Communities, identities and mobilities

The Communities, Identities, and Mobilities cluster brings together academics and postgraduate research students from a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Media, and Education. Members of the cluster have a shared interest in processes of globalisation and the challenges these pose at the level of community, individual identity, and the institution. On this basis, members of the unit are concerned with developing theoretical, methodological, and policy-relevant approaches to questions connected to social, cultural, political and economic change and transformation. Academics in the cluster are interested in issues around migration, exile, and belonging; the anthropocene and sustainability; political economy and experiences of indebtedness; the politics of higher education; utopianism and social imaginaries; and conspiracy theory and sense-making in a rapidly changing world.

Cluster Leader: Dr Mark Featherstone

Research areas

  • Transnational Migration and the Experience of Refugee and Asylum Seekers
  • Identity, Exile, and Loneliness
  • The Anthropocene and Sustainability
  • Debt and Political Economy
  • Globalisation and Work
  • The Cultural Politics of Education
  • Higher Education and Global Citizenship
  • Masculinity in Higher Education
  • Chinese Mobilities in Higher Education
  • Utopianism and Imaginaries of the Future
  • Conspiracy Theory and Belief Systems
  • Media Representations of Muslim Identities


Members of the cluster have written significant books on entanglement and the anthropocene, utopias and utopianism, debt and indebtedness, education and global citizenship, education and democracy, progressive education, Muslims and the media, and constructions of crime in the media.


The cluster hosts a seminar series and holds regular workshops on themes and topics connected to its research interests. Recent workshops include events on social media use and asylum seekers, debt and indebtedness, and cultural politics and extremism.

Postgraduate research

All members of the cluster are involved in the supervision of PhD students who are also full members of the group. Our students are working on research projects in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Media Representations of Forensic Science  
  • Muslim Women’s Online Self-Representation in Hijab Fashion 
  • Multiculturalism and Integration
  • Utopias and Space
  • Gender Transformation and Cosplay
  • Subjective Understandings of Happiness
  • Post-Feminist Performance and Celebrity
  • Drone Warfare, the Body, and Environment
  • ‘Brand Me’, Identity, and Higher Education
  • Undocumented Chinese Families and Social Work 
  • International Schools and the Identity of Chinese Students

We welcome enquiries and applications by potential PhD students. Please contact Mark Featherstone or an academic working in your area of interest in the first instance.

For further information please contact: