Photo of Jacqueline Kennelly

Jacqueline Kennelly

Associate Professor

Degrees:PhD (British Columbia)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8103
Office:B743 Loeb Building

Areas of interest

My broad research interests encompass youth cultures, citizenship, democracy, social inclusion and exclusion, globalization/neoliberalism, social movements, urban sociology, and education. My primary theoretical influences include Pierre Bourdieu, Hannah Arendt, Paul Ricoeur, feminist theorists of agency, democracy, citizenship, and the state (e.g. Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Seyla Benhabib, Lois McNay) and many theorists connected to the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (e.g. Paul Willis, Stuart Hall, Phil Cohen, Anoop Nayak). Methodologically, I do qualitative work that could be characterized as phenomenological in nature, incorporating both traditional ethnographic methods (e.g. interviewing, participant-observation) and non-traditional (e.g. visual and web-based methods).


Before joining the department, I completed a SSHRC-funded post-doctoral fellowship with the University of Cambridge, where I studied the impacts of the Vancouver (2010) and London (2012) Olympics on low-income young people, under the supervision of Dr. Diane Reay. My SSHRC- and Killam-funded doctoral research, completed at the University of British Columbia and supervised by Dr. Jo-Anne Dillabough, examined the classed, racialized, and gendered cultural formations of youth activist communities in Canada, and their intersections with state-informed categories such as ‘citizen’  or ‘democratic engagement.’ The results from that study have been summarized in various peer-reviewed journal articles, and was published in 2011 by Palgrave-MacMillan in a monograph entitled Citizen Youth: culture, activism, and agency in a neoliberal era.

Click here for a pod-cast of a debate in which I participated, entitled ‘Advocate or Activist: what is the best way to effect change?’ And a link to a blog discussing the debate, here.

Related research, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Dillabough, ethnographically investigated urban low-income young people’s subcultural responses to such contemporary phenomenon as education and welfare retrenchment, ghettoization of the urban poor, and emergent forms of youth citizenship. The results from that study have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters as well as a monograph published in 2010 by Routledge, entitled Lost youth in the global city: class, culture, and the urban imaginary.

In 2013, I completed my five year ethnographic study of the urban effects of the Olympic Games for low-income, homeless, and street-involved young people in London and Vancouver. This project was supported by a SSHRC standard research grant (2010 to 2013), as well as SSHRC post-doctoral funding (2008-2010). Findings from the study have been summarized in a book recently published by Rutledge, entitled Olympic Exclusions: Youth, Poverty, and Social Legacies.

Click here for an article published by the Dominion about this research.

Click here for an Ottawa Citizen article and video about this research.

Click here for a CTV interview about this research.

Current research is focusing on the experiences of homeless and marginally housed young people with civic engagement and democratic processes (see for more), as well as the supports needed to help young people transition out of homelessness (see for a community report co-authored by Dr. Kennelly and graduate student Justin Langille, with Kaite Burkholder-Harris of A Way Home Ottawa).

Courses taught at Carleton include Gender and Society (SOCI 2045), Studies in Children and Childhood (SOCI/ANTH 3045), Advanced Studies in Qualitative Methods (SOCI 4003 and SOCI 5105), Studies in the Sociology of Education (SOCI 3300), Social Justice in Action (SOCI 3220) and various special topics graduate courses, including youth cultures, mega-events, and urban inequality. I have also supervised various graduate and undergraduate directed reading courses on social movements, methodology, urban sociology, youth cultures, and feminist theory.

Selected publications


Kennelly, J. (2016). Olympic Exclusions: Youth, Poverty, and Social Legacies. Routledge: New York.

Poyntz, S. and J. Kennelly (2015). Phenomenology of Youth Cultures and Globalization: Lifeworlds and Surplus Meanings in Changing Times. Routledge: New York.

Kennelly, J. (2011). Citizen youth: culture, activism, and agency in a neoliberal era. PalgraveMacMillan: New York.

Dillabough, J. and J. Kennelly. (2010) Lost youth in the global city: class, culture, and the urban imaginary. RoutledgeFalmer: New York.


Kennelly, J. (in press, 2016). ‘This is the view when I walk into my house’: accounting phenomenologically for the efficacy of spatial methods with youth. Young.

 Kennelly, J. (in press, 2016). Symbolic violence and the Olympic Games: low-income youth, social legacy commitments, and urban exclusion in Olympic host cities. Journal of Youth Studies.

 Kennelly, J. (2015). ‘You’re making our city look bad’: Olympic security, neoliberal urbanization and homeless youth. Ethnography. Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 3-24.

Kennelly, J. (2014). ‘It’s this pain in my heart that won’t let me stop’: Gendered reflexivity, webs of relations, and young women’s activism. Feminist Theory, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 241-260.

Kennelly, J. and P. Watt (2013). Restricting the public in public space: the London 2012 Olympic Games, hyper-securitization and marginalized youth. Sociological Research Online. Volume 18, Issue 2, published 31 May 2013

Kennelly, J. and P. Watt (2012). Seeing Olympic effects through the eyes of marginally housed youth: changing places and the gentrification of east London. Visual Studies. Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 151-160.

Kennelly, J. (2011). Policing young people as citizens-in-waiting: legitimacy, spatiality, and governance. British Journal of Criminology, Volume 51, Number 2, pp 336-354.

Kennelly, J. and P. Watt (2011, in press). Sanitizing public space in Olympic host cities: the spatial experiences of marginalized youth in Vancouver (2010) and London (2012). Sociology.

Kennelly, J. and K. Lewellyn (2011, in press). Educating for active compliance: discursive constructions in citizenship education. Citizenship Studies.

Kennelly, J. (2009). Learning to protest: youth activist cultural politics in contemporary urban Canada. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 293-316.

Kennelly, J., P. Ugor and S. Poyntz. (2009). Special issue introduction: youth, cultural politics, and new social spaces in an era of globalization. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 255-269.

Kennelly, J. (2009). Good citizen/bad activist: the cultural role of the state in youth activism. Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Volume 31, Issues 2-3, pp 127-149.

Kennelly, J. (2009). Youth cultures, activism, and agency: revisiting feminist debates. Gender and Education. Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 259-272.

Kennelly, J. and J. Dillabough (2008). Young people mobilizing the language of citizenship: struggles for classification and new meaning in an uncertain world. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(5), pp 493-508.

Kennelly, J. (2006). “Acting out” in the public sphere: the challenges of community theatre to citizenship education. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(2), pp 541-562.

Dillabough, J., E. Wang and J. Kennelly (2005). “Ginas,” “Thugs,” and “Gangstas”: Young people’s struggles to “become somebody” in working-class urban Canada. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 21(2), pp 83-108.


Kennelly, J. (Principal Investigator, 2014 to 2016). Encountering democracy: low income Canadian youths’ perspectives on citizenship and democratic processes. Spencer Foundation (based in Chicago, Illinois). $39,823 over 2 years.

Westheimer, Joel and John Rogers (Principal Investigators), with Larry Cuban, Michelle Fine, Patricia Gandara, Henry Giroux, Jacqueline Kennelly and Rashmita Mistry (Collaborators). Learning about inequality in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant.

Kennelly, J. (Principal Investigator, 2010 to 2013). Olympic Games, urban change, and youth cultures: investigating Olympic impacts on low-income young people in Vancouver and London. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Standard Research Grant.