Caroline Howarth's research focuses on the relationship between culture, identity, racism and agency. In particular, she explores how representations of different communities and social groups impinge on how these communities and groups define and so represent themselves. She is interested on the social and political consequences of the psychology of identity, representation and prejudice.
Theories of social representations and social identities have proved invaluable in conceptualising the role of representation in identity formation, in the marginalisation and racialisation of different communities and in the assertion of community pride and positive self-identities. She has explored these complex and sometimes controversial issues in relation islamophobic and racist constructions of Britishness, mixed-heritage identities and community art, to resistance and the cultural exclusion of black children at school, the racialised and gendered dynamics to the (re)production of local youth identities, the impact of others' stigmatising representations on identity, and the social psychology of community.
In Caroline's teaching and research she addresses the continuing individualism and apoliticalism of the field by highlighting the inherent interconnections between the psychological, cultural and political. As a whole this makes a substantial contribution to developing a Social Psychology that is more critical, more relevant and more useful to the urgent social issues of today.