School of Sociology and Social Policy

Image of Tiago Machado Costa

Tiago Machado Costa

ESRC Doctoral Researcher and Part-time Teacher,



Tiago uses they/them pronouns.

In Portugal, they were a Board Member (2015-6) of a LGBTI youth charity, and sat on various EDI committees and boards, at both local and national levels, including the Lisbon City Council Equality and Inclusion Forum and the National Youth Council's (CNJ) policy steering group. They are a trained Inclusion Educator and have oriented workshops on LGBTI inclusive education and practices at several high schools and universities in the Lisbon Metro area.

They moved to the UK in 2016. They have since been awared a BA(Hons) Sociology, First class, and a MA Social Science Research Methods (Sociology), with Distinction, both from the University of Nottingham.

Teaching Summary

Identity in Popular Culture (2021) - Seminar Tutor

Research Summary

Research Title

Just a personal preference? Racialised eroticisms and practices in sexual interaction among gay and bi men

Research Summary

Tiago's research focuses on the case of "racial preferences" and racialised desires and how these are manifested in the sexual practices of and interaction between gay and bisexual men. It seeks to uncover the discourses, power, and perceived ethical substance of these sexual practices from the perspective of the men that actively exclude potential partners on the base of their racialised embodied identity. In doing so, they pay attention to notions of sexual privilege and sexual capital to better understand collective sexual life and the fluid constructions of desirability. The methodology used is a multi-method qualitative design using vignette-focused interviews and digital diaries. Ultimately, the project seeks to develop our understanding of the relationship between structural forces of racism and sexual sociability and sexual dating practices, as well as a greater knowledge on the ethical considerations behind sexual and racial 'preferences' in an increasingly individualistic and post-racial society.


Prof. Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip

Dr. Esther Bott

Primary Funding Source

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Public Preferences, Private Desires: Reconceptualising the Post-Racial Public-Private Divide on Grindr in Relation to Discourses of Racialised Desires and Dating Practices, Viral Masculinities Conference: September 2020. Can be accessed here.

The Personal (Preference) is Political: Racialized Desires and Gay and Bisexual Men's Sexual Cultures in the UK. BSA Annual Conference 2022: Building Equality and Justice Now: April 2022.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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