PGRG Blog #4, October 2017
Postgraduate Contributions to Population Geography
By Charlotte Bolton and Andreas Culora
Given the previous year’s success, this postgraduate session sponsored by the Population Geography Research Group and the Postgraduate Forum returned to the conference, attracting a new cohort of postgraduate Population Geographers. The session was convened by the authors and Dr. Catherine Waite, and took place on Thursday 31st August. Four papers were presented that showcased the diversity of the discipline. Hoayda Darkal (Plymouth University) presented the first paper, which focussed on her thesis research on resilience within refugee families living in Plymouth, UK. This was followed by Dr. Ayham Rezk (Newcastle University) who presented the findings of his PhD research assessing the relationship between population change and labour markets in Syria (1994-2004), with a focus on regional responses. Peny Sotiripolou (Loughborough University) then shifted the conceptual focus, exploring how socio-economic status, attachment to national homogeneity and perceived inclusion of diversity as an element of the teaching practice experience influences multicultural competence of Greek pre-service teachers. Finally, Andreas Culora (Loughborough University) discussed the increasing importance of Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) within the UK’s ‘broken’ housing market.
The session was then handed over to Dr. Sophie Cranston, who used the papers as a starting point to encourage a discussion of the wider conceptual, methodological and impact-related implications for Population Geography research. A key theme that emerged throughout the presentations was the potential for impact beyond academia at a range of different scales, particularly in the political sphere. This led to a reflexive discussion of the researchers’ responsibility to maintain the integrity of the knowledge produced, and to manage the array of stakeholder relationships that Population Geography research is often embedded within.
As the new Population Geography Postgraduate Representatives, we look forward to continuing these discussions and widening engagement with Population Geography within the postgraduate community.
Blog post by Charlotte Bolton and Andreas Culora, University of Loughborough