The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Peter Steggals

Research Excellence Academy Fellow


My interests lie in the cultural and historical sociology of mental disorder and distress, as well as the anthropological and philosophical study of psychiatry, and the current important debates around critical psychiatry/psychology. I am fascinated with the idea of using the sociocultural as a way to understand the language of disorder, while, in-turn, using idiomatic patterns of disorder themselves as a way to make some critical sense of our cultural systems and social structures. I specialise in the area of nonsuicidal self-injury, having come to sociology from forensic psychology (practiced in HM Prison Service, UK) where I worked with self-harming and suicidal prisoners.


'Connecting Wounds: Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in the Context of Social Relations' (2016-2017): Wellcome Trust Seed Award funded pilot study examining self-injury in social context. Utilizing sociological methods and perspectives, this study explored how social relationships shape, and are shaped by, the practice and experience of self-injury. This study was a collaboration between Dr Steph Lawler at the University of York (who led the project), Dr Ruth Graham at Newcastle University and myself.