Accessibility statement

Bethany Robertson



  • PhD Sociology (in progress), University of York
  • MA Social Research, (Distinction), University of York
  • BA Hons Sociology, (1st class), University of York

Bethany completed her undergraduate and taught postgraduate studies at The University of York. After researching the significance of pet-keeping for students’ identities in her master’s dissertation, she decided to embark on a PhD funded by a departmental teaching scholarship.

Her current research pursues an interest established in her undergraduate research and as a farmer’s daughter, namely the work and gender identities of women in farming.

Bethany discusses her postgraduate experience and sociological snippets on her blog.



Bethany’s research explores the diverse experiences of women farmers in England to understand the extent to which gender identities are significant for their work. By taking a feminist approach to conducting interviews and observations, the research considers what it means to be a farmer today and the influence of gender in shaping cultural, social and economic resources to succeed.

This project is supervised by Professor Ellen Annandale and Dr Amanda Rees


Selected publications

Conference Papers

  • Robertson, B. (2019). ‘My tractor drives itself – I’ll put the GPS on and paint my nails’: Doing Femininity in Farming. Gender and Sexuality within the Rural Idyll. University of Lincoln, 28 May.
  • Robertson, B. (2018). ‘To get attached, or not to get attached, that is the question: making sense of pet Loss.’ Death and Culture II. University of York, 6 September.
  • Robertson, B. (2018). ‘Students and their Pets: Acknowledging the Complexities of Multi-Species Families.’ Researching Society: New Horizons. University of Sheffield, 13 June.
  • Robertson, B. (2017). ‘The Journey of Thematic Analysis: On Acknowledging the Self and making a Research Diary Visible.’ Quality and Reflexivity in Qualitative Research. University of Leeds, 17 May.

Public Engagement Activities

  • Robertson, B. (2019). ‘Paws for Thought: Doing Family with Pets’. Social Science Enrichment Day, Archbishop Holgate School, York.
  • Robertson, B. (2019). ‘Making Sense of Pet Death’. Invited speaker. The York Dead Good Festival.
  • Robertson, B. (2019). ‘The Sociology of Women in Farming’. Invited speaker. Mid Norfolk National Farmers Union meeting.
  • Robertson, B. (2017). Why Women are Taking Centre Field in Farming, The Conversation [online].



Bethany has been a seminar tutor on the following 1st year undergraduate Sociology modules at the University of York:

  • Introduction to Sociological Theory
  • Cultivating a Sociological Imagination

Bethany has also held a lectureship at York St John University as lead for 3rd year undergraduate Sociology module 'Youth & Resistance'.

Contact details

Ms Bethany Robertson
PhD Student
Department of Sociology
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD