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Dr Ian Tucker

Reader, School of Psychology

Psychology and Social Change Research Group , Psychology

Ian is a social psychologist with expertise in a number of areas including social media, mental health, surveillance and emotion and affect

    Ian’s research focuses on the social psychological elements of social media, community mental health, emotion and surveillance. He has held grants from the EPSRC (Social Media and Austerity: Online Peer Support in Mental Health Communities) and The Mental Health Foundation (Transitions through the Lifespan: Older People’s Experiences of Community Mental Health). He is Core Member of the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+, and Expert Member of the EU Cost Action Living in Surveillance Societies.

    Ian has published over thirty articles and book chapters, and has a book entitled ‘The Social Psychology of Emotion’ recently published for Sage (with Darren Ellis UEL).

    Ian is currently supervising two PhD students, and is interested in supervising PhDs in the areas of social media, community mental health, and surveillance.

    Higher Education Academy Fellow


    Digital and Social Media

    As a social psychologist Ian is fundamentally interested in how people connect, communicate and relate to one another, individually and in groups. Digital technologies offer new and rapidly advancing ways to do this. His research aims to investigate the impact of digital technologies on individual and social activity, and the benefits,
    challenges and risks involved. Projects include:

    Ian is Principal Investigator for an EPSRC funded project investigating the use of social media for online peer support for mental health service users.
    Further details about the project can be found here:

    ‘Socially mediated bodies’, with Lewis Goodings (UEL) the project explored the impact of social media on identity.

    Surveillance and Everyday Life

    The rise in the levels of surveillance in all parts of society has led to the claim that we are now living in a 'surveillance age'. This involves traditional CCTV surveillance along with the rapid increase in 'information surveillance' through internet and mobile technologies (e.g. social media, internet shopping). Ian's research is developing
    understanding of the psychological impacts of mass surveillance. Projects include:

    ‘Experiencing Surveillance’ project, which investigates the impact of digital media on people’s sense of privacy and identity in relation to surveillance and how social media (re)calibrate boundaries of privacy and personal identity, with Dr Harper (Psychology) and Dr Ellis (SS).

    Everyday spaces of community mental health

    Ian's research aims to identify the multiple relations between mental distress, and the material environments in which they are experienced on a day-to-day basis. Mental health service users face many challenges in terms of employment, living arrangements, and social and personal relationships. Understanding how these problems are manifest in a range of spaces and places (e.g. home, public space, in-patient wards) is important for the design and implementation of viable and productive interventions. He is currently undertaking a project entitled:

    ‘The Scenes and Spaces of Hospital Life: Staff and psychiatric inpatients’ experiences of care and distress’, which is focused on investigating the relationships between mental distress and space in a variety of inpatient wards in the Royal Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital, London. The project is in collaboration with Prof Reavey (LSBU), Prof Brown (Leicester), Dr McGrath (UEL) and Dr Kanyeredzi (UEL).


    • Psychology
      Ava Kanyeredzi
    • Psychosocial Studies
      Darren Ellis
    • Psychology
      John Reid
    • Psychology
      Laura McGrath
    • Psychology
      Lewis Goodings
    • Psychology
      Dave Harper


    Selected publications Publically available research outputs are available to download from UEL's Research Open Access Repository (ROAR).


    Ellis, D, & Tucker, I. M. (2015) Social psychology of emotion. London: Sage


    Tucker, I. M. ‘Shifting landscapes of care and distress: A topological understanding of rurality’. In K. Soldatic and K. Johnson (Eds.) Disability and rurality:
    Identity, gender and belonging. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
    Harper, D., Ellis, D. & Tucker, I. M. (2014) ‘Surveillance’. Encyclopaedia of Critical Psychology. New York: Springer. (pp. 1887-1892).
    Harper, D., Tucker I. M. and Ellis, D. (2013) ‘The political economy of personal information: Everyday experiences of surveillance technologies’, in K. Ball and L. Snider (Eds.) The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: A Political Economy of Surveillance. London: Routledge.
    Tucker, I. M. (2013) ‘Surveillance and techno-biological living’, In C. W. Webster, G Galdon Clavell, N. Zurawski, K. Boersma, B. Sagvari, C. Backman, & C Leleux
    (Eds.) Living in Surveillance Societies: The State of Surveillance.
    Tucker, I. M., Ellis, D. & Harper, D. (2011) ‘Cybersurveillance and everyday life’, In C. W. Webster, D Balahur, N. Zurawski, K. Boersma, B. Sagvari, & C.
    Backman (Eds.) Living in Surveillance Societies: The Ghosts of Surveillance. Iasi: Editura Universitatii
    Brown, S. D., & Tucker, I. M. (2010) ‘Eff the ineffable: Affect, somatic management and mental health service users’. In G. Seigworth, & M. Gregg (Eds.), The Affect Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.   


