Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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 research spans cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and political sociology, focusing on three main areas:

  • sexuality and sexual politics
  • cultures and representation of social inequalities
  • critical feminist pedagogies 

Dr Lehtonen 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. 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).

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

Research Interests

Dr Lehtonen's primary research area is sexuality and its narratives, representations and regulation in a range of media and political sites. She is currently working on a book examining the role that sexuality plays in the broader politics of austerity, neoliberalism and crisis in Britain. This project explores sexuality's intersections with class, race and gender inequalities, as well as the limitations of and possibilities for sexual politics within the dominant political formations of the last decade.

In her second area of work, Dr Lehtonen has written on the representations and narratives of social inequalities in specific media texts from I, Daniel Blake (in Feminist Review) to Fleabag (in Feminist Media Studies).

Dr Lehtonen's final area of research is critical pedagogies, focusing specifically on feminist and queer pedagogical engagements with the narratives, practices and cultures of Higher Education. This work has been published in Teaching in Higher Education and MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture

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

Teaching Interests

Dr Lehtonen convenes the following modules: 

  • SOC3064: Sexuality, Gender and Power
  • SOC2118: Culture, Representation and Social inequalities
  • SOC1077: Spaces and Places of Social Inequalities

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

Dr Lehtonen has also guest lectured 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–)

Scott Parker, How social workers deliver social justice in their practice at a time of managerialism and austerity (second supervisor, 2021–)

Sarah Ibordor, Single mothers, stigma and online dating: Implications for wellbeing in a post pandemic world (second supervisor, 2022–) 

Dr Lehtonen also supervises dissertations on topics such as: LGBTQ+ identities and movements, sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, vegan/vegetarian identities and movements, intersectional inequalities, and social class. 

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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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


Dive into the research topics where Aura Lehtonen is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles