Accessibility statement

Dr Lyn Brierley-Jones
Research Associate



I am the Research Associate on a project funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), working with Ellen Annandale,  Clare Jackson Sian Beynon-Jones, Victoria Land (Sociology Department) and colleagues - Voices in Partnership: Interactional practices of decision-making during childbirth in maternity units’ also known as the VIP studyThe project runs from March 2017 to February 2020 and involves fieldwork in hospitals in Halifax and Sheffield.

From 2014 to 2015 I was Principal Investigator on a British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society (BMFMS) funded project investigating the challenges faced by hospital based health professionals in managing stillbirth. This followed a project investigating stillbirth from parents’ perspectives conducted whilst Research Fellow at the University of Sunderland (2010 to 2015). From 2013 to 2014 I was Principal Investigator on a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded pilot investigating the perception of cancer risk messages among the Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) community and a Co –Investigator on a CRUK funded pilot investigating the communication of cancer risk messages in Breast Screening Clinics.

My teaching experience includes a Senior Lectureship in the School of Health at Teesside University in Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice (2015 to 2016) as well as teaching Medical Sociology/Anthropology, the History and Philosophy of Medicine and Sociological Theory at Durham University and Medical Ethics at the University of Grenada (at Northumbria) (2004-2008).



Lyn's main research interests are in:

  • Sociology of Knowledge
  • Culture, Language and Health Practices
  • Stigma
  • 19th Century Homeopathy
  • Stillbirth

I am particularly interested in how legitimate knowledge in health and medicine is constructed and how this relates to language, culture and practice. My current focus is on the maternity setting. I am working on a multi-site study investigating interaction between midwives and women during labour which is using Conversation Analysis to understand how decisions are made in this setting.  

I am also interested in how taking an historical/sociological perspective can enhance our understanding of legitimate knowledge and practice. In my work on alcohol consumption I used Bourdieu’s theory to understand inter-generational changes in ‘acceptable’ drinking practices in the north east of England amongst working professionals. In my work on stillbirth I used Goffman to understand the stigma associated with stillbirth and how this impacts on the social identities of mothers and their families. I have subsequently taken an historical perspective to understand the origins of this stigma.

My doctoral research investigated the construction of scientific medicine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Using the framework of Berger and Luckmann I showed how the language of bacteriology was pivotal in defeating the conceptual challenge posed by homoeopathy to mainstream medicine in Britain and America. Bacteriological language enabled the assimilation of homoeopathy’s three key tenets into mainstream practice without any of the stigma associated with homoeopathic philosophy: these were the vital force, the minimum dose and similia similimum curentur- let like be cured by like. This loss of distinctiveness contributed significantly to homoeopathy’s decline in the early 20th century.   



Selected publications

Ling, J., McCabe, K., Brent, S., Crosland, A., Brierley-Jones, L.K. (2017). Exploring the role of key workers in cancer care: Patient and staff perspectives, Clinical Nurse Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, Sept/Oct 31 (5):252-260.

Jones, E., Crawley, R., & Brierley-Jones, L.K. (2015). Exploring parents’ continuing bonds with their baby following stillbirth, Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Vol. 33, No. 3, e1–e46.

Brierley-Jones, L.K., Crawley, R., Lomax, S., & Ayers, S. (2014/15). Stillbirth and stigma: The spoiling and repair of multiple social identities. OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying, 70 (2), 143-168.

Brierley-Jones L.K., Ling J., Smith KE., Wilson GB, Kaner, EF., Haighton, CA, & Crosland A. (2014). Habitus of ‘home’ and ‘traditional’ drinking: a qualitative analysis of reported middle class alcohol use, Sociology of Health and Illness, 36, (7), 1054-1076.

Todd, A., Brierley-Jones, L.k., Husband, A., Williamson, S., Sarai, I., & Ling, J. (2013). Be Clear on Cancer: Pharmacy students' views on communicating with cancer patientsPharmacy Education13(1): 45-49.

Ling, J., Smith, K.E., Wilson, G.B., Brierley-Jones, L.K., Crosland, A., Kaner, E.F., Haighton, C.A. (2012). The 'other' in patterns of drinking: A qualitative study of attitudes towards alcohol use among professional, managerial and clerical workers, BMC Public Health, 12:892 23.

Brierley-Jones, L.K. (2010). Boundaries or Bridges: What Should Homeopathy’s Relationship be with Mainstream Medicine? International Journal of High Dilution Research, 9 (32), 115-124.

Brierley-Jones, L.K. (2005). Taming the Beast- How Homoeopaths and Allopaths Handled Error in the Last Quarter of the 19th Century in Britain and America. In Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte Med GG 24 181-206.

Brierley-Jones, L.K. (2004). Recovering Homoeopathic Science at the turn of the 20th Century: An Exercise in Tory Historiography. Wellcome History, February edition pp 2-3.

Contact details

Dr Lyn Brierley-Jones
Research Associate
Department of Sociology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 32 3057