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Ben Main

Postgraduate Research Student

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Postgraduate Research Student in the Department of Sociology  


Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) my PHD investigates precarious life in London by comparing precarious living spaces across social-space and social categories. Empirically, my research is engaged with the specificties, economies, networks and gatekeepers of hidden homelessness and temporary accommodation and with the conditions of social transitions and ‘relegation’ into and out of this space. I follow a ‘Burawoyean’ ethnography constructing ‘cases’ and explanations from field sites to interrogate existing aspects of social theory. Theoretically, my concerns are the abstractions and social processes of the housing system, ‘rent’ and work and the mechanisms of ‘symbolic violence’.

My postgraduate and undergraduate degrees are from the University of Cambridge and London. Previously, I held the IMESS programme scholarship at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European studies for the MA in Economy, State and Society. In 2023 I am on a UKRI PHD placement in the UK government.


Seminar tutor (academic year 2022/23):-

  • Contemporary Criminological Theory
  • Criminal Justice Landscape
  • Social Work in Context