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Emma Uprichard (Reader)

Emma Uprichard (Reader)

My work is driven by the methodological challenge of studying complex social systems across time and space. This methodological challenge is led by three simple questions:

  • How do we empirically study a nonlinear social entity that itself changes (and continues to be the same) as we research it?
  • How might we study that social entity in a way that also produces useful knowledge for policy and planning purposes?
  • How do we study social change and continuity over time and space in a way that also preserves the notion of the ageing human agent, intergenerationally, whilst appreciating the importance of context?

In terms of supervising students, my interests are broad and eclectic. Please get in touch with me if you would like to discuss potential ideas for doctoral projects.

Research Profile

Methods and methodology; complexity theory, including particular applications of complexity theory within and/or across different disciplines; time and temporality, and especially notions of the future; children and childhood, including children's geographiers; cities and urban change; food hates/avoidances; critical realism; change and continuity; the Mass Observation Archive and other longitudinal qualitative or quantitative resources; time-space methods; big data, especially big data for policy.

Academic Profile

I joined Warwick and CIM in August 2012 having previously held posts at Goldsmiths, University of London (2011-2012), University of York (2007-2010), and Durham University (2004-2006). I led the University of Warwick's Nuffield/ESRC/HEFCE Q-Step bid (£1.3mil) and subsequently set up what is now the Warwick Q-Step Centre; I remain actively involved as Director.

Current Research Projects

2016-19: Co-I. CECAN - Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus. PI: Prof. Nigel Gilbert. ESRC. Start Date: 01/03/2016. Project End Date: 01/03/19.

2015-16: IBM Faculty Award (PI): Big Data and Real Time Analytics: Ethics and Data Linkage. With Dr Maria Liakata (Computer Science) and Dr Arne Strauss (Warwick Business School). $20,000. Furher details here.

2015: UNDP-CIM: Visualizing Climate Change Adaptation: Using 'Integrated Analytics' To Learn Lessons In Cabo Verde.$70,000. Further details here.

2014-2017: ESRC Seminar Series (PI): Method in the Social Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Approach, with Professor David Byrne (School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University) and Professor Brian Castellani (Center for Complexity in Health, Kent State University, USA), Project Start Date: 15/02/2014 Project End Date: 15/02/2017. £30,000

2015-16: Big Data and Integrated Analytics (PI), University of Warwick Research Development Fund. £5,500

2015: Women in STEM subjects: Complexity, Big Data and Method (PI), University of Warwick ESRC Acceleration Impact Award, and Athena Swan Equality and Diversity. £2,250

2015-2016 Co-I: Where, When and Why Do Accidents Happen? A Preliminary Study for the Space-time Analysis and Causality Study on Traffic Accidents. (PI: Dr Naru Shiode). University of Warwick Research Development Fund. £15,900

2014-15: Talking Big Data (PI). University of Warwick ESRC Acceleration Impact Award. £10,000

2013-14: Complexity and Case Based Methods Research (CCBMR), Funded by: Research Development Fund (RDF 13/14 DA). Project Start Date: 01/08/2013 Project End Date: 31/07/2014, £9,700

2013-14 PI: Time-Space Trajectories of Wellbeing and Place: An Interdisciplinary Approach. University of Warwick Research Development Fund ((RDF 13-14 SA). Start Date: 01/08/2013 Project End Date: 31/07/2014. £11,000

ESRC First Grants: Food Matters: A Sociological Case Study of Food and Eating Across The Life Course in York C. 1945 - 2010, £138,500

View all Research Projects

Selected Publications

(See Google Citations profile)

Uprichard, E. (2016) 'Reply to Smith and Atkinson', Special Issue in International Journal of Social Research Methodology on 'Celebrating 50 years of Cicourel's Method and Measurement in Sociology'. 19 (1): 131-136.

Moor, L. and Uprichard, E. (2014) The Materiality of Method: The Case of the Mass Observation Archive, Sociological Research Online, 19 (3): 10.

Mahnke, M. and Uprichard, E. (2013) 'Algorithming the Algorithm' in René König and Miriam Rasch (eds), Society of the Query Reader: Re-actions on Web Search, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, pp.265-270.

Uprichard, E. Nettleton, S. and Chappell, P. (2013) ‘Food hates’ over the life course: an analysis of food narratives from the UK Mass Observation Archive, Appetite, 17: 137-143

Byrne, D. and Uprichard, E (eds) (2012) Cluster Analysis. Four Volume Set. Vol. 1: ‘Logic and Classics’; Vol. 2: ‘Useful Key Texts’; Vol. 3: ‘Cluster Analysis in Practice’; Vol. 4: 'Data Mining with Classification’. London: Sage.

Uprichard, E. (2012) 'Describing Description (and Keeping Causality): The case of academic articles on food and eating, 1950-2009?', Sociology, 47 (2): 368-382.

Uprichard, E. (2012) ‘Being Stuck in (Live) Time: The sticky sociological imagination’ in Sociological Review Monograph, Live Research Methods, Back, L. and Puwar, N. (eds), 60 (1): 124-138.

Byrne, D. and Uprichard, E. (2012) 'Useful complex causality' In H. Kinkard, (ed) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 109-129.

Uprichard, E. (2012) 'Sampling: Bridging probability and non-probability designs', International Journal Of Social Research Methodology, 16 (1): 1-11.

Uprichard, E. (2012) 'Dirty Data: Longitudinal classification systems', Sociological Review, 59 (2): 93-112.


Uprichard, E. and Jackson, C. (in press) 'Classification' in George Ritzer (ed) Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition. Blackwell.

Uprichard, E. (2015) 'Most big data is social data: The analytics need serious interrogation', Philosophy of Data Science. Impact of Social Science blog. London School of Economics

Uprichard, E. (2014) 'Big Doubts about Big Data', The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2013.

Uprichard, E. (2013) 'Big Data - Little Questions?', Discover Society, Focus, 1.

View all Publications

Modules Taught

Research Supervised

  • Samantha Martin - Twitter, the City and the Gut: Re-Writing The City Landscape With Health-related Knowledge
  • Paz Saavedra - Time, change and continuity in the generational social dynamics
  • Nathalie Mezza-Garcia - Developing a complexity-based anarchist theory on onlife interactive information processing for self-orgasing artificially intelligent governments
  • Jo Trowsdale - Exploring art-making as affective learning. The case of an arts and engineering sciences project (Sociology).

Public Engagement and Impact

2014. Invited Panel Member. Big Data and Governance: balancing risks and rewards. Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, 6 Nov.

2013. Big Data gets big numbers at Warwick. Insite. University of Warwick Press Release.


Deputy Director
Director of Warwick Q-Step Centre

Emma Uprichard


Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
Room B0.07
University of Warwick

Tel: +44 (0)2476 150117
Mob: +44 (0)78554 99829

Twitter: @emuprichard