You are here

Jessica Clark

Senior Lecturer


Jessica Clark

T: 01473 338497

Career Overview

Jessica began her career with an ESRC studentship to study Quantitative Sociology at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex after completing her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Criminology.

After completing an MA in Social Research and teaching Social Research Methods at the University of Essex, Jessica went on to teach sociology and education modules on a Combined Social Sciences and Humanities programme validated by the Open University.

She then took a position as Programme Area Leader at a College in South London leading a range of Foundation Degrees and OCN Access to HE Pathways, continuing to teach sociology focusing on childhood, health and embodiment. In both these posts Jessica gained experience of curriculum development co-ordinating revalidation of the Joint BA (Hons) Combined Studies (sociology, psychology, history and education studies) degree routes, as well as FdAs in Early Years, Social Care and Integrative Counselling.

She has used this experience to participate in validations for new programmes at University of Suffolk including BA (Hons) Children, Young People and Policy and MA Childhood and Youth.

As Course Leader for BA (Hons) Children, Young People and Policy, University of Suffolk's first online distance learning undergraduate programme, Jessica is interested in creative assessments and has presented work on this with colleagues in the UK and internationally. She is currently engaging in joint research exploring assessment feedback mechanisms for first year undergraduates.

In June 2012 Jessica jointly co-ordinated the Ethnographic Friendships Conference at University of Suffolk and went on to co-organise a successful international conference exploring childhood and youth at University of Suffolk in July 2013. She is a member of the planning group for the annual Organisational Ethnography Conference and a founder member of the University of Suffolk Unit for the Study of Childhood and Youth.

Jessica has experience as an external examiner and external validation advisor in undergraduate programmes in the fields of children and young people and is a reviewer for SAGE and Routledge publishers and Sociological Research Online.

Teaching Responsibilities

Jessica teaches on a range of programmes across the School of Social Sciences and Humanities including:

Psychology/Sociology/Youth Studies/Criminology Routes: Youth Culture and Identity (Level 5) and Sociology of Health and Illness (Level 5) Early Childhood Studies: Perspectives of Childhood (Level 4), Children's Geographies (level 5), Children's Health and Wellbeing (Level 5), Politics of Childhood (Level 6) and Dissertation Supervisor (Level 6) MA Childhood and Youth: Embodied Childhoods (Level 7) Children, Young People and Policy: Ethical Research with Children and Young People (Level 5) and Dissertation Supervisor (Level 6).

Jessica has been invited as a guest speaker to modules including Critical Perspectives of Childhood and Youth (Level 7), Introduction to Youth Studies (Level 4), Sociology in the Modern World (Level 4) and Research in Early Childhood (Level 5).

Research Interests

Jessica's research interests can be located broadly within the sociology of childhood and youth and the general areas of sex and sexuality, gender, embodiment, geographies and research with children. Substantively she is interested in the construction of childhood as a social category and how this is perpetuated and challenged within contemporary cultures. An interest in both human geography and cultural studies also influences the topics which Jessica explores including notably the sexualisation of childhood, feminism and girlhoods and the cultural representation of contemporary young masculinities.

Methodologically Jessica's background is in quantitative sociology, notably longitudinal analysis, however over her career she has used predominantly qualitative approaches to research and has experience of interviewing, conducting focus groups, document analysis and discourse analysis. Her forthcoming book with Dr Allison Boggis and Sarah Richards, both University of Suffolk, explores the authors' experiences of the role of ethics and ethical practice in research with children. Jessica is currently exploring new approaches to research borrowing from cultural and media studies in a project on representations of masculinity and using autoethnography in work on motherhood, gender and parenting.

Recent Scholarly Activity


Richards, S. Boggis, A. and Clark, J. Ethical Research with Children: Untold Narratives and Taboos, Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming)

Clark, J. (2013) Passive, Heterosexual and Female: Constructing Appropriate Childhoods in the Sexualisation of Childhood Debate, Sociological Research Online, Vol. 18(2), [online] available at:|

Clark, J. (2013) Embodied Childhoods in Taylor, J., Bond, E. and Woods, M. (eds.) Early Childhood in Early Childhood Studies: A multidisciplinary and holistic introduction, Hodder Arnold

Clark, J. (2013) Children s Geographies in Taylor, J., Bond, E. and Woods, M. (eds.) Early Childhood in Early Childhood Studies: A multidisciplinary and holistic introduction, Hodder Arnold

Bond, E. & Clark, J. (2012) Life After Death by PowerPoint: student perceptions of creative assessment in McIntosh, P. and Warren, D., Creativity in the Classroom: Case Studies in Using the Arts in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Chicago Press

Clark, J. (2012) The Double Hermeneutic of the Sexualisation of Childhood Debate, Childhood Remixed, Vol. 1 (1)

Clark, J. & Richards, S. (eds.) (2011) Children, Young People and Policy, London: Sage


Agnew, A. Bond, E. and Clark, J. Creative Education at M Level, Assimilate Project Conference, Leeds Metropolitan University, September 2012

Clark, J. Critical Lacunae in the Sexualisation of Childhood Debate, Children, Young People and Adults Extending the Conversation Conference, International Study of Childhood and Youth (ISCY), University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), September 2012

Clark, J. Constructions of Gender in the Sexualisation of Childhood Debate, Celebrating Childhood Diversity Conference, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (CSCY), University of Sheffield, July 2012

Clark, J. An Autoethnography of Disembodiment, presented at Emerging Ethnographies Conference, UCS, June 2012

Bond, E. and Clark, J. Life After Death by PowerPoint, paper presented at International Journal of Art and Sciences (IJAS) Conference, FIAP, Paris, March 2012

Clark, J. The Double Hermeneutic of the Sexualisation of Childhood Debate, paper presented at Modern Girlhoods Conference, Brunel University, Gender and Education Association and BSA Youth Study Group, February 2012

Clark, J. Disembodied Performances, presented at UCS Online and Distance Learning Group, December 2011

Clark, J. and Richards, S. Anti-Carpe Diem: Engaging in Research in a New Institution, presented at Organisational Ethnography Conference, Cardiff University, September 2011