Communities, Social Psychology and Policy Change

The cluster is comprised of staff who work broadly in the area of Communities, Social Psychology, and Society and the way that public policies operate around the broad wellbeing of groups, individuals and social structures. The group take a psychosocial approach, recognising the way in which interdisciplinarity is required to research and understand these key areas. Many members of the group are scholar activists, who recognise the importance of academic involvement in positive social change and social justice issues.  

Communities, Social Psychology and Policy Change cluster

We welcome opportunities to work with diverse key players in supportive and equal relationships around a broad range of areas of interest clustered around the general fields of communities, social psychology and public/social policy.  


  1. To apply an interdisciplinary knowledge and practice focus to the broad issues of communities, social psychology, sociology and policy analysis and critique.
  2. To contribute to knowledge and developments around social life in a wide range of communities (geographical, of interest, of professional practice, virtual and so forth), applying Social Psychological and Sociological understandings and theories but drawing upon other adjunct disciplines, e.g. Gender Studies, Black Studies, Abuse Studies, History and so forth). 
  3. To examine inequality and inequity between and within social groups, recognising power differentials, gender, age, race and ethnicity, religion/faith and other key dynamics in people’s lives and experiences.
  4. To identify, map and analyse patterns of social inclusion and exclusion and, where possible, to work with collaborative partners and stakeholder to challenge, redress or resolve these, recognising that change around these areas is a lengthy and complex process that the Academy should be involved in addressing with community partners.
  5. To provide real world actions that can aid in social justice and social equality agenda, sharing these with stakeholders, beneficiaries, regional, national and transnational players through dissemination, engagement, projects, research and knowledge exchange and impact activities. 

Areas of activity and knowledge exchange 

  • Participatory action approaches involving key participant-led methodologies and collaborative approaches with a variety of local authority, public and civic society partners.
  • Community development and social inclusion
  • NGO and voluntary action studies 
  • Participatory action research and community co-researching
  • Socio-cognitive development in children and adolescents
  • Community activism and public engagement
  • Working with Refugees, Asylum seekers and displaced people and Implicit and explicit attitudes towards immigrants and refugees
  • History and philosophy of social psychology
  • Securitisation and the psychological effects of liberty restrictions
  • The social construction of identity and social practices
  • How people negotiate and legitimize socially marginal beliefs and behaviours
  • Intergenerational mobility and subjective wellbeing
  • Identity issues and abuse towards displaced and/or unsettled communities (e.g. Gypsy, Traveller and Romani populations, migrants and refugees)
  • Urban space and urban studies.

Staff working in this group