Maggie O'Neill, Ph.D.

Life & Work

Maggie O'Neill, Ph.D., is also a Member of the HumanDHS Global Advisory Board, the HumanDHs Global Core Team, the HumanDHS Education Team, and the HumanDHS Research Team, as part of the core HumanDHS Research Management Team, among others, as advisor to our Refugees and Humiliation project. She is furthermore a Member of the Academic Board of the Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (JHDHS).

Maggie O'Neill is a Professor in Criminology at the Department of Sociology at Wentworth College, University of York, United Kingdom, as well as Co-Chair of the Sex Work Research Hub, and Co-Chair of the UoY Migration Network. At York University, she is the Programme Director of the BA in Criminology and BA in Sociology with Criminology. Prior to that, until 2016, she was Professor in Criminology in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, UK. Until 2009, she was based in Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University. Prior to this she worked for eleven years in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Staffordshire University and before that was ten years in the Department of Sociology at Nottingham Trent University. She co-edited Sociology (with Tony Spybey): the journal of the British Sociological Association from 1999-2002; she is a member of various professional associations including the National Network of Sex Work Projects and the British Sociological Association and British Criminology Association. She acts as a research consultant on community cohesion issues and has had commissions from the Home Office, and regional Local Authorities. Maggie researches the issue of prostitution, women's experiences, routes in to prostitution, and communities affected (since 1990) and forced migration (since 1998).

An expert in participatory action research (working with people, groups, communities to create change) Maggie has a reputation for developing innovative culture work to imagine new ways of understanding and articulating the experiences of crime and victimization, that breach disciplinary boundaries and expand and enliven the methodological horizons of cultural criminology. Her theoretical concept of ethno-mimesis (the inter-connection of sensitive ethnographic work and visual re-presentations) is a methodological tool as well as a process for exploring lived experience, displacement, exile, belonging and humiliation.

Research funding has been received from the AHRB; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Home Office; Leicester Local Authority and Local Education Authority, East Midland Arts, Nottingham Trent and Staffordshire Universities.

Please see Maggie's blog at Policy Press.


Publications & Articles

Slow Movement/Slow University, by Maggie O'Neill et al.
Forum: Qualitative Social Research Vol 15, No 3 (2014)
•  Slow Movement/Slow University: Critical Engagements. Introduction to the Thematic Section, by Maggie O'Neill, Luke Martell, Heather Mendick, Ruth Müller
•  The Slow University: Work, Time and Well-Being, by Maggie O'Neill
Refugee Women, Human Rights and Belonging: Educating for Dignity by Maggie O'Neill on December 5, 2013, see also Searching for Asylum, produced by Jan Haaken and Maggie O'Neill, this video documents a participant action research project carried out with a group of women asylum seekers in the UK, published on 21 Jul 2013.
Maggie O'Neill gave the lecture titled "Refugee Women, Human Rights and Belonging: Educating for Dignity" at the Public Event of the 10th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, that took place at Columbia University in New York City on December 5-6, 2013.
Humiliation, Social Justice and Recognitive Communities: Thinking about the Asylum-Migration-Community Nexus in the Context of HDHS, abstract presented at the 2012 Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York, December 6-7, 2012.
See as background:
Maggie O'Neill, Susan Mansaray (2012)
Race, Crime and Justice in the North East: Women's Lives, Well-Being and Community
Project conducted in participation with Regional Refugee Forum North East and Purple Rose Stockton.
"Making Connections: Ethno-mimesis, Migration and Diaspora," in Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 14, 289-302, September 2009, doi:10.1057/pcs.2009.5.
Maggie O'Neill (2010)
Asylum, Migration and Community, Bristol, UK: Policy Press
Maggie O'Neill (2008)
Transnational Refugees: The Transformative Role of Art?
In Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Article 59,

Maggie O'Neill (2007)
Humiliation and Human Dignity: Conducting Participatory Action Research with Women Who Sell Sex (see
Abstract prepared for the 2007 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, Columbia University, New York, December 13-14, 2007.


Maggie O'Neill (2006)
Re-Imagining Diaspora through Ethno-Mimesis: Humiliation, Human Dignity and Belonging (2007).
In Reimagining Diasporas: Transnational Lives and the Media, edited by Olga Guedes-Bailey (Liverpool John-Moores University), Myria Georgiou (University of Leeds), and Ramaswami Harindranath (University of Melbourne). Published by Palgrave Publishers, UK.


Maggie O’Neill (2006) together with Ramaswami Harindranath
Theorising Narratives of Exile and Belonging: The Importance of Biography and Ethno-mimesis in “Understanding” Asylum
In Qualitative Sociology Review, II (1, April), pp. 39-52.


Maggie O'Neill (2006)
Forced Migration, Humiliation and Human Dignity: Re-Imagining the Asylum-Migration Nexus through Participatory Action Research (PAR)
Abstract prepared for the 2006 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, 8th Annual Meeting of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in New York, December 14-15, 2006.


Maggie O'Neill (2005)
Humiliation, Social Justice and Ethno-mimesis
Note prepared for the 2005 Workshop on Humiliation and Violent Conflict, 6th Annual Meeting of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies in New York, December 15-16, 2005.


Books include:
Adorno, Culture and Feminism (Sage);
Prostitution and Feminism: Towards a Politics of Feeling (Polity);
Prostitution: A Reader (Ashgate) with Roger Matthews;
Gender and the Public Sector (Routledge) with Jim Barry and Mike Dent;
Sex Work Now (Willen) with Rosie Campbell.