gender banner based on books

Gender, sexuality and inequalities

About us

Work on gender and sexualities has a long and distinguished history at York. We have a track record of international and interdisciplinary research, addressing issues in the fields of law, health & medicine, family studies and migration. We continue to reshape the field through developing empirically and theoretically driven social science studies, and to engage with the sociological imagination, with reference to class, age, ethnicity, and everyday life & practices across different socio-cultural contexts. This has positioned York as a pioneer in the field of gender and sexuality. We have developed partnerships with external stakeholders including service providers, policy makers and the third sector. Members of the cluster are also actively involved in work in other research centres and clusters, such as the Centre for Women Studies (CWS) and the Culture, Values and Practices research cluster. We have also established international collaboration with colleagues in China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden, Finland and South Africa.

Research themes

  • East Asian femininities/masculinities
  • Feminist and gender theory
  • Law, human rights and sexuality
  • Health care and medicine
  • Conception, pregnancy and childbirth
  • Sex work
  • Identity and everyday life
  • Family, relationships and intimacy
  • Age and generation
  • Sexual politics and desire
  • Conversation analytic approaches to gender, sexuality and inequalities

 

Staff

Professor Ellen Annandale - Ellen has focused on gender and health since her doctorate, an ethnographic study of a midwife-run childbirth centre in the USA. Since then she has published widely in the areas of gender inequalities in health status, the health professions, and gender and the delivery of healthcare in various countries. Her most recent books on these topics include Women's Health and Social Change (Routledge), which was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association Health and Illness Book prize, and the Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Healthcare (co-edited with E. Kuhlmann). Ellen has a strong interest in the relationship between gender theory and the conceptualisation of health issues.  She is currently working with colleagues at Umea University on a project (led by Anne Hammarstrom) funded by the Swedish Research Council, 'How are sex, gender and health interwoven?'

Dr Sian Beynon-Jones - Siân’s research interests include the politics of expertise concerning reproductive and other new life science technologies, the construction of human/non-human boundaries, and the sociological study of the healthcare profession. She is also interested in exploring the links and tensions between STS and feminist theory.

Dr Clare Jackson - Clare is a conversation analyst with a broad interest in how gender and sexuality are produced and oriented to in ordinary social interaction.  Her PhD was based on a corpus of telephone calls made or received by girls and young women, aged 11 to 19 - an understudied group in conversation analysis.  Clare's particular focus in this research was the use of person references, which in English can often make gender available for participants.  However, a clear finding was that mention of someone's gender does not always make gender relevant for the ongoing interaction.  Similarly, gender does not require use of linguistically gendered terms to be relevant for interaction.  In her current research, Clare continues to work on girls' mundane interaction focusing on how talk about sexual conduct is organised.  As a new strand of research, Clare is interested in how decisions are accomplished in the interactions that take place between healthcare professionals, labouring women and their partners. 

Professor Stevi Jackson - Stevi is the leading international figure in the field of gender and sexuality. She is best known for being at the forefront of critical studies of heterosexuality and for theorising the sociality of sexuality, notably in her recent work on sexual pleasure and the sexual self. She has collaborated with colleagues from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea on the study of East Asian gender, sexualities and intimacy. Stevi is Director of the Centre for Women Studies.

Professor Paul Johnson - Paul’s current research is concerned with a number of broad questions about the relationship between law, human rights, sexual orientation and intimacy. I have a general interest in the role and purpose of law in promoting (and protecting) particular kinds of sexuality and human relationships. His recent socio-legal publications have focused on aspects of law and social control in the national jurisdictions of the United Kingdom and Australia as well as on the regional jurisdictions of Africa and Europe. He also has a long-standing interest in policing and have conducted empirical work on policing in a number of contexts. 

Dr Steph Lawler - Steph’s work is primarily concerned with issues of identity and inequality, and she is especially interested in identities and inequalities around gender, class and generation.  She has written on the mother-daughter relationship, on feminist analyses of class in the everyday, and, most recently, on the workings of gender and class in nostalgia. She also writes on the social and cultural significance of identity-making.

