After a first degree as a mature student at Liverpool University, I did my PhD (researching the mother-daughter relationship) at Lancaster University. I joined the school in 2006, after posts at Lancaster and Durham. My research interests centre on social and sociological aspects of identity, including the relationship between 'big issues' and the personal pleasures and pains of 'doing' identity. I am particularly concerned with the ways in which a concern with identity underwrites a number of contemporary troubling issues, such as authenticity, belonging, and value. Which identities are understood as worthwhile? Which are not? and why?
Head of Sociology
BA (Hons) Liverpool
Lecturer in Sociology and Women's Studies, Lancaster University
Lecturer in Sociology, Durham University
British Sociological Association.
Identities, especially in relation to gender, class and generation; the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu; people's negotiations with expert knowledges; narratives; psychoanalysis and psycho-social analysis; kinship and families; motherhood, childhood and the mother-daughter relationship, the sociology of everyday life.
I am happy to discuss supervision in any of these (or related) areas.
My latest book (Identity: Sociological Perspectives, Polity) brings together many of the themes of my research over the last 10 years - notably how issues of identity act to 'trouble' social relations.
A second edition of the book is in press (2013), and I am working on a book to be published in Palgrave's 'themes in social theory' book series (Identity and Social Theory). This book will discuss conceptual approaches to, and empirical investigation of, identity matters.
I have also been exploring themes of identity and inequality in recent articles (see list of publications). Work in progress includes an exploration of nostalgia, and of the social contexts of parenting / non-parenting decisions.
Ipshita Debnath (ft) Log-in / Log-out: a Sociological Exploration of how the Internet is Affecting Kinship Relations. Supervision with Dr Anselma Gallinat.
Jacqueline Close (ft ESRC-funded) Ideals and Expectations: Representations, Practices and Governance of Contemporary Motherhood. Supervision with Prof. Jackie Leach Scully
Erica Timoney (ft) Falling Through the Gap: Muslim Women and the Construction of Identities in Tension. Supervision with Prof. Jackie Leach Scully.
Michelle Addison (ft. ESRC-funded) (Re)making and (Un)doing the classed and gendered ‘worker’: The use and exchange of emotions in the workplace. Supervision with Prof. Jackie Leach Scully.
Peter Steggals (ft ESRC-funded). Harming the body/constructing the self: identity, selfhood and power relations in the construction of a self-harming subject. Newcastle University.
Victoria Mountford (ft ESRC-funded) Everyday class distinctions in Higher Education. Newcastle University.
Gemma Metcalfe (ft. ESRC-funded) Contemporary Gender Relations in Former Mining Communities. Newcastle University
Sabina Begum (M.Phil, ft) Narratives of Radical Lives: Women, Auto/Biography and Feminism in Bangladesh. Newcastle University.
Ceri Black (ft. ESRC-funded) Queering virginity: social, cultural and embodied notions of the question of what counts as real sex. Newcastle University.
Elaine Robson (ft. ESRC-funded) The Problem of Youth: Representations of Young People in the British Press. Durham University.
Steve Walls (ft. ESRC-funded) 'Are you being served?' Gendered Aesthetics among Retail Workers. Durham University.
Judy Richards (ft. ESRC-funded) Marketing the self in cyberspace. Durham University.
Andrew Smith (ft. Durham University funded) The process of change in a public-private partnership. Durham University.
Susan Parker (pt) Mothering in the New Moral Economy: Making, Marking and Classing Selves. Durham University.
External PhD Examiner
Charles Leddy-Owen, University of Surrey. 2013
Irina Cheresheva, Central European University. 2012 (comprehensive examination)
Nigel Cox, Sheffield Hallam University. 2011
Kaisa Ketokivi, University of Helskinki. 2010
Jane Liffen, Loughborough University. 2008
Dawn Gurbutt, Lancaster University. 2004
Annie Meyer, University of Manchester. 2004
Internal PhD examiner
Angela Abbott. 2011
Alison Jobe. 2008
Elizabeth Brace. 2008
Thomas Hill. 2005
Emma Uprichard. 2004
Cynthia Horrocks. 2000
Heshni Moynifar. 1999.
2003-2006, co-editor of Sociology, the journal of the British Sociological Association.
Gven over 30 invited papers, interviewed by local and national UK press, Taiwanese press and Canadian public-service radio. I appeared on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2003_17_thu_04.shtml (2003) and was recently (2013) a discussant on Thinking Allowed (BBC Radio 4): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qm7pd
'Disgusted Subjects' (2005) has recently been translated into Swedish.
Member of the ESRC Peer Review College 2009 - 2012
Co-convenor of the Social Divisions / Social Identities stream, BSA annual conference.
Invited participant in conversation with Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, 'Mapping the social order'. Part of The Serpentine Gallery's Map Marathon, 16 October 2010:
Cited by Barbie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5URYMzHAdQ0
‘Noble workers and angry young men: class nostalgia, progress and identity’, Enquire Conference, University of Nottingham (2011)
‘What’s love got to do with it? on the difference between having and being a mother’, Motherhood Conference, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Lancaster (2000).
British Academy Small Grant (with Dr Jackie Leach Scully) 'Parenthood and non-parenthood in an age of assisted conception'
Module leader, SOC 2058, Understanding Social Change (level 2)
Lecturer on SOC 1031, Knowing in Sociology (level 1)
Module Leader, SOC 8044, Being, Belonging and Identity