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Dr. Gavin B. Sullivan

Position

Senior Research Fellow


Cluster

Disaster & Climate Resilience (DCR)


Mail

ab7809@coventry.ac.uk


Summary

Dr. Gavin Sullivan began his academic career with a thesis on Wittgenstein and Reflexivity in New Zealand before moving to Australia to work for the University of Western Sydney, the University of Sydney, and then Monash University in Melbourne. His interests in theoretical psychology quickly developed to include work using a range of qualitative methods and practical experience conducting short-term and long-term psychotherapy in clinical, forensic and private-practice settings. After being awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, he spent several years in Berlin researching individual, group-based and collective emotions with various colleagues at the Free University (FU) Berlin. He also developed an interest in community-oriented and social accounts of post-disaster coping and recovery as well as occurrences of emotion in crowds (e.g., at public viewing of football games) and instances of collective pride and hubris in various groups. He has continued to explore and develop his understanding of these topics using theoretical, critical and qualitative approaches after moving to the UK in 2010 following a period as a guest professor with the Languages of Emotion research cluster at the FU. After 5 years working in several UK psychology departments, he was very grateful to have been selected to co-lead the research group focusing on Identity and Resilience in Communities and Organisations as a Reader with the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement.

Research Interest

My research is inspired by theoretically-driven and interdisciplinary approaches that typically challenge mainstream psychology research, inspire new perspectives on problems and developing creative solutions working in partnership with the individuals, organisations and communities who experience issues or problems in complex contexts. My research and work with collaborators in the UK, Europe and internationally seeks to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, develop new innovative theories and generate change through both top-down and bottom-up social and communal processes. In most of my research, affect or emotion and discursive practices are central to understanding complex psychological, social and collective phenomena in a wide range of contexts.

Selected Projects
    • I am the conference chair of the forthcoming International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP) conference hosted by the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement in Coventry: I am one of the editors of the ISTP conference proceedings which is a collection of papers on theoretical psychology topics from presenters who attended the previous meeting held in Santiago, Chile in 2013.
    • With Dr. Thomas Kühn of Bremen University, we continue to investigate the impact on German national identity of the German national football team’s successes and people’s experiences of collective emotions in public viewing sites during mega-sport events such as the World Cup and UEFA Euro competitions.
    • In combination with colleagues at Coventry University, the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and Dr. Thomas Kühn of Bremen University, Thomas and I have investigated the impact of the Brazilian team’s semi-final defeat to Germany on Brazilians (i.e., emotions of collective shame but also links with social protests) and we are planning to study collective emotions and national identity during the 2016 Olympic Games, potentially as part of the CARNiVAL project.
    • With colleagues from Leeds Beckett University, we conducted a review of the links between wellbeing, poverty and anti-poverty interventions which was included in a larger publication.
    • With founder Zoë Boden and fellow steering group members Virginia Eathough and John Cromby, we have developed the qualitative research on affect, feelings and emotions group to promote work in this area. The affiliate network is growing rapidly and a range of activities are planned, including an inaugural conference in May 2015.
    • I am a committee member of the Qualitative Methods in Psychology group of the British Psychological Society which promotes the use of qualitative methods in psychological and social psychological research
Selected Publications
    • Sullivan, G. B. (Ed.). (2014). Understanding collective pride and group identity: New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Zaumseil, M., Schwarz, S., von Vacano, M., Sullivan, G. B., & Prawitasari-Hadiyono, J. (Eds.) (2013). Cultural psychology of coping with disasters. The case of an earthquake in Java/Indonesia. New York: Springer.
    • Sullivan, G. B. (2014). Collective pride, happiness and celebratory emotions: aggregate, network and cultural models. In M. Salmela & C. von Scheve (Eds.), Collective Emotions (pp. 266-280). Oxford University Press.
    • Sullivan, G. B., & Hollway, J. (2014). Collective pride and collective hubris in organizations. In G. B. Sullivan (Ed.), Understanding collective pride and group identity. New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Sullivan, G. B., & Dumont, K. B. (2014). Collective emotion and prejudice: A naturalistic study of positive emotion following a national team victory. In G. B. Sullivan (Ed.), Understanding collective pride and group identity. New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Sullivan, G. B., & Ruto-Korir, R. (2014). Is collective pride possible after intergroup violence? A case study of Kenya following the 2007 and 2008 Post-Election Violence. In G. B. Sullivan (Ed.), Understanding collective pride and group identity. New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Sullivan, G. B. (2014). The development of understandings of collective pride and the ability to share group feeling. In G. B. Sullivan (Ed.), Understanding collective pride and group identity. New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Sullivan, G. B. (2014). Collective emotions, German national pride and the 2006 World Cup. In G. B. Sullivan (Ed.), Understanding collective pride and group identity. New directions in emotion theory, research and practice. London: Routledge.
    • Markovsis, A., Korir Cheptoo, R., Motzkau, J., Painter, D., Sullivan, G. B., Trivila, S., & Wieser, M. (Eds.) (2013). Psychology under new conditions: Proceedings of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP) 2011 Conference. Concord, Ontario: Captus Press.
    • Damianova, M., & Sullivan, G. B. (2011). Rereading Vygotsky’s Theses on Types of Internalization and Verbal Mediation. Review of General Psychology, 15, 344-350.
    • Sullivan, G. B. (2011). Emotional foundationalism? Critical remarks on a phenomenological-psychoanalytic account of ethno-national identity. Ethnicities, 11, 123-130.