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  1. Arts and Social Sciences
  2. Sociology
About City

Jessica Simpson



PhD Topic

What happens after university? A longitudinal, comparative study of female students working in the UK sex industry and ‘mainstream’ employment.


2015- Present: MPhil/PhD Sociology, City, University of London
Awards: Three-year SASS Doctoral Scholarship

MA Sociological Research, University of Essex
Awards: Fuller Scholarship

BA (Hons) Sociology, Leeds Beckett University

The Study

My thesis is a comparative, longitudinal study which examines the lived realities of 40 women over time starting with their experiences and understandings of what it means to be a university student, to work as a waitress and/or stripper and of becoming a graduate.


Dr Rachel Cohen
Professor Eugene McLaughlin

Research Interests

  • Gender and class-based discrimination/inequality
  • Exclusion and identity
  • The sex industry and the informal economy
  • Feminist research practice and methodologies

Public Presentations and Conference Papers Given

  • ‘I’m a student not just a stripper’ – January 2016 – Postgraduate Sex Work Research Conference (University of Leeds)
  • ‘A comparative analysis of students working as strippers and waitresses’ - June 2016 – CERIC Doctoral Conference (University of Leeds)
  • ‘What happens next? Students working in the hospitality and sex industry’ – June 2016 - Inequality and Social Justice in Education: Issues of Class, Race, Gender and Sexuality (University of Warwick)
  • ‘Graduate employment? Students working in stripping and waitressing’ - March 2017 – COST action Prospol – Displacing Sex for Sale (Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • ‘Doing ‘dirty’ research’ – July 2017 – British Sociological Association (BSA) Early Career Forum: Ethics, vulnerability and emotion in the research process - (University of Lincoln)
  • ‘A comparative analysis of students working in the Australian and UK sex industries’ with Cassandra Smith, December 2017 - Belonging in a mobile world - The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference 2017 (The University of Western Australia, Perth)

Academic events

‘3-Minute Thesis Teach Out’ – organised as UCU PhD representative to support those on USS strike and to encourage student engagement in strike related activities.

2016 -2018 - Sociology Anonymous – bi-weekly event with two PhD/ECR speakers within and outside of the Department of Sociology at City. The events are designed to assist PhDs at all stages creating a supportive space to practice upgrade or conference presentation skills, to ask for advice, feedback or to discuss research problems amongst peers.

September 2017 - TIGNC Academia 2 (Trans, Intersex, and Gender Nonconforming) (City, University of London).

2016 – 2018 – Co-convenor of Gender and Sexualities Research Forum (GSRF)- the role involves planning and marketing events including seminars and day conferences, chairing panels and presenting talks. Maintaining social media profile: blogging, mailing lists, Facebook, Twitter. Events held at City, University of London:

  • February 2016 - Screening of ‘The Hunting Ground’
  • June 2016 – Feminism and Foucault with Prof. Vikki Bell
  • June 2016 – Feminism & Neoliberalism
  • October 2016 – Being & Doing: Gender & Race in the Academy (supported by the BSA Race & Ethnicity Study Group)
  • February 2017 – Feminism and Neoliberalism part 2
  • June 2017 - Sexual violence in a digital age
  • October 2017 – From self-care to collective care?


Researching Society: Qualitative Research Methods – Seminar Leader, UG1 (2016-2019)

Research @ City: Sociology – Seminar Leader, UG1 (autumn term 2018)