Dr Laura Barnett

Lecturer in Higher Education

Academic and research departments

Surrey Institute of Education.


Areas of specialism

Ethnography; Inclusive Education


Research interests

Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision



Barnett, L. (2018) 'Learning Development'. In Kinchin, I.M. and Winstone, N.E. (Eds.) Exploring pedagogic frailty and resilience: Case studies of academic narrative. Rotterdam, Sense Publishers.
Blackman, S., Doherty, L., and McPherson, R. (2015) 'Normalisation of Hedonism? Challenging convergence culture through ethnographic studies of alcohol consumption by young adults - a feminist exploration.' In Staddon, P. (Ed.) Women and Alcohol: Social Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press.

This chapter is a critical feminist exploration of the social relations of gender and alcohol use by young adult women and men. Through employing ethnographic moments from two studies in the South-East of England, this chapter seeks to challenge the notion of gender convergence between young people’s drinking in the UK night-time economy. These studies identified a potential convergence in gendered drinking patterns, but also a distinction between gendered drinking styles. Whilst female drinking is portrayed as both problematic and overtly sexualised through British newspapers and social media, this chapter found that young women construct their own space and autonomy towards determined drinking. Applying Bourdieu’s (1984) concept of ‘field’ to our gender analysis, the chapter found that young people are fully involved in hedonistic lifestyles of pleasure with different social outcomes; male drinking becomes normalised and defined as less of a policy problem area, whereas young women who drink become sexually objectified through stigma and moral condemnation in the night-time economy. The chapter argues that young women are seeking to restore a sense of agency to their intoxication within the night-time economy, whilst managing the commodification of hyper-sexual femininity and pursuing their own valued ideas of pleasure.

Wise, H., Lowe, J., Hill, A. Barnett, L., and Barton, C. (2018) “Escape the Welcome Cliché: Designing Educational Escape Rooms to Enhance Students’ Learning Experience.” Journal of Information Literacy. 12(1):86-96.

The University of Surrey Library and Learning Support Services (LLSS) recognised an increasing need to transform its welcome, induction and orientation activities for students. Past activities have entailed delivering information to students in ways which may have led to information overload and lack of engagement by students with library services. The LLSS have been exploring innovative ways to welcome students to university, moving away from didactic approaches. This paper presents one such innovation produced among a series of activities during 2017/18, an educational escape room, informed by the work of Walsh (2017). This activity invited students to solve a series of themed puzzles in the escape room, introducing them to library services and information literacy (IL) skills to support their studies. This report provides an account of the challenges and positive outcomes encountered in designing the escape room, with a view to sharing good learning and teaching practice.

Kinchin, I., Balloo, K., Barnett, L., Gravett, K., Heron, M., Hosein, A., Lygo-Baker, S., Medland, E., Winstone, N. and Yakovchuk, N. (2023) Poems and pedagogic frailty: uncovering the affective within teacher development through collective biography.
Blackman, S. and Barnett, L. (2024) Intimacy, Exchange, and Friendship as Sensitizing Concepts: Interpreting and Teaching Subcultures through Ethnographic Fieldwork