Psychology of Social Class – UK Policy Implications (POSCUPI) 

Contributing to research and knowledge exchange to better understand and reduce social class-based inequalities in our society.

Collaborative work, expert knowledge

Working together for better futures

Psychology of Social Class – UK Policy Implications (POSCUPI) is a collaboration between co-founding UK academic experts in diverse psychology sub-discipline areas and research methodologies in the broad area of Psychology of Social Class. Our working in Universities the UK across different mission groups, geographical areas and at different career stages.

POSCUPI was founded by Bridgette Rickett, Head of Psychology at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. You can find out more about our team, the work we do and how we work with others in the 'Our people' section below.

What do we want to achieve? 

Overall, our main focus is to build capacity, draw together knowledge, develop scholarship and produce clear practice and policy implications in the emerging, and somewhat disparate area of the psychology of social class.

We specifically aim:

  1. To bring together research to develop a cohesive narrative around the psychology of social class and class-based inequalities;
  2. To bring together researchers in the UK and elsewhere (e.g. USA) for the purpose of networking and facilitation of cooperative knowledge exchange;
  3. To facilitate networking by both senior Psychology researchers and early-career researchers, including PhD students;
  4. To improve understanding in the discipline of key related areas of research in other countries and disciplines;
  5. To set agendas and stimulate debate for future research in the area, and to identify the contributions psychologists can make to research, policy and community action around social class and class-based inequalities;
  6. To engage the psychology workforce into the project of collating evidence from practice to ensure clear practice informed implications which identify key contributors to social class-based inequalities for service providers, and service users;
  7. To provide key implications for the training and practice of practitioners working in the UK psychology workforce aimed at reducing social class-based inequalities;
  8. To engage local policy makers and stakeholders into the project of collating the evidence from the discipline on social class to ensure a clear for a research-informed approach to policy;
  9. To provide clear implications for UK policy to enable potential impact for Psychology on people’s lives, relationships and communities.

Our current activities include:

  • Contributions to government policy papers such the Health Disparities White Paper for the UK Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (2022)
  • A British Psychology Society (BPS) commissioned report which reviews the evidence within the psychology of social class in term so clear policy implications Psychology of Social Class – UK Policy Implications: Education, Health and Work and Business
  • A BPS funded 2022-23 seminar programme which will deliver a national seminar series that aims to engage local MPs, policy makers, service providers and communities, in addition to local and national UK based Psychologists at all stages of career with a main purpose to facilitate the development of psychological knowledge by bringing together; researchers and stakeholders to generate discussion around psychological theory and research on social class and class-based inequalities
  • Collaborating with partners in the psychology workforce, broader industry, legal teams and policy makers to embed our aims in practise and policy
  • The founding and launch of a new academic Journal Psychology and Social Class. This aims to facilitate and disseminate the academic study of psychology of social class which as a particular focus on the development of theory, methods, practice and policy implications that focus on increasing psychological understandings of social class and reduce social class-based inequalities

Who we are

Our multi-disciplinary steering group have both a passion for using psychology to understand and reduce social class-based inequalities in our society and an expert knowledge to contribute to this endeavour.

Work with us

POSCUPI also has a membership list which anyone with an interest in psychology of social class can subscribe to which we will use to update you on our activities, share calls for experts and contributors who work with us and make regular calls for contributions to our media, research, policy and practice activities.

  • 30th June 2022: Seminar: "What Challenges does the social class set for the levelling up agenda?" Capstone Policy Event, June, Department of Psychology and Behavioural Science, London School of Economics, UK
  • 6th July 2022: Invited keynote speaker. Psychology of Social Class – Implications for Policy. Equality Act Review, House of Commons, Westminster, UK
  • 20th July 2022: Rickett, B., Easterbrook, M.J., Reavey, P., Sheehy-Skeffington, J., & Woolhouse, M. (2022). Psychology of social class-based inequalities Policy implications for a revised (2010) UK Equality Act. British Psychology Society. ISBN 978-1-85433-814-3.
  • 20th October 2022: Invited speaker. Psychology of Social Class – Implications for Policy, ParliON, Portcullis House, Westminster, UK
  • 20th October 2022: Briefing with: Senior Clerk Women and Equalities APG; Senior Clerk ParliON; Kate Green MP, Portcullis House Westminster, UK.
  • September 2022 - present: 30th June 2022: Expert board member – Legal framework for protection of social class in UK Equality Act (2010), Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
  • 30th November 2022 - Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust, UK: Invited workshop - “How can we make social class present in training and practice?”, Dept of Clinical & Health Psychology
  • Member of Technical Advisory Group, DfE’s Education and Outcomes Panel Studies – Panel C.
  • Member of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion committee, British Psychology Society
  • January 2023 - Division of Education, Children and Families Psychology, British Psychology Society: Invited keynote; Psychology of Social Class-based Inequalities: Policy Implications for a revised (2010) UK Equality Act
  • September 2022 – present: Expert partner - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Dept of Clinical & Health Psychology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, NHS Trust, UK.
  • December 2022 to present: Expert contributor - BBC RAISED - Real Action in Socio-Economic Diversity (RAISED) Staff Network
  • February 2023: Professional development training - Psychology, Queens College Belfast, UK: How do we embed socio-economic inclusion in student recruitment practice?

Chairs and committee members from the following BPS Divisions and Sections:

  • Psychology of Women and Equalities Section
  • Community Psychology Section
  • Division of Educational and Child Psychology and the Division of Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology section
  • Division of Occupational Psychology

Keep up to date with the latest from POSCUPI

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