The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Diane Richardson

Professor of Sociology & Social Policy



I have been at Newcastle university since 1998 when I joined as Professor of Sociology.   Prior to this I worked in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. During my time at Newcastle I have held various positions including Head of Sociology, Director of the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Sociology Research Director and School of GPS Research Director.


B.A. Cambridge University, UK; M.A. Nottingham University, UK;  PhD.  Cambridge University, UK,  FAcSS.


Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellow (2013-2016) Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology and the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California at Los Angeles 2014; Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia University, New York  2015. Previous international Visiting Fellowships in the US  include  Harvard and San Francisco State Universities ,and  Murdoch University, Australia and Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo.

Recent Books:

D. Richardson and V Robinson (eds) (2020) Introducing Gender and Women's Studies, 5th edn, Red Globe Press.

D. Richardson (2017) Sexuality and Citizenship, Polity

Recent  Articles:

Laurie, N. and Richardson, D.  (2020) Geographies of Stigma: Post-Trafficking Experiences, Transactions DOI: org/10.1111/tran12402 Open Access

Richardson, D. and Laurie, N.  (2019) Rethinking Sexual Stigma: Post-Trafficking Lives, British Journal of Sociology  70(5): 1926-1945. 

Research Interests: I have broad interests in the field of feminist theory and sociological understandings of sexuality and gender including theorising the relationships between concepts of citizenship and sexuality, contemporary sexual politics and global neoliberalism, feminist and queer theory, and gender and sexuality. I am the author/editor of numerous books and articles, including Contesting Recognition: Culture, Identity and Citizenship (2011), Intersections Between Feminist and Queer Theory (2012) and Sexuality, Equality and Diversity (2012). I also co-edit, with Victoria Robinson, the book series Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences for Palgrave Macmillan. ( and sexualities in the social sciences Palgrave Macmillan) Together we co- edited Introducing Gender and Women's Studies, 5th  edn, published in 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan. This book has been continuously in print for over 25 years. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology refers to it as a 'classic text in the field'.


Research Interests

Diane Richardson is internationally recognised for her work in the area of  feminist and sociological study of sexuality and gender, with many related publications. To date,  I have supervised 26 postgraduate research students successfully to completion.

See below for  details of current and recent funded research, and current and previous PhD supervision.

Current Research

I recently published a book on Sexuality and Citizenship based on my  Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2013-16)  project entitled ‘Transforming Citizenship: Sexuality, Gender and Citizenship Struggles'. A central concern is to understand how models of citizenship are constructed and deployed by marginalised groups as new democratic moments emerge. The project addressed a number of interlinked themes including the relation between cultural and material aspects of recognition, as well as the conceptualisation of sexual citizenship and the democratisation of intimate life.

 Economic and Social Research (ESRC) Funded Projects 

My research on gender, sexuality and citizenship has raised important questions about the way citizenship is understood.  Specifically, it establishes how citizenship is connected to sexuality, as well as to gender, race and class. This theoretical work underpinned two Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded empirical studies, in different global contexts, concerned with the rights demands of different minority groups.

One of these (funded 2007-2010) was a study of recent sexualities equalities initiatives in the UK ( This study highlighted the importance of implementation mechanisms in driving forward the equalities agenda for sexual and gender minorities, and identified barriers and patterns of resistance to such work that affect implementation and access to citizenship. A key research finding was that despite recent legislative and policy shifts extending rights to sexual and gender minority communities, sexualities equalities work is unevenly spread and far from becoming normalised. Rurality, political hostility, lack of local authority interest and associated stigma are limiting factors.  In particular, this research showed the importance of understanding implementation processes and barriers for policy debates about the delivery of equality measures.

The second project (funded 2009-2012) was an examination of gender inequalities and citizenship issues in Nepal for post- trafficked women on their return ‘home’ ( This study is the first to systematically analyse women’s post-trafficking experiences. Most work on trafficking addresses its causes and characteristics, feeding into policy frameworks targeting the ‘rescue’ of those experiencing diverse trafficking situations. Post-trafficking starts when these scenarios end and describes the processes and practices associated with leaving trafficking situations. The research was carried out through an innovative collaborative partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Shakti Samuha, one of the first anti-trafficking NGO’s, globally, to be founded by post-trafficked women. It brought trafficked women’s voices into policy development and implementation in relation to human rights, which is significant because post-trafficking issues intersect with access to citizenship. The underpinning research shows that trafficked women are typically stigmatised (labelled as prostitutes and/or HIV ‘carriers’), and experience social rejection from their families and communities. Lacking family support makes it difficult for them to access citizenship and ensuing rights as citizenship is typically conferred after the age of 16 through a male relative, usually a girl’s father or husband. This can result in post-trafficked women being unable to confer citizenship on their children, either because they lack citizenship themselves or their children were born in trafficking situations (and lack a known father).

