My recent research has combined theoretical interests in the sociology of families, relationships and personal life with developing sensory (visual and audial) and artistic quallitative research methods (Young People Creating Belonging: sights, sounds and sights ESRC RES-061-25-0501). This project explored how looked after young people create (non) belonging (whether positive, negative or ambivalent) in new placements. Analysis and data produced during this project (including participants' photos, drawings, music and a video on the difficulties of 'transition' from successful care arrangements to isolating, ill-repaired flats) may be found at: http://www.researchunbound.org.uk/young-people-creating-belonging Much of my other research work has focused on parental substance misuse, while my PhD (2003, University of Edinburgh) explored the HIV-positive mothers' experience of managing everyday living.
I am a member of the Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies at the University of Stirling and also affiliated to the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR). I am also a qualified non-practising solicitor (England and Wales) with experience of criminal, family, social assistance and medical law.
I very much enjoy teaching and developing engaging teaching methods around dialogue and 'doing'. I coordinate the first year SPC912 Social Problems module, as well as an honours module on the Sociology of Childhood (SOC9SE) and the fourth year Dissertation and Honours Seminar modules (SPC9CH). I also teach on the first year Sociology and Social Policy modules: Social Differentiation (SPC911) and Understanding Social Policy (SPC913) as well as a Masters level course on Designing Research Projects (ARSP02).
I am currently supervising PhD work on:
An ethnographic comparison of young children's experience of competition in the school environments (Germany and a Tibetan school in India); children's experience of maternal imprisonment; educational support systems for looked after children living at home or in kinship or foster care and children's experience of transitions in special schools.