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Karl Atkin is a medical sociologist with a background in doing qualitative ethnographic research in multidisciplinary and culturally diverse settings. His work has a particular focus on understanding the social consequences of various long-standing, chronic conditions. This includes exploring how people negotiate illness (and its treatment) and how this experience connects to disabling outcomes.
In November 2015, Karl was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (FAcSS). He maintains strong links with voluntary and community organisations.
He has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council and various National Institute of Health Research commission panels. He has published widely on the experience of illness; the generation of disability; family care; healthcare in multi-cultural societies, including the operation of institutional racism; and the genetic understanding of disease and its social consequences. This is reflected in his teaching, and he has considerable experience of organising and delivering undergraduate and postgraduate modules.
He is also an experienced doctoral supervisor and would welcome new students with an interest in the social experience of long-standing chronic and disabling conditions, including the role of family care and service support; and health care in multi-cultural societies.
My research interests lie in the sociology of health and illness and in particular the experience of long-standing chronic conditions, including the sociology of disability. I have undertaken research exploring the social consequences of a broad range of conditions, including sickle cell disorders, thalassaemia, encephalitis, thalidomide and autism. This has led to a broader interest in social inequalities and the production of disadvantage for those who experience illness.
I am an experienced PhD supervisor and my research interests are broad. I would welcome new students, who employ qualitative methods to explore health care in multi-cultural societies, as well as the social experience of long standing chronic and disabling conditions, including the role of family care and service support.
I am currently working on the following research projects including:
Dyson, S., Atkin, K.M., Berghs, M. & Greene, A (2021). On the Possibility of a Disabled Life in Capitalist Ruins: Black Workers with Sickle Cell Disorder in England', Social Science & Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113713
Atkin, K. M., Madden, M. T., Morris, S. L., Gough, B., & McCambridge, J. (2020). Community pharmacy and public health: preserving professionalism by extending the pharmacy gaze? Sociology of Health and Illness. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.13221
Chattoo, S., Atkin, K. M., Craig, G., & Flynn, R. (Eds.) (2019). Understanding 'Race' and Ethnicity: Theory, history, policy and practice. (2nd edition ed.) (Understanding welfare, social issues, policy and practice series). Policy Press.
Berghs, M. J., Atkin, K. M., Hatton, C., & Thomas, C. (2019). Do disabled people need a stronger social model: a social model of human rights? Disability & Society, 34(7-8), 1034-1039. https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2019.1619239
McFadden, A., Atkin, K. M., Bell, K. J., Jackson, C., Siebelt, L., Gavine, A., Innes, N., Jones, H., Haggi, H., & MacGillivray, S. (2018). Gypsy, Roma and Traveller access to and engagement with health services: a systematic review. European Journal of Public Health, 28(1), 74-81.
Dyson, S. M., Ahmad, W. I. U., & Atkin, K. M. (2016). Narrative as Re-Fusion: Making Sense and Value from Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Trait. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363459316660861
Atkin, K. M., Berghs, M., & Dyson, S. (2015). 'Who's the guy in the room?’: Involving fathers in antenatal care screening for sickle cell disorders. Social Science & Medicine, 128, 212-219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.039
Dyson, S., Berghs, M., & Atkin, K. M. (2015). ‘Talk to Me. There’s Two of Us’: Fathers and Sickle Cell Screening. Sociology, 50(1), 178-194. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038514560261
Atkin, K. M., Chattoo, S., & Crawshaw, M. A. (2014). Clinical encounters and culturally competent practice: the challenges of providing cancer and infertility care. Policy and Politics, 42(4), 581-596. https://doi.org/10.1332/030557312X655675
Atkin, K., & Tozer, R. (2014). Personalisation, family relationships and autism: Conceptualising the role of adult siblings. Journal of Social Work, 14(3), 225-242. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017313476453
2021: National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academy and Research Foundation: Artificial intelligence and Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Health and Care
2021: DHSC/UKRI Global Effort on COVID-19 Health Research Funding Panel
2016 - ongoing: National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Academy: Advanced Fellowships Panel
2018 - onging: Member of Public Health England Advisory Board: Parental involvement in antenatal screening.
2010 - 2016: National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Public Health Research Board
2005 - 2012: Chair of Public Outreach sub-committee, National Screening Committee (NHS) for Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia
2014 - ongoing: Managing Editor, Standards of Care for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease (Department of Health/Sickle Cell Society)
2009 - 2015 Managing Editor, Ethnicity and Health (Routledge)