Dr Karen Lumsden

Dr Karen Lumsden
Dr Karen Lumsden
Dr Karen Lumsden

MA (Hons.), CertHE, MRes, PhD, FHEA

Lecturer

Accepting PhDs

About
Email Address
karen.lumsden@abdn.ac.uk
Office Address
F1 Edward Wright Building
Old Aberdeen Campus
Dunbar Street
AB24 3QY

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School/Department
School of Social Science

Biography

Karen is a sociologist, criminologist and qualitative researcher. Her research expertise includes the sociology of policing, emotional labour, death work and bereavement, victims' experiences, cyber-crime and qualitative methods including narratives, storytelling, autoethnography, ethnography and reflexivity.

Karen returned to her alma mater, the University of Aberdeen, to take up the post of Lecturer in Sociology in June 2022. She is developing and delivering teaching on the undergraduate MA Sociology & Criminology and the postgraduate MSc Criminology and Society.

Previous academic posts include Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Leicester, Assistant Professor in Criminology at the University of Nottingham and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Loughborough University. Karen has conducted research, consultancy and evaluations in areas such as: policing, victims, digital media and online harms, and evidence-based policy and practice in policing. Her current research focuses on death work and emotional labour in policing.

While in the East Midlands, Karen played a crucial role in the development of regional police and academic partnerships. She was a founding member of the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and has been involved in a range of collaborative projects with police constabularies. 

Karen has extensive experience of designing and delivering qualitative research methods and academic skills training at universities including at undergraduate, Masters, and doctoral level, contributing to social research methods summer schools, and ESRC doctoral training centres, and for social researchers and police officers conducting in-house research. Courses delivered include: qualitative design, qualitative interviewing, qualitative data analysis, thematic analysis, ethnographic methods and observation, narratives and storytelling, narrative analysis, participatory action research, and reflexivity.

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Learning & Teaching 
    2012 - University of Aberdeen 
  • PhD Sociology 
    2009 - University of Aberdeen 
  • Masters in Social Research 
    2005 - University of Aberdeen 
  • MA Sociology (Hons) 
    2004 - University of Aberdeen 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Member of the University of Aberdeen's 'Conversations on Death...' research group

Recruitment Officer for the Department of Sociology

Access and Articulation for the School of Social Sciences

Access & Articulation Committee (sub-committee of SRC)

Outreach and Engagement Committee (sub-committee of SRC)

External Memberships

Current:

Member of the Road Policing Research Network Advisory Group, Keele University, UK

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Editorial Board member - Qualitative Research journal

Member of the Social Research Association (SRA)

Member of the Association for Qualitative Researchers (AQR)

Member of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR)

 

Previous:

External Examiner, BA Programme in Sociology & Social Policy, University of Leeds, UK

External Reviewer/Assessor for BA Sociology and BA Criminology Programme, Middlesex University, London, UK

External Examiner, MSc Policing Degree, University of Derby, UK

Chair of Editorial Board - Sociological Research Online

Editor - Sociological Research Online

Editorial Board - Sociological Research Online

Editorial Board - Sociology

Editorial Board - SAGE Research Methods Cases

External Reviewer of university outputs for REF 2021 (Russell Group University). Sociology and Social Policy submissions

Advisory Project Group for NETSCC ID 16/115/18 Project: De-implementation in health and care services: what works, for whom, why, and in which contexts? A Realist Synthesis

Carnegie PhD Scholarship Advisor for Social Sciences

East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) Strategic Board (founding member)

Founder of EMPAC and Academic Lead of East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) Victims, Witnesses and Public Protection Network

Founder and Director of the Policing Research Group, Loughborough University

Mentor for the Feminist and Women Studies Association (FWSA)

Mentor at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University

Member of the British Sociological Association

Member of the British Society of Criminology

Member of the European Society of Criminology

Latest Publications

  • Precautionary policing and dispositives of risk in a police force control room in domestic abuse incidents: An ethnography of call handlers, dispatchers and response officers

