Skip to content

Laura Kilby

Dr Laura Kilby BSc, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS, FHEA

Principal Lecturer

Summary

My research interests centre upon examining relationships between power, discourse and the construction of marginalised identities and marginalised groups in the context of conflict. Typically, my concern is with the study of ethnic, religious and cultural identities. My research engages with social issues that are often at the intersection of emotive social and political concerns (e.g. immigration and citizenship; terrorism and extremism). Working in these areas means that I am always concerned with the ways in which aspects of social policy impact on, and shape lived experience. I am expert in a range of qualitative methods, including discourse analysis; conversation analysis; membership categorisation analysis and multimodal analysis.

  • About

    I graduated in 2007 with a First Class Hons BSc in Psychology from the University of Lincoln, UK and completed my PhD in 2012. I joined Sheffield Hallam University as a lecturer in Social Psychology in 2012 and my current role is as a Principal Lecturer and Research Lead in the Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics. The interdisciplinarity and the methodological plurality of our department has made for a wonderful home for my work as a Critical Social Psychologist. My research interests centre upon examining relationships between power, discourse and the construction of marginalised identities and marginalised groups in the context of conflict. I am an expert in a range of qualitative methods, including discourse analysis; conversation analysis; membership categorisation analysis and multimodal analysis. Typically, my concern is with the study of ethnic, religious and cultural identities. My research engages with social issues that are often at the intersection of emotive social and political concerns (e.g. immigration and citizenship; terrorism and extremism). Working in these areas means that I am always concerned with the ways in which aspects of social policy impact on, and shape lived experience. I typically adopt a critical psychology perspective with an explicit concern to contextualise research in social, political and cultural contexts in order to reveal, and challenge, forms of oppression and to explore emancipatory potentials. My research ambitions are twofold (i) To undertake high quality academic research; (ii) To work alongside policy makers and practitioners in order to ensure that academic insight is accessible and that it can be applied in policy contexts and contribute to policy development. My work includes examining how Muslim identity is realised in and through the social interactions of Muslim and non-Muslim members during terrorism talk (Kilby & Horowitz, 2013; 2011) and how UK media debates about rights to citizenship and British national identity introduce concerns with ethnic identity and the non-citizen 'other' (Kilby, Horowitz & Hylton, 2012). I have also examined how symbols operate alongside language in the construction and communication of dominant social representations of terrorism (Kilby, 2016). My current concern is with the study of peace discourse and how peace is psychologically constructed as a concept that individuals and communities can share and, potentially  strive for. I have recently published research which examines the discursive construction of peace within UK debates about terrorism. This work reveals that attempts to introduce peace into these debates is the preserve of Muslim speakers, the concept of peace is embedded within Islamic ideology (Kilby, 2017). I have now extended my research to take account of multimodal forms of discourse and have recently completed work which examines the ways in which peace and violence feature in the Charlie Hebdo cartoon controversy (Kilby, forthcoming).My on going objectives are to continue this line of research and examine how speakers construct peace and violence, and how they 'call for peace' during times of violent conflict / civil unrest. There is currently limited research which explores how, when and where calls for peace are publicly expressed. Developing knowledge in the area has the potential to contribute to building effective peace dialogue for use by public speakers and negotiators.

     

  • Teaching

    Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

    Social Sciences and Humanities

         

    • BSc Psychology
    • MSc Psychology

    • Qualitative Research Methods;
    • Critical Psychology;
    • Social Psychology.

  • Research

    I undertake research as a member of the Department of Psychology, Sociology & Politics. I am also affiliated to the following research institutes:

    Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute;

    Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies.

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Kilby, L. (2017). Social representations of peace in terrorism talk: a UK talk-radio analysis. Peace and Conflict, 23 (2), 106-116.

    Kilby, L. (2015). Symbols of Terror : '9/11' as the Word of the Thing and the Thing of the word. Journal For The Theory Of Social Behaviour, 46 (2), 229-249. http://doi.org/10.1111/jtsb.12097

    Kilby, L., & Horowitz, A.D. (2013). Opening up terrorism talk: The sequential and categorical production of discursive power within the call openings of a talk radio broadcast. Discourse and Society, 24 (6), 725-742. http://doi.org/10.1177/0957926513503270

    Kilby, L., Horowitz, A.D., & Hylton, P.L. (2012). Diversity as victim to ‘realistic liberalism’: analysis of an elite discourse of immigration, ethnicity and society. Critical Discourse Studies, 10 (1), 47-60. http://doi.org/10.1080/17405904.2012.736398

    Horowitz, A., & Kilby, L. (2011). Sounding the death knell for pluralism: Cameron’s “muscular liberalism” and media constructions of the terrorist ‘other’. Arches Quarterly, 4 (8), 110-119. http://www.thecordobafoundation.com/attach/ARCHES_Vol4_Edition%208.PDF

    Book chapters

    Kilby, L., & Lennon, H. (2018). Charlie Hebdo and the prophet Muhammad: a multimodal critical discourse analysis of peace and violence in a satirical cartoon. In Gibson, S. (Ed.) Discourse, Peace & Conflict. Discursive psychology perspectives. (pp. 303-321). Springer: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99094-1

    Theses / Dissertations

    Lennon, H. (2018). A UK Discourse Analysis of Belonging in Romanian Identity and Immigratory Accounts. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Kilby, L. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00126

  • Other activities

  • Postgraduate supervision

    I am Director of Studies for two doctoral researchers. Henry Lennon is examining Romanian identity construction amongst UK receiving society discourse and Romanian migrant voices. Suzanne Hodgson is studying gendered identity construction in relation to new fathers. I am second supervisor to Emma Owen who is exploring Indigenous Community Health and Wellbeing amongst the Mapuche in Chile. I am also second supervisor to Douglas Wells who is examining Open Source Intelligence Data in relation to countering domestic extremism in the UK.

Share this page

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?

Close