Dr Nelson Turgo

Research Associate
email: TurgoN@cf.ac.uk


Nelson Turgo was born in a fishing community in the Philippines and attended the University of the Philippines–Diliman where he obtained his BA in English Studies–Creative Writing (cum laude) and an MA in Philippine Studies (Literature and Anthropology). In 2006 he won a SIRC-Nippon Foundation Fellowship to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods in Cardiff University which he finished in 2008 (with Distinction). In 2010 he graduated at Cardiff University with a PhD in Social Sciences (Sociology). He undertakes research on and publishes in the intersection between sociology and anthropology, focusing on empirically based and theory driven studies in the maritime industry, fishing communities, qualitative research methods, ethnography and the interface between social sciences and cultural studies. He sails on cargo ships for fieldwork, and goes backpacking for his travels. He is currently involved in a study focusing on health and wellbeing of seafarers on board cargo and cruise ships. He has written a book with three other academics set to be published by the Oxford University Press in 2024. 


Publications include:

Conference Papers
Industry Related Publications


Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S. (Forthcoming) Chaplaincy and Seafarers: Faith at Work, Oxford University Press.


Turgo, N. (forthcoming) 'Tales of the sea: Seafarers' sense of place in the management of socialities and safety culture at sea', ?Asian and Pacific Migration. 

Turgo, N. (2023) The ship as home: Homemaking practices amongst Filipino seafarers at sea, Mobilities, DOI: 0.1080/17450101.2023.2257396.

Cadge, W., Turgo, N., Gilliat-Ray, S., Sampson, H., Smith, G. (2023) 'The work of port chaplains: views from seafarers served', Journal of Contemporary Religion, DOI: 0.1080/13537903.2021.1986311

Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S., Smith, G. (2022) 'Overstretched and under-resourced': The corporate neglect of port welfare services for seafarers, Maritime Policy & Management, (52)2: 192-217, DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2022.2084788.

Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S., Sampson, H., Smith, G. (2022) 'Relying on the kindness of strangers: Welfare providers to seafarers and the symbolic construction of community', Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, DOI: 10.1177/08912416221092001.

Gilliat-Ray, S., Cadge, W., Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Smith, G. (2022) 'Here today, gone tomorrow': the risks and rewards of port chaplaincy, Journal of Beliefs & Values, DOI: 10.1080/13617672.2022.2039982. 

Turgo, N., Sampson, H. (2021) 'What is immediate and obvious feels real': National identify and emotional vulnerabilities in the field, Methodological Innovations, DOI: 10.1177/20597991211035526.

Smith, G., Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S., Sampson, H. (2021) 'A working theology: an evaluation of the popular beliefs of Roman Catholic Filipino seafarers', Practical Theology, DOI: 10.1080/1756073X.2021.1951945.

Turgo, N. (2021) Manning the waves: Masculinity shift amongst Filipino seafarers in the age
of precarity, Gender Work Organ., 1–17, DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12710.

Sampson, H. et al (2020) ‘Harmony of the Seas?: Work, faith and religious difference among multinational migrant workers on board cargo ships’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2020.1776362. 

Turgo, N. (2020) 'Temporalities at sea: Fast time and slow time onboard ocean-going merchant vessels, Ethnography, DOI: 10.1177/1466138120923371

Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Acejo, I., Ellis, N., Tang, L. (2019) 'Between a rock and a hard place': the implications of lost autonomy and trust for professionals at sea, Work, Employment and Society, 33(4): 648-665, DOI: 10.1177/0950017018821284.

Sampson, H. and Turgo, N. (2018) 'Finding the way in to a global industry! The usefulness of elite events to social science researchers' Journal of Organizational Ethnography, DOI 10.1108/JOE-04-2017-0022.  

Turgo, N. (2017) 'Why selfie matters in the maritime industry?' AMET Maritime Journal, pp4-11

Turgo, N. (2016) ‘The kinship of everyday need: relatedness and survival in a Philippine fishing community’, South East Asia Research, 24(1): 61-75. DOI: 10.5367/sear.2016.0291.

Turgo, N. (2016) 'Laway lang ang kapital' (Saliva as capital): Social embeddedness of market practices in brokerage houses in the Philippines, Journal of Rural Studies, 43: 83-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2015.11.001.

Turgo, N. (2016) ‘Getting back into place: remembrances and re-membering of Maubanin Living in the US’, Sapagkat ang Paglisan ay Lagi-lagi ring Pagbalik: Ang Pagpopook at Paglikha ng Gunita ng mga Maubanin sa AmerikaMalay, 29(1): 1-17

Turgo, N. (forthcoming) "'Amoy isda': the modern life of market fishmongers", in: Fishing for a living, Maria Mangahas, ed. Quezon City: UP Press.

