PhD in Women's Studies at Centre for Women's Studies, University of York (current)
MA in Women's Studies at Centre for Women's Studies, University of York
Following a number of academic studies including undergraduate degrees in Social Policy (University of York) and History (Open University) and a diploma in Spanish, I wished to enhance my feminist activism by studying feminist theory in greater depth. The MA in Women's Studies provided me with an opportunity to enhance my academic skills and my understanding of feminist thought. The study environment rekindled my interest in sociology and in research and propelled me on to a PhD, my current project.
My research focuses on the ways in which female clergy have changed and are changing the culture of the Church of England, twenty years after the first women were ordained. This research has allowed me to consider, from a sociological viewpoint, the relationship between religion and how women are perceived and perceive themselves and how, in masculinised institutional environments, women effect change through language and practice. My interest in this area comes from experience of the Church of England, the effects of institutionalised 'shaping' of lives and the struggle to reconcile feminist ideas with Christian ideology. I begin with the question of whether Christianity as defined by the Church of England is immutably patriarchal and how female clergy subvert or support particular views of women's relationship to the sacred.