Dr Kate Reed

Reader in Medical Sociology (BA, MA, PhD)

Director of Postgraduate Affairs - Taught

Photo of Kate Reed

Email: k.reed@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: Elmfield, B06d | Telephone: 0114 222 6478 (external), 26478 (internal)

Academic Profile

I joined the department in January 2004 as a Lecturer in Medical Sociology. I conducted my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Liverpool, Lancaster and Southampton. After completing my PhD in 2000 at the university of Southampton I held a lectureship from 2000-2003 in Sociology at the University of Kent before moving to the University of Sheffield.

My research interests are as follows: sociology of health and illness, gender, social theory, race and ethnicity.


My research focuses on two areas: the social and ethical implications of genetic screening and the impact of novel technological application in medicine. These interests are reflected in two of my most recent projects. The first was a project funded by the The Wellcome Trust which focused on exploring the gendered nature of genetic screening in pregnancy. The second, a recently completed British Academy funded project on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) use in pregnancy. The findings from this project were recently presented at an interdisciplinary dissemination event funded by the Sociology of Health and Illness Foundation (December 2013). I am currently collaborating with the medical school and local NHS to develop this imaging work further, focusing in particular on the role of imaging in post-mortem. I am also continuing to develop research bids in the area of genetics, family history and health.

Funded Research Projects
Date Sponsor Details
2015-18 Economic & Social Research Council 'End of' or 'start of' life? Visual technology and the transformation of traditional post-mortem
2014 Faculty of Social Sciences Fellowship, University of Sheffield ERC Bid Development Fellowship
2013 New Directions Award - Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield Towards the emergence of a ‘super technology’: the production and use of obstetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
2012-2013 The British Academy Constructing the Foetal Patient (with Dr S Molyneux-Hodgson)
2009 Devolved Research Fund - Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield Racializing prenatal technology: evaluating ethnic minority use of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in pregnancy (with Dr S Molyneux-Hodgson)
2006 The Wellcome Trust Antenatal screening and the gendering of Genetic responsibility
2001-2002 Canterbury and District Multi-cultural Association, Canterbury UK Needs assessment of ethnic minority groups in the Canterbury area
(with Prof. L Ray)
2001-2002 Social Sciences Small Grant Scheme, University of Kent Individualizing health: Exploring the health choice and status of people living alone


I teach and supervise students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I take a student centered approach to teaching and learning, encouraging students to engage with a broad array of materials and develop their own opinions and arguments in response to that material. Given that one of my core areas of teaching is the sociology of health and medicine, I also encourage students to draw on their experiences and engagement with health, illness and health care as well as with media representations of health. My teaching is very much driven by my empirical research interests in the areas of health, illness and medicine and in the sociology of the new genetics. However, the role of social theory as a tool for ‘seeing’ the social world and its connections to the empirical and substantive world are also central to both my research and teaching practices.

I currently convene the following undergraduate modules:

  • SCS2001 Sociological Theory and Analysis
  • SCS3028 Sociology of Health Illness and Medicine
  • SCS3015 Sociology of the New Genetics

I am also involved in the supervision of students taking extended essays and dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on the following modules:

  • SCS3001 Dissertation in Sociology
  • SCS3002 Dissertation in Social Policy
  • SCS3003 Extended Essay in Sociology
  • SCS3004 Extended Essay in Social Policy
  • SCS6330 Dissertation in Social Research

See our Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate taught degree pages.

Postgraduate supervision

Over the past ten years I have supervised postgraduate students on a range of areas and issues in sociology. Recent projects that I have been involved in supervising include a study on the ‘raced’ nature of femininity and an ethnographic study on ethnicity, community and Somali youth. I welcome applications to study full-time or part-time with me for MPhil or PhD research degrees that are related to my activities and experience. I would be particularly interested in hearing from students who wish to undertake research in the area of sociology of health, illness and medicine. Students with an interest in the new genetics, and reproductive technology would be particularly welcome. I would also welcome supervising students with interests in the areas of social theory, race and ethnicity, gender studies.

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
Studying for a PhD in Sociology

Publications since 2005

Reed, (2013) 'Beyond hegemonic masculinity: the role of family genetic history in men’s accounts of health', Sociology 47(5): 906-920

Reed, K (2012) ‘The Body’ in (eds) C. Williams and M. Evans Gender: Key Concepts London: Routledge.

Reed, K (2012) Gender and Genetics: Sociology of the Prenatal (CESAGEN Genetics and Society Series) London: Routledge.

Reed, K (2012) '“He’s the dad isn’t he?” Gender, race and the politics of prenatal screening', in (eds) Dyson, S and Atkin, K (2012) Genetics and Global Public Health: Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, London: Routledge.

Reed, K (2011) '“He’s the dad isn’t he?” Gender, race and the politics of prenatal screening', Ethnicity and Health 16(4-5): 327-341

Reed, K (2011) 'Making men matter: exploring gender roles in prenatal blood screening', Journal of Gender Studies 20(1): 55-66

Reed, K (2010) 'The Spectre of Research Ethics and Governance and the ESRC's 2010 FRE: Nowhere Left to Hide?' Sociological Research Online, 15 (4) 17 (Invited Submission) <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/15/4/17.html>

Reed, K (2009) '‘It’s them faulty genes again’: women, men and the gendered nature of genetic responsibility' Sociology of Health and Illness 31(3): 343-359.

Reed, K (2009) 'Fathers’ involvement in antenatal screening: midwives’ views' British Journal of Midwifery, 17(4): 218-222.

Reed, K (2007a) ‘Bureaucracy and beyond: the impact of ethical review and research governance on health research in the social sciences’ Sociological Research Online, 12(5): <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/12/5/18.html>

Reed, K (2007b) ‘Antenatal screening and the gendering of genetic responsibility’ Reproductive Health 4:8 <http://www.reproductive-health-journal.com/content/4/1/8>

Reed, K (2007c) ‘Racing the feminist agenda: exploring the intersections between race, Ethnicity and Gender’ in (eds) Richardson, D and Robinson, V Introducing Women's Studies: Feminist Theory and Practice Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Reed, K (2006) New Directions in Social Theory: Race, Gender and the Canon Sage: London

Ray, L. and Reed, K. (2005) ‘Community, mobility and racism in a semi-rural area: Comparing minority experience in East Kent’ in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(2): 212-/234.

Reed, K. (2005) ‘Comparing new migration with old: exploring the issue of Asylum and settlement’ in Alexander, C and Knowles, C (eds) Making Race Matter. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Reed, K. and Ray, L. (2005) 'Community, mobility and racism in a semi-rural area: Comparing minority experience in East Kent'; Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 28: 212-34.

A full list of publications can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right of this page.