Professor Mary Maynard

BA, MA (York), PGCE (London)

  • Professor of Social Policy



Feminist theory and methodology; gender; race and ethnicity; age and ageing; women's studies

Brief Biography

When I first came to the University of York I lectured on a range of topics in the Department of Sociology. Then, for eleven years I was Director of the post-graduate Centre for Women's Studies, which involved teaching a range of subjects in relationship to gender, as well as a lot of administrative responsibilities. Amongst other things, this experience made me appreciate the importance of multi-disciplinary research. I am now a passionate advocate of collaboration across disciplines and of the intellectual benefits that such partnerships can produce.

I am still very much concerned with issues which are important for women and have recently transferred to the Social Policy section in order to be able to conduct more research on these and related matters. Currently, I am particularly interested in age and ageing, especially the extent to which this is experienced differently by women and men and the degree to which it is treated as a problematic, rather than an inevitable, stage in the life cycle. I am concerned that becoming elderly is regarded as always creating problems and that pleasures and possibilities are overlooked and obscured. One way in which I have explored these issues is in a small, collaborative project on widowhood.

My other sets of interest fall into three main areas. One relates to race, ethnicity and racism, which I regard as being of central significance to an analysis of gender, as well as to other social issues. I am also concerned about how social scientists go about generating knowledge, both in terms of the theories they construct and the research methods they use. My time in Women's Studies has convinced me that feminists have a lot to contribute to debates in these two areas. I also have a long-standing interest in violence towards women, particularly the implications of this for how we are to understand male behaviour and masculinities.


Bradshaw, J. and Bennett, F. with Maynard, M.(2006) UK. 'Feeding In' and 'Feeding Out' and Integrating Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities: A Study of National Policies (Second Semester Report), European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities) (web publication only)

Davidson, J., Maynard, M. and Warren, L. (2005) 'Social Involvement: Aspects of Gender and Ethnicity' in A. Walker and C. Hennessy (eds) Understanding Quality of Life in Old Age, Maidenhead: Open University Press

Maynard, M. (2004) Feminist Issues in Data Analysis, in A. Bryman and M. Hardy (eds) Handbook of Data Analysis, London: Sage, pp131-45

Maynard, M. (2004) Women's Studies, in P.Essed, A. Kobayashi and D. Goldberg (eds) A Companion to Gender Studies, Oxford: Blackwell, pp29-39

Maynard, M. (2004) Older Women, Ethnicity and Quality of Life, in A. Walker with S. Northmore (eds) Growing Older in a Black and Ethnic Minority Group, London: Age Concern, pp25-32

Maynard, M. (2004) Feminist Methodology (378-81), Gender Issues (pp416-7), Politics of Research (831-2), Standpoint Epistemology (pp1072-3), in M. Lewis-Beck, A. Bryman and T. Futing Liao (eds) Encyclopedia of Research Methods for the Social Sciences, London: Sage

Maynard, M, Afshar, H., Franks, M., Maynard, M. and Wray, S (2002) 'Gender, Ethnicity and Empowerment in Later Life', Quality in Ageing, March, pp31-40

Maynard, M (2002) 'Studying Age, Race and Gender: Translating a Research Proposal into a Project', International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol. 5, no. 1, pp31-40

Maynard, M, Afshar H (2002) 'Empowerment and Disempowerment: a Comparative Study of Afro-Caribbean, Asian and White British Women in their Third Age', Final Report to the ESRC.

Maynard, M, Afshar, H., Franks, M., Maynard, M. and Wray, S (2001) 'Empowerment, Disempowerment and Quality of Life for Older Women', Generations Review, vol. 11, no. 4, pp12-13

Feminism and postmodernism in social theory, in Robert G. Burgess and Anne Murcott (eds) Developments in Sociology, Harlow, Essex: Prentice Hall, 2001

Gender and ethnicity at the millennium: from margin to centre (with H.Afshar), Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23, 5, 2000. Special issue guest edited by H. Afshar and M. Maynard

Families and Households, in G. Browning, A. Halcli and F. Webster (eds) Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present, London: Sage, 2000

Professor Mary Maynard

Contact details

Prof. Mary Maynard
Professor of Social Policy

Tel: 01904 32 1247