Calum Carson

Postgraduate Researcher

Postgraduate Researchers, Work and Employment Relations, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC)


ESRC scholarship


Masters in Social Research (School of Sociology, University of Leeds)

BA in Political Studies (School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds)


I recently completed and was awarded a Distinction grade of a Masters in Social Research at the School of Sociology, University of Leeds supported by a HEFCE scholarship for promising young scholars from low-income backgrounds, taking a particular interest in the Living Wage, wage disparity, the demonisation of social security claimants through both media discourse and public policy, and deprived regions in the north of England.

More broadly I am very interested in issues surrounding social and welfare policy, in particular the ongoing dismantling of the British welfare state, the growing inequality and gap between rich and poor in many western countries, and the impact of current government austerity measures on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

For the past few years I have been employed in an administrative position at the School of Geography, University of Leeds involving editing the Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (ASAP) journal, project management, financial reporting, and various other responsibilities. I continue to hold the role of Editorial Manager for the academic journal Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (ASAP), working with Professor John Stillwell of the School of Geography, University of Leeds, and am a trustee board member and vice-chair of a local charity that specialises in providing welfare and legal support for at-home workers.

Professional Memberships

Institute of Directors


Thesis title

The campaign for and impact of the Living Wage in Britain: 2001 to present


Dr Kate Hardy

Dr Stuart Hodkinson

Dr Gabriella Alberti


Living Wage; Wage inequality; social movements; Citizens UK; employment relations; in-work poverty

Thesis synopsis

Quick summary:

  • A case study research project exploring Living Wage employers' experiences of adopting and implementing the Living Wage for their organisations, and their interaction with the Citizens UK Living Wage campaign throughout this process;
  • A particular emphasis on the impact that being paid the Living Wage has on low-paid workers within these organisations

Aims and objectives of this research:

  • To highlight the impact that receiving the Living Wage has on low-paid workers;
  • To significantly contribute to the evidence base that demonstrates the positive benefits of public and private sector employers adopting the Living Wage for their employees;
  • To provide an insight into the inception and evolution of the Living Wage campaign as a response to rising rates of in-work poverty in Britain today

Socioeconomic issues being explored through this research:

  • The considerable rise and ongoing growth of in-work poverty in Britain today, and the Living Wage as a response to this phenomena;
  • The development of the Citizens UK/Living Wage Foundation campaign for the Living Wage (including its response to the new government "National Living Wage" and the alternative suggestion of a "Citizens Income" to alleviate in-work poverty rates);
  • The cost of living in Britain today;
  • Debates surrounding "Corporate Social Responsibility", and who in society has the responsibility and duty for ensuring that those in employment are not also in poverty;

"Tackling the Trade Union Bill", Unite, March 2016

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