I am a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.
I joined SSPSSR in 2006. I previously worked as a researcher at the University of Essex, the European University Institute (Italy), Paris V, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
I completed my PhD in Sociology at the European University Institute (Italy), my MA in Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies at the University of Warwick, and a combined Honours BSc in Society and Government, and French at Aston University.
Room Gillingham G2-11
University of Kent
Kent ME4 4AG
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
My current research is broadly in the sociology of work and in visual and sensory sociology. I am interested in the meanings work has for people (past, present and future), the (gendered) interconnections between work activities undertaken in different socio-economic relations (e.g. paid and unpaid), the rhythms of working life, the embodied experience of work and the deployment of the senses in everyday working practices. I currently explore these themes in two sets of projects.
The first, Working with Fish, traces the socio-economic and cultural processes of bringing fish ‘from sea to table’. This research is based on mobile ethnographies of different actors in the fish industry and explores their work through the collection of narrative, visual and aural material. It has been supported by a British Academy Small Grant, 2010-12, and the University of Kent Social Science Faculty Research Fund, 2009.
The second set of projects is primarily concerned with how young people imagine the future. The Living and Working on Sheppey and Imagine Sheppey projects have made use of a methodology of ‘writing futures’ and, working with artists, a performative approach to exploring future ‘orientations’. Visit the project website for further information. This work has been supported by an ESRC Connected Communities grant, 2013-14, and a South East Coastal Communities Grant, 2009-11.
- 2007 The Labour of Refurbishment
This was an ethnographic project on the refurbishment of a historic building on the University of Kent’s Medway campus, undertaken in collaboration with Peter Hatton (School of Arts). The research documented the different forms of work that went into the refurbishment, and the building itself as an object of labour, making strong use of the visual. An exhibition from the project took place within the building in December 2007; more information is available here.
- 2004-06 Transformations of Work (ESRC funded)
The Transformations of Work research programme, directed by Miriam Glucksmann at the University of Essex, explored the concept and activity of work, focusing on interconnections between work undertaken in different socio-economic modes. I analysed configurations and meanings of elder care work in Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK. (See articles in Sociology, European Societies and Sociological Research Online.)
- 2000-04 Women Migrants from East to West (EU funded)
This oral history project of women migrants from East and Central Europe to Italy and the Netherlands examined the themes of love, work, home, communication, and food in an exploration of what sorts of subjectivity come about through contemporary forms of mobility. It also analysed relationships between migrant and native women, and is published as Women Migrants from East to West (Berghahn Books, 2007).
- 1995-2000 International Comparative Leadership Study (EU funded)
This cross-national collaborative study of the working lives and career trajectories of men and women in business and politics was published as Gendering Elites (Macmillan, 2000). Building on the survey data, I conducted career history interviews in Belgium, Britain and France for my PhD, a comparative sociological analysis of how careers happen.
I welcome PhD students with proposals in any area of the sociology of work, and am keen to work with students wishing to use visual or sensory methods. If you are interested in studying at the University of Kent, please contact me to discuss further.
- (with Tim Strangleman) Sarah O’Connor, Exploring the Occupational Identity of the Watch Manager in the Fire Service
- (with Steve Roberts, now Monash University, Australia) Jadwiga Karlin, Graduates in Transition
- (with Tim Strangleman) Victoria Tedder, Crafting a world of our own: The search for meaning through creative pursuits
- (with Larry Ray) Barbara Adewumi, High Expectations: Black professional parents’ aspirations for their children
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At undergraduate level, I teach on the
- BSc Social Sciences (Medway) convening or contributing to several core modules
- Introduction to Sociology and Social Research Methods (both Stage 1)
- Research Methods in Sociology (Stage 2)
- Dissertation module (Stage 3)
- Doing Visual Sociology module (open to Stages 2 & 3).
In addition, I am Co-Director of International Programmes and Erasmus.
At postgraduate level, I am Director of Studies of the MA and PGCert Methods of Social Research. I teach a core module in this programme, Qualitative Research.
I am External Examiner for undergraduate programmes in social sciences at the University of Bath, and at Goldsmiths, University of London.