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Dr Tom Disney

Senior Lecturer

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Previously his research has included exploring the everyday experience of orphanages in Russia, providing an ethnographic perspective on spaces of orphan care. Following completion of his PhD, Tom worked as a research fellow on the ESRC funded project ‘‘Breaking the Cycle’: Prison Visitation and Recidivism in the UK’, which explored the role of family visits to prison and the impact this has upon recidivism. He was also a research fellow on a major RCUK longitudinal, ethnographic study of child protection practice in the UK, which explored how social workers establish and sustain relationships with families in order to keep children safe.


His work has been published in both English and Russian across a variety of journals in Geography and Childhood Studies. He regularly peer-reviews articles for a number of international journals, including Children & Society, Children’s Geographies and Social Work & Society.

Campus Address

Coach Lane Campus

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The nature and culture of social work with children and families in long‐term casework: Findings from a qualitative longitudinal study, Ferguson, H., Warwick, L., Cooner, T., Leigh, J., Beddoe, L., Disney, T., Plumridge, G. 13 Feb 2020, In: Child & Family Social Work
  • From snapshots of practice to a movie, Ferguson, H., Leigh, J., Cooner, T., Beddoe, L., Disney, T., Warwick, L., Plumridge, G. 5 Nov 2019, In: The British Journal of Social Work
  • “Isn’t it funny the children that are further away we don’t think about as much?”, Disney, T., Warwick, L., Ferguson, H., Leigh, J., Cooner, T., Beddoe, L., Jones, P., Osborne, T. 1 May 2019, In: Children and Youth Services Review
  • Troubling Institutions, Disney, T., Schliehe, A. 1 Jun 2019, In: Area
  • Geographies of Children and Childhood, Disney, T. 28 Aug 2018, Oxford Bibliographies, Oxford University Press
  • Making Space for Failure in Geographic Research, Harrowell, E., Davies, T., Disney, T. 3 Apr 2018, In: The Professional Geographer
  • ‘You’re all so close you might as well sit in a circle … ’ Carceral geographies of intimacy and comfort in the prison visiting room, Moran, D., Disney, T. 2018, In: Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography
  • ‘Daddy is a difficult word for me to hear’, Moran, D., Hutton, M., Dixon, L., Disney, T. 2 Jan 2017, In: Children's Geographies


  • PhD
  • PGCert
  • MA
  • MA (Hons)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FHEA
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society FRGS


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