School of Sociology and Social Policy

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Edward Wright

PhD Student, Faculty of Social Sciences



Ed is a doctoral researcher in sociology at the university funded by the ESRC. Ed holds an MA in Socio-legal and Criminological Research Methods, an MSc in Social and Cultural Theory and a BA in Sociology and Social Policy.

Ed's personal twitter account: @edwardjwright1

Expertise Summary

Social Theory (particularly Bourdieu); Qualitative Methods; Philosophy of Social Science; sport; sociological theories of time.

Teaching Summary

Ed currently works as a part-time university teacher, leading seminars on:

Criminology: Key Perspectives and Debates (UG1)

Philosophy of Social Science at postgraduate level (PGT,PGR)

Ed has occasionally lectured on: the electronic monitoring of offenders, various aspects of social theory, and managing dissertations.

Research Summary

PhD title: From Rookie to Rocky? On Modernity, Identity and White Collar Boxing.

Supervisors: Dr Melanie Jordan and Professor John Holmwood

The empirical grounding of Ed's doctoral research is in-and-around a boxing club which caters for white collar boxing. White collar boxing is a form of engagement in the fistic trade emergent in late modernity. In this context, this form of engagement entails participation in a short-term, intensive training programme in preparation for a full-contact boxing match in front of a large crowd.

Research questions are as follows:

  • What is white collar boxing?
  • How do social divisions order practice in white collar boxing?
  • How might the answers to the questions above contribute to our understanding of the formation of identity in late modernity?

White collar boxing, in being a recently emergent form of the sport, is under-researched. Historically, boxing has been austerely ordered according to various social divisions in-composite, in particular (though no particular order is implied here): class, gender and 'race'. Whether white collar boxing entails a continuity of such austere social logic is of interest to address. Various 'grand' sociological theorists have proclaimed that we now live in a second (late, liquid) modernity in which the social divisions of the past no longer meaningfully order practice; we are now 'tourists', ever-reflexive subjects treading individually-defined life-courses, consuming identity in a 'pay-as-you-go' manner. This body of theory is however rarely empirically analysed, rather constructed at an unduly abstract level and treated as sociological 'common sense'. Answering the questions above, via ethnographic data collection at the boxing club ultimately amounts to effort towards analysing such claims.

Secondary Research:

Community and Capoeira:

The Community and Capoeira study is part of a larger AHRC programme grant held by Professor Paul Crawford at The Institute of Mental Health (UoN). Dr Melanie Jordan is the PI.

As part of a five member interdisciplinary research team, Ed's responsibilities include/included ethnographic fieldwork; thematic data analysis (observational and interview data); theorisation with team members; identifying journals for publication; planning and contributing to outputs (journal articles, conference papers).

Conference Papers

Ed has presented and/or contributed to the following conference papers based on the above research:

September 2016: Jordan, M., Purser, A., Grundy, A., Wright, E., Joyes, E. 'Can capoeira encourage societal connectedness?' International Health Humanities Conference, University of Seville [17/09/2016].

July 2016: ''I don't wanna hurt nobody! But that's a thing you've gotta conquer': on the transformation of gendered habitus in boxing', British Sociological Association Bourdieu Study Group Biennial International Conference, University of Bristol [05/07/2016].

May 2016: Jordan, M., Purser, A., Grundy, A., Wright, E., Joyes, E. 'Capoeira and community: Social bonds and practices of a newly created group and setting', The Institute of Mental Health Research Day, University of Nottingham [10/05/16]

January 2016: 'Tattoos as Bodily Mediations of Place-based Belonging', British Sociological Association Citizenship Study Group Early Career Academic Conference, University of Nottingham [18/01/16].

April 2015: 'Negotiating the Work of Wacquant in the Production of an Ethnographic Account of White Collar Boxing', British Sociological Association 2015 Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University [17/04/15].

November 2014: 'Rolling with the Punches: Narrating My PhD Experience So Far', presented at the 7th Annual Enquire Conference, University of Nottingham [14/11/14].

Ed is currently the representative for part-time teaching staff in The School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Ed is a co-founder and co-editor of the Enquire Blog, a blog for PGRs to disseminate research.

Ed is an active member of the Identities, Citizenship, Equalities and Migration Centre (ICEMiC), regularly organising events (workshops, film screenings, discussion groups) as part of the centre.

Future Research

Ed is currently developing a sociology of the face in everyday life. Ed has recieved a small amount of funding from the Identities, Citizenship, Equalities and Migration Centre (ICEMiC) in order to develop this project.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

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