Dr Sam Hillyard
I joined the School in 2006 and taught qualitative research methods in the School of Education between 2007-9. Prior to Durham, I studied at Warwick University (BA, PhD, Sociology), researched at Lancaster University (researcher, ESRC project 00 23 7661, PI: Professor Rosemary Deem) and held lecturing posts at Keele University (UK) and the Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society (Nottingham University).
My work is informed by an enduring commitment to applied sociology, specifically the synergies between theoretical ideas and empirical ethnographic research. This interest has been applied across a variety of research settings: senior academics in UK universities; senior policy makers and members of the farming and veterinary communities; social science research on game shooting in the UK and; the role of the school in rural communities.
My professional activities include membership of the editorial board of the journal Qualitative Research and formerly of Sociological Research Online and Ethnography and Education and I regularly review for over a dozen journals, publishing houses and research councils. I am also a member of the ESRC's peer-review college (2010- ) and series editor of Studies in Qualitative Methodology (Emerald) from 2012. I actively welcome enquires on future volumes for this series.
I have attracted funding from the ESRC, the University of Nottingham, the Rural Economy and Land Use programme (ESRC, NERC, BBSRC) and Guide Dogs for the Blind. Stemming from this work have been a number of books: on fieldwork with Professor Pole (Doing Fieldwork 2016); on rural sociology (sole-authored); managerialism in UK universities (with Professors Deem and Reed) and; an edited a volume on theory and ethnography (New Frontiers in Ethnography) and a four-volume collection on fieldwork for Sage (Approaches to fieldwork 2014). With Dr. Martin Hand (Queen’s, Canada), I edited a collection on ‘big data’ and qualitative methods ((Big data?. Qualitative approaches to digital research 2014).
With Professor Carl Bagley (Education, Durham), I was PI on a recently completed ESRC funded project exploring the micro-politics of rural schooling and communities (ESRC no. 000 22 3412). Carl and I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in two, English rural villages – challenging whether schools are at the heart of such communities. The project contrasts north Norfolk and North East locales, employing a variety of theoretical ideas attempting to capture the social, political-economic and spatial dynamics in play. Carl and I welcome all enquiries about the project (email@example.com). I also concluded an additional piece of field research following on from an ESRC-funded project exploring managerialism in UK universities. This explored the career backgrounds, trajectories and decision-making of a handful of UK social science academics. Currently, I am exploring the impact of global elites in remote contexts. With colleagues in Politics and Anthropology at Durham, and with the support of the IHRR, I have been exploring food choice using rural-urban comparisons.
I currently supervise a number of PhD students. Enquiries from prospective research students interested in the above fields or related topics are most welcome.
Rural schooling and the micro-politics of community. A study of two English, rural villages and their schools.
The research sought to explore the impact of policy change at the local level in two rural village communities and their schools. It used these case studies to see how large-scale policy impacted upon everyday lives. The project hence drew upon an array of qualitative methods, including archival and primary sources (such as interviews). Operationally, the research worked through five packages:
- Examining the current role and centrality of the school within two contrasting English rural villages
- Exploring the role and significance of the school inside the community over the past fifty years
- Evaluating as far as possible the sustainability of each school and instances of good practice or concern relating to the school’s future success (indeed, survival)
- Situating and examining educational provision in relation to other core services (such as health, housing, transport, policing, technology and retail)
- Exploring the schooling experience offered to pupils, staff and parents in a rural setting.
Grant Start Date: 1st April 2009 - Grant End Date: 30th September 2011
- Pole, C. & Hillyard, S. (2016). Doing fieldwork. London: Sage.
Chapter in book
- Hillyard, S. (2014). ‘Where No-One Can Hear You Scream’ An Analysis of the Potential of ‘Big Data’ for Rural Research in the British Context. In Big data? Qualitative approaches to digital research. Hand, M. & Hillyard, S. Bingley: Emerald. 13: 231-249.
- Hillyard, S. (2012). The role of forced serendipity in qualitative research: the ethics of researching rural schools. In Ethics and qualitative research. Love, K. Emerald.
- Hillyard, S.H. (2009). Divisions and divisiveness and the social cost of foot and mouth disease: a sociological analysis of FMD in one locality. In From Mayhem to Meaning: the social and cultural impact of foot and mouth disease in the UK in 2001. Doring, M. & Nerlich, B. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Hand, M. & Hillyard, S. (2014). Big Data? Qualitative Approaches to Digital Research. Studies in Qualitative Methodology, volume 13. Bingley: Emerald.
- Bagley, Carl & Hillyard, Sam (2019). In the field with two rural primary school head teachers in England. Journal of Educational Administration and History 51(3): 273-289.
- Hillyard, Sam (2019). The Rising Salience of the Absent: An Interactionist Analysis. Qualitative Sociology Review 15(2): 56-72.
- Hillyard, S. (2016). Bullshot: sporting shooting, alcohol and the two cultures. International Review for the Sociology of Sport 51(4): 394-409.
- Hillyard, S. & Bagley, C.A. (2015). Community strikes back? Belonging and exclusion in rural English villages in networked times. International Journal of Inclusive Education 19(7): 748-758.
- Hillyard, S. (2015). Rural putsch: power, class, social relations and change in the English rural village. Sociological Research Online 20(1): 5.
- Hillyard, S. (2015). The cultural invisibility and misrepresentation of UK firearm ownership: the new iron cage. A commentary and response to ‘A tale of two nations. Public Philosophy Journal (Special Issue: GUN CRIME).
- Bagley, C.A. & Hillyard, S. (2014). Rural schools, social capital and the Big Society: a theoretical and empirical exposition. British Educational Research Journal 40(1): 63-67.
- Hillyard, S. & Bagley, C. (2013). 'The fieldworker not in the head's office': an empirical exploration of the role of an English rural primary school within its village. Social & Cultural Geography 14(4): 410-427.
- Hillyard, S. (2013). ‘My Toothbrush isn’t foaming’ The changing status of the rural upper class. Discover Society (3).
- Hillyard, S. & Burridge, J. (2012). Shotguns and Firearms in the UK: A Call for a Distinctively Sociological Contribution to the Debate. Sociology 46(3): 395-410.
- Hillyard, S. (2011). Ethnography’s capacity to contribute to the cumulation of theory: a response to Hammersley. Oxford Review of Education 37(6): 811-814.
- Bagley, C. & Hillyard, S. (2011). Village Schools in England: At the heart of their community?. Australian Journal of Education 55(1): 5.
- Hillyard, S. (2010). Ethnography's capacity to contribute to the cumulation of theory: a case study of differentiation-polarisation theory. Oxford Review of Education 36(6): 767-784.
- Hillyard, S. (2010). Ethnography's Capacity to Contribute to the Cumulation of Theory: A Case Study of Strong's Work on Goffman. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 39(4): 421-440.
- da Costa, L. & Hillyard, S. (2010). Review symposium: Martyn Hammersley - Questioning Qualitative Inquiry. Qualitative Research 10(6): 753-756.
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Hillyard, S. (2015). ‘Bricolage away’ – using Bourdieu’s ideas today. Critical Perspectives on Theory and Methodology, ‘Reclaiming ‘Thinking with Bourdieu.’
Indicators of Esteem
- Member, Editorial board Qualitative Research journal :
School of Education
- Rural schooling and the micro-politics of community> A study of two English, rural villages and their schools
- Dissertation Convenor (SASS, UG)
- Rural Studies and Social Policy (SASS, UG)
- Self, Identity and Society (SASS, UG)