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-belongingThis work has led to developing interests in the use of arts-based methods with marginalised young people and in the ethical and affective communication and representation of research findings. 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 RPG Tutor for PhD students in the Child Welfare and Protection group and am the current Sociology Pathway lead for the Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Programme. I have been involved in the University’s policy around Preventing and Tacking Sexual Violence and Misconduct.I am a member of the Centre for Gender and Feminist Studies at the University of Stirling and an affiliate director of the Centre for Research onFamilies 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 coordinated the first year SPC912 Social Problems module for 10 years, and currently convene 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 module: Social Differentiation (SPC911) as well as providing postgraduate training in visual methods.
I am currently supervising PhD work on: Children's experience of maternal imprisonment (Kirsty Primrose); The Use of Visual Methods in Teaching (Matthew Sowerby); Community Effects of Drugs in Greece and Scotland (Andriana Manta); Opioid Substitution Programmes in Indonesian Prisons (Rita Komalasari); The Use of Contempt of Court to Enforce Child Contact Orders in Scotland (Sharon McAllister); Children's Experiences of Transitions in Special Schools (Caroline Jarvis).
Previous PhDs supervised: An ethnographic comparison of young children's experience of competition in the school environments (Germany anda Tibetan school in India) (Carla Cribari Assali); Perceptions of Risk of Harm and Social Capital in Young People’s Lives (Jennifer Pringle) and Swampy territory: The role of the palliative care social worker in safeguarding children of adults who are receiving specialist palliative care (Carole Comben).
Sociology of childhood
Sociology of health and illness, particularly substance use and chronic illness in family contexts
Qualitative methodologies, including visual, audial and artistic methods and secondary analysis
Communication and representation of research findings