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Dr Sue Westwood
BSc (Hons), MSc (Geront), MSc (IntPsych), DipCnsPsych, PGDip (Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights), GDL, PhD (Law), FHEA
I joined York Law School in 2018, having previously been a research fellow at several universities, including the University of Surrey and the University of Oxford. I had also taught law at Keele University, Coventry University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
I have degrees in Law (PhD), Integrative Psychotherapy (MSc), Gerontology (MSc), Psychology (BSc (Hons)), and professional qualifications in counselling psychology and social work (non-practicing). I specialise in law and the older person, the rights of (older) adults in closed care contexts, and mental capacity laws in relation to (older) adults with dementia. My work focuses on bringing together the analysis of regulatory contexts with empirical study of the diverse realities of ageing and care. My approach is feminist socio-legal and relational, with a focus on care ethics and legal pluralism.
I am the Principle Investigator in the J.B. Morrell-funded research project Balancing religious freedoms, sexual orientation rights and trans gender identity protections in the provision of health and social care to older LGBT+ people in the UK. I am also the Principle Investigator in the non-funded research project COVID-19 & Older LGBT+ People, in collaboration with Professor Trish Hafford-Letchfield, School of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Strathclyde and Dr Michael Toze, Lincoln Medical School, University of Lincoln.
I was previously Co-Investigator in the MS Society-funded Multiple Sclerosis Models of Excellence research project and Lead Researcher in one arm of that project, i.e. Information Advice and Advocacy, in collaboration with Dr Nicola Carey and colleagues at the School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey. I was also previously Co-Investigator in the ESCR-funded Older LGBT People: Minding the Knowledge Gaps. Seminar Series.
I am Honorary Secretary of the British Society of Gerontology, and a committee member of its special interest group on care homes research.
Current research projects
Research projects under development
Previous research projects
For a full list of publications see York research database
Hafford-Letchfield, T., Toze, M. & Westwood, S. (2021 frth) Unheard voices: A qualitative study of LGBT+ older people’s experiences during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Health and Social Care in the Community
Westwood, S., Hafford-Letchfield, T. and Toze, M. (2021 frth) Physical and mental well-being, risk and protective factors among older lesbians /gay women in the United Kingdom during the initial COVID-19 2020 lockdown. Journal of Women and Aging.
Toze, M., Westwood, S., and Hafford-Letchfield, T. (2021 frth) Social support and unmet needs among older trans and gender non-conforming people during the COVID-19 ‘lockdown’ in the UK. International Journal of Transgender Health.
Westwood, S. (2020) The myth of ‘older LGBT+’ people: Research shortcomings and policy/practice implications for health/care provision. Journal of Aging Studies, 55, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2020.100880
Westwood, S., Willis, P., Fish, J., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Semlyen, J., King, J., Beach, B., Almack, K., Kneale, D., Toze, M. and Becares, L. (2020) Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities: Setting a research agenda. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-213068.
Westwood, S. (2017) Older Lesbians, Gay Men and the ‘Right to Die’ debate - ‘I always keep a lethal dose of something, because I don’t want to become an elderly isolated person’. Social and Legal Studies, 26(5), 606-628
Westwood, S. (2017) Gender and Older LGBT* Housing Discourse: The marginalised voices of older lesbians, gay and bisexual women. Housing, Care and Support, 20(3), 100-109.
Daly, M. and Westwood, S. (2017) An Asset-Based Approach, Older People and Social Care: An analysis and critique. Ageing & Society, 38(6), 1087-1099
Westwood, S. (2017). Religion, sexuality, and (in) equality in the lives of older lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in the United Kingdom. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 29(1), 47-69.
Westwood, S. (2016) Dementia, women and sexuality: How the intersection of ageing, gender and sexuality magnify dementia concerns among older lesbian and bisexual women. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 15(6), 1494-1514.
Westwood, S. (2015) ‘We See it as Being Heterosexualised, Being Put into a Care Home’: Gender, sexuality and housing/care preferences among older LGB individuals in the UK. Health and Social Care in the Community, 24(6), e155-e163.
Allan, H. and Westwood, S. (2015) English language skills requirements for overseas trained nurses working in the care industry: Barriers to UK registration or institutionalised discrimination? International Journal of Nursing Studies, 54, 1-4
Westwood, S. (2013) ‘My Friends are my Family’: an argument about the limitations of contemporary law's recognition of relationships in later life. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law 35(3), 347-363.
Westwood, S. (2012) ‘I May Be Older, But I Ain’t No ‘Elder’: A Critique of ‘Elder Law’, Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, 21(2), 485-510.
