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Personal 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.

Research Interests

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 UoN.

Teaching Interests

Dr Lehtonen currently convenes the following modules: 

  • SOC1076: Gender and Society
  • SOC1077: Spaces and Places of Social Inequalities
  • SOCM086: Multidimensional Inequalities and Spaces of Public Engagement

She has previously taught postgraduate modules in gender theory, 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.


PhD Supervision:

John Pendleton, The experiences of men who work as midwives in the United Kingdom: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (second supervisor, 2020-)

Dr Lehtonen also supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations, on topics such as: LGBTQ+ identities and movements, sex worker activism, sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, vegan/vegetarian identities and movements, intersectional inequalities, homelessness.

External Roles

Member of Editorial Board, MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture

Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Member, Feminist Studies Association (FSA)

Member, AtGender - the European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The London School of Economics and Political Science


Award Date: 31 Oct 2018

Master, The London School of Economics and Political Science


Award Date: 1 Nov 2011

Bachelor, SOAS University of London


Award Date: 31 Jul 2009


  • HM Sociology
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • JC Political theory


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