Dr Kate Summers

Dr Kate Summers

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology

Department of Methodology

Room No
Office Hours
Tuesdays 09:00 - 10:00 and 14:30 - 15:30, online. (please book via Student Hub)
Key Expertise
Interviews, Focus groups, Participatory approaches, Thematic analysis

About me

Kate is an LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology. She completed her PhD in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE in 2018.

Kate has previously taught for the Social Policy Department, LSE Groups, and the LSE Summer School. She also holds an MSc in Social Policy (Research) from the LSE and a BA in Modern History from the University of Oxford. She has previously worked for the think tank, The Work Foundation, and The Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.

Research interests

Kate’s research is concerned with experiences and perceptions of poverty, economic inequality, and related social policies with a particular focus on social security policy, in the UK context. She explores these issues using qualitative methods including in-depth interviews, focus groups and participatory approaches.

Her doctoral research used qualitative depth interviews to explore how working-age benefit recipients understand and use their money. Key current research projects include ‘The Commission on Social Security: Led by experts by experience’ and Welfare at a (Social) Distance.

Expertise Details

Qualitative interviews; Focus groups; Participatory approaches; Research with 'vulnerable' groups; Thematic analysis; Poverty; riches and economic inequality in the UK; Working-age social security policy; Welfare reform; Sociology of money.


[Forthcoming] ‘The Long and Short of It: The temporal significance of wealth and income’ (with Katharina Hecht), Social Policy and Administation

2020, ‘For the Greater Good? Ethical reflections on interviewing the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in qualitative research’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology (link)

2020, ‘Universal Simplicity? The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit from administrative and claimant perspectives’ (with David Young), The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice (link)

2019, ‘Poverty development in affluent welfare states’, in, B. Greve (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Poverty. (link)