Emma Jackson

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer
Department Sociology
Email e.jackson (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 3318
Emma Jackson

Emma Jackson is an urban sociologist and ethnographer. Her research and writing explore the relationship between everyday practices of belonging, the production of spaces and places in cities, and relations of class, inequality and ethnicity. Emma's previous projects include research on young homeless people and urban space, and comparative research on the middle classes in Paris and London.

Emma previously worked at King’s College London and the University of Glasgow and also held an Urban Studies Foundation Research Fellowship (2012-2014) before joining Goldsmiths in 2015. She currently holds a grant under the ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme.


Emma specialises in teaching urban research methods. She also convenes the MA course ‘Urban Field Encounters’, as well as teaching on Undergraduate programmes in Sociology.

Research Interests

Cities, practices of belonging, mobilities, class, multiculture, space/place, ethnography, homelessness

Emma's research is driven by a series of questions about how people make a place for themselves in and across places. What shapes, enables and limits these spatial practices? How do these practices intersect with other forms of power, control, histories to produce spaces? How do everyday spatial practices impact on a person’s sense of self?

Emma started their research career by carrying out ethnographic research with young homeless people in London. Emma explored how the biographical and everyday trajectories of young homeless people intersect with place attachments and forms of governance to produce urban homeless spaces. Through engaging with participants’ accounts of movement and place, Emma argued that young homeless people become fixed in mobility a condition that impacts on both everyday life and possible futures.

Emma then went on to research the relationship between the middle classes and the city in Paris and London, focusing on how the middle classes intervene in the production of space through their everyday practices and, how middle-class people construct a sense of self through drawing socio-spatial and symbolic boundaries between themselves and other people.

Emma is working on two ESRC funded projects. ‘The Choreography of Everyday Multiculture: Bowling together?’ is funded through the Future Research Leaders scheme. This research examines the dynamics of contemporary leisure space in the context of changing discourses of what makes ‘good’ urban space and processes of urban change in London. Emma is also a co-investigator on the project ‘Go Home: Mapping Immigration Controversies’ exploring the impacts of recent anti-immigration campaigns coming from the UK government. This is one of the first projects to be funded by the ESRC Urgency Grants mechanism.

Publications and research outputs


Jones, Hannah; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Bhattacharyya, Gargi; Davies, Will; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Forkert, Kirsten; Jackson, Emma and Saltus, Roiyah. 2017. Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9781526113221

Jackson, Emma. 2015. Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in Mobility. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780415722162

Bacque, Marie-Helene; Bridge, Gary; Benson, Michaela; Butler, Tim; Charmes, Eric; Fijalkow, Yankel; Jackson, Emma; Launay, Lydie and Vermeesch, Stephanie. 2015. The middle classes and the city: a study of Paris and London. Houdsmill, Basingstoke: Palgrave. ISBN 9781137332592

Edited Book

Jackson, Emma, ed. 2023. Writing Walking (One day in late Spring during a global pandemic). London: Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London. ISBN 9781399945158

Jones, Hannah and Jackson, Emma, eds. 2014. Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location. New York and London: Routledge Earthscan. ISBN 9781138000650

Book Section

Jackson, Emma. 2021. Flâneuse Fragments: Towards a critical & situated feminist approach to walking in the city. In: Anita Strasser and Carla Duarte, eds. Walking Places - Conference Proceedings. Lisbon: DINÂMIA’CET-IUL, pp. 32-39. ISBN 9789897813092

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma. 2018. From class to gentrification and back again. In: , ed. The Handbook of Gentrification Studies. London: Edward Elgar, pp. 63-80. ISBN 9781785361739

Forkert, Kirsten; Jackson, Emma and Jones, Hannah Jones. 2016. Whose Feelings Count? Performance politics, emotion and government immigration control. In: Eleanor Jupp; Jessica Pykett and Fiona Smith, eds. Emotional States: Sites and Spaces of affective Governance. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781472454058

Rhys-Taylor, Alex; Jackson, Emma and Jones, Hannah. 2014. Moving and Being Moved. In: Emma Jackson and Hannah Jones, eds. Emotion and Location: Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging. London, New York: Earthscan Routledge, pp. 1-10. ISBN 978-1-13-800065-0

Saha, Anamik and Watson, Sophie. 2014. Ambivalent Affect/Emotion: Conflicted Discourses of Multicultural Belonging. In: Hannah Jones and Emma Jackson, eds. Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location. London: Routledge, pp. 99-111. ISBN 978-1138000650

Jackson, Emma. 2014. The Pigeon and the Weave: the Middle Classes, Dis/comfort and the Multicultural City. In: Hannah Jones and Emma Jackson, eds. Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and Location. New Yoirk and London: Routledge Earthscan. ISBN 9781138000650


Lisiak, Agata; Back, Les and Jackson, Emma. 2021. Urban Multiculture and Xenophonophobia in London and Berlin. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 24(1), pp. 259-274. ISSN 1367-5494

Jackson, Emma; Benson, Michaela and Calafate-Faria, Francisco. 2021. Multi-sensory ethnography and vertical urban transformation: Ascending the Peckham Skyline. Social & Cultural Geography, 22(4), pp. 501-522. ISSN 1464-9365

Jackson, Emma. 2020. Bowling Together? Practices of Belonging and Becoming in a London Ten-Pin Bowling League. Sociology, 54(3), pp. 518-533. ISSN 0038-0385

Jackson, Emma. 2019. Valuing the bowling alley: Contestations over the preservation of spaces of everyday urban multiculture in London. The Sociological Review, 67(1), pp. 79-94. ISSN 0038-0261

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma. 2017. Making the middle classes on shifting ground? Residential status, performativity and middle‐class subjectivities in contemporary London. British Journal of Sociology, 68(2), pp. 215-233. ISSN 0007-1315

Jackson, Emma and Butler, Tim. 2015. Revisiting ‘social tectonics’: The middle classes and social mix in gentrifying neighbourhoods. Urban Studies, 52(13), pp. 2349-2365. ISSN 0042-0980

Jackson, Emma and Benson, Michaela. 2014. Neither ‘Deepest, Darkest Peckham’ nor ‘Run-of-the-Mill’ East Dulwich: The Middle Classes and their ‘Others’ in an Inner-London Neighbourhood. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(4), pp. 1195-1210. ISSN 03091317

Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma. 2013. Place-making and Place Maintenance: Practices of Place and Belonging among the Middle Classes. Sociology, 47(4), pp. 793-809. ISSN 0038-0385

Jackson, Emma. 2012. Fixed in Mobility: Young Homeless People and the City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(4), pp. 725-741. ISSN 0309-1317


Benson, Michaela and Jackson, Emma. 2018. Above Street Level Podcasts.


Drever, John L.; Jackson, Emma; Rondel, Louise; Weleminsky, Carter Joseph; Cook, Christopher; Cobianchi, Mattia and Leadley, Marcus. 2021. Sounding the River Quaggy.

Jones, Hannah; Bhattacharyya, Gargi; Forkert, Kirsten; Davies, Will; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Jackson, Emma and Saltus,, Roiyah. 2014. "Swamped" by anti-immigration campaigns.

Printed Ephemera

Jackson, Emma and Benson, Michaela. 2018. Above Street Level.

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