Dr Ruth Barley

Dr Ruth Barley Bth, MRes, PgCLTHE HEA

Senior Lecturer In Sociology


I am a sociology lecturer in the College of Social Sciences and Arts with research interests in diversity and inclusion. My broad research interests lie within the area of cultural diversity, identity and inclusion and more specifically in relation to how children conceptualise and operationalise identity and the impact that this has on their development. This interest spans a number of different areas within the social sciences including education, families and public health.


I also have methodological interests in developing participatory research practices with children and also in working with cultural minority groups.

Prior to joining the sociology department I worked as a researcher with the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research (CEIR) for two and a half years, where I was involved in a number of different educational research projects. As well as my research work within CEIR I also have links with the Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR) at Sheffield Hallam University. I have recently finished working on a JRF funded project with colleagues in CHSCR looking at Ethnic Diversity in UK Social Research. I also still maintain strong links with CEIR.

Teaching Interests

Research methodology - including ethnography and research with young children

Equality and Diversity




Public Health

Families and kinship


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts


Barley, R. (2020). “Why have you not written my name?:” Collaborative research with children. Magis International Journal of Research in Education, 13, 1-21. http://doi.org/10.11144/Javeriana.m13.whwn

Russell, L., & Barley, R. (2020). Ethnography, ethics and ownership of data. Ethnography, 21 (1), 5-25. http://doi.org/10.1177/1466138119859386

Fitzgerald, C., Barley, R., Hunt, J., Klasto, S.P., & West, R. (2020). A Mixed-Method Investigation into Therapeutic Yoga as an Adjunctive Treatment for People Recovering from Substance Use Disorders. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00228-w

Barley, R. (2018). ‘He wasn’t nice to our country’: children’s discourses about the ‘glocalized’ nature of political events in the Global North. Global Studies of Childhood. http://doi.org/10.1177/2043610618817157

Albon, D., & Barley, R. (2018). Ethnographic research: a significant context for engaging young children in dialogues about adults’ writing. Journal for Early Childhood Literacy. http://doi.org/10.1177/1468798418805132

Barley, R. (2018). Exploring young children's gendered discourses about skin colour. Ethnography and Education, 1-17. http://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2018.1485112

Barley, R., & Russell, L. (2018). Participatory visual methods: exploring young people’s identities, hopes and feelings. Ethnography and education, 14 (2), 223-241. http://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2018.1441041

Barley, R. (2016). Language, identity and peer interactions at a linguistically diverse school. . http://doi.org/10.1108/S1537-466120160000021006

Barley, R. (2016). Supporting young children in multi-lingual settings. Early Years Educator, 18 (6), 36-38. http://doi.org/10.12968/eyed.2016.18.6.36

Barley, R. (2016). Ethnicity and children. Early Years Educator, 18 (5), 22-24. http://doi.org/10.12968/eyed.2016.18.5.22

Barley, R., & Merchant, G. (2015). ‘The naughty person’: exploring dynamic aspects of identity and children’s discourses before and during the Libyan Uprising. Childhood, 23 (4), 477-491. http://doi.org/10.1177/0907568215609105

Asobayire, A., & Barley, R. (2015). Women's cultural perceptions and attitudes towards breast cancer : Northern Ghana. Health Promotion International, 30 (3), 647-657. http://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dat087

Barley, R., & Bath, C. (2014). The importance of familiarisation when doing research with young children. Ethnography and Education, 9 (2), 182-195. http://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2013.841552

Salway, S., Barley, R., Allmark, P., Gerrish, K., Higginbottom, G., & Ellison, G. (2012). Can the quality of social research on ethnicity be improved through the introduction of guidance? Findings from a research commissioning pilot exercise. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 15 (5), 385-401. http://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2011.601890

Pantiru, S., Jolley, S., & Barley, R. (2012). Strengths and limitations of a learner-centred approach to teaching research methods. Student Engagement and Experience Journal, 1 (3). http://doi.org/10.7190/seej.v1i3.54

Salway, S., Barley, R., Allmark, P., Gerrish, K., Higginbottom, G., Johnson, M., & Ellison, G. (2011). Enhancing the quality of published research on ethnicity and health: is journal guidance feasible and useful? Diversity in Health and Care, 8 (3), 155-165. http://www.radcliffe-oxford.com/journals/J26_Diversity_in_Health_and_Care/default.htm

Barley, R. (2011). Why familiarise? Social Research Update, (62), 1-4. http://sru.soc.surrey.ac.uk/SRU62.pdf

Furey, R., Kay, J., Barley, R., Cripps, C., Shipton, L., & Steill, B. (2010). Developing Ethical Guidelines for Safeguarding Children during Social Research. Research Ethics, 6 (4), 120-127. http://doi.org/10.1177/174701611000600403

Salway, S., Allmark, P., Barley, R., Higginbottom, G., Gerrish, K., & Ellison, G. (2009). Researching ethnic inequalities. Social Sciences Research Update, 58, 1-4. http://sru.soc.surrey.ac.uk/SRU58.pdf

Salway, S., Allmark, P.J., Barley, R., Higginbottom, G., Gerrish, K., & Ellison, G. (2009). Social research for a multiethnic population: do the research ethics and standards guidelines of UK Learned Societies address this challenge? Twenty-first century society, 4 (1), 53-81. http://doi.org/10.1080/17450140802483688


Barley, R. (2014). Identity and social interaction in a multi-ethnic classroom. Tufnell Press.

Salway, S., Barley, R., Allmark, P., Gerrish, K., Higginbottom, G., & Ellison, G. (2011). Ethnic diversity and inequality:ethical and scientific rigour in social research. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/ethnicity-social-policy-research-full.pdf


Allmark, P., Salway, S., Crisp, R., & Barley, R. (2010). Ethnic minority customers of the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service: an evidence review. London: Department for Work and Pensions. http://campaigns.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2009-2010/rrep684.pdf

Allmark, P., Salway, S., Piercy, H., Barley, R., Faulkner, M., Formby, E., ... Mcclimens, A. (2010). Life and Health: An evidence review and synthesis for the Equality and Human Rights Commission's triennial review. Sheffield: Equality and Human Rights Commission. http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/triennial_review/triennial_review_life_health_omnibus.pdf

Tang, N., Nollent, A., Barley, R., & Wolstenholme, C. (2009). Linking outward and inward mobility : how raising the international horizons of UK students enhances the international student experience on the UK campus. Sheffield Hallam University.

Theses / Dissertations

Machaka, R. (2021). Zimbabwean parents' experiences of bearing and raising children in the UK. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Furness, P., Dunham, M., Serrant, L., & Barley, R. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00428

Bhanbhro, S. (2021). Uncovering community notions of honour and their relation to honour killings. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Barley, R., Allmark, P., & Hirst, J. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00414

Barley, R. (2013). An anthropological exploration of identity and social interaction in a multi-ethnic classroom. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Merchant, G., Bath, C., & Salway, S.

Other activities

I am the UCU Equality Officer.

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