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 has now been published (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, the social contexts of parenting / non-parenting decisions, and historicizing class identity
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.
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. Supervised with Elaine Campbell
Victoria Mountford (ft ESRC-funded) Everyday class distinctions in Higher Education. Newcastle University. Supervised with Yvette Taylor / Robert Hollands
Gemma Metcalfe (ft. ESRC-funded) Contemporary Gender Relations in Former Mining Communities. Newcastle University. Supervised with Alison Stenning / Tracey Warren.
Sabina Begum (M.Phil, ft) Narratives of Radical Lives: Women, Auto/Biography and Feminism in Bangladesh. Newcastle University. Supervised with Peter Phillimore.
Ceri Black (ft. ESRC-funded) Queering virginity: social, cultural and embodied notions of the question of what counts as real sex. Newcastle University. Supervised with Cate Degnen
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. Supervised with Robin Williams
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. Supervised with Ian Roberts.
Susan Parker (pt) Mothering in the New Moral Economy: Making, Marking and Classing Selves. Durham University.
Sarah Milton, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 2014
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 Helsinki. 2010
Jane Liffen, Loughborough University. 2008
Dawn Gurbutt, Lancaster University. 2004
Annie Meyer, University of Manchester. 2004
Angela Abbott. 2011
Alison Jobe. 2008
Elizabeth Brace. 2008
Thomas Hill. 2005
Emma Uprichard. 2004
Cynthia Horrocks. 2000
Heshni Moynifar. 1999.
2014 Member of the judging panel, Philip Leverhulme Prizes in Sociology & Social Policy
2010-2013 Co-convenor of the Social Divisions / Social Identities stream, BSA annual conference
2009-2012 Member of the ESRC Peer Review College
2003-2006, co-editor of Sociology, the journal of the British Sociological Association.
Interviewed by local and national UK press, Taiwanese press and Canadian public-service radio.
2013 Discussant on Thinking Allowed (BBC R4): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qm7pd
2010 Invited participant in conversation with Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, 'Mapping the social order'. Part of The Serpentine Gallery's Map Marathon, 16 October 2010: http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/map-marathon
2003 Participant in feature on mothers and daughters, Woman's Hour, BBC R4: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/2003_17_thu_04.shtml
Cited by Barbie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5URYMzHAdQ0
2013 'Truth and nostalgic tales of class in England' Finnish Gender Studies / Cultural Studies Conference, University of Lapland
2011 ‘Noble workers and angry young men: class nostalgia, progress and identity’, Enquire Conference, University of Nottingham
2000 ‘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.
2014 ‘Legitimation and capital’, at Science, Capital and Dis/advantage: Beyond an Arts-Based Conceptualisation of Cultural Capital?, Science Museum, London.
2014 'Towards a psycho-social analysis of taste? at ‘Taste’, symposium organized by University of York, the Centre ECCE and the Stratification and Culture Research Network
2013 What is intersectionality for? at Intersectionality Research Group, University of Uppsala.
2013 Fixed in space and time: representations of the white English working class, Identity, Belonging, Power and Place symposium, Newcastle University.
2012 Angry young men, dirty women and ‘our mam’: nostalgia in narratives of working-class life. Josephine Butler College, Durham University.
2010 Mapping the social order: in conversation with Emma Wolukau Wanambwa. The Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon: Maps for the 21st Century, London. Curated by Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
2009 Can feminists learn to count past three? identities, Bourdieu’s socioanalysis, and feminist theorizing, Sociology / Gender Studies, University of Hull.
2009 Mobilizing nature as culture in class representations, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey.
2008 Emotional politics and sociological careers, Sociological Beginnings seminar, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College
2007 Consuming the aristos: middle-class dis-ease, at ESRC-funded seminar, Cultural Consumption, Classification and Power’ CRESC, University of Manchester.
2007 Toilet anxiety: why the aristocracy matters, Belonging symposium, Newcastle University.
2005 Coming home to love: classing the intimate, ESRC-funded seminar, Working-Class Lives: Geographies and Sociologies, University of Newcastle.
2005 Beside oneself: identity in Butler’s Undoing Gender, Dept. of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London.
2005 Desire and disgust: making class through heterosexuality, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Hull.
2004 Speaking with authority or being authorized to speak?, Subjects of Enunciation Seminar, Interventiotyhmälle, Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki.
2003 Narratives of kinship, ESRC-funded seminar, Knowing Families, University of Leeds.
2003 ‘The lower classes smell’: disgust and the maintenance of boundaries, Department of Sociology, University of York.
2003 Dissolving the theory /method divide? discourse as a methodological approach, ESRC-funded seminar, Problematizing Methodology. University of Staffordshire.
2002 Rules of engagement: gender, class and habitus, Feminists Evaluate Bourdieu: International Perspectives symposium, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester.
2001 Mobs and monsters: le Bon revisited?, Women’s Studies seminar, University of York.
2001 Independent man meets Paulsgrove woman: gender, class and the politics of protest, Class, Community and Space conference, University of Durham.
2000 Responsible conversations, Generating Feminist Research conference, University of Durham.
2000 Classing childhood: new spin, old story, Women’s Studies, University of York.
2000 Educating Susan: class, gender and authenticity, Cultural Studies and the Working Class conference, University of East London.
2000 ‘Who does she think she is?’ gender, class and distinction, Media and Cultural Studies research seminar, University of Sunderland.
1999 Between biology and sociology (panel presentation with S. Fuller, N. Rose and G. Runciman) symposium at the BSA annual conference, For Sociology, University of Glasgow.
1998 Which women are we talking about? feminism and the (still) troubling concept of difference at All About Eve seminar series, St. Mary’s College, University of Durham.
1997 ‘That place from which one has come’: women, class and habitus, Centre for Women’s Studies, Loughborough University.
1994 Middle-class daughters, working-class mothers: othering the mother and claiming the self, at Motherhood, Maturation and Kinship dayschool, Lancaster University.
1993 Class and gender in Twentieth Century mother-daughter relationships, Women’s History Network Annual Conference, London.
2013 Invited visitor at University of Lapland, Finland.
2013 Invited visitor at University of Uppsala.
2004 Socrates-funded teaching exchange, Dept of Sociology, University of Helsinki.
1999 Participant in British Council /DTI sponsored Women’s Studies/Gender Studies visit to Taipei, Taiwan
British Academy Small Grant (with Dr Jackie Leach Scully) 'Parenthood and non-parenthood in an age of assisted conception'
Lecturer on SOC 2058, Understanding Social Change (level 2)
Module Leader, SOC 1031, Knowing in Sociology (level 1)