Dr Samuel Burgum

Associate Researcher

About Samuel

Samuel is a critical urban sociologist, currently conducting a Leverhulme-sponsored ethnographic project on squatting in the context of the UK’s housing crisis.

He regularly blogs about this research at – ‘Squatting London‘.

Samuel has a Sociology BA (York, 2011), Social Research MA (York, 2012) and a PhD in Sociology (Warwick, 2016). His doctoral research involved an ethnographic study of the Occupy movement in London, focusing on the use and importance of urban space for the protesters, using participant observation and interviews in order to understand how the activists managed and organised their protest in the wake of the financial crisis, and looking at the politics of possibility. Samuel’s thesis is now available as a book, entitled: ‘Occupying London: Post-Crash Resistance and the Limits of Possibility‘.

Samuel currently contributes to supervision and teaching in the Urban Studies & Planning department. He has previously worked as: a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Universities of York, Warwick, and Newcastle; a Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick; and as a researcher for the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

Research interests

Samuel is currently conducting a Leverhulme-funded ethnography with activists in London, provisionally titled: ‘The London Underground: Squatting and Direct Housing Action in the Alpha Territory’. Methods include participant observation, interviews, photo-elicitation, and archival work, as well as a literature review of existing squatting & housing research and policy.

His wider research interests include:

  • Social justice and urban inequality.
  • Housing, property, and informality (home-less people & people-less homes.
  • Squatting, trespass, occupation, and direct action.
  • Social movements, grassroots campaigns, and activism.
  • Urban and social theory.
  • Epistemology, ethnography, and qualitative methods.
  • Archival and genealogical approaches.

Academic citizenship: Samuel has reviewed papers for Antipode, Theory Culture & Society, and the Radical Housing Journal. He is also a website content commissioning editor for theoryculturesociety.org and is part of the Squatting Everywhere Kollective (SqEK) international research network.


Burgum, S. (2017). Progress Through Protest. In R. Atkinson, L. McKenzie, & S. Winlow (Eds.), Building Better Societies Promoting Social Justice in a World Falling Apart. Bristol: Policy Press

Burgum, S. (2018) ‘From Grenfell Tower to the Home Front: Unsettling Property Norms Using a Genealogical Approach‘ Antipode.

Loader, B. D., Vromen, A., Xenos, M. A., Steel, H., & Burgum, S. (2015). Campus Politics, Student Societies and Social Media. The Sociological Review, 63(4), 820-839.

Burgum, S. (2015). The branding of the left: between spectacle and passivity in an era of cynicism. Journal for Cultural Research, 19(3), 306-320.

Burgum, S. (2018) ‘Occupying London: Post-Crash Resistance and the Limits of Possibility‘. Abingdon: Routledge.