Dr Kate Summers

Dr Kate Summers

LSE Fellow in Qualitative Methodology

Department of Methodology

Room No
Office Hours
Wednesdays 13:00 - 15:00 BST (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 previously worked for the think tank, The Work Foundation, and The Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.

Kate co-founded the early-career network, Money, Security and Social Policy (MSSP), and is a member of the Policy Advisory Group for the Women’s Budget Group.

Research interests

Kate’s research is concerned with poverty, economic inequality, and related social policies, in the UK context. She predominantly explores these issues using qualitative methods.

Her doctoral research used qualitative depth interviews to explore how working-age benefit recipients understand and use their money, and in particular applied insights from new economic sociology.

In ongoing work Kate is using a range of approaches to explore issues relating to: how money is experienced by those who are ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ in London; experiences of welfare reform in the UK; and the conceptualisation of richness.


Poverty, riches and economic inequality in the UK; working-age social security policy; welfare reform; sociology of money; qualitative methods.

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.


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)