    Lumsden, K.
    Ethnography and the Evocative World of Policing. Routledge
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Reflexivity and Feminism in Social Research: Its Legacy and its Current Role in the Context of Fast Academia and the Managerial University

    Lumsden, K.
    Intersectional Feminist Research Methodologies: Applications in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Nyhagen, L., Cooke, J. (eds.). Routledge
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • How to Adapt Conventional Methodologies to an Online Format: Focus Groups

    Lumsden, K.
    SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. Snee, H. (ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • How to Conduct Asynchronous Interviews

    Lumsden, K.
    SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. Snee, H. (ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Evaluation of Operation Tutelage: Qualitative Work Package

    Lumsden, K.
    Commissioned by Gloucestershire Police. 10 pages
    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports

View My Publications

Research

Research Overview

Karen has conducted extensive funded research, consultancy and evaluations on policing, victims and victimization (including domestic abuse), digital media and online harms, and evidence-based policing. Her research has been published in international sociology and criminology journals including for example: Sociology, British Journal of Criminology, Qualitative Research, Policing & Society, Mobilities, Sociological Research Online, Theoretical Criminology and Disability & Society.

She has researched and published on interpersonal cyber-crimes such as trolling, online harassment and abuse, and also police officers' views of cyber-crime. She co-edited the collection, Online Othering, which explores case studies of digital violence and discrimination on the web and was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019.

Karen is also an expert in qualitative research methods. Her second monograph, Reflexivity: Theory, Method and Practice, was published by Routledge in 2019. She also co-edited, Reflexivity in Criminological Research: Experiences with the Powerful and the Powerless, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.

She is currently co-editing a collection on Crafting Autoethnography: Processes and Practices of Making Self and Culture with Dr Jackie Goode and Dr Jan Bradford, to be published by Routledge late 2022.

Karen is  currently writing up findings from a Leverhulme Trust / British Academy Small Grant: Breaking Bad News: A Qualitative Study of Frontline Police Work with the Bereaved. This is the first study of its kind to explore the delivery of the death message by frontline police officers in the UK. As part of this body of work she is also preparing a monograph on Death and Bereavement in Policing to be published by Routledge in 2024.

 

 

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Sociology.


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Sociology

Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Criminology
  • Policing
  • Digital Media
  • Victimology
  • Sociology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

Karen is currently completing a Leverhulme Trust & British Academy Small Grant: Breaking Bad News: A Qualitative Study of Frontline Police Work with the Bereaved. This is the first study of its kind to explore the delivery of the death message by frontline police officers in the UK. She is also preparing a monograph on Death and Bereavement in Policing to be published by Routledge in 2024.

Past Research

Karen's early doctoral research was an ethnography of boy racers in Aberdeen and the social reaction to their behaviour. The research shed light on the common misconceptions concerning car modification (sub)cultures, which are labelled as deviant, risky and dangerous and whose rituals have helped fuel the myth of the boy racer. A monograph of this research, Boy Racer Culture: Youth, Masculinity and Deviance, was published by Routledge in 2013.

Knowledge Exchange

Karen has over 10 years' experience of knowledge exchange and public engagement with police organisations in the UK. While in the East Midlands, she fostered external working relationships with police constabularies including Nottinghamshire Police, Leicestershire Police, West Midlands Police, Northamptonshire Police, Gloucestershire Police, and the College of Policing.

While at Loughborough University she co-founded the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and subsequently led the EMPAC Victims, Witnesses and Public Protection Network as part of a HEFCE and College of Policing 'Policing Knowledge Fund' (Co-I £862,620). Karen also led the Policing Research Network at Loughborough University and was PI on an application for a mini-centre for doctoral training - 'Policing For the Future: Socio-Technical Resilience and Innovation'. This involved the award of £350,000 for five fully funded interdisciplinary PhD studentships.

