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I’m Director of Research at the youth and education think-and-action-tank LKMco. My research interests are in young people, area-based inequalities, social science impact and local economic development. My PhD explored how young people’s occupational aspirations are shaped by the areas they live in, and my Masters explored the impact of social class on children’s home life and aspirations.

My first published paper was a call to arms for academic social science to engage more closely with the wider public. More recent academic publications explore the way in which white working class boys form their aspirations in a neoliberal policy climate. I’ve written and co-authored reports on the transformation of London’s schools, the future of alternative provision, the underrepresentation of white working class boys in higher education and local government’s role in local economic development. I’ve also written and produced a short film on the garden cities movement.

I’ve written for the Guardian and the New Statesman, and occasionally crop up on other blogs such as the LSE Impact BlogUnderstanding Societycities@manchester and LKMco. I also tweet about social science and my own research – you can follow me @sambaars. My interest in the role people can play in the regeneration of their neighbourhoods led me to co-found the Ancoats Canal Project.