Dr Eileen Alexander

Dr Eileen Alexander

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology

Department of Methodology

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English, German
Key Expertise
Qualitative research, creative methods, participatory methods, ethics

About me

Eileen is a Fellow in the Department of Methodology. She received her PhD in Social Policy from LSE in 2022. 

Eileen is interested in using creative and collaborative methods in qualitative research to better understand people’s lived experience of inequality, insecurity, and informal everyday welfare practices. She has used participant-generated network mapping and photography to develop research outputs that transcend text and act as a springboard for rich and engaged conversations. In her research practice, she seeks to reach and involve people whose voice and participation are often missing from academic and policy settings. She is particularly interested in the ethics (and importance) of engaging vulnerable groups in the coproduction of research. Eileen teaches in the Methodology and Social Policy departments where she enjoys supporting students to develop their own research practice. She received a LSE Student Union teaching award nomination in 2017, and a LSE Class Teacher award in 2022-23.

Research Interests

Eileen's current research is funded by LSE’s Research Impact Support Fund and explores experiences of and responses to the cost of living crisis in Hackney, East London. Supported by Eileen and a visual artist from the area, six Hackney residents spent summer 2023 taking photographs in response to a series of prompts. Their photographs, group discussions, and responses to this creative practice will be presented in a co-curated exhibition and publication in early 2024. Eileen's doctoral work focussed on informal exchanges of money between households on low incomes in the UK. Fifty interviews structured around a support network mapping method allowed Eileen to develop a typology of informal financial exchange in low-income context, identify the significance of friends and neighbours alongside family in informal financial exchanges that reach beyond the household, and lay out the numerous repercussions the practice has for individuals, their relationships and society at large.

PhD Thesis: The Ultimate Safety Net? Informal financial support among low-income households (2022)

Listen to Eileen's LSE research showcase titled "Why are things this way? Visualising life in post-austerity Britain": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUvudg0S0UY 

Expertise Details

Qualitative methods; Creative and visual methods; Participatory methods; Research ethics and reflexivity; Informal welfare; Care and the ethic of care; Inequality; Insecurity; Living on a low-income