    Chase, M., Tucker, I. M., Goodings, L., & Jobber, N. (2016) Young people’s mental health in the UK: A ‘preventative turn’ emerging from crisis, European Health Psychologist, 18 (3), 134-138
    Tucker, I. M., & Goodings, L. (2015) Managing stress through Stress Free App: Practices of Self Care in Digitally Mediated Spaces, Digital Health, 0 (0), 1-10
    Smith, L-A. & Tucker, I. M. (2015) ‘”Mad, bad and dangerous to know”: The pervasive socio-medical and spatial coding of mental health day centres’,
    Emotion, Space and Society, 14, 3-9
    Tucker, I.M. & Goodings, L. (2014) ‘Mediation and digital intensities: Topology, psychology and social media’, Social Science Information, 53 (3), 277-292
    Tucker, I. M. & Goodings, L. (2014) ‘Sensing bodies and digitally mediated distress’, Senses & Society, 9 (1), 55-71
    Tucker, I.M. & Smith, L-A. (2014) ‘Topology and mental distress: Self-care in the life spaces of home’, Journal of Health Psychology, 19 (1), 176-183
    Goodings, L. & Tucker, I. M. (2014) ‘Social media and the co-production of bodies online: Bergson, Serres and Facebook Timeline’. Media, Culture & Society,
    36 (1), 37-51
    D. Harper, D., & Tucker, I. M. (2013) ‘The affective atmospheres of surveillance’, Theory & Psychology, 23 (6), 840-855.
    Ellis, D., Harper, D., & Tucker, I. M. (2013) ‘The dynamics of impersonal trust and distrust in surveillance systems’, Sociological Research Online, 18 (3), 8
    Tucker, I. M. (2013) ‘Bodies and Surveillance: Simondon, information and affect’. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 14 (1), 31-40
    Tucker, I. M. (2013) ‘The spatial anticipation of the future in the homes of mental health service users’, Outlines, 14 (1), 26-40
    Tucker, I. M. (2012) ‘Deleuze, sense, and life: Marking the parameters of a psychology of individuation’, Theory and Psychology, 22 (6), 771-785
    Tucker, I. M. (2012) ‘Organising the present in anticipation of a better future: Bergson, Whitehead and the life of a mental health service user’, Theory and
    Psychology, 22 (4), 499-512
    Tucker, I. M., Ellis, D. & Harper, D. (2012) ‘Transformative processes of agency: Information technologies and the production of digitally mediated selves’,
    Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research. 3 (1), 9-24
    Tucker, I. M. (2011) ‘Bio-somatic-power’, Outlines, 13 (1), 82-93
    Ellis, D., & Tucker, I. M. (2011) ‘Virtuality and Ernst Bloch: Hope and subjectivity’, Subjectivity, 4 (4), 434-450
    Tucker, I. M. (2011) ‘Psychology as space: Embodied relationality’, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5 (5), 231-238
    Tucker, I. M. (2011) ‘Somatic concerns of mental health service users: A specific tale of affect’, Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 12(1), 23-35
    Tucker, I. M. (2011) ‘Sense and the limits of knowledge: Bodily connections in the work of Serres’, Theory, Culture and Society, 28, 149-160
    Tucker, I. M. (2010) ‘Everyday spaces of mental distress: The spatial habituation of home’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28,
    Tucker, I. M. (2010) ‘Mental health service user territories: Enacting ‘safe spaces’ in the community’, Health: An International Journal for the Social Study of
    Health, Illness and Medicine, 14(4), 434-448
    Tucker, I. M. (2010) ‘The potentiality of bodies’, Theory and Psychology, 20(4), 511-527


    Social media and austerity: Online peer support and mental health communities, EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+, 3/14-09/14, £32901 - Principal Investigator

    'The impact of life transitions on older mental health service users', Mental Health Foundation, 10/06 - 04/08, £11853 - Principal Investigator.




    Ian teaches on the BSc Psychology, BSc Clinical and Community Psychology and MSc Psychology programmes. He teaches on the following modules:

    PY4108 - Clinical and Community Psychology Foundations 1

    PY5210 - Clinical and Community Psychology Foundations 3

    PY5201 - Researching Psychological Worlds 2

    PY7153 - Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology