Graeme joined CURDS in October 2010 to work as a social science research associate on the interdisciplinary Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE) project based in the CultureLab. He is an urban and cultural geographer and he completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the Manchester Metropolitan University, where from 2005, he was also an associate lecturer. Graeme has also spent time as a research assistant in MISST (the Manchester Institute of Social and Spatial Transformations) and as a fieldworker for Vision Twentyone, a social research company that undertakes projects on behalf of public and private sector stakeholders.
His PhD focused on the intersections of sexual, national and racial/ethnic identities through social media using an empirical case study of individuals with Turkish backgrounds in Germany. Specifically, this work shows how user-generated content on the Internet is produced and consumed in ways that reproduce and/or challenge rigid configurations of identity and how this manifests spatially. Graeme specialises in qualitative methodologies, online research techniques and the design of ‘sensitive’ research and he is interested in feminist, queer and poststructuralist theories.
Now working with Ranald Richardson on SiDE, Graeme is exploring critically the affordances of digital technologies for individuals and groups affected by the multiple and often, interconnected forms of social exclusion. His current strand of work centres on the experiences of disadvantaged youth and examines whether their everyday creative practices through digital technologies can be better supported (by businesses, local and central policy-makers and community activists) in ways that both increase the socio-economic health and wellbeing of the individual ‘user’ and the communities and regions in which they are situated. Drawing upon his past work, Graeme hopes to develop further a place-based approach to understanding the day-to-day use of digital technologies and contribute to the work of SiDE in a way that develops a more nuanced understanding of social and cultural difference.