PhD, Queen Mary, University of London
MRes, The University of Liverrpool
BA, The University of Sheffield
2016 ongoing: Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations
2012-2016: Lecturer in Work and Employment Relations
2011-2012: Researcher – Cosmetic Surgery Tourism
2010-2011: Researcher – The Mainstreaming of Lap Dancing (all at the University of Leeds)
Visiting positions at:
2009 - School of Management and Labour Relations, Rutgers University, New Jersey
2007 – Centre for Gender and Excellence, Orebro University, Sweden
My overarching research considers issues of gender, work, employment and collective organising from a Marxist-Feminist perspective. My ESRC funded doctoral work focused on the organising strategies of AMMAR, the Argentinean sex workers’ union. It used a collaborative approach to explore the experiences of collectively organising, examining the role of the state, connections with broader trade unions and the place of sex work in the wider political economy of Argentina.
In 2010-2011 I worked with Teela Sanders on the ESRC-funded project ‘The Regulatory Dance’ which examined the apparent expansion and mainstreaming of strip clubs in the UK high street. We found working conditions to be poor in strip clubs and argued that dancers tended to use dancing as part of wider future orientated career plans. This project had wide ranging impact and became an impact case study. For more information: http://www.researchcatalogue.esrc.ac.uk/grants/RES-000-22-3163/read
In 2015, I was the Co-PI on a Feminist Review Trust funded study ‘The Beginning of the End of the Housing Crisis: participatory action research with Focus E15 in East London’. Focus E15 is a housing campaign in east London led by young working class women from the borough of Newham. Using questionnaires and interviews, this research project sought to gather information that will enable activists to better resist the removal of individuals and families from the borough and to demand the right to decent housing for all. Each week many Newham residents visit the campaign stall and tell activists the stories of their struggles to be housed and remain in Newham. This project enabled the activists to capture these stories and generate an evidence base to contest displacement.
My research interests include issues surrounding sex work; the body and work; disability; gender and work; black, informal and underground economies; paid and unpaid work and labour; theorising work and labour; labour organising and social movements.; trade union organizing; women's movements; disability; agency and resistance. I additionally have interests in other forms of struggle, including feminist and housing movements.
I am interested in supervising doctoral students with interests in any of the above.
My teaching interests lie in the fields of sex work, gender and development, work and employment, sexuality, and qualitative research methods. My teaching is widely interdisciplinary and I have taught in Sociology and Geography departments, as well Management and Business Schools.
I currently teach on modules: Strategic HRM (BA), Research Methods (MA), Diversity Management (MA and BA) , all in LUBS and Contested Bodies (MA) and Queerying Sexualities (MA) in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS).
Cruz, K, Hardy, K. and Sanders, T. (accepted) ‘Ambivalent self-employment: contradictions, discipline and autonomy in the UK Stripping Industry’ British Journal of Industrial Relations.
Randle, K. and Hardy, K (2016) ‘Macho, mobile and resilient? How workers with impairments are doubly disabled in project-based film and television work’ Work, Employment and Society. Doi: 10.1177/095001701664348
Hardy, K. (2016) ‘Uneven Divestment of the State: Social Reproduction and Sex Work in Neo-developmentalist Argentina’ Globalizations, DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2016.1163882
Hardy, K. and Sanders, T. (2015) ‘The political economy of ‘lap dancing’: contested careers and women’s work in the stripping industry’ Work, Employment and Society. 29(1): 117-136.
