Using ethnography, this research considers what is selected for future-keeping when there is an abundance of material items and why. The project also analyses what is discarded, the practices involved in trying to ensure longevity and the complex yet often unacknowledged judgements, emotions, and values involved in making these selections. The extensive outputs of this project can be viewed here.
Using the case studies Lagos and Kinshasa—the most populated and fastest growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa— this project analyses the impact of religious urbanisation. The cities studied have had their urban fabric dramatically transformed by revivalist forms of Christian religiosity, leading to a significant shift in infrastructural reality causing social, moral and economic challenges. In recognition of this, the research completed produced three research and one policy work packages to promote functioning civic urban culture sustainably.
Investigating whether smokers in deprived areas are managing to quit smoking using e-cigarettes, Dr Frances Thirlway's research uses ethnography and interviews to analyse why people switch from smoking to vaping. The research found that ordinary smokers saw their own addiction as a moral issue due to the sense of personal failure resulting from failed attempts to quit, and secondly, guilt about the financial cost involved. This led to a swtich to vaping to minimise cost, highlighting the benefit of vaping being cheaper than smoking. Read the research findings here.
In their project, Dr Vanessa Ashall and Professor Joanna Latimer contributed to the development of a new stream of interdisciplinary end of life care research. Their research argues that interspecies entanglement heightens in end of life care, as seen through the growing similarities between veterinary and medical healthcare approaches; including palliative care and euthanasia. Presenting findings at the British Sociological Association in 2019, Dr Ashall found that the project provoked new ways of thinking about end of life decision making.
In this project, 18 adults aged 60 and over from different gender, class and ethnic backgrounds, and experiencing different life circumstances documented their everyday food practises with simple cameras. The resulting photography exhibition, pictured right, highlighted the importance of food as ‘material of care’, illustrating the participants’ own ways of caring – for themselves, for others, and with others through the lens of food.
Through 20 in-depth interviews with female and male academics, from different racial, ethnic, religious and international backgrounds, Dr Katy Sian investigates the processes and practices that continue to marginalise and exclude academics of colour. The research highlights that racism in universities can longer be simply ignored, treated as an individual phenomenon, or merely framed as a series of isolated experiences. Through highlighting where the issues currently lie, Sian's research has had considerable impact as seen in it's feature in a House of Lord's debate and Sian's participation in the Race Equality Audit.
Using ethnography, Dr Anna Strhan and Dr Rachael Shillitoe investigated what it means to be unbeliving for children in the UK. See the video below to hear more about the research and its findings.