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Dr Charles Husband

PositionEmeritus Professor
LocationAshfield T1.1
DepartmentSociology and Criminology
Feedback HoursDaily open access when not overseas
Telephone01274 232323

Research Interests (key words only)

Ethnic relations, mass media, anti-discrimination policies, Indigenous media, interdisciplinarity.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

As a Docent in Sociology at the University of Helsinki I teach a Master's course on ‘Managing Diversity’ which provides a critical overview of social scientific accounts of means of understanding, and ameliorating, inter-ethnic conflicts. I also teach a course on The Challenge of Diversity for Journalism to journalists following a course on Foreign Journalism.

As a Visiting Professor at the Sami University College, in Kautokeino, Norway, I teach a core course on Ethics, Law and Professional Identities to an innovatory new International Master's Degree, in Indigenous Journalism, which started in January 2015.

Administrative Responsibilities

As an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bradford I continue to work with colleagues at the University of Bradford in mentoring and supporting research developments.


An Interdisciplinary Social Scientist.

My first degree was in psychology, and consequently I am member of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Psychologist. However, my first research post was at the Mass Communications Research Centre at Leicester University and consequently I have a long lasting commitment to research in mass communication and journalism. I then went as a lecturer in social psychology to the Post-graduate School of Social Work at Leicester University where my interest in the practical application of social science research to issues of social policy in multi-ethnic societies was consolidated. From there I moved to the University of Bradford, first as Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, where when I was offered a personal chair I chose the title Professor of Social Analysis as an assertion of both my determinedly inter-disciplinary stance and my commitment to the critical interrogation of society. Somewhere along the line I became a member of the British Sociological Society; and hence by inference a proto- sociologist.

Whilst I have built my career around a few British Universities I have used the stability that has offered, and the time not committed to bedding myself down in new institutions, to developing lasting international connections. Those in Norway, Finland, Germany and Australia have had a particularly enduring impact upon my academic and personal life.


The Politics of Diversity and Ethnic Relations in Multi-ethnic Societies:

Given my pleasure in, and commitment to inter-disciplinary research and analysis, I have a long-established interest in understanding the intersection of the social psychology of collective identities, the politics of human rights, and the negotiation of ethnic relations.  The sociology of ethnic relations without the insights of social psychology can seem too static and socially over-determined.  The social psychology of individual and collective identities necessarily leads to an engagement with context: historical, sociological, and political.  Contributing toward contemporary social policy issues would seem to demand the creative interplay of all these forces.

My work has seen an inter-play between contributions to theoretical debates and the concrete application of this theory to specific areas of social policy. Recent and current research includes an empirical study of the implementation of the policies of Community Cohesion and Counter-Terrorism in Five English Metropolitan Authorities; [Social Cohesion and Counter-terrorism: A Policy Contradiction?;  2011:   an international comparative analysis of everyday inter-ethnic interaction in two multi-ethnic locales[Lived Diversities: Space. Place and Identities in the Multi-ethnic City.2014: and a critique of the location of research on ethnic relations in the current academic milieu framed by a politics of neo-liberalism.  Research and Social Policy in Ethnic Relations. Contradictory Dynamics in a Neo-Liberal Era. (forthcoming 2015).


Ethnicity, Racism and the Media:

Within the generic framework of interests sketched above, one particular area has remained a core pillar of activity through my work, and that is the role of the mass media in generating and reproducing ideologies of racism and social exclusion. In the context of the dynamics of a globalized, and ironically, increasingly fragmented and targeted media-environment, the complexities of analysis have continually benefited from an inter-disciplinary perspective.  Here again, collaboration with relevant bodies and agencies has been critical. Current work involves a continuing programme of research with Prof Tom Moring ( University of Helsinki) in developing our understanding of the role of the media in language maintenance, and the development of a post-graduate programme in Indigenous Journalism at the Sami University College in Kautokeino, Norway with colleagues there. One expression of this work as been the initiation of an innovatory international masters degree in Indigenous Journalism that started in January 2015, and a growing programme of collaborative research. My current engagement with teaching and research on Journalism has seen me invited to New Zealand for a programme of activity in Auckland and Christchurch in 2015 under the aegis of an international programme on Inclusive Journalism.


