Dr Philip McDermott was appointed to a lectureship in sociology in September 2012. He graduated with a BA Hons in 2002 (Media Studies) and an MA in 2004 (Peace and Conflict Studies). This was followed by a PhD which investigated language planning and policy for migrant languages in Northern Ireland.
Philip’s research focuses on the relationship between the state and minority groups – especially linguistic minorities. A focus has been in the area of language policy and planning for (and by) migrant communities. He has a specific interest in the perception of migrant languages in public places, the ways that government and communities deal with such linguistic diversity and the manner in which multilingualism and bilingualism are dealt with in policy contexts.
In 2011 Philip published a book on these research themes and he has also published articles in international journals such as English Today, Current Issues in Language Planning, Identities, Ethnicities, and Ethnopolitics.
His research has been noted in a number of policy documents including the Northern Ireland Executive Office’s Race Relations Strategy 2015-2025.
Recent research collaborations with colleagues at Newcastle University, University of Hamburg and Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh) have focused on multilingualism and intercultural dialogue.
Philip has received funding from sources such as the British Academy, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Department for International Development to support his research. From 2015-16 he was also the holder of a prestigious Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy.
Philip works closely with a number of NGOs representing ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland and between 2013-15 worked with ARK on the Northern Ireland Life and Times data on race relations. He has previously conducted research for Fermanagh District Council, Monreagh Ulster Scots Centre and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (Washington DC).