Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Sam Evans

Dr Sam Evans was an IAS Junior Research Fellow in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Early Career Research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in 2020-21 and a Visiting Research Fellow in 2021-22.

Sam’s research examined how the ‘ideal’ early career researcher is discursively constructed and how this may be classed or exclusionary. Developing Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, to one of an ‘ideal habitus’ and taking a critical look at career capital (the know-how, know-why, know-who constructed as necessary for a career) (Arthur et al., 2005; Defillippi & Arthur, 1994) she examined how particular ways of being and having are (often implicitly) valorised within the academy and how these may then benefit some, whilst being out-of-reach to others. In particular she is interested in how people learn how to ‘do’ academic careers, particularly if they are first in family. Sam used a trawling methodology (Whiting and Pritchard, 2020) to examine online data (websites such as jobs.ac.uk and & social media) as a first stage. She also sought interviews by email with people who feel class has been an issue within their early research career journey.

The research builds on Sam’s doctoral research which examined class and classed inequality within UK museum work.  She received her doctorate in Occupational Psychology in November 2020 and has also been awarded the Philip Pullman prize for Best Thesis in the School of Business, Economic and Informatics, at Birkbeck, University of London. Her work has been published in Gender, Work & Organization, presented at International Conferences (European Group of Organisation Studies, 2018 and 2021, International Discourse Conference, 2018) and communicated to practitioners via networks, conferences and her own website. She has also examined issues of gender inequality in NHS careers for the University of Exeter and in theatre directing for Birkbeck and RTYDS (Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme), as well as lectured at Birkbeck and the Open University. She is currently working on a paper to examine new ways of thinking and researching class within the workplace and on the ‘social magic’ of museum collecting and its role in obscuring institutional inequality.

Connect with Sam at @samisatwork