Sanders, T. Hardy, K. and Campbell, R. (2014) ‘Regulating Strip-Based Entertainment: Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy and the Ex/Inclusion of Dancers’ Perspectives and Needs’ Social Policy and Society. DOI: 10.1017/S147474641000323
Sanders, T. and Hardy, K. 2013. ‘Students selling sex’ British Journal of Sociology of Education DOI - 10.1080/01425692.2013.854596
Sanders T, Hardy K. ‘Sex work: the ultimate precarious labour?’: Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy assess sex work within wider processes of 'flexibilisation'. Criminal Justice Matters 93(1):16-17 2013
Holliday, R., Bell, D., Hardy, K., Hunter, E., Jones, M., Probyn, E. (2013) ‘Beautiful face, beautiful place: relational geographies and gender in cosmetic surgery tourism websites?' Gender, place and culture. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2013.832655
Hardy, K. (2012) 'Dissonant emotions, divergent outcomes: Constructing space for emotional methodologies in development' Emotion, Space and Society 5(2): 113-121
Sanders, T. and Hardy, K. (2012) ‘Devalued, Deskilled and Diversified: Explaining the Proliferation of Lap Dancing in the UK’, British Journal of Sociology 63 (3): 513-532.
Feminist Fightback Collective (2012). ‘The cuts are a feminist issue: austerity, reproduction and contestation’ Soundings.
Hardy, K. (2011) ‘Book Review: Rai, S. (2008) The Gender Politics of Development: Essays in Hope and Despair’ Journal of International Development 23 (1): 158-159.
Hardy, K. (2010) ‘(Sex) Working Class Subjects: Integrating Sex Workers in the Argentine Labour Movement’ International Labour and Working Class History 77 (1): 89-108.
Sanders, T. and Hardy, K. (2014) Flexible workers: labour, mobility and regulation in the lap dancing industry (Routledge, London).
Cohen, R., Hardy, K, Sanders, T. and Wolkowitz, C. (eds) (2013) Body/sex/work: intimate, embodied and sexualised labour. Critical perspectives on work and employment series. Palgrave.
Hardy, K., Kingston, S. and Sanders, T. (eds.) (2010) New Sociologies of Sex Work (Ashgate, London).
Hardy, K. (2013) ‘Work Equal to Any Other, but Not the Same as Any Other: Theorising Labour Process in Sex Work’ in Body/sex/work: intimate, embodied and sexualised labour. Critical perspectives on work and employment series. Palgrave.
Cohen, R., Sanders, T. and Hardy, K. (2013) ‘Hairdressing/undressing: Comparing Labour Relations in Self-employed Body Work’ in Body/sex/work: intimate, embodied and sexualised labour. Critical perspectives on work and employment series. Palgrave.
Hardy, K. (2010) 'If you shut up, they kill you: sex worker resistance in Argentina' in New Sociologies of Sex Work in Hardy, K., Kingston, S. and Sanders, T. (eds.) (Ashgate, London).
Tornquist, M. and Hardy, K. (2010) ‘Taxi dancers: tango labour and commercialised intimacy in Argentina’ in New Sociologies of Sex Work in Hardy, K., Kingston, S. and Sanders, T. (eds.) (Ashgate, London).
Hardy, K. (2007) ‘Rethinking Action: Negotiations of Space and the Body in the Struggle of AMMAR’ Gunnarsson, L., Jónasdóttir, A.G. and Karlsson, G. (eds) Gexcel Work in Progress Report II: Proceedings from GEXcel Theme 1: Gender, Sexuality and Global Change (GExcel, Linkoping and Orebro).
Hardy, K. (forthcoming 2012). Tranforming moral and affective economies: sex workers’ body politics in Argentina. Annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, New York, February.
Hardy, K. and Cruz, K. (forthcoming 2011) Sexual labour /sexualised culture? Developing a socio-legal approach to exploitation and objectification. Pornified? Complicating debates about the ‘sexualisation of culture’: An International Conference, London, December.
Hardy, K. (2011). ‘The struggle for urban space: sex work and opposition in neo-liberal Argentina’ 6th International Conference of Critical Geography, Frankfurt, August.
Hardy, K. and Rivers-Moore, M. (2011) ‘Embodying Sex Workers’ Rights: Comparative Movements in Latin America’ International Labour Process Conference, University of Leeds, April.
Hardy, K. and Sanders, T. (2011) ‘The Myth of Self Employment: Lap Dancing as a Case Study’ International Labour Process Conference, University of Leeds, April.
