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Department of Education

Lyudmila Nurse

Research Fellow

Lyudmila Nurse is a sociologist of education and culture with over 25 years of experience of research into education, culture and identities. Lyudmila is currently Co-Investigator in AHRC funded project Cultural Artefacts and Belonging: A comparative case study of displaced and refugee young people and families in Ukraine.

In 2017-2019 she worked for the H2020 ISOTIS: Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society project in which she led a qualitative study of mothers with pre-school and primary school children from low-income families in two metropolitan areas of England: Greater London and North West (Merseyside). She also coordinated comparative qualitative study of mothers from low-income families, families with immigrant background and ethnic minority background in ten European countries: Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal.

Lyudmila publishes widely in the fields of international comparative studies of social mobility and education, parenting and well-being of families with children and young people, identities and belonging, cultural diversity, comparative inter-generational studies of cultural identities of ethnic minorities and migrants for which she creatively applied methods of qualitative biographical research. Lyudmila is currently Coordinator/Chair of the Research Network 03 ‘Biographical Perspectives on European Societies’ of the European Sociological Association. Member of the Cultural, Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of Music Mind Spirit Trust, UK



Book chapters:

Nurse, L., Sidiropulu-Janku, K., Obrovska, J., Gajek, K., & J.Mbiatong.  (2022  forthcoming)

The place of religious and non-religious values and beliefs in identities of mothers of young children: Methodological approach and empirical evidence from the European countries. In: Kuusisto, A. (editor): The Routledge International Handbook of the Place of Religion in Early Childhood Education. Routledge

Nurse, L. (2020). Construction of Schooling Time as Part of Mothers’ Identities in: Schilling and O’Neill (eds). Frontiers in Time Research-Einfuhrung in die interdisziplinare Zeitforschung. Springer VS, 287-310.

Nurse, L, & O’Neill, M (two editions: 2018, the second edition -2019). Biographical Research in the UK: profiles and perspectives in: Lutz, H., Schiebel, M. and E. Tuider (editors) Handbuch Biographieforschung. Springer VS.

Nurse, L., (2013). Biographical approach in the Study of Identities of Ethnic Minorities in Eastern Europe  in: Mrozowicki, A. and Turk, J.D. (editors) Realist Biography and European policy: An Innovative Approach to European Policy Studies. Leuven: Leuven University Press, Belgium.

Nurse, L.& E.Sik (2011) Identity and music. Identity of place and cultural identities of generations  in: Axford, B. and Huggins, R. ( editors) Cultures and/of globalisation, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, p. 171-201

Journal articles:

Nurse, L. and Melhuish, E. (2021). Comparative perspectives on educational inequalities in Europe: an overview of the old and emergent inequalities from a bottom-up perspective in: Contemporary Social Science,  Volume 16, 2021 – Issue 4, 417-431. 

Nurse, L. (2016). Identities and a sense of belonging: young Lithuanians and Latvians from ethnic minorities. INTER., Vol., No 12, pp 21-33.

Nurse, L., Gibson, A., and Surányi, R. (2016).  Media Consumption and Self-Identification: Hungarian and Slovak case study, in: Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. Volume 23, Number 6, pp. 705-724.

Nurse, L., Sik, E. (2012). Zene és identitás, in: Pro Minoritate, 2012 tél., Budapest, pp. 3-39 (In Hungarian)

Nurse, L (2012). A zene szerepe a magyarországi szlovákok etnikai identitásában in: Pro Minoritate, 2012 tél., Budapest, pp.40-57 (In Hungarian)

Nurse, L. (2011). Music in the identities of Ethnic Slovaks in Hungary. In: Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, Volume 11,No3, pp. 249-266, Trnava: The Institute of Social Sciences, University of SS Cyril and Methodius.


Broekhuizen, M., Wolf, K., Francot, R., Moser, T., Pastori, G., Nurse, L., Melhuish, E. & P. Leseman (2019) (Editors).  Resources, experiences, and support needs of families in disadvantaged communities.

INTEGRATIVE REPORT D 2.5  disadvantaged-communities

Nurse, L.&Melhuish, E.(2018). Parent  in-depth interview study. Technical report.

United Nations World Youth Report, 2003.  Consultant.

Breen, P. J., Shionnemann, M-E., L. Nurse,L.,  Azzopardi,A.,  Lagree, J-C.& P. Lauritzen (2003) Youth Policy in Lithuania. Report by an international group of experts appointed by the Council of Europe. Council of Europe Publishing

Helsingius, U., du Bois-Reymond, M., Nurse, L., Chan, V., Machado Pais, J. &  D. Trestieni Ion. (2001) Youth Policy in Romania. Report by an international groups of Experts appointed by the Council of Europe. Council of Europe Publishing.

