fiction -- was awarded the 2019 International Crime Fiction Association Prize for scholarly contribution to the field.

My research interests range across the sociology of crime and justice and the sociology of health. What knits the various strands of my research together is an interest in how blame, responsibility, and accountability work. My research is concerned with two questions. How and why are certain social groups made to feel responsible for their personal safety and wellbeing? And how do late modern social institutions make themselves accessible and accountable to the public? In thinking about these matters my work is strongly influenced by Mary Douglas’ writing on blame and danger, as well as political philosophical writing on public participation in democratic processes.

 My current research falls into three categories:

  1. The place and role of the public in the courtroom, and in twenty-first century public policy more broadly. Much of my current and future work focuses on institutional transparency, courtroom broadcasting, virtual courts, appeal processes, and the management of public crisis in the soft legal realm. 
  2. The effects of the retrenchment of legal aid. As part of a long-term collaboration with Alex Newbury (University of Brighton) I am interested in tracing and assessing the impact of legal aid reform on litigants in person. Our recent book, Legal Aid in Crisis (2017, Policy Press), made the case for a new, holistic approach to legal aid.
  3. Gender and risk. I have a long-standing interest in how threats to women’s health and safety are culturally constructed, and have written about, amongst other things, sex education, cautionary tales in the media, and the feminisation of breast cancer. My current work in this area is focussed on the proliferation of ‘risk rituals’ (a concept I developed with Adam Burgess) at certain points in the female lifecourse. 

I also take an active role in the life of the Department of Social and Policy Sciences. I have served as an Undergraduate Director of Studies and am currently the Department’s Director of Learning and Teaching, responsible for the strategic development of its portfolio of UG degree programmes. I am a committed teacher, and have twice been awarded University-wide teaching prizes, most recently in 2016 for ‘Best Supervisor’ at the University of Bath. I have seen three PhD students through to completion, and am always keen to hear from prospective PhD candidates whose research interests intersect with mine. 


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Research Output

Digital government, public participation and service transformation: the impact of virtual courts

Moore, S., 31 Jul 2019, In : Policy and Politics. 47, 3, p. 495-509 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Seeing Justice Done: Courtroom Filming and the Deceptions of Transparency

Moore, S., Clayton, A. & Murphy, H., 5 Nov 2019, In : Crime Media Culture. 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
28 Downloads (Pure)

Detecting the social: Order and disorder in Post-1970s detective fiction

Evans, M., Moore, S. & Johnstone, H., 31 Dec 2018, Palgrave Macmillan. 196 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Prestige, Performance, and Social Pressure in Viral Challenge Memes: Neknomination, the Ice Bucket Challenge and SmearForSmear as Imitative Encounters

Burgess, A., Miller, V. & Moore, S., 1 Oct 2018, In : Sociology. 52, 5, p. 1035-1051 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)


    Making sense of men’s experiences and progression through social work programmes

    Author: Schaub, J., 27 Jun 2017

    Supervisor: Brown, S. (Supervisor), Moore, S. (Supervisor) & Butler, I. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD