Dr Kim Allen

Dr Kim Allen


An interdisciplinary feminist researcher, my research is located at the intersections of youth studies, sociology, and gender studies.

I have published widely on issues including: youth and graduate transitions and ‘employability’; educational inequalities; gender, youth and working lives; and representations of class and gender in popular culture.  My co-authored book - Celebrity, Aspiration and Contemporary Youth: Education and Inequality in an Era of Austerity – was published by Bloomsbury Press in 2018.  A particular focus on my work is how young people navigate transitions through times of crisis, including austerity and the Covid-19 pandemic.

I have worked on a range of research projects, including: ‘Celebrity Culture and Young People’s Classed and Gendered Aspirations’ (ESRC);  Young women’s transitions in austerity (British Academy); and ‘Living Gender in Diverse Times’(ESRC).  

I am currently Principal Investigator on a new ESRC funded project,’L-earning: rethinking young women's working lives’.  This 3-year research study explores young women’s earliest experiences of work – including work while studying – and how these experiences may contribute to gendered inequalities in later life. The study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of its ‘Transforming Working Lives’ initiative – a broader scheme of research projects investigating changes in working lives and power in the workplace. You can read more about the study on our project website.

I am also conducting new research on student side hustles and the cost of living crisis.

I sit on the editorial board of journals including: British Journal of Sociology of Education; Journal of Youth Studies; and Cultural Sociology.


  • Deputy Director of Research (DoRI)
  • Module Convenor - Reality TV: Truth or Fiction
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • HEA (Fellow)
  • BSA

Student education

I teach on several modules across the school at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on topics including:

  • the sociology of gender
  • educational inequalities and identities
  • youth culture and sub-cultural studies
  • gender, the media and popular culture
  • research methods (qualitative)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>