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Professor Alastair Roy

Professor of Social Research
School of Social Work, Care and Community

I am Professor of Social Research and Co-Director of the Psychosocial Research Unit. Before becoming an academic I was youth and community worker and residential social worker. I describe myself as an inter-disciplinary scholar and I have a particular interest in research methodology. I have worked on innovations in mobile, visual, narrative and participatory methods. I have undertaken applied research in the fields of substance use, mental health, youth homelessness as well as in participatory and collaborative arts Current PhD students: George Dake - Male sex workers in Manchester: everyday life, lived experience and marginalization. Hannah Baarsden - Between health policy and care practice in the cancer patient pathway: a psychosocial study of patients’ biographical narratives. Lynda Shentall - Silenced voices: the experiences of women living with HIV who are subject to domestic violence. Craig Diver - investigation into the factors that influence and inform the support offered by adoption agencies to adoptive parents. Asta Binkauskaite - Landscapes of un/belonging: an empirical psychosocial study Of the Lithuanian experience of migration to London since 1991. (Second Supervisor).

In my research and scholarship I am especially interested in the implications of research employing different epistemological and methodological frameworks. Examples include the work I have recently undertaken (with ) on the use of film in participatory research projects with homeless young people Roy, A. Kennelly, J. Rowley, H. and Larkins, C. (forthcoming) A critical discussion of the use of film in participatory research projects with homeless young people: an international case-based analysis, Qualitative Research. Roy, A. (2016) Learning on the move: exploring work with vulnerable young men through the lens of movement. Applied Mobilities, 1 (2). pp. 207-218 Manley, J. and Roy, A. (2017) The visual matrix: a psycho-social method for discovering unspoken complexities in social care practice. Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 22 (2). pp. 132-153. 

I have organised key public debates at international festivals on socially engaged arts practice. For example, with Heart of Glass I have co-organised four national conferences and delivered panels at the Arts Council England's National Creative People and Places conference exploring the role of arts in place making and civic renewal and notions of cultural citizenship. I am also actively involved in the emerging discipline of psychosocial studies in the UK. I am a founding member of the Association of Psychosocial Studies (APS) which was established as a learned society in 2016, bringing together researchers, teachers, practitioners and students from different fields who are interested in contributing to the development of this exciting inter/trans-disciplinary field of study. I am a Member of the International Study Group for Psycho-societal Research which includes colleagues from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, USA and the UK.