The Preparation of Young Researchers:

Over the last ten years and more a significant amount of my time has been committed to international networks that have had the aim of generating a new cohort of young researchers with competence in inter-disciplinary research in the area of ethnic relations.  The major focus of this has been the European Doctoral Programme in Migration, Diversity and Identities, of which I was Director for a number of years; which through intensive programmes, summer schools and Marie Curie Doctoral Fellowships sustained a major programme of training. I am fortunate in the number of students who passed through that programme who remain as friends and continuing colleagues.  I have a continuing interesting in facilitating the development of early stage researchers.


Other Recent Posts

  • 2008 – 2011  Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the University of Helsinki.
  • 2006 – 2011  Scientific Advisor to the UNESCO:  European Coalition of  Cities Against  Racism.
  • 2012 -   Member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Study History


Leeholm Secondary Modern School: 1956-1961
Leeholm, County Durham, England

The Grammar School: 1961-1964
Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England

University of Strathclyde: 1964-1968
Glasgow, Scotland


Degrees Obtained:

  • B.A. (Hons) Psychology: 1968
  • Ph.D. (Bradford): 1983

Professional History

  • Professor Of Social Analysis: Dept. Of Social & Economic Studies, University Of Bradford: 1992-2013
  • Fellow Of The Helsinki Collegium For Advanced Studies [With The Status Of Research Director]: 2008 - 2011                                     
  • Reader In Social Analysis, Dept. Of Social & Economic Studies, University Of Bradford: 1987-1992
  • Senior Lecturer In Social Psychology, Dept. Of Social & Economic Studies, University Of Bradford: 1979-1987
  • Lecturer In Social Psychology, School Of Social Work, University Of Leicester: 1974-1978
  • Acting Research Fellow, Centre  For Mass Communication Research, University Of Leicester: 1973-1974
  • Research Assistant, Centre  For Mass Communication Research, University Of Leicester: 1968-1972

Professional Activities

I have a long history of collaboration with professional bodies, NGOs and government departments in developing policies around anti-discriminatory practice.

This has included working with the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the International Federation of Journalists in Brussels in developing codes of practice for reporting in multi-ethnic contexts: Working with Unesco in developing policies around the free flow of information: Working with the English Board of Nursing and Midwifery to promote transcultural competence as a norm in professional practice: Working with the Government of Western Australia in developing a framework for non-discriminatory practice across all of its departments- [ this resulted in the formation of the Substantive Equality Unit, situated within the office of the Equal Opportunities Commission}; working as a Scientific Advisor to the European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR), and working with colleagues in the Sami University College to develop a masters degree in Indigenous Journalism.

Research Areas

My core research agenda lies in the intersection of the social psychology of (ethnic) identities, the nature and practice of ideologies of racism, and the framing and delivery of a politics and practice of equitable co-existence. This is necessarily interdisciplinary in its theoretical approach; and entirely open-ended in terms of the practical issues that emerge as the focus of the research activity. I have found that there is great synergy in insight to be had by working across quite different areas of policy and practice.        

Current Projects

I have recently come to the end of a programme of work that has resulted in two major publications: Husband et al ( 2014) Lived Diversities, and Husband, (ed), and (2015)Research and Policy in Ethnic Relations: Contradictory Dynamics in  Neo-liberal Era. Both of these have implications for future work, but I am currently refocusing my work back onto issues of ethnicity and the media. I have a bid into Norska forskningradeet with colleagues from the University of Helsinki and the Sami University College on Communication for a Sustainable Digital Shift: A Comparative Study of How Digital Communication Contributes to Society and Community Information in Sapmi.

A further bid is being submitted in 2015 to the Australian Research Council  with Colleagues from Monash University, led by Dr. Gil-Soo Han, for a project on the  African-Australian Mediascape.

For the next twelve months my research endeavours will focus upon writing around the issue of Indigenous media.

Research Collaborations

My research career has been built upon collaboration; with both other researchers and members of the public operating in particular settings.

Perhaps the most critical form of collaboration is located with those few colleagues who in your own department, or larger university context, form a tight bond with you and sustain you both personally and professionally. They may not even share your research specialism. The occasional small acts of these individuals can have a huge and lasting impact. I have been fortunate in having had, and having, such vital colleagues and friends. I hope this community of the generous will not object if I chose to mention the late John Laredo as a glorious exemplar of this species.

