Dr Saffron Karlsen

Dr Saffron Karlsen

Dr Saffron Karlsen
Senior Lecturer in Social Research

1.10, 3 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
BS8 1TU
(See a map)

saffron.karlsen@bristol.ac.uk

Telephone Number (0117) 3310929

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Personal profile

My work aims to enable a better understanding of the different ways in which ethnicity has meaning and relevance in people's lives, both for developing awareness of potential group affiliations and as a driver of health and other inequalities. It engages particularly with the negative impact of forms of racist victimisation on these processes.

My research activity centres around two broad themes. My PhD and significant subsequent activity has focused on developing better understanding of the drivers of particular forms of ethnic and other group definition. Most recently, this has focused on a sense of Britishness, particularly the ways in which this sense of national inclusion is affected by different forms of social and economic exclusion and racist victimisation.

I also have a body of work relating the drivers of social and economic inequalities, particularly those relating to health. My work using the Fourth National Study of Ethnic Minorities was among the first to document the relationships between experiences of racist victimisation and health in the UK. This has been followed by other work establishing the diverse ways in which racism can impact on health experience. 

I have recently completed a study with colleagues at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff documenting the experiences of local Somalis with female genital mutilation (FGM)-safeguarding services. This culminated in a large launch at the University of Bristol in March 2019, attended by the Deputy Mayor for Bristol, Cllr Asher Craig Vice, the Head of FGM-safeguarding in Bristol City Council, the Principal of the University, Guy Orpen, and policymakers, practitioners, activists, academics and members of the Bristol Somali community, interested in issues of FGM. The report is available here: https://research-information.bristol.ac.uk/files/187177083/Karlsen_et_al_2019_When_Safeguarding_become_Stigmatising_Final_Report.pdf       A summary report, in English and Somali, is available for download here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/policybristol/policy-briefings/fgm-safeguarding/ The BBC report on the research is available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-47507859 Our current work explores the reliability and validity of FGM prevalence statistics, in collaboration with academics, practitioners and policy makers in the UK. We are currently developing plans to extend this work into Europe and beyond. This work has been well received by the local community, policymakers and practitioners. We have been invited to attend the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board and are currently planning further research to ensure the opportunities offered by this work are maximised.

I am a key member of the Socially Inclusive Cities Network, which brings together partners from the UK, Africa (Kenya and Nigeria) and Asia (India and Vietnam) to explore how research can help promote ethnic and religious equality for excluded communities worldwide. The work of this network has carried out evidence reviews on how ethnic and religious disadvantage is created and what solutions can help to change future policy and practice; identified inclusion strategies for a range of public services - health, education, local government and the police; and developed guidelines for future research to fill gaps in current knowledge and help transform public services. You can watch the animation from this project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBtF7TcH1TY&feature=youtu.be   The UN report associated with this work is available here: http://www.unrisd.org/80256B42004CCC77/(httpInfoFiles)/FFE23E8144F5A514C1258339005A4796/$file/Overcoming%20Inequalities%202b_Mir---Final.pdf

I maintain a close relationship with the Race Equality Foundation, charity and third sector strategic partner to the NHS, and also Black South West Network, a BME-led infrastructure organisation, working for race equality across the South West. I am currently Co-I on a study evaluating the Foundations' parent education programme with academics at UCL and elsewhere. We have recently established a network with BSWN to provide more detailed and accessible evidence with which to respond to ethnic inequalities in education, employment, health and social exclusion in the South West.

 

Research

My work aims to enable a better understanding of the different ways in which ethnicity has meaning and relevance in people's lives, both for developing awareness of potential group affiliations and as a driver of health and other inequalities. It engages particularly with the negative impact of forms of racist victimisation on these processes. My work on social inclusion among those with ethnic and religious minority backgrounds, including Muslims, has made a significant contribution to Government evidence on processes of radicaliation, via both the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

I maintain a close relationship with the Race Equality Foundation, charity and third sector strategic partner to the NHS and research colleagues in the Universities of Manchester, Leeds and UCL.

Prior to taking up my post at Bristol, I was a senior research fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL.

Teaching

I currently lead undergraduate units in Sociology of Health and Illness, and Investigating the Social - which provides practical experience in a range of qualitative research methods.

I currently have several PhD students and am keen to supervise PhD projects related to my research interests.



Key publications

  1. Karlsen, S, Mogilnicka, M, Carver, N & Pantazis, C, 2019, ‘Female genital mutilation: Empirical evidence supports concerns about statistics and safeguarding’. BMJ, vol 364., pp. 915
  2. Karlsen, SI & Nazroo, JY, 2015, ‘Ethnic and religious differences in the attitudes of people towards being 'British'’. Sociological Review, vol 63., pp. 759-781
  3. Karlsen, S & Nazroo, JY, 2013, ‘Influences on forms of national identity and feeling 'at home' among Muslim groups in Britain, Germany and Spain’. Ethnicities, vol 13., pp. 689-708
  4. Karlsen, SI & Nazroo, JY, 2014, ‘Ethnic and religious variations in the reporting of racist victimization in Britain: 2000 and 2008/2009’. Patterns of Prejudice, vol 48., pp. 370-397
  5. Akhavan, S & Karlsen, S, 2013, ‘Practitioner and Client Explanations for Disparities in Health Care Use Between Migrant and Non-migrant Groups in Sweden: A Qualitative Study’. Journal of immigrant and minority health, vol 15., pp. 188-197
  6. Karlsen, S & Nazroo, JY, 2010, ‘Religious and ethnic differences in health: evidence from the Health Surveys for England 1999 and 2004’. Ethnicity and Health, vol 15., pp. 549-568

Latest publications

  1. Karlsen, S, Carver, N, Mogilnicka, M & Pantazis, C, 2019, ‘When safeguarding becomes stigmatising: A report on the impact of FGM-safeguarding procedures on people with a Somali heritage living in Bristol’. University of Bristol
  2. Falconer, CL, Park, MH, Croker, H, Skow, A, Black, J, Saxena, S, Kessel, AS, Karlsen, S, Morris, S, Viner, RM & Kinra, S, 2014, ‘The benefits and harms of providing parents with weight feedback as part of the national child measurement programme: a prospective cohort study’. BMC Public Health, vol 14., pp. 549
  3. Morris, S, Karlsen, S, Chung, N, Hill, M & Chitty, LS, 2014, ‘Model-Based Analysis of Costs and Outcomes of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing for Down's Syndrome Using Cell Free Fetal DNA in the UK National Health Service’. PLoS ONE, vol 9., pp. e93559
  4. Karlsen, SI, Morris, S, Kinra, S, Vallejo-Torres, L & Viner, R, 2014, ‘Ethnic variations in overweight and obesity among children over time: Findings from analyses of the Health Surveys for England 1998-2009’. Pediatric Obesity.

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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