Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC)

CRESC is the ‘Economic and Social Research Council’s centre for research on socio-cultural change.  It is a £4.5 million research council funded major international research centre analyzing socio-cultural change.  It is the first major research centre in Britain to develop a broad, empirically focused account of cultural change and its economic, social and political implications.

CRESC logo

CRESC brings together the theoretical and methodological expertise of the University of Manchester and The Open University, involving staff from disciplines as diverse as Accounting and Finance, Business, Census, and Survey Statistics, Geography, History, Media Studies, Social Anthropology and Sociology.
The mission of the Centre is to provide an integrated programme of theoretically directed, inter-disciplinary empirical research on socio-cultural change in the UK, placing this in comparative and historical perspective, so that its findings can shape academic research, and can be drawn upon by users of cultural research.  At the broadest level, our programme seeks to overcome current barriers between academic disciplines and between academics and users.

The Directors of the Centre are Professors Sophie Watson, John Law and Marie Gillespie (The Open University), Penny Harvey, Karel Williams, Andy Miles and Fiona Devine (The University of Manchester).

Originally funded for five years, CRESC2 has received a further award of £4.5 million from the ESRC ensuring the Centre’s core funding until September 2014. The broad research agenda for this second phase of CRESC is focusing on the following themes central to the analysis of socio-cultural change.

  • Remaking Capitalism
  • Reframing the Nation
  • Topologies of Social Change
  • Trajectories of Participation and Inequality
  • And our integrating methods foci
  • Social Life of Methods (SLoM)
  • Urban Experiments

To see some of their work and understand more about their aims it is worth looking at their working paper series on their website:

This is the official working paper series of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC). The working paper series is intended to provide a forum for debate and discussion. All of the papers published in the series have been subjected to peer review and comment within CRESC in order to maintain quality. These are working papers which will in most cases be revised before or after submission for publication in a learned journal. The papers published here do not necessarily appear in their final form and appearance as a CRESC paper does not preclude revision for submission to another forum.

CRESC Working Paper Series

Susan Brown and Alex Dunedin presented a paper at the 8th Annual Conference in Manchester on Promises: Crisis and Socio-Cultural Change.  The paper was called “Developing Inclusive Social Capital: Slick Promises or Messy Knowledge Exchange ?”, and you can see the presentation here

Developing Inclusive Social Capital by Alex Dunedin and Susan Brown