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.