For me a most important category of collaboration has come through the sustained contact with colleagues in overseas contexts. Sometimes over decades they have provided a reference point outside of my familiar routines, personal and professional, and have continually refreshed my enthusiasm for our shared concerns. Sometimes they have resulted in programmes of shared work over years. My good friend and wonderful colleague,  Prof.  Tom Moring of Helsinki University, has been such a colleague and we have had, and have, an enjoyable, creative and productive relationship spanning at least three major research grants from the Academy of Finland.

Dr. Jorg Huttermann of the University of Bielefeld has in recent years been a similarly powerful fusion of friend and colleague.

There are others in this overseas category with whom you may never have had active research projects; but who nevertheless have proved to be invaluable colleagues whose wisdom and political energies have sustained my own work. My sustained contacts with Australia over nearly three decades has provided such invaluable support: and I would have to name Katie and John Wilson, Prof. Laki Jayasuriya, and Prof. Andrew Jakobiwcz. They would certainly not, individually or collectively, support all my published statements: but they have nevertheless be critical in enabling them.

As a researcher you are inevitably involved in a vicarious collaboration with the very many unnamed and unknown persons who peer review your work. Sometimes their quiet insight can shift a piece of writing in such a way as to render it far superior to its initial statement. In one instance I felt so indebted for such a tactical intervention that I pushed the boundaries of silence: and so I can publicly thank Prof. John Flint of Sheffield University for fulfilling this function in such a creative and exemplary manner.

All of this is all the more important because not all collaboration is rewarding or productive.


I am famously non-networked in the digital age. My networks are interpersonal.


Husband, C. (ed) (forthcoming Spring 2015) Research and Social Policy in Ethnic Relations. Contradictory Dynamics in a Neo-Liberal Era.   Bristol  Policy Press.

Husband, C; Alam,Y; Huettermann, J; and Fomina, J. (  2014) Lived Diversities: Space. Place and Identities in the Multi-ethnic City. (Research monograph:  Bristol .Policy Press)

Husband, C and Alam, Y. (2011)  Social Cohesion and Counter-Terrorism A Policy Contradiction.       Bristol       Policy   Press      

Alam, M.Y. & Husband, C.H. (2006) British-Pakistani Men from Bradford: linking narratives to policy.  York: Joseph Rowtree Foundation

Downing, J.D.H. and Husband, C. (2005) Representing ‘Race’: Racisms, Ethnicities and Media.  London: Sage Publications Ltd

Bosswick, W. and Husband, C. (eds.) (2005) Comparative European Research in Migration, Diversity and Identities.  Bilbao: University of Deusto


Recent Journal Articles: 

Markelin.L  and Husband, C. (2013)  ‘Contemporary Dynamics of Sámi media in the Nordic States’,   Media International Australia, No 149.( Special issue: Indigenous media practice.), pp70 - 81 

Markelin, L,  Husband, C., and Moring,T. (2013) ‘Sámi Media Professionals and the Role of Language and Identity’  Sociolinguistica, Vol 27, Issue.1,pp 101 -115

C.Husband,(2012) (editor)  ‘Social Cohesion, Securitization and Counter-Terrorism.’  Vol 12.  COLLeGIUM.

Alam. Y and Husband, C ( 2012) ‘Parallel Policies and Contradictory Practices: The case of Social Cohesion and Counter-Terrorism in the United Kingdom’ in  COLLeGIUM. Vol 12

Moring, T; Husband, C, Lojander-Visapaa, C; Vincze, L; Fomina, J and  Manty, N. ( 2010)    ‘Media Use and Ethnolinguistic Vitality in Bilingual Communities.’  Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol 32, No. 2 march 2011, pp 169 - 186

Husband, C ( 2010)  ‘Counter Narratives to Multiculturalism and the Assimilationist Drift In British Policy Translocations Winter 2010,pp 1 – 23


Recent Chapters in Books:

Husband, C. ( 2011) ‘Solidaarisuuden Haasteet  Monikulttuurisissa  Yhteiskunnissa’  in A. Laitinen and A.B.Pessi (eds)    Solidaarisuus    Helsinki  Gaudeamus   pp 242 - 244


My whole research career and personal identity has been based upon the aspiration that our work has a concrete impact upon the world we study. Should anyone wish to contact me I would be happy to talk to you at length about the convoluted, and direct, ways in which I believe I could argue that this has been the case in relation to some of my sustained research agendas. I cannot bring myself to offer the inadequate self-assertive cameos required by the recent REF exercise.

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