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Dr Teresa Perez

Research Fellow
Areas of expertise
Qualitative research with marginalised groups in highly unequal cities
Royal Holloway, University of London
Social Work

Dr Teresa Perez’s field is an interdisciplinary branch of global sociology. Her previous work tackled climate change and single-use plastic by understanding how global problems are experienced in everyday interactions. She specialises in qualitative research with marginalised groups in highly unequal cities. Prior to joining the Co-POWeR team, Perez piloted a plastic recycling scheme in partnership with the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Environmental Network. This builds on her PhD which examined the stigma management strategies of ‘waste pickers’ in South Africa.

Her research aims to debunk stereotypes, improve people’s quality of life and broaden opportunities for individual and social change. She has written on research ethics in qualitative research; the integration of informal workers into public services; the constraints to policies designed to create green jobs; transformative adaptation; reflexive development methods; and power relations in international transdisciplinary consortia.

Her interest in racism originates from her teaching career at state-comprehensives in Manchester and London, where she was head of the sociology department, until she relocated to South Africa in 2011. She returned to the UK in 2019 to join the Cambridge Circular Plastic Centre, who she continues to link with in addition to colleagues at the University of Cape Town.