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Personal profile


I am an experienced researcher, writer and inter-disciplinary academic who uses ethnographic methods (observation, interviewing) to study social problems. I have dedicated much of the last 20 years to spending time with and studying homeless drug users, terminally-ill patients, refugees, prostitutes, gypsies, gang members, young offenders and deviant young people, political activists and protestors and economic migrants.

One of my most recent books, Dead End Lives: Drugs and Violence in the City Shadows (2017, Policy Press), won the Division of International Criminology’s Outstanding Book Award 2018 (selected by the American Society of Criminology). Other recent monographs include Climate Changed: Refugee Border Stories and the Business of Misery (2020, Routledge) and Hotel Puta: A Hardcore Ethnography of a Luxury Brothel (2022, RJ4All Publications). I am also the lead co-author of Researching the Covid-19 Pandemic (2021, Bristol University Press) and Lockdown: Social Harm in the Covid-19 Era (2021, Palgrave), and am in the closing stages of finishing The New Futures of Exclusion (2023, Palgrave). I now begin work on In search of Slava Ukraїni, a project based on my experiences hosting Ukrainian families in Spain.

Research interests

Any social problem.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Sociology, PhD, University of London

31 Aug 200611 Aug 2011

Award Date: 11 Aug 2011


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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