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Research Profile

  • Dr Lehtonen joined the University of Northampton in 2018, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and the Programme Leader for BA Sociology. Her background is in interdisciplinary social sciences, with a BA in Politics and Chinese (SOAS University of London), and an MSc and PhD in Gender Studies (London School of Economics and Political Science).

    She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Gender Studies, Sociology, and Social Sciences more broadly.

    Prior to joining academia Dr Lehtonen worked in charities, and has extensive experience in organisations that support refugees and people in immigration detention.

  • Dr Lehtonen currently teaches Sociology modules on gender, sexuality and social inequalities.

    She has previously taught postgraduate modules in gender theory and multidimensional inequalities, and undergraduate modules in social research methods, the sociological imagination, sociology of self, and introductory social science.

    Dr Lehtonen has also guest lectured extensively, on topics such as sexuality and the political economy, sexuality and social policy, politics of representation, and gender, sexuality and migration.

  • Dr Lehtonen’s primary area of research focuses on dominant narratives, representations and regulation of sexuality within broader cultural, political and economic formations – spanning political sociology, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural studies. Her current project explores the limitations and possibilities of sexual politics within austerity and neoliberalism, interrogating the intersections of sexuality and gender with class and racial formations, work and welfare, and the state. 

    She is also interested in pedagogy, with a research focus on feminist and queer pedagogical engagements with narratives and practices of inclusion, resistance, and employability in Higher Education. 

    Dr Lehtonen is part of the Diversity, Community and Identity research group at the University of Northampton.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Aura Lehtonen’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.