Monographs and edited collections
Westwood, S. (Ed) (2018). Ageing, Diversity and Equality: Social justice perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. [Successfully nominated by Routledge for the Knowledge Unlatched Open Access scheme]
Westwood, S. (Ed) (2021) Death Rights: Regulating the endings of life. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. and Price, E. (Eds) (Under Construction) LGBTQ People and Dementia: A good practice guide. Good Practice Guides in Dementia Care series, University of Bradford and Jessica Kingsley. Series editor: Professor Murna Downs.
King, A., Almack, S., Suen, Y.T., Westwood, S. (Eds) (2018). Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People: Minding the Knowledge Gaps. Routledge.
Westwood, S, and Price, E. (Eds) (2016) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGBT*) Individuals Living with Dementia: Concepts, practice and rights. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. (2016) Ageing, Gender and Sexuality: Equality in Later Life. Abingdon: Routledge. [Winner of the Socio Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Early Career Book Prize for 2017]
Westwood, S. (2021). Embodiment, choice and control at the beginning and ending of life: Paradoxes and contradictions. In S. Westwood (ed) Death Rights: Regulating the endings of life. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. (2020). Older Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People: Socio- legal perspectives on healthcare inequalities in later life. In M.A. Jacob and A. Kirkland (Eds) Research Handbook for Socio-Legal Studies of Medicine and Health, part of Law and Society series directed by Austin Sarat (Amherst, US) and Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary, London), London: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Bishop, J. A., & Westwood, S. (2018). Trans(gender)/gender-diverse ageing: Possibilities for reframing gendered ageing. In S. Westwood (ed) Ageing, Diversity and Equality: Social justice perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. (2018). Which ageing ‘families’ count? Older lesbian, gay and bisexual family forms – relational legal in/exclusions in (older age) family law. In J. Herring and B. Clough, (Eds) Ageing, Gender and Family Law. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. and Lowe, J. (2017). The hidden sexualities of older lesbians and bisexual women. In C. Barrett and M. Gott (Eds.). Addressing the Sexual Rights of Older People: Theory, Policy and Practice, pp 56-69. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. (2016) ‘Institutions, they’re very straight. My god I hope I don’t have to go into a care home’: Spatial inequalities anticipated by older lesbians and gay men. In: R. Harding R Fletcher and C Beasley (eds) ReValuing Care in Theory, Law & Policy: Cycles and Connections, pp 215-232. Abingdon: Routledge.
Hunter, C., Bishop, J. A., & Westwood, S. (2016). The complexity of trans*/gender identities: Implications for dementia care. In S. Westwood and E. Price (eds) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* Individuals Living with Dementia: Concepts, Practice and Rights, pp. 124-137. Abingdon: Routledge.
Westwood, S. (2016) Ageing Sexualities in UK Regulatory Contexts. In E. Peel and R. Harding (eds) Ageing and Sexualities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, pp. 33-52. Aldershot: Ashgate
Westwood, S, King, A., Almack, K. and Suen, Y-T (2015) Good Practice in Health and Social Care Provision for Older LGBT people. In J. Fish and K. Karban (eds) Social Work and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Health Inequalities: International Perspectives, pp 145-159. Bristol: Policy Press.
Honorary Secretary and member of the British Society of Gerontology.
Committee member of the British Society of Gerontology’s Special Interest Group in Care Homes Research
Member of the steering group for a research team from the London School of Economics, Lancaster University and the University of Bristol, commissioned by the Ministry of Communities, Housing and Local Government to examine the role of community-led housing in mitigating loneliness across the life course.
Peer Reviewer for: Ageing and Society; American Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Other Dementias; Canadian Journal for Law and Society; Clinical Gerontologist; Culture, Health and Sexuality; Health Promotion Journal of Australia; Housing Studies; International Journal of Law and Psychiatry; Journal of Academic Development and Education (JADE); Journal of Human Rights Practice; NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research; Psychology and Sexuality; Psychology of Sexualities Review; Research on Ageing; Social Epidemiology; Social Science and Medicine; Social Theory and Health; The British Journal of Sociology; The Journal of Medical Ethics; The Journal of Nursing Ethics; The Sociological Review (Jan. May & Sep 2020).
Book submission reviewer for Routledge and Policy Press.
Peer reviewer for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
I teach on the following modules:
I have designed, and am Module Leader for, the third-year LLB module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00064H), which is studied by both Law and Social Policy undergraduates. I have a new Module, Law and Emotion, under development.
I am Module Leader for the postgraduate law optional module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00072M)
I welcome inquiries from students interested in completing PhDs in my research areas.