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Jonathan Ablitt

Dr Jonathan Ablitt


Research Associate, CASCADE

School of Social Sciences

sbarc|spark, Room 03.14, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


I am a Research Associate in the Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE). I am currently working on an evaluation and pilot trial funded by the Youth Endowment Fund that explores police engagement in secondary schools in Wales and England.

Prior to this I worked on an independent evaluation of Action for Children's Serious Organised Crime Early Intervention Service and the process evaluation of the Welsh Basic Income Pilot. I also previously worked on a Health Care Research Wales funded project co-producing a toolkit for an effective service response to improve the outcomes of young people at risk of child criminal exploitation (CCE).

My PhD research (completed in 2021) explored the situated, collaborative production of urban parks as mundane civic spaces, focusing on interactional encounters between Park Rangers and members of the public in Cardiff. This work was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

I am an active member of the Cardiff Ethnomethodology, Ethnography, Interaction and Talk (CEEIT) Research Group, the Cardiff Ethnography Group, and the Youth, Society and Risk Research Development Group in CASCADE.













Research interests

  • Working in public space
  • Service interactions
  • Ethnographic research methods
  • Language and category-use in action



PhD Sociology, Cardiff University (2021)

MSc Social Science Research Methods, Distinction, Cardiff University (2016)

BScEcon Sociology and History, 2:1, Cardiff University (2015)

Honours and awards

Nominated for 'Graduate Tutor Award', Enriching Student Life Awards, Cardiff University Students Union (2018)

Speaking engagements

Ablitt, J. and Dahl, P. (2023). 'Orienting to the research machine: The research interview as an interactional accomplishment'. European Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Annual Conference, Cardiff, UK. 7th July 2023.

Ablitt, J. (2023). ‘Trusting professionals: Notes on relationship-contingent interventions in a serious organised crime diversion service'. Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice Annual Conference, Gregynog Hall, Newtown, UK. 24th April 2023.

Ablitt, J. (2023). ‘Beyond the form: Notes on meaningful ethical engagement from an ethnographic study’. Youth, Society and Risk Research and Development Group, Cardiff, UK. 7th February 2023.

Maxwell, N and Ablitt, J. (2022). ‘Child criminal exploitation: Working with parents rather than against them’. European Criminological Association Annual Conference, Malaga, Spain. 28th September 2022.

Ablitt, J. and Maxwell, N. (2022). ‘Walking the walk: Peer mentoring in a youth diversion service’. European Criminological Association Annual Conference, Malaga, Spain. 27th September 2022.

Ablitt, J., Smith, R.J., Hall, T. (2022). ‘Questioning conviviality: Mobile encounters and the visibility of public space’. The Royal Geographical Society Annual International ConferenceNewcastle upon Tyne, UK. 31st August 2022.

Ablitt, J. (2019). ‘Getting over the fence: Realising city parks’ boundaries through Urban Park Rangers’ practical action’. Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, New York, NY, USA. 12th August 2019.

Ablitt, J. (2019). ‘The power of ambiguity: Indexical moral categorisation in urban territorial negotiations’. Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Symbolic InteractionNew York, NY, USA. 10th August 2019.

Ablitt, J. (2018). ‘Dealing with and disattending discomfort: The interactional accomplishment of urban park space’. The Royal Geographical Society Annual International ConferenceCardiff, UK. 30th August 2018.

Ablitt, J. (2018). ‘Reclaiming the clean-cut city: Audit, aesthetics, and accomplishing the moral order through urban maintenance practices’. Annual Meeting of the American Association of GeographersNew Orleans, LA, USA. 12th April 2018.

Ablitt, J. (2017). ‘Peripheral practices in urban maintenance: Street-level tactics to keep cities clean’. Cardiff Ethnography and Qualitative Research GroupCardiff, UK. 6th December 2017.

Ablitt, J. and Smith, R. J. (2017). ‘Working out Douglas’ aphorism: Discarded items, categorisation practices, and moral inquiries. Down the Pan: New Directions in the Sociology of Dirt (The Sociological Review)Glasgow, UK. 12th October 2017.


  • ethnography
  • ethnomethodology
  • membership categorisation analysis