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Sociology: People


Heather Blenkinsop

Heather Blenkinsop
Heather Blenkinsop
Research Interests
Storytelling & ethnography, Memory, identity, Britain, Historical sociology, Research methods, Narrative Inquiry, Legends, Community Belonging, Interdisciplinary Research, Mythology and folklore, Myth and storytelling

Thesis Overview

The broad aim of this study concerns the making and remaking of localism, by which I mean the experience of group identity expressed through commitment to community, in a small rural Northumbrian town. This research will contribute to the sociology of local identity and ‘belonging’, using an ethnographic methodology focused around three public events. These events are: the bi-annual Walking Festival, the Summer Carnival and the Annual Craft Fair. I will examine how ‘incomers’ and ‘locals’ cooperate to organize and attend these events and how they provide a time/space through which solidarity or otherwise, is performed and identities are related to the outside world. The research investigates the process of becoming, or claiming to be, a local person, of belonging to a community and how the processes of making, verifying and ascribing such identity claims occurs and in what situations and contexts.     



Prof. Liz Stanley and Dr. Michael Rosie



  • PhD Sociology (University of Edinburgh) 2012
  • MA in Anthropology (California State University, Los Angeles) 2006
  • BA in Anthropology (California State University, Los Angeles) 2005



  • Roberts Funding: co-authored proposal & organised workshop 2009 - 2009
  • ESRC +3 Award 2008 - 2011
  • NABS Bursary 2007-2008
  • B.L Hoyt Scholarship 2005


Publications and Reviews

Blenkinsop, H. 2013 ‘Forgotten Memories? Silence, Reason, Truth and the Carnival.’ In        Documents of Life Revisited: Narrative and Biographical Methodology for a 21st              Century Critical Humanism, ed. Liz Stanley. Farnham: Ashgate.

Blenkinsop, H. 2010 ‘She’s From Bothy Sike: Challenges to Research and the                      Experience of Belonging.’ Sites 7 (1): 123-142. 

Blenkinsop, H. 2010 ‘Review of Telling Stories: The Use of Personal Narratives in the            Social Sciences and History, by Mary Jo Maynes, Jennifer Pierce and Barbara                  Laslett.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36(3): 539 - 540. 

Blenkinsop, H. 2008 ‘Review of Cosmic Society, by Peter Dickens and James Ormrod.’        Network 100:19.

Blenkinsop, H. 2007 ‘Review of Anthropology Matters! by S. Fedorak.’ Anthropology and      Ageing Quarterly 28 (3):81.