Dr Sarah Moore

Personal profile


Core research interests:

--Crime and the media (especially news reporting on sexual violence)

--Risk, gender, and sex

--Fear of crime and the organisation of public space

--Sociology of culture and consumption


I joined Royal Holloway in 2009, having previously held a full-time lectureship at Queen’s University, Belfast and served as a Research Assistant and guest lecturer at the University of Kent. I am the sole author of two books – Ribbon Culture: Charity, Compassion, and Public Awareness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008/2010) and Crime and the Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014 -- visit the publisher’s website for advance reviews). The former looks at the origin and meaning of health ‘awareness’ campaigns and provides a critical discussion of their tendency to commercialise compassion and misrepresent illness. The book was awarded the Philip Abrams Memorial prize in 2009 and you can read a review here. I have also written a number of book chapters and published in a range of international journals, including the British Journal of Criminology, Body & Society, Crime, Media, Culture, Journal of Risk Research, and Health, Risk, and Society (for which I have also served as co-guest editor).

My research interests range across the sociology of crime and deviance and the sociology of health. The concept of risk knits much of my research together, and I’m particularly interested in how threats to women’s health and personal safety are culturally and socially constructed. My research here focuses on the causes, process, and consequences of risk amplification and draws upon the work of Mary Douglas, especially her writing on blame and risk. I’ve written about the development and meaning of ‘awareness’ ribbon campaigns, the typification of ‘date rape’ in the UK and US press, risk rituals, the creation and promotion of ‘cautionary tales’ concerning sexual assault, and recent shifts in British sex education.

More recently, I’ve become interested in the public spaces of crime and criminal justice. This stems in part from my work on a British Academy-funded study that looked at how single-sex public spaces reflect and reinforce men and women’s different perceptions of danger. It derives also from my thinking about spatial arrangements in the courtroom and how these encapsulate particular attitudes to justice, public participation, and authority (prompted by a close analysis of the courtroom scenes in Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest – see publication list).

My research has received international media coverage and has been discussed in national newspapers and on radio programmes (on NPR, ABC, BBC Radio Four, and CBC).



BA English Literature and Sociology, University of Kent (1st Class)

MA Sociology and Social Research Methods, University of Kent (ESRC-funded, Distinction)

PhD Sociology, University of Kent (ESRC-funded)



British Sociological Association

Higher Education Academy



Visiting Fellow, Yale University, Center for Cultural Sociology, Spring 2009

Awarded the Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for ‘best first book in Sociology’, 2009

Awarded Faculty Teaching Prize, 2012

Peer reviewer for Body and Society, Sociology Compass, Health, Risk, Society, and Crime, Media Culture



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