Examples of research and evaluative work for police organisations and other partners over the past five years include:

  • Evaluation of Operation Tutelage for Gloucestershire Police and the Roads Policing Network;
  • Research on Active Citizenship and Migration: Development of Good Practice Guidelines on the Benefits of Involving Community Perspectives on Roma Migration and Integration Post-Brexit (with C. Tileaga, J. Aldridge, and S. Popoviciu);
  • Evaluation of West Midlands Police Early Intervention and Prevention Delivery Plan (with H. Trivedi and G. Hyde-Dryden);
  • Research on EU Migrants’ Experiences of Hate Crime in Lincolnshire Post-Brexit Vote: Police Support and Responses to Victims for Lincolnshire Police (with A. Black);
  • Research on PLOD and Video Relay for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community: Evaluating What Works and Best Practice for Leicestershire Police (with A. Black);

Karen is currently a member of the Academic Advisory Group of Road Policing Academic Network (RPAN) at Keele University, a member of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research (SIPR), and a member of the Academic Advisory Group for Community Justice Scotland.

She has also delivered advanced research methods training to academics, social researchers and research professionals via the Social Research Association, and to police officers and staff via EMPAC and West Midlands Police.

Supervision

Current PhD supervision at the University of Aberdeen:

Chelsey Drew - Online Abuse and Victimisation

 

At Loughborough University Karen co-supervised four PhD students to successful completion in Sociology and Criminology:

2019: Sian Lewis - Sexual Harassment on the London Underground

2018: Austin Li - China’s Skateboarding Youth Culture as an Emerging Culture Industry

2017: Herminder Kaur - Disabled Adolescents’ Use of the Internet

2017: John Whittle - Social Networking, Friendship and Education

Supervisees

  • MISS CHELSEY DREW

Funding and Grants

2022. Principal Investigator. Evaluation of Operation Tutelage. £11,200. Gloucestershire Police and Roads Policing Academic Network, UK.

2020-22. Principal Investigator. Breaking Bad News: A Qualitative Study of Frontline Police Work with the Bereaved. £9955. Leverhulme Trust funded British Academy Small Grant.

2019. Principal Investigator. LIASON Bid. £1000. Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Leicester, UK.

2018-19. Principal Investigator. Building an Evidence-Base for the Policing of Interpersonal Cyber-Violence: Examining the Experiences of Perpetrators in relation to the use of Digital Tools in Domestic Abuse and Stalking. £4043. College Research Development Fund, University of Leicester, UK.

2018-19. Co-Investigator. Active Citizenship and Migration: Development of Good Practice Guidelines on the Benefits of Involving Community Perspectives on Roma Migration and Integration Post-Brexit. £36,567. Enterprise Project Grant funded via a Higher Education Innovation Fund, Loughborough University, UK (with Tileaga, Cristian (PI), Salomea Popoviciu (Co-I), Karen Lumsden (Co-I) and Jo Aldridge (Co-I)).

2018. Co-Investigator. Improving the Health of Our Online Civic Culture: New Frontiers in the Social and Information Sciences (The Online Civic Culture CDT). £350,000. Loughborough University, UK (with Chadwick, Andrew (PI), Louise Cooke (Co-I), John Downey (Co-I), Suzanne Elayan (Co-I), Tom Jackson (Co-I), Karen Lumsden (Co-I), Simone Natale (Co-I), Martin Sykora (Co-I), Cristian Tileaga (Co-I), Cristian Vaccari (Co-I)).

2016. Principal Investigator. Conference on Online Othering: The Dark Side of the Web. £1750. Internal funding from the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture, Loughborough University, UK (with Emily Harmer (Co-I)).

2016-17. Principal Investigator. An Evaluation of West Midlands Police Early Intervention and Prevention Delivery Plan. £38,000. West Midlands Police, UK (with Helen Trivedi (PI) and Georgia Hyde-Dryden (Co-I)).

2015-17. Co-Investigator. East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC). £862,620. College of Policing and HEFCE Policing Knowledge Fund. Lead of the Victims, Witnesses and Public Protection Network at Loughborough University (with University of Northampton (PI)).

2015-18. Principal Investigator. Policing for the Future: Socio-Technical Resilience and Innovation. (Mini centre in doctoral training). £350,000 Loughborough University, UK (with 9 Co-Investigators from across Loughborough University). 

