Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Dr Sophie Yarker

Job Title: Post-doctoral Research Associate

Institution: Aberystwyth University



Role:  Post-doctoral Research Associate



I completed my PhD in Human Geography in 2014 at Newcastle University. This was an ESRC-funded research project exploring the nature and extent of local identities in the context of urban change in order to better understand how urban regeneration can impact on the sense of belonging and attachment for local residents. Prior to this I completed a Research MA in Local and Regional Development at the Centre of Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and a BA Hons in Sociology and Social Policy, also at Newcastle University.

Since completing my PhD I have worked at Newcastle University as a Teaching Fellow, mainly in the field of economic geography, whilst also working on two small internally funded research projects. The first, funded by the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal (NISR) looked at the contribution to the community and voluntary sector of African asylum seekers and refugees living in Newcastle upon Tyne and the second, funded by the Catherine Cookson foundation, explored the social history of the Marine School in South Shields and the social identity of the mariners who trained there.

Research Interests

  • Local and regional identities
  • Community resilience, wellbeing and stewardship
  • Everyday experiences of local communities
  • The role and changing nature of the community and voluntary sector
  • Post-industrial landscapes
  • Ethnographic approaches and qualitative research methods

Current Research

I am involved in two projects within the WISERD/Civil Society research programme. The majority of my time will be spent working on the project Ageing, serious leisure and the contribution of the grey economy which investigates the contributions of older people to the social and economy vibrancy and viability of rural localities through their varied voluntary participatory activities. I have a smaller role on a second project, Rethinking local civil society in an age of global connectivity.


Yarker, S (in press) ‘Social Housing as Built Heritage: The Presence and Absence of Affective Heritage’ in Tolia-Kelly, D.P, Waterton, E., and Watson, S. (eds) (2017) Heritage, Affect and Emotion: politics, practices and infrastructures. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Yarker, S (forthcoming) ‘Re-conceptualising comfort as part of local belonging: the use of confidence, commitment and irony’ Social and Cultural Geography (Accepted subject to revisions 2016).

Yarker, S (Under review) ‘The tangential meaning of urban regeneration: The cultural and social displacement, placement and re-placement of local residents in a changing urban landscape’ Urban Studies (Submitted 2016)



Latest News
WISERD is part of the new Alzheimer’s Society Centre of Excellence

20th June 2017

Alzheimer’s Society has announced today (Tuesday 20 June) that it has committed almost £2million to the University of Exeter, as part of its biggest-ever single investment in dementia care research, which WISERD will be continuing to contribute to.


Latest findings from the Young People and Brexit project - 'revenge of the young remainers'?

14th June 2017

In light of the 2017 General Election, in which the youth vote became one of the defining features, Dr Stuart Fox and Dr Sioned Pearce update us on the latest findings from the Young People and Brexit project. Using new data, they discuss whether there really was a ‘youth surge’ in votes and whether this election really was the ‘revenge of the young remainers’?


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