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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Lynne Cairns

Postgraduate Research Student in the Department of Sociology

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I am embarking on my PhD journey in the Department of Sociology in 2020 first undertaking the Certificate in Social Research Methods at Durham University. I graduated as a Social Worker, in 2000, with MA (Hons) in Social Work from University of Dundee and subsequently undertook post-qualifying awards including PG Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and MSc (distinction) in Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice. I previously worked in secure and residential childcare settings and latterly as Senior Practitioner with children and families in the area of child abuse and harmful sexual behaviours 

My doctoral research is supported by a scholarship from ESRC North East and Northern Ireland Doctoral Training Program (NINE DTP) 

Field of Study

Utilising principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR) with young men who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour as ‘experts through experience’ my PhD study aims to generate unique knowledge, insight and understanding about the lived experience of ‘risk’ and ‘protection’. I hope to better understand how harmful sexual behaviours are shaped sociologically and contextually and develop a conceptualisation of ‘contextual risk and protection’ to contribute to developments in the field of contextual safeguarding.  

My principle collaborative partner is the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit based in Police Scotland in partnership with Scottish Government. 

Interest Areas

  • Child and young people with harmful sexual behaviours 
  • Contextual safeguarding  
  • Participatory research methods 

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