2015. Principal Investigator. Victims’ Journeys through the Criminal Justice System. £3000. Enterprise Project Grant awarded via a Higher Education Innovation Fund, Loughborough University, UK.

2015. Principal Investigator. Qualitative Methods Courses for Police Officers. £2000. Enterprise Project Grant awarded via a Higher Education Innovation Fund. Loughborough University, UK.

2015-17. Co-Investigator. Loughborough University Advanced Training Courses in Social Sciences: Methodological Advances in Applied Ethnography. £28,999. ESRC Non-Standard FEC Grant (with Downey, John (PI) and other Loughborough academics (Co-Is)).

2014-15. Principal Investigator. Nottinghamshire Police and Loughborough University Strategic Partnership Development. £117,179. Enterprise Project Grant funded via a Higher Education Innovation Fund. Loughborough University, UK.

Teaching

Programmes

Teaching Responsibilities

Karen teaches on various sociology and criminology undergraduate courses at the University of Aberdeen.

Karen is also the Recruitment Officer and Access & Articulation Officer for the Department of Sociology.

Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

Karen has extensive experience of delivering qualitative research methods and academic skills training including undergraduate, Masters and doctoral teaching on qualitative research methods, contributing to social research methods summer schools, and ESRC doctoral training centres.

Examples of courses delivered include: qualitative design, qualitative interviewing, qualitative data analysis, thematic analysis, ethnographic methods and observation, narratives and storytelling, narrative analysis, participatory action research, and reflexivity.

She has also designed and delivered qualitative research methods training to social research and consultancy organisations, charities, government, and NGOs via the Social Research Association, and has delivered research methods training to police officers and staff including via the East Midlands Policing Academic Collaboration (EMPAC) and for West Midlands Police.

Publications

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  • Precautionary policing and dispositives of risk in a police force control room in domestic abuse incidents: An ethnography of call handlers, dispatchers and response officers

    Lumsden, K.
    Ethnography and the Evocative World of Policing. Routledge
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Reflexivity and Feminism in Social Research: Its Legacy and its Current Role in the Context of Fast Academia and the Managerial University

    Lumsden, K.
    Intersectional Feminist Research Methodologies: Applications in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Nyhagen, L., Cooke, J. (eds.). Routledge
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • How to Adapt Conventional Methodologies to an Online Format: Focus Groups

    Lumsden, K.
    SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. Snee, H. (ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • How to Conduct Asynchronous Interviews

    Lumsden, K.
    SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. Snee, H. (ed.). SAGE Publications Ltd
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Evaluation of Operation Tutelage: Qualitative Work Package

    Lumsden, K.
    Commissioned by Gloucestershire Police. 10 pages
    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports
  • ‘Sorry, I’m Dead, it’s Too Late Now’: Barriers Faced by D/deaf Citizens When Accessing Police Services

    Lumsden, K., Black, A.
    Disability & Society, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 476-495
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Becoming and Unbecoming an Academic: Performative Autoethnography of Struggles Against Imposter Syndrome From Early to Mid-Career in the Neoliberal University

    Lumsden, K.
    The Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education. Addison, M., Breeze, M., Taylor, Y. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 577-592, 16 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Crafting Autoethnography: Processes and Practices of Making Self and Culture

    Goode, J., Lumsden, K., Bradford, J.
    Routledge, London. 264 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • Reflections and Confessions on the Making of a Performative Autoethnography: University Professional Development Reviews and the Academic Self

    Lumsden, K.
    Crafting Autoethnography: Processes and Practices of Making Self and Culture. Lumsden, K., Goode, J., Bradford, J. (eds.). Routledge
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters (Peer-Reviewed)
  • A Qualitative Exploration of Police Officers' Experiences, Challenges, and Perceptions of Cybercrime

    Hadlington, L., Lumsden, K., Black, A., Ferra, F.
    Policing-A journal of policy and practice, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 34-43
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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