Laurie Parsons

Office: 1.06 Astley Clarke Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Telephone: (0116) 252 2731




BA English Literature – Canterbury Christ Church University (2:1)
MA Contemporary Sociology – University of Leicester (Distinction)
PhD Sociology – University of Leicester (current)

I also have a number of years of industry experience, including as an editor in children’s book publishing and, following that, working on partnership, investment and programme development at a children and young people’s creative and cultural education charity.


Research Interests

  • innovative approaches to teaching sociology and to developing our sociological imaginations
  • creative practice (particularly creative writing) as sociological practice
  • the use of non-mainstream documentary and visual methods in sociology including fiction, film, auto/biographical and historical materials
  • changing experiences of love, family and gender (and ‘personal life’) in contemporary societies
  • emotions in social life
  • processual sociology
  • the life and work of Harriet Martineau


My PhD is currently titled: ‘Doing Sociology Through (Creative) Writing: exploring experiences of love, family, gender and class in the age of narcissism using creatives writing practices’. In this I draw on ideas from feminist, processual and auto/biographical approaches to use creative writing practices as an analytical tool in considering contemporary ‘personal life’. Supervised by Professor John Goodwin and Professor Jason Hughes.

My MA thesis analysed a medieval poem to, first, explore changes in gender power relations over time and second, evaluate the uses and possibilities of using pre-modern and fictional sources in sociological research.

I also support research projects around the long-term impacts of the 1980s Youth Training Schemes, and; the relationship between smoking, vaping and cannabis-use.



  • SY1004 Sociology in Practice (co-convenor)
  • SY2098 Sociology Through Literature and Film (co-convenor)
  • SY3094 Auto/Biographical Society
  • SY1008 Interpreting Key Sociological Texts (guest)
  • SY7018 Issues in Contemporary Society (guest)


  • SY3079 Modern Sociological Theory

I also teach the Introduction to Sociology foundation module at the University of Leicester’s Global Study Centre.



Goodwin J, Parsons L. A Life in Motion: Exploring Auto/Biographical Exchanges by ‘Walking With’ Nelson Sullivan. Sociological Research Online. July 2021. doi:10.1177/13607804211025541

Goodwin, J., O'Connor, H. and Parsons, L. (2020) Certainties and control in the lives of young men: Stories from three research projects, in Nico, M. and Caetano, A (2020) Structure and Agency in Young People’s Lives. London Routledge (forthcoming)

Goodwin, J. Parsons, L., and O'Connor, H. (2020) COVID-19: A Global ‘Civilising Offensive', Timelines, Issue 29 pp.13-15

Goodwin, J. and Parsons, L. (2020) Locating the auto/biographical: sociological exchanges through walking with Nelson Sullivan, School of Media, Commutation and Sociology: Occasional Paper. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31346.73928

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School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785

University of Leicester
Bankfield House
132 New Walk
United Kingdom

University of Leicester
107-111 Princess Road East
United Kingdom

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