Heather Blenkinsop

Heather Blenkinsop
Heather Blenkinsop
SociologySchool of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Mythology and folklore, Storytelling & ethnography, Memory, identity, Britain, Historical sociology, Research methods, Narrative Inquiry, Legends, Community Belonging, Interdisciplinary Research

PhD Title

Stories from the Wall: The Making and Remaking of Localism

Research Interview

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



  • ESRC +3 Award 2008 - 2011
  • NABS Bursary 2007-2008
  • B.L Hoyt Scholarship 2005