Turgo, N. (2015) ‘Fishermen, Fishmongers, and the Sea: Economic restructuring and gender dynamics in a Philippine community’, Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 63(3), pp 365-391.

Turgo, N. (2014) 'Identity: a contentious notion', Sabangan, pp 31-33.

Turgo, N. (2013) '‘Here, we don't just trade goods, we also “sell” people's lives’: Sari-sari stores as nodes of partial surveillance in a Philippine fishing community', Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 34(3): 373-389. DOI: 10.1111/sjtg.12033.

Turgo, N. (2012) '"Bugabug ang dagat (Rough seas)": Experiencing Foucault's heterotopia in fish trading houses', Social Science Diliman, 8(1): 31-62. 

Turgo, N. (2012) ‘I know him so well’: Contracting/tual ‘insiderness’ and Maintaining Access and Rapport in a Philippine Fishing Community, Sociological Research Online, 17 (3).

Turgo, N. (2012) 'A ‘balikbayan’ in the field: scaling and (re) producing insider’s identity in a Philippine fishing community', Qualitative Research, 12(6): 666-685. DOI: 10.1177/1468794111433006.

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Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Cadge, W., Gilliat-Ray, S., Smith, G. (2021) Religion in multi-ethnic contexts: a multidisciplinary case study of global seafaring - Summary Report, Cardiff: SIRC.  

Acejo, I., Sampson, H., Turgo, N., Ellis, N., Tang, L. (2018), 'The causes of maritime accidents in the period 2002-2016', Cardiff: SIRC, November, ISBN: 1-900174-51-0.

Sampson, H., Ellis, N., Acejo, I., Turgo, N., Tang, L. (2018) 'The working and living conditions of seafarers on cargo ships in the period 2011-2016', Cardiff: SIRC, October, ISBN: 1-900174-20-2.

Sampson, H., Ellis, N., Acejo, A., Turgo, N. (2017) 'Changes in seafarers' health 2011-2016: A summary report', Cardiff: SIRC, July, ISBN: 1-900174-49-9.

Sampson, H., Acejo, I., Ellis, N., Tang, L. and Turgo, N. (2016) 'The use of mandatory equipment on board cargo ships: An outline report based on research undertaken in the period 2012-2016', Cardiff:SIRC, April, ISBN: 1-900174-74-2. 

Sampson, H., Acejo, I., Ellis, N., Tang, L. and Turgo, N. (2016) 'The relationships between seafarers and shore-side personnel: An outline report based on research undertaken in the period 2012-2016', Cardiff:SIRC, April, ISBN: 1-900174-48-0.

Ellis, N., Sampson, H., Acejo, I., Tang, L., Turgo, N. and Zhao, Z. (2012) 'Seafarer Accommodation on Contemporary Cargo Ships', Cardiff:SIRC, December, ISBN: 1-900174-43-X.

Wadsworth, E.J.K., Marsh, K.L., Turgo N. and Walters, D.R. (2011) ‘Supply chain management for health and safety’, [Online], London 2012 website [October 2011]. London: IOSH.

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Industry Related Publications

Sampson, H., Ellis, N., Gould. E., Tang, L., Turgo, N. and Zhao, Z. (2012) ‘Safety and Shipping 1912-2012’, Report commissioned by Allianz which underpins their subsequent publication ‘Safety and Shipping 1912-2012: From Titanic to Costa Concordia, an insurer’s perspective from Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty’ available from Allianz GCS.

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Conference Papers

Turgo, N. (2019) 'Faith and religion amongst multinational crews', SIRC Symposium, Cardiff University, 13 June. 

Turgo, N., Ellis, N., Tang, L., Sampson, H. and Acejo, I. (2013) 'The Use of Mandatory Equipment On-board', SIRC Symposium, Cardiff University, 3-4 July, ISBN 1-900174-46-4.

Turgo, N., Sampson, H., Acejo, I., Ellis, N. and Tang, L. (2013) 'Understanding the Relationships Between Ship and Shore Personnel', SIRC Symposium, Cardiff University, 3-4 July, ISBN 1-900174-46-4.

Tang, L., Acejo, I., Ellis, N., Turgo, N. and Sampson, H. (2013) 'Behind the Headlines? An Analysis of Accident Investigation Reports', SIRC Symposium, Cardiff University, 3-4 July, ISBN 1-900174-46-4.

Acejo, I., Sampson, H., Turgo, N. and Wadsworth, E. (2011) ‘The Health and Self-medication Practices of Seafarers’, SIRC Symposium, Cardiff University, 6-7 July, ISBN 1-900174-39-1.

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