Dr Ruth Graham
Senior Lecturer in Sociology

  • Email: ruth.graham@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7459
  • Address: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology,
    Newcastle University
    5th Floor Claremont Bridge Building
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU


Following doctoral studies and a period working in Newcastle Medical School (Research Associate; Public Health tutor), I joined the Sociology subject area as Lecturer in Sociology in 2005. My research interests are informed by an approach that draws on sociology, social policy and law, as applied to health, illness and disability. I have a particular interest in understanding both lay and professional experiences of health care provided in the context of reproductive loss.

Roles and Responsibilities

Current roles:
Chair, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Teaching and Learning Committee (2012 - )

Previous roles:
Degree Programme Director, BA Politics and Sociology (2005 - 2009)
Combined Studies Liaison (2005 - 2008)
Member of Programme approval panel (2009 - 2010)
Subject area Careers liaison (2009 - 2011)
Member of school ethics panel (2008 - 2010)
Lead Convenor, Health and Life Sciences Research Cluster (2010 - 2012)
Senior Tutor (2010 - 2012)


PG Dip Medical Law, 2011.
Northumbria University 

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, 2005.
Newcastle University

Ph.D in Social Policy, Sociology and Law, 2002.
Newcastle University (ESRC Scholarship)

BA (Hons) in Social Policy, 1996.
Newcastle University


Social and Legal Studies Association

Research Interests

My research activities include work in socio-legal studies, medical sociology and qualitative research, and involve the study of topics such as reproductive loss and disordered eating. A key strand that runs through my research is a focus on aiming to understand how distressing life events are conceptualised, experienced and responded to.

Researching these topics can involve using multiple methods, but my portfolio of work to date contains a strong focus on qualitative research methods that cuts across my non-fieldwork based and fieldwork based projects, such as:

- Generative Thematic analysis
- Discourse analysis
- Conceptualisations of sensitive phenomena

Current Work

The central strand of my current research programme centres around reproductive health and reproductive loss. This programme involves research across several areas of reproductive loss, such as:

- termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly/feticide,
- neonatal care
- miscarriage
- viability thresholds and the fetus

Postgraduate Supervision 

 Recent supervisions

Danna-Mechelle Lewis 'The risk factor - an exploratory study into the assessment of risk within criminal justice practice' (supervised with Dr Elaine Campbell) 

Liz Turner 'Reimagining criminology's public role: an inquiry into the relationship bewteen criminological expertise and the democratic public sphere' (supervised with Dr Elaine Campbell) 

Doctoral level supervision:
- Medical Sociology (Benet Reid, Lisa Crowe, Allison Farnworth)
- Suffering/Harm (Polli Allen)

Esteem Indicators

Co-editor of the journal Social Theory and Health

Peer reviewer for:
Social Science and Medicine
Qualitative Health Research
Journal of Social Policy
Human Fertility
Open University Press
Palgrave Press

The paper 'Male rape and the careful construction of the male victim' [Social and Legal Studies, 15 (2): 187-208] was the most accessed article for the journal SLS in the year May 2006-April 2007, with 1,675 total accesses.


2011 NIHR EME Programme, £1.5 million
(co-applicant, PI S Robson, Newcastle University) 

2010 Department of Health, £35k
(PI, with S Robson, J Rankin and N Embleton)

2010 Tiny Lives (UK charity), £110k
(co-applicant, PI J Rankin, Newcastle University)

2010 NIHR HTA Programme, £1.4 million
(co-applicant; PI P Griffiths, Sheffield University)

2010 Knowledge Transfer Partnership, £164k
(academic lead; co-investigator S Robson, Newcastle University)

2006 Knowledge Transfer Partnership, £120k,
(academic support; PI E Campbell, Newcastle University)

2005 Tiny Lives (UK charity), £52,949 + £10,000 (in 2008)
(co-applicant, PI S Robson, Newcastle University)

2002 Wellcome Trust, £80K
(named collaborator, PI C May)

1997 ESRC Doctoral Scholarship


Undergraduate Teaching

SOC2056 - Sociology of Health and Illness

Postgraduate Teaching

SOC8036 - Sociological Thought and Explanation (alternate years)