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Stephen Crossley

Senior Lecturer in Social Policy

Department: Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Stephen joined Northumbria University in August 2016.

He completed his PhD from Durham University examining the UK government’s Troubled Families Programme in August 2017. Prior to this he worked on a regional child poverty project in the North East, based in the Institute for Local Governance at Durham University. He has also worked in a variety of neighbourhood management and community development roles for local authorities and voluntary sector organisations across the North East. His first book, In Their Place: The Imagined Geographies of Poverty, was published by Pluto Press in 2017 and his second book,  Troublemakers: the construction of ‘troubled families’ as a social problem, was published by Policy Press in 2018.

Campus Address

Coach Lane Campus (West)
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 215 6642



MA Sociology and Social Research

BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • ‘Troubled Families’
  • Child Poverty
  • Inequality
  • The construction of social problems
  • The sociology of social policy
  • Social harm and suffering

Professional Activity

  • Member of the Social Policy Association
  • Member of the British Sociological Association

Key Publications

Crossley, S. (2018) Troublemakers: the construction of ‘troubled families’ as a social problem, Bristol: Policy Press

Crossley, S. (2017) In Their Place: The Imagined Geographies of Poverty, London: Pluto Press

Lambert, M. and Crossley, S. (2017) ‘Getting with the (troubled families) programme’: a review, Social Policy and Society,16, 1, pp87-97. Available here

Crossley, S. and Leigh, J. (2016, online first) The ‘troubled’ case of Rotherham, Critical and Radical Social Work, Available here

Crossley, S. (2016) ‘Realising the (troubled) family’, ‘crafting the neoliberal state’, Families, Relationships and Societies, 5, 2, 263-279 Available here

Crossley, S. (2016) The Troubled Families Programme: in, for and against the state? In M. Fenger, J. Hudson & C. Needham (eds) Social Policy Review 28: Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, Bristol: Policy Press, pp 127-146


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