Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Kate Gibson

Research Associate


Kate is a Research Associate in the Institute of Health and Society. She is a qualitative researcher, working on a large, mixed methods study which aims to evaluate the impact of a social prescribing intervention in the West of Newcastle upon Tyne. The evaluation is funded by the National Institute of Health Research. Kate is conducting the ethnographic component of the research which seeks to explore the different ways people engage with the intervention and how it impacts on their lives.


PhD Sociology, Newcastle University, July 2018

MA Sociology and Social Research, Newcastle University, 2014

BSc Sociology, Northumbria University, 1998


Kate's research interests include Bourdieusian theory, the sociology of food, cultural consumption and class distinction.

She completed her PhD entitled 'Feeding the Middle Classes: taste, classed identity and domestic food practices' in July 2018. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, her thesis examined the classed links between food and the performance of identities. This research focused on middle-class food practices to explore the ways in which food choices can reproduce class distinction. She employed a range of methods over two waves of research interactions with 27 participants. These included qualitative interviews, food biographies and life histories, personal community mapping, photo elicitation, kitchen and domestic ‘go-alongs’, and participant observation.

Kate has over 18 years’ research experience in British and Australian universities working across the social sciences. Prior to joining the Institute of Health and Society, she worked as a researcher on the AHRC Connected Communities funded ‘Understanding Everyday Participation: Articulating Cultural Values’ project at Manchester University.


During her time as a doctoral student, Kate was employed as a teaching assistant at Newcastle University on the following undergraduate Sociology modules:

2014-2018 Doing Sociology

2016-2018 Knowing Sociology

2017-2018 Comaring Cultures

2015-2017 She delivered lectures and workshops on Social Research Methods and Youth Cultures on the PARTNERS Assessed Sociology Summer school.