Hardy, K. and Sanders, T. (2011) ‘Precarity, mobility and employment in the Lap Dancing Industry’ Sexual consumption in the city, University of Leeds, April.
Hardy, K. (2010) ‘Exploitative politics: the polymorphic labour of sex worker trade unionists’ Gender, Work and Organization Bi-annual Conference, Keele University, June.
Hardy, K. (2009) Public intimacies: transforming sex worker citizenship in Argentina, Intimate Citizenship Colloquium, Birkbeck, University of London, November.
Hardy, K. (2009) Sexthics: Bridging the activist-academy dichotomy in sex work research, Brighton and Sussex Sexualities Network Conference, University of Brighton, September.
Hardy, K. (2009) Towards a Labour Geography of Sex Work, Labour Geographies Conference, University of Liverpool, June.
Hardy, K. (2009)'If you shut up, they'll kill you: sex worker resistance in Argentina' Postgraduate Conference on Sex Work, Leeds University, January 2009.
Hardy, K. (2008) ‘Organising new, informal and clandestine workers: lessons from Argentina’ ORGANISE! 2008 London Organising Network Conference October 2008.
Hardy, K. (2007) ‘Rewriting the street: AMMAR’s strategies of resistance in Argentina’ 5th International Conference of Critical Geography, Mumbai, India.
Hardy, K. and Sanders, T. (2011) ‘Flexible workers: attitudes, motivations and labour market behaviour amongst lap dancers’, Kingston University, Psychology Department, May.
Hardy, K. (2009) (Sex) ‘Working Class Subjects: Integrating Sex Workers in the Argentine Labour Movement’, School of Labour and Management, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey, May 2009.
Hardy, K. (2009) ‘New Paths in Sex Worker Organising' Bodywork ESRC Seminar Series January.
Session convenor. (2012). The good, the bad and the ugly: moral economies of the body. Annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, New York, February.
Convenor (2011). Teaching and learning in the face of transformation: issues practices and reflections. University of Leeds, May.
Stream Co-convenor. (2011) Body/sex/work: exploring the diversification of sexual and corporeal labour, International Labour Process Conference, University of Leeds, April.
Co-Convenor. (2011) Sexual consumption in the city, University of Leeds, April.
Convenor. (2011) 2nd Biannual Postgraduate Sex Work Conference, University of Leeds, January.
Panel Convenor. (2009) Ethics and methods in sex work research. Brighton and Sussex Sexualities Network Conference, University of Brighton, September.
Media, Dissemination and Impact
Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4, 21 November 2011
‘The Truth about Life as a Lap Dancer’, Guardian, G2, 10 November 2011,
Read the article here.
Hardy, K. and Montero, J. August 2011. ‘Rebelión en Inglaterra’ Pagina 12.
Read the article here.
Men’s Hour, Radio Five Live, July 2011.
Hardy, K. (2011). Editorial. The Paper, Issues 1-5.
Hardy, K. (2011). Valentine’s in Paris. The Paper. Issue -1. March.
Hardy, K. (2011). Sex worker resistance and transformation in Argentina. All Ears Storytelling. London, February.
Hardy, K. (2011) ‘The global gag rule’ Multimedia Encyclopaedia of Women in Today's World (Sage).
Hardy, K. (2011) ‘International women’s day’ Multimedia Encyclopaedia of Women in Today's World (Sage).
Editorial Board, The Paper (2010-ongoing)
‘One in four lap dancers has a degree, study finds’ The Independent, 27 August 2010,
Read the article here.
Hardy, K. (2008) ‘Sex Workers Unite!’ Developments 41 (DfID, London): 50.
Hardy, K. (2008) ‘Blind children are right to learn’ The Guardian, 22/11/08.
Hardy, K. (2008) ‘Despite violence and marginalisation sex workers in Argentina are leading the way on HIV/AIDS prevention‘ International Development Journalism Competition, Guardian Online,
Read the article here.
My research has also appeared in: Financial Times; The Sun; The Metro; The Telegraph; The Evening Standard; The Daily Mail; Developments Magazine