WISERD Co-Director
Swansea University

I am Associate Professor in Sociology at Swansea University School of Social Sciences. I am a qualitative sociologist with an ethnographic approach to undertaking research. I am Co-Investigator on the IDEAL programme.  This is a UK wide longitudinal, mixed method research programme that explores what it means to live well for those living with or affected by dementia. My contribution to the study is to undertake qualitative research gathering rich accounts from individuals and their families about what it means to live well with dementia and what factors are identified as impacting upon their ability to live well.

My teaching and supervision reflect my research interests and passion for the discipline of sociology.  I teach on topics such as: sociological theory, medical sociology, qualitative research methods, ethnography in healthcare, older people, medicine and care. 

A recurring theme of my research is the relationship between medicine and the organisation of health services and how this relationship shapes everyday routines and practices of care. My doctoral research explored categories of prioritisation in a hospital emergency department (ED) and showed how institutional logics of care constituted older people as particularly problematic to the purposes of emergency medicine. In my previous project- funded as part of a Wellcome trust Society and Ethics Postdoctoral Fellowship award- the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive impairment are explored to highlight the implications of diagnoses for the (re)making of the boundaries between normal ageing, cognitive decline and degenerative disease. I am interested in the social and ethical implications of a new and growing group of older people labelled with a ‘pre-condition’. Alongside the science and the medicine of ageing, my work pays attention to people's experiences of getting older, both of health and of illness, and the ways in which these experiences are shaped by the organisations and services that deliver healthcare.

Journal Articles
Dualities of dementia illness narratives and their role in a narrative economy
The concept of ‘narrative economies’ has recently been proposed as a set of exchange relationships that, through biography and story‐telling, facilitate access to resources and act as a source of value. We utilise this concept to inform our analysis of 18 qualitative...
Journal Articles
Risk, governance and the experience of care
Drawing on perspectives from the governmentality literature and the sociology of risk, this article explores the strategies, tools and mechanisms for managing risk in acute hospital trusts in the United Kingdom. The article uses qualitative material from an ethnographic...
Journal Articles
Power, Agency and Participatory Agendas: A Critical Exploration of Young People's Engagement in Participative Qualitative Research
Childhood 17(3) pp 360-375 This article critically explores data generated within a participatory research project with young people in the care of a local authority, the (Extra)ordinary Lives project. The project involved ethnographic multi-media data generation methods...
Journal Articles
Qualitative Researcher: Issue 10
This is issue 10 of the Cardiff University Qualitative Researcher. It contains the following articles: Looking Back and Moving Forward Amanda Coffey Using Unconventional Media to Disseminate Qualitative Research Bella Dicks Rachel Hurdley Hearing the City: Reflections on...
Data & Methods | June 2009