Researcher Biography

Karen has been involved in the social service sector for about four decades, primarily in community development, as a social science researcher, and as a lecturer in social work at the Eastern Institute of Technology.

She is based in the Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

PhD topic

Social identity and belonging explored through the meanings people give to their tattoos in the context of ‘liquid modernity’ and the ‘tattoo renaissance’ in Aotearoa New Zealand


  • Associate Professor Cameron Parsell (Principal)
  • Dr Andrew Clarke (Associate)

Research interests

  • Social identity
  • Belonging
  • Liquid modernity
  • Community Development
  • Building confidence in young people
  • Tattoo renaissance