This research has significantly advanced understandings of how stigma associated with being outwith sexual/gender norms can make accessing rights of citizenship difficult or even impossible in some circumstances.

Postgraduate Supervision 

Melissa Whitaker (ESRC DTP award) From  'Love Actually to Love Aptually': An Investigation into the Impact of New Social Media Technology on Gender and Sexual Scripts.

Ankita Mukherjee. Creation of Solidarity networks and Politics of Naming and Membership Among Hijras.

James Cummings. Male Same-Sex Desire and Identity Construction in a Rapidly Changing Society: A study of emergent male non-normative sexual identities in Hainan Province China (ESRC DTC collaborative award)

Pardis Asadi Zeidabadi. The perspectives of Iranian Feminists and women Activists on their political Identities and priorities.

Justine Uvuza.  Women’s Political Participation in Rwanda

Emily Nicholls. Young Heterosexual Women’s Understanding of Contemporary Feminine (Hetero)sexuality as an Embodied, Everyday Experience (ESRC DTC)

Natalie Hoskins.  A Cultural analysis of Sex Education Programmes in North East Brazil (ESRC DTC)

Ingrid Young.  Re-Imagining Risk: Developing Patterns of STDs and their Influence on Risk Assessment among Gay Men and MSM. (ESRC CASE)

Edmund Coleman-Fountain.  The Construction of Sexual Identities: Gay and Lesbian Youth (ESRC)

Rachel Jones-Wild.  Gay Men and Lesbians Experiences and Meanings of ‘Family’ (ESRC)

Angela Scott. Domestic Abuse in Same-Sex relationships- An Invisible or Ignored Reality?  (ESRC)

June Lin. Transnational Marriage, Smuggling and Sex Trafficking in Taiwan.

Mandy Cheetham. Young People, Sexuality and Relationships: Promoting Sexual Health (ESRC CASE)

Meena Poudel. Dealing with Hidden Issues: Social Rejection of Trafficked Women in Nepal.

Ann McNulty. Great Expectations: Teenage Pregnancy and Intergenerational Transmission. (ESRC CASE)

Megan Todd. Troubling Tales? Towards a Feminist Analysis of Lesbian Domestic Violence. (ESRC)

Elizabeth Brace. The influence of institutional processes on women with learning disabilities and their sense of self in relation to sexuality. (ESRC)

Alison Jobe.  Accessing Services: Trafficking Victims’/ Survivors’ Experiences in the UK. (ESRC)

Maria Panagos.  “We Thought We Shouldn’t Have Children”: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Views on HIV Infection, Testing and Reproduction.

Mark Casey. Lesbians and Gay Men’s Experiences of Heterosexualised and Queered Urban Spaces in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. (ESRC)

Paul Johnson.  Making Love, Doing Heterosexuality: A study of the social construction of heterosexuality in the love relationship. (ESRC)

Surya  Monro. Transgender Politics (ESRC)

Jan Winn. An Exploration of Media Representations of Female Multiple Murderers and Feminist Understandings of Female Violence. (University of Sheffield scholarship)

Donna Luff.  Sisters or Enemies? Women in the British Moral Lobby and Feminism (ESRC)

Lola Salinas ( MPhil) The Social Construction of Female Sexual Identities: A Multi Representative Analysis.

Jill Shipway (MPhil) HIV/AIDS Policy in Rwanda.

Jean Carabine.  ‘Constructing Women’: Women’s Sexuality and Social Policy. (ESRC)

Melinda Firth.  A Study of the Psycho-Social Effects of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on Boys and their Parents.





Undergraduate Teaching

SOC 2038  Conceptualising Gender

Postgraduate Teaching 

SOC  8034 Social Divisions


Past Courses

Sexuality,Culture and Society

Theories of Gender