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Dr Laura Clancy

Lecturer in Media

Laura Clancy

Bowland North



Office Hours:

Mondays, 3-4pm in-person, Bowland North B120. Tuesdays 11am-12pm, on MS Teams. . Book all appointments here.


Research overview

I am a Lecturer in Media in the Sociology department. My research focuses on issues of inequality, particularly 'the elites' and monarchy. I consider how inequalities are represented in media culture, and the systemic relations between media culture and political and economic formations of inequality. My monograph, Running the Family Firm: how the royal family manages its image and our money is published with Manchester University Press. This analyses the contemporary British monarchy (1953-present) in order to understand its economic, political, social and cultural functions. Although the monarchy is usually positioned as a backward-looking, archaic institution and an irrelevant anachronism to corporate forms of wealth and power, the relationship between monarchy and capitalism is as old as capitalism itself. This book frames the monarchy as the gold standard corporation: The Firm. Using a set of case studies - the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle - it contends that The Firm's power is disguised through careful stage management of media representations of the royal family. The book was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for the best sole, first-authored book. 

I am now writing my second book, What Is The Monarchy For? to be published by Bristol University Press in 2024.

I was shortlisted for the AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers Scheme 2023.

My writing and research has been featured in international media outlets, such as BBC Newsnight, The New York Times, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, BBC2, BBC News, BBC Radio 4, Novara Media, ABC Australia, BBC 5 Live, Sky News, NBC News, CNN, France24, the Washington Post, Red Pepper, Tribune, openDemocracy, the Independent, the i, the Sunday Times, the Australian, Al Jazeera, La Figaro, Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo Chunichi Shimbun, Tortoise Media, South China Morning Post.

Current Research

1)  The role of Royal Correspondents in British media culture, and the processes and systems of royal news production. This is based on interviews with Royal Correspondents, and seeks to understand how royal news is produced, and what this means in terms of media, power and ideology. This was funded by an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

2) I am co-PI on Cultures of Digital Hate, funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation and The Sociological Review, with Dr. Hannah Yelin (Oxford Brookes University). This seeks to understand whether academics experience pressure to maintain a public profile through social media/traditional media (e.g. television, radio, press), and whether this exposes them to cultures of digital hatred. Given research which shows that digital abuse commonly targets groups that are already marginalised, we are investigating how cultures of digital hate make it more difficult for certain individuals to participate in public academia.

Professional Role

I am Director of Media and Cultural Studies, Co-Director of the Centre for Gender Studies, and MA Lead for the Gender Studies programmes.

Research Grants

In 2022-2023 received an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account to executively produce a podcast series 'The Global Power of the British Monarchy' for Surviving Society, and to work with Shout Out UK to produce educational videos for young people about monarchy.

In 2022 I received funding from the Independent Social Research Foundation and The Sociological Review for the project 'Cultures of Digital Hate'

In 2019-2020 I was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, ES/T006064/1, ‘The Cultural Politics of the British Monarchy: Inequalities, Neoliberalism and the Elites’.

My PhD was joint-funded by the AHRC and the ESRC.

Additional Information

I am happy to supervise PhD students on topics of:

  • Monarchy
  • 'The elites' and inequality
  • Social class and inequality
  • Representation & popular culture
  • Gender and feminist theory

Current Teaching

Convenor, SOCL913 Gender, Sex and Bodies

Lectures, MCS.101 Transformations: From Mass Media to Social Media

Lectures, GEN.101 Gender Studies: Identities, Inequalities and Politics




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