Leeds Beckett Sociology

Past and Current Projects and Future Plans

As it happens, the first blog entry of this year turns out to be a summary. However, despite the lack of activity on this website it has been a busy year and I am happy to share some of it’s highlights here.

Past and Current Projects

There has been a lot of writing starting from the beginning of the year. Some of the outputs stem from my previous research into Russian migrants’ homemaking practices. To start with, I am very happy to see my article on atmospheres of diasporic homes in the Russian Sociological Review. It has been good and rewarding experience and I am grateful for the support I received from Professor Filippov when I was developing the ideas for this article. There will be two more forthcoming publications that will also finalise my research on Russian migrants homes and identities and will integrate further ideas on diasporic homes and cultures more generally, for instance diasporic food practices. Finally, this year brought interesting writing collaboration in the field of transnational education and student mobility and I am grateful for the opportunity to get introduced to a new research topic. While awaiting the response from the journal I hope that this new interest in transnational student mobility will find a way of developing further.

All this research provided good foundation for continuing my interest in the concept of home in the context of migration. I can say that the development of more theoretically and methodologically informed understanding of the concept of home in the context of migration will remain the central theme of my research more generally.


New and Future Projects

One of highlights of this year was the launch of my new project on Airbnb homes, experiences, and places which I carry out together with photographer Ken Kajoranta. In our research that combines qualitative interviews and photography we try to uncover the complexity of experiences related to homemaking in the context of sharing economy from both Airbnb guests’ and hosts’ perspectives. The project has just started and it is currently in its data collection stage. I am very much looking forward to collecting more stories in the new year. I am planning to share how it goes at conferences and will definitely feature the progress of this project on this blog.

There are other exciting things that are happening on the front of project development and bid writing in the field of home cultures and identities and I am sure there will be more news on this in due course.


2016 has been also demanding in terms of teaching and development of new modules. Most of the year has been spent in reading and writing for the two brand new modules for Leeds Beckett Sociology students: the first one, Researching Society will focus on critical thinking, and, the second one, Urban Identities will focus on theories of places/space and identity. Developing new modules from scratch has been a challenging task but in the end it offered an opportunity to revise some familiar theories as well as to approach new material. The focused reading of theory further informed my interests in concepts of space/place, homes and migration, culture and identity and certainly had an impact on my theoretical approach more generally. I am looking forward to the beginning of the new term when I could present all the new material to the students. There is certainly a lot more to learn for all of us and I am excited about this prospect.

My recent travel to Moscow

In October 2015 I made a brief, but eventful visit to Moscow as part of my involvement (for last time!)  as an external examiner with Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. The visit presented a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and participate in discussions about studies of Russian identity from the perspective of Moscow-based scholars.

The highlights of my visit are, of course, my presentation at the Research University - Higher School of Economics on October 22nd which resulted in this brief video interview with the HSE Sociology students:

Then, on October 24th I attended another great event - a roundtable discussion on Socio-Historical aspects of National Identification in Russia, Ukraine, and  Poland organised by the group of researchers from the Institute of Sociology in Russian Academy of Science. The report of this full-day event which featured both historically and sociologically oriented presentations can be accessed via this link: 


Photo via: Facebook/nationalidentification

Photo via: Facebook/nationalidentification

Event report: Book launch of Material Cultures, Migrations, and Identities

Here are a few snaps from the event. It was a great afternoon, thanks so much to everyone who attended, supported, listened, asked questions, ate Russian sushki and pryaniki and travelled to imaginary Siberia with me. The presentation slideshow that I used will be on this website shortly.

Next stop: Moscow, Higher School of Economics, Thursday, 22 October 2015, 6.10 p.m.  Myasnitskaya 9/11, room 325. I will be talking about the book and the method I used to study migrants' homes.