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Manchester Institute of Education

Professor Erica Burman

Professor of Education

My first degree was in Developmental Psychology with Cognitive Studies, from Sussex University. I came to Manchester to take up an SSRC PhD linked award, graduating in 1990 with a thesis entitled ‘Time, Language and Power in Modern Developmental Psychology’.

From September 1986 to March 2013 I taught developmental psychology, educational psychology, psychology of childhood, counselling and psychotherapy, human development, and qualitative and discursive research methods at Manchester Metropolitan University , becoming Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies in 1998.

I am co-founder (with Ian Parker) of the Discourse Unit 'Trans institutional and transdisciplinary centre for the study of the reproduction and transformation of language and subjectivity' and co-convene the Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix, and the Manchester Feminist Theory Network.

Research interests

  • Critically evaluating the relations between different notions of development (child, human, social, national and international)
  • Exploring how representations of childhood function culturally in policies and across a range of media and memorial practices
  • Critical approaches to models of mental health and therapeutic provision
  • Intersectionality of culture, gender, racialisation, class, age and disability as they function across sites of theory and practice
  • Educational discourses within and beyond formal educational arenas
  • Emotional dynamics of educational processes and organisations.

I have been involved in various action research projects, working in partnership with community and activist organisations around child welfare and educational issues, asylum and refugee issues, mental health and violence.

I work to support and generate politically engaged and analytical forms of qualitative inquiry, theoretically and methodologically.

Supervision areas

  • Disability, childhood and schooling: a participatory action research study
  • Gender and empowerment: community activism and participatory research
  • Effects of introducing a minimum age of consent to marriage in Saudi Arabia as a deterrent to forced marriage
  • Reconsidering the place of democracy in education: an ethnographic study
  • Accounting for obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Pre-trial therapy for child sexual abuse investigations: Foucauldian analysis
  • Mindfulness and emotional labour in cancer care
  • How counselling psychologists evaluate the role of exercise in therapy
  • Street-connected children in India - therapeutic possibilities
  • Narratives of breast cancer
  • ‘Coming out’: family and young people’s stories and therapeutic implications
  • Syrian refugees: coping strategies in relation to displacement and political viole

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