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Dr Eleanor Formby

Reader in Sociology and Youth Studies

Summary

Eleanor Formby joined Sheffield Hallam University as a researcher in February 2003. She has over 17 years' experience in (predominantly qualitative) social research and evaluation. As a Sociologist, her areas of expertise cluster around young people's wellbeing, and equality and diversity, with particular reference to:
• the life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) young people, including issues related to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and their impact on education, employment, and health
• young people’s (formal and informal) learning about sex and sexualities, sexual practices, and sexual health, including the provision of school-linked sexual health services
• the in/exclusion of ‘sex’ and sexuality within the formal school curriculum (within sex and relationships education (SRE) and personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)), including the implications and practice issues for teachers and other professionals.
Before joining the University, Eleanor had been a researcher for a research consultancy company, and prior to that for a Member of Parliament.

  • About

    Eleanor Formby joined Sheffield Hallam University as a researcher in February 2003. She has over 17 years' experience in (predominantly qualitative) social research and evaluation. Eleanor has three (overlapping) areas of interest and expertise:
    • LGBT+ young people’s experiences of school and youth work environments, including related to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
    • young people’s (formal and informal) learning about sexuality, sexual practices, and sexual health (including specific interests in the teaching of/professionals involved in sex and relationships education (SRE) and personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE))
    • LGBT+ people’s understandings and experiences of ‘community’ and ‘belonging’.

    Before joining the University, Eleanor had been a researcher for a research consultancy company, and prior to that for a Member of Parliament.

  • Teaching

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    Eleanor is involved in PhD supervision and guest lecturing in the Faculty of Development and Society.


  • Research

    Eleanor is currently leading:

    • a three-year evaluation of the Government’s anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools programme for the Government Equalities Office (GEO)
    • research on approaches to supporting LGBT+ young people in the UK and Sweden, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme
    • a five-year evaluation of yOUTh, an LGBT youth work project in West Yorkshire, funded by the Big Lottery
    • research into support and information for LGBT+ youth in South Yorkshire, for SAYiT (a young people’s charity based in Sheffield).

    Previously she has led:

    • two evaluations of pilot GEO homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying grants
    • #FreshersToFinals research on LGBT+ perceptions and experiences of higher education
    • research to examine the impact of homophobic and transphobic bullying on future education, employment and training opportunities, funded by the International LGBTQ Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO)
    • gender identity awareness research for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
    • a study to explore LGBT understandings and experiences of 'community', funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the 'Connected Communities' programme
    • tackling homophobia and transphobia in settings supporting young people: what are the barriers and facilitators? (South Yorkshire based study)
    • national mapping of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) for the Department for Education.

  • Publications

  • Other activities

    Board member, European Sociological Association Sexuality Research Network 
    Editorial board member, Pastoral Care in Education
    Fellow, Sheffield Institute of Policy Studies

  • Media

    Eleanor has written for a variety of public blogs and has been interviewed by BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Sheffield. Her research has featured in a variety of media outlets, including Attitude, Children and Young People Now, Gay Times, Huffington Post, Pink News and Times Higher Education.

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