Dr Xiaodong Lin - Wes has an ongoing research interest in the study of gender and migration, particularly on Chinese internal and transnational migration. His research aims to break new ground in exploring a greater understanding of global men from a Chinese perspective through the study of Chinese internal and transnational male migrants. From an international perspective, his research also critically engages with a theoretical discussion of ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’, particularly regarding issues of self, intimacy and individualization within a late modernity framework. His monograph - Gender, Modernity and Male Migrant Workers in China: Becoming a ‘modern’ man. (Routledge, 2013), was shortlisted for the BSA Philip Abram Memorial Prize.

Professor Maggie O'Neill - Maggie’s inter-disciplinary research career has developed along a threefold path: the development of cultural, criminological and feminist theory; the development of innovative methodologies for doing social research – including visual, ethnographic, participatory and biographical methodologies (ethno-mimesis); and the development of praxis (policy) as an outcome of scholarly activity. Maggie’s research activity has been instrumental in moving forward debates, dialogue and scholarship in three substantive areas: sex work and sexual exploitation; forced migration and the asylum­migration nexus; participatory methodologies.

Dr Rachel O'Neill - Rachel’s research explored ongoing transformations of intimacy in the context of neoliberalism, examining how cultural imperatives to work on the sexual self shape the meaning and experience of intimate relationships. This research was based in an ethnographic study of the so-called ‘seduction community’, a commercialised cultural formation in which the affective dynamics of attraction and desire are understood as part of a skill set that can be actively cultivated. She is working on a new project looking at an emergent movement-market in ‘healthy eating’. This project will explore the cultural politics of food alongside shifting conceptions of health in relation to gender, embodiment, labour and consumption.

Dr Merran Toerien - Merran’s research explored the social construction of femininity through the case study of women’s normative hair removal.  I was particularly interested in how women make sense of their hair removal practices in light of the fact that there is both a strong discourse of ‘individual freedom’/ ‘personal agency’/ ‘choice’ in the UK (where the research took place) and also a very high level of conformity to the hairlessness norm.  She is currently working with colleagues in South Africa on obtaining funding to study pre-abortion healthcare consultations, with the aim of developing a ‘reproductive justice’ framework for thinking about abortion practices.  She is very interested in how far CA can go in demonstrating the ways in which inequalities are (re)produced from the bottom-up in daily interactions.

Professor Vicki Robinson - Vicki' specific interests are broadly conceived within the general frameworks of women’s, gender and masculinity studies and a cultural sociology of the everyday, specifically in the areas of feminist theory, gender and sexualities (especially heterosexualities), men and masculinities, fashion and footwear cultures, risk sports, debates in women’s, gender and masculinity studies in the academy, feminist sociology of everyday life. She is Director of CWS.

Projects

 

 

Areas of PhD Supervision

We encourage innovative research proposals in and across disciplines, including:

  • Feminist and gender theory
  • Health care and medicine
  • Conception, pregnancy and childbirth
  • Law, human rights and sexuality   
  • Identity and everyday life
  • Family, relationships and intimacy
  • Age and generation
  • Sexual politics and desire
  • East Asian femininities/masculinities
  • Studies using conversation analysis (CA) to examine some aspect of gender, sexuality, other inequalities, or other feminist concerns in everyday or institution-based interactions

Recent PhD topics supervised by members of the cluster include:

  • Gender, Family and Fertility: Why are Japanese Women Having Fewer Children?
  • The Crisis of Masculinity in China.
  • Gendered Change and Continuity in China: Sex, Sexuality and Intimate Relationships in the Reform Period 
  • Women Workers of the Unlucky Generation: Gendering Redundancy in Urban China
  • Divorce in Contemporary Korea: Individualisation, Intimacy and Gender.
  • The Political Diversity of Women’s Movements in Turkey.
  • Gender Discrimination in the Taiwanese Workplace.
  • Feminism and Paid Domestic Work in India and the UK.
  • Young Housewives in Sindh, Pakistan.
  • In Search of a Distinctively Japanese Feminism.
  • Greek Cypriot Women’s Accounts of Menstruation and Menopause

Current PhD students

Kun Li - Exploring elderly Chinese people's view of love, intimacy and relationships

Peggy Lockwood-Lord - Non-representational and intersectional explorations of countercultural extremity

Morgane Donse - Pushing towards the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships in the Commonwealth - a comparative study of the successes and failures of promoting equality for LGBT people in international relations

Christine Jackson-Taylor - Sexuality and Religion: A qualitative exploration of the comforts and conflicts of living intersectional identities