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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Donna Marie Brown

Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology

Contact Dr Donna Marie Brown (email at


Donna Marie joined SASS as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Science in 2016.


  • 2009  Learning, Teaching and Assessment Diploma (Higher Education), School of Education and Social Work, Dundee University.
  • 2004–2008 PhD in Human Geography, Department of Geography, University of Durham (ESRC/Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) Case Studentship). Thesis: Fashioning High Quality Public Spaces: The ‘urban renaissance’ in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Gateshead. Supervisors: Dr Gordon MacLeod and Professor Stuart Elden.
  • 2002 – 2003 MA Space, Culture and Politics (Distinction), Department of Geography, University of Durham. Dissertation: Newcastle’s Pink Triangle: A counterpublic for the gay community?
  • 1999 – 2002 BA (Hons) Geography, Department of Geography, University of Durham.

Employment History

  • 2011 – 2016 Senior Lecturer in Social Science, Department of Social Work and Communities, Northumbria University.
  • 2008 – 2011 Lecturer in Urban Geography and Town Planning, School of Social and Environmental Sciences, University of Dundee.
  • 2007 – 2008 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Scottish Institute for Policing Research, University of Dundee.
  • 2006  ESRC Postgraduate Visiting Research Fellow (February – May), Department of Geosciences, University of Sydney.

Research Interests

Located broadly within the spheres of criminology, social policy and social geography, key research interests include:
  • Community policing and crime control: Interrogating the academic, policy and practitioner dimensions of community policing within the UK and beyond.
  • Youth violence and youth justice: Exploring the intersectionalities of young people’s understandings, experiences and resistance to violence and the impact that they have on the possibilities for youth justice.
  • Innovative qualitative research methods and social research design: Attempting to produce enlivened accounts of people’s experiences with specific reference to emancipatory, ethnographic, comparative and participatory research approaches.
  • Social theory: Using social and critical theory to challenge and enhance understandings of everyday life, focussing on the contemporary urban realm.
  • Social policy and social justice: Critically analysing the discursive practices at play within urban and social policy and the impacts that they have on marginal groups.
  • Identity, space and politics: Examining the interrelationship between identity construction and spatiality in contemporary urban life, specifically with ‘queer’ and youth groups. 

Selected Publications

Edited book
Journal articles

Book Chapters

  • (Accepted) Smith, F.; Blazek, M.; Brown, D. M. and van Blerk, L.The relational spaces of mentoring with young people ‘at risk’. In: Pykett, J, Jupp, E. and Smith, F. (Eds.) (2016) Emotional States: Sites and Spaces of Affective Governance.
  • Brown, D. M., Gertig, P., and Gillman, M. (2013) Accessing Social and Leisure Activities: Barriers to inclusion experienced by visually impaired people. In Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. (Eds.) Disabling Barriers: Enabling Environments [3rd edition]. SAGE Publications, Oxford, pp. 214-221.


Other Publications

  • Brown D. M. (2008) Review essay: Alan Collins Cities of Pleasure. Urban Studies 44(1): 200-2.
  • Brown, D. M. (2006) Institute of Advanced Studies Initial Scoping Exercise: Key themes in the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities. Durham University Institute of Advanced Studies: Durham.

Research Centres

Selected Research Grants

  • 2015 North Tyneside Council Consultancy (PI). £3000 to conduct a systematic review on the preventative attributes of youth work, with a specific focus on youth crime and disorder.
  • 2014  Collaborative Action Research Network Conference Grant. To cover conference attendance costs for all members of an emancipatory research project who were presenting at CARN annual conference.
  • 2013  Higher Education Innovation Fund (with matched funding from Northumberland County Council) (CI). £5000 staff exchange funding to evaluate Northumberland County Council’s Complex Child in Need programme.
  • 2012  Higher Education Innovation Fund and Regional Innovation Fund (PI). £9000 staff exchange funding to conduct an emancipatory research project with members of NSBP into the barriers of accessing social and leisure activities for visually impaired people.
  • 2010  Violence Reduction Unit, Association for Directors of Social Work Scotland and YMCA Scotland (PI). £22,000 to evaluate the Plusone mentoring programme.
  • 2009  ESRC/Kindrogan 1+3 studentship (Second supervisor) (CI). c£50,000 package to supervise a project titled ‘Antisocial Behaviour and Youth in Rural Scotland’. Kindrogan Consortium, Scotland Carnegie Research Grant (PI). £1800 to investigate the policing of antisocial behaviour in Dundee. Carnegie Trust, Scotland.

Teaching Areas

  • Social Research Methods
  • Police and Policing
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Dissertation Supervision

Research Projects

Department of Sociology


Journal Article