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Esther Outram

Postgraduate Research Student

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Postgraduate Research Student in the Department of Sociology  
DCAD Fellow in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)  


I am a first year PhD Sociology and Social Policy student in the Department of Sociology. I completed my BSc (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Bath in 2019, where I completed a year-long placement as a Research Assistant in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. I then joined the Sociology Department at Durham University in 2020 to complete my MA Social Research Methods (Social Policy). 

Field of Study

I am a dyslexic researcher, and my doctoral research will explore Dyslexia and the Grammar School System in England and Northern Ireland using a mixed-methodological approach (Quantitative Secondary Data Analysis and Qualitative Biographical Narratives). This research is funded by the ESRC NINE DTP. 

Working in collaboration with the British Dyslexia Association, my thesis will seek to understand the disabling barriers and discrimination experienced by dyslexic pupils in selective educational areas and how such educational experiences shape their academic self-concepts. I also aim to consider the intersectionality of social class, drawing on Bourdieu, to understand how dyslexic pupils of different social classes navigate disabling barriers and shape their academic identity.

Research interests

  • Dyslexia and Neurodiversity
  • The Social Model of Dyslexia
  • The Sociology of Education
  • Academic Elite Educational Environments
  • Academic Self-Concept
  • Biographical Narratives