Conference papers:

2021 In ‘Anticipation Of The Future’ : Biographical Research In Piecing Together Fragmented Lives (with Prof. Maggie O’Neill). ESA 15th Conference 2021 (online) ‘Sociological Knowledges for Alternative Futures’, 31August -3 September, Barcelona

Biographical Evidence of Social and Educational Inequalities: Challenges and Opportunities of comparative qualitative biographical studies. The Sociological Association of Ireland 2021 Annual Conference (online) ‘ATOMISED SOLIDARITIES: TOGETHER / APART’, 7 May 2021

2021  Remaking Biographical Futures: Reflections on Risk, Technology and Ethics in an Era of Social Distancing (with Lisa Moran and Maggie O’Neill). British Sociological Association 70th Anniversary Virtual Conference ‘Remaking the Future’. 15 April 2021.Remaking the Future. 70th Anniversary Virtual Conference 12-15 April 2021.

Biographical Research in the Period of Lockdowns: Fragmentation, Vulnerability and Distancing (with Dr Lisa Moran) at IV International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology (online).   RC38: Doing Biographical Research Under Conditions of Pandemics: Methodological Challenges and Methodical Innovations, 26 February 2021


Hearing and feeling the music within your steps and around: musical walks and biographical experience of the lockdown. (With Dr Chika Robertson, Music Mind Spirit Trust, UK) at the ESA RN03 and SAI BNLR group mid-term interactive online event:  “Biographical work in a time of social distancing: interview(s), analysis, interpretation”,  25-26 September 2020


Mothers’ identities – overcoming life challenges for the sake of their children at the symposium: Identities and discrimination: overcoming stigmatization of being disadvantaged in fragmented European societies at the Equality and Inclusion Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 29 November 2019.

Biographical Approach to Studies of Parenting Culture: Mothers’ Experiences Relating to Children’s Upbringing” at joint session of the ESA RN04 Sociology of childhood and RN13 Sociology of family and intimate life “JS_RN04_RN13_04: Doing research with children and parents” ,  14th ESA Conference, Manchester, 21 August 2019


The mothers’ story of inequality and otherness in contemporary Europe: bringing up children in low income, immigrant and ethnic minority families” moderator of panel discussion and presenter at the ESA RN03 Mid-term conference, University of Łodz, 18 September 2018


Biographical methods and complex realities of modern societies, ESA RN03, 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association” (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities, Athens, Greece, 29 August-1 September, 2017.


Biographies On-line: Interaction Between Biographical and Imaginary in Video Essays, joint session of the RC38 “Biography and Society” and WG03: Visual Biographies in Media Communication at the Third ISA Forum in Vienna, Austria, 10-14 July 2016 “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World.”


Video-recorded Essays: Interaction between the Imaginary and the Biographical, ESA RN03 S04 session ‘Online/Virtual Biographies’, 12th Conference of the European Sociological  Association, Prague, and 25-28 August 2015.


Cultural Identities, Memories and Music: Connectedness and Insularity, co-presenter at the Scholarships of culture panel (with Prof. Barrie Axford) at the Transatlantic Dialogue: Connecting through culture- A Vision for global citizenship, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg 4-6 June 2014

Cultural Diversity and Insecurity, panel: Identity, Mobility and Human Security at the international conference: Human Security @20: Past Experiences and Future Prospects, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, 26 June 2014

Ethnic Minority Cultures, National and European Identities, ESA RN07 “Sociology of Culture” session at the 3rd International conference “Power, Culture and Economy”, Tampere, Finland, 25-27 August 2014


Revelations of Identities: How Much is too Much? ESA RN03 Biographical perspectives on European societies, mid-term conference: “The Intersection of emotion and ethics when doing research about the “Other”, University of Łodz, 14-15 September, 2012

Cultural Identities and Music: a special component of the ENRI-EAST project

(in association with Dr Chika Robertson),  ENRI-EAST Open Conference at the European Economic and Social Committee,  Brussels, 23 September 2012


ENRI-BIO: Interplay of biographies of places and people

Special session: Approaches to “Bottom up” Research in a policy environment.

ESA 10th Conference: “Social Relations in Turbulent Times”, Geneva, 10 September 2011. Co-organiser of the Special session with Prof. R. Miller (Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)

Faith and religion in the formation of identities of the ethnic minorities in Eastern European countries,

ESA 10th Conference: “Social Relations in Turbulent Times”, Geneva, 10 September 2011


‘Reconstruction of families’ cultural identities through musical memories’, International Congress of the ISA, RC 38 ‘Biographical Research’, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2010



Journal Special Issues:

Guest co-editor with Prof. Edward Melhuish of the Special Issue: Comparative Perspectives on Educational Inequalities in Europe of the Contemporary Social Science, Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences (2021)  Volume 16, Issue 4 (2021), 417-522.​

Book reviews:

Nurse, L. (2017) Collective Memories in War, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 4:3, 370-373, DOI: 10.1080/23254823.2017.1331962

H.-P. Blossfeld (ed) The New Role of Women: Family Formation in Modern Societies. Oxford: Westview Press, 1995 In: Intercultural reconstruction. European Yearbook on Youth policy and Research, Vol.2/1999, pp. 345-349.


Funded Research Projects:

  • AHRC: Cultural artefacts and belonging: A comparative case study of displaced and refugee young people and families in Ukraine.

  • Feb 2021 - Feb 2022

    Art and Humanities Research Council

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