Sam Shaw

I am a Principal Lecturer and Head of Programme for the BA (Hons) Children, Young People and Families.

After initially being employed as a Training Manager in the corporate sector, I took a change of direction and entered FE and HE education in 2003. My first lecturing roles were on CACHE Early Years, Care and Education programmes before moving into HE at the end of 2004. I have worked on a number of BA (Hons) as Module Leader for Sociology, Social Policy and Family Policy for Leeds University and Subject Leader for Sociology and Criminology at Huddersfield University’s Barnsley Centre in both Humanities and Psychological Studies before taking up my current post at York St John.

I gained a first class honours degree in Child & Family Studies from Leeds University, followed by a PGCE (FE) from Huddersfield. I then went on to complete an MA in Educational Research at Sheffield University before embarking on my PhD project ‘Living and Learning in the Coalfields of West Yorkshire’ at both the University of Sheffield and the University of the West of England.


Further Information


I teach the following modules on the BA (Hons) Children, Young People and Families programme:

  • Constructions of Childhood and Youth
  • Transitions: Key Moments of Change
  • Crime, Deviance and Youth Justice
  • Gender and Sexualisation


My main research activities revolve around the transition to adulthood of young people, not purely in an educational context, but also how their lives are very much intertwined with the wider aspects of living in 21st century Britain today. My particular interests include:

  • Methodological innovations in youth research
  • Historical and sociological constructions of childhood and youth
  • Visual methods and voice
  • Holistic/multi-disciplinary research in the social sciences
  • I am a member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA), of the British Sociological
  • Association (BSA), and of the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA).

Professional Activity

Does the Promotion of Cultural Capital Destroy Social Capital? Sustaining Communities in Spite of Education (Paper presented at the 7th International Conference on the Social and Moral Fabric of the School: Educational Values for a Sustainable World. Seattle Pacific University, USA. 30 August - 1 September 2012)

'It's full of chavs! I can't wait to leave': Living Between Rhetoric and Reality: Exploring Educational Policy and Regeneration in a West Yorkshire Mining Community (Paper presented at British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference April 2010)

'You know more about me than my mum!': Exploring Video Diary & Voice (Paper presented at British Sociological Association (BSA) Annual Conference April 2009)

'We're not Chavs!': Living Between Rhetoric and Reality: A Critique of Widening Participation Policy in the Regeneration of a West Yorkshire Coalfield (Paper presented at University of Bristol (HEFCE) Widening Participation Seminar September 2009)

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