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Sharon Jagger
PhD student



Sharon’s first degree was in Social Policy, after which she spent some years working with young people. Moving into Local Government, Sharon gained experience in social housing, policy-based research and governance. She returned to education, completing an MA in Women’s Studies and continuing on to a PhD, which she is currently in the process of completing. Sharon now works with women with complex needs and vulnerable to homelessness in a resettlement programme in York.

Sharon is also a performer and one half of the feminist duo, Union Jill.  With four published albums to their name, they have toured the UK extensively over the last decade with music and spoken word shows with a feminist pedagogical edge.

Sharon teaches Spanish, having spent a year in Seville and gaining a diploma with the Institute of Linguists. Always committed to lifelong learning she also completed a BA in History with the Open University.

Having recently completed the University of York Learning and Teaching Accreditation, Sharon has taught at University of York and York St. John and is particularly interested in theories of pedagogy.  Her teaching and research interests are interdisciplinary, but focusing on sociology, theology and feminist theory.

Sharon is an author for The Conversation and has also published recently in Discover Society:



Sharon’s research asks whether women clergy in the Church of England are agents of symbolic and cultural change.

Women have only been accepted as priests in the Church of England for 25 years and in 2014 the first female bishops were consecrated. There remain objects to ordained women and the Church is divided into two structural integrities, which arguably maintain an ambivalency around the status of women who are priests.

Using conversations with 28 ordained women, Sharon is researching their impact on the masculinised symbol system, their relationship with a divided institution and whether they feel a sense of belonging in a role that was previously exclusively male.  As a feminist researcher, Sharon is interested in how gender is constructed through religious symbols, rituals and language and how change occurs through women’s presence and their resistance to, and rebellion against, masculinised symbol systems. 


Selected publications

The Conversation

Can Feminism Save the Church of England

Bishops’ Discussion on Same-Sex Marriage

Discover Society

Pollution and Witchcraft of Female Clergy:



'Theology and Feminist Perspectives' at York St. John.


'Sociology' (Bourdieu and the Aristocracy of Culture) for MA Fine Art.

'Feminist perspectives' and 'Performance Activism' in Applied Human Rights and Women’s Studies.

'Religion and Feminist Perspectives' in Women’s Studies.

Research student, Sharon Jagger

Contact details

Sharon Jagger
PhD student
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD