New staff member: Catherine Happer

Issued: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 11:06:00 BST

Dr Catherine Happer joins Glasgow Sociology as Lecturer in July 2015 and will launch the new MSc in Media, Communications and International Journalism as Convenor from September. She has been in post as Research Associate in the Glasgow University Media Group since 2011, prior to which time she worked at the BBC as a Factual and Current Affairs programme-maker. She earned her PhD in the Sociology department at Lancaster University after completing an MA at Glasgow University where she won the Adam Smith Prize.

Catherine’s research focuses on the role of media in shaping public debates and the way in which this impacts on social change both at the level of facilitation of policy and promotion of individual behaviours. The primary focus of Catherine’s work is climate change communication, but she has also looked at audience reception of representations of crime and probation, and the finance system. Most recently, Catherine has received research funding to undertake an international study investigating the negotiation of information across traditional and digital media and the potential role of the public in reducing GHG emissions through dietary choices.   

Catherine has taught undergraduate students since her doctoral studies, as Culture and Communications tutor at Lancaster University and Part 1 Sociology tutor at Glasgow. Since returning in 2011, she has lectured on Sociology (Hons) Media 1 and Media 2, and has worked extensively on the development of the new postgraduate programme. She has also delivered lectures on digital methods for courses including Undergraduate Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences and Postgraduate Qualitative Methods in Social Research.  

Catherine has given evidence at the House of Commons Select Committee on Climate, Policy and Public Understanding, presented to the Scottish Government and at national and international conferences and appeared on the BBC and Al Jazeera. She is co-author of ‘Communicating Climate Change and Energy Security: New Methods in Understanding Audiences’, and has published in journals including the European Journal of Communication, and is a contributor to the recent edited volume ‘Contemporary Sociology’.  


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