For the first half of my career, from the mid 1980s onwards, I worked as a social historian at the Universities of Keele, Warwick, Cardiff and the Birmingham (1992-2002). I then took a break from academic life, becoming a consultant in the cultural sector, where, amongst other things, I applied my training a social scientist to researching and evaluating arts interventions in criminal justice settings. I joined CRESC (the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-cultural Change) part-time in 2004 working on various cultural sector and research methods related projects with Mike Savage, Niamh Moore and others, including an ESRC Placement Fellowship at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2009. I become convenor of the CRESC’s core research theme on ‘Trajectories of Participation and Inequality’ in 2011, and a Reader in Sociology in 2012. I am currently involved in a number of large-scale research projects, including the AHRC and Creative Scotland funded Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values on which I am the PI, the EPSRC Step-Change in travel and transport behaviour project (Co-I), and the Great British Class Survey project.