Dr Katie Powell
BA, MA, PhD
School of Health and Related Research
+44 114 222 6120
Full contact details
School of Health and Related Research
Room G045, Ground Floor
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
My commitment to the interdisciplinary study of health inequality emerges from a background in regional studies and a developed specialism in Sociology. I originally developed an interest in social inequality through the study of race and ethnicity in the context of North America (completing an interdisciplinary BA in American and Canadian Studies at the Universities of Birmingham and California, 2003).
In 2007 I trained as a Sociologist at the University of Manchester, developing the skills to apply broader theoretical frameworks to the examination of social inequality. I joined the Centre for Public Health Research at the University of Chester as a Researcher in February 2007 where I developed a broad range of evaluation skills in the context of community-based, policy-based and population-based interventions.
I completed a PhD in 2013 applying process sociology to understand the implementation of place-based inequality interventions. I joined ScHARR in December 2011 as a Research Fellow in Public Health.
- Research interests
I have three major interlinked research interests.
- Exploring processes of inequity as they relate to health with reference to the role of place and social spaces.
- The implementation and evaluation of community-based health improvement interventions.
- Networks of social interdependency and their influence on health.
I have an interest in the ways in which reproduction of disadvantage and deprivation can be influenced by social interventions. I am particularly interested in the ways in which health inequalities are shaped by social networks of interdependency and how this influences conceptualisations of 'place' and its relation to health.
I have a broader interest in experiences of inequality influenced by socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender and disability. I am interested in participatory action research as a means for influencing social change.
I am currently involved in a range of projects relating to health inequality across the national School for Public Health Research funded by the National Institute for Health Research, examining children and young people's health and place-based inequalities.
I also lead the evaluation of TimeBuilders, a time-credits system in Sheffield and am contributing to the development of community evaluation methods across the city.
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- An analysis of English national policy approaches to health inequalities: 'transforming children and young people's mental health provision' and its consultation process.. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1084.
- Place, health and dis/advantage: a sociomaterial analysis.. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine.
- Exploring the local policy context for reducing health inequalities in children and young people: an in depth qualitative case study of one local authority in the North of England, UK. BMC Public Health, 21(1). View this article in WRRO
- Non-human matter, health disparities and a thousand tiny dis/advantages.. Sociol Health Illn.
- A systems map of the determinants of child health inequalities in England at the local level. PLoS ONE, 16(2). View this article in WRRO
- Power, control, communities and health inequalities. Part II: measuring shifts in power. Health Promotion International. View this article in WRRO
- Power, control, communities and health inequalities III: participatory spaces – an English case. Health Promotion International. View this article in WRRO
- System-mapping the child health system at a local level to reduce health inequalities. European Journal of Public Health, 30(Supplement_5). View this article in WRRO
- Asset-based approaches to promote health in place-based communities: when the context matters. European Journal of Public Health, 30(Supplement_5).
- Acculturation and food intake among Ghanaian migrants in Europe: Findings from the RODAM study. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52(2), 114-125. View this article in WRRO
- Reframing “participation” and “inclusion” in public health policy and practice to address health inequalities: Evidence from a major resident‐led neighbourhood improvement initiative. Health and Social Care in the Community, 27(1), 199-206. View this article in WRRO
- Introducing the idea of ‘assumed shared food narratives’ in the context of social networks: reflections from a qualitative study conducted in Nottingham, England. Sociology of Health & Illness, 40(7), 1142-1155. View this article in WRRO
- Developing a systems-based framework of the factors influencing dietary and physical activity behaviours in ethnic minority populations living in Europe - a DEDIPAC study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1). View this article in WRRO
- Putting context centre stage: evidence from a systems evaluation of an area based empowerment initiative in England. Critical Public Health, 27(4), 477-489. View this article in WRRO
- A model of how targeted and universal welfare entitlements impact on material, psycho-social and structural determinants of health in older adults. Social Science & Medicine, 187, 20-28. View this article in WRRO
- Theorising lifestyle drift in health promotion: explaining community and voluntary sector engagement practices in disadvantaged areas. Critical Public Health, 27(5), 554-565. View this article in WRRO
- The influence of migration on dietary practices of Ghanaians living in the United Kingdom: A qualitative study.. Annals of Human Biology, 1-27. View this article in WRRO
- Systematic mapping review of the factors influencing dietary behaviour in ethnic minority groups living in Europe: A DEDIPAC study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13(1). View this article in WRRO
- Understanding welfare conditionality in the context of a generational habitus: A qualitative study of older citizens in England. Journal of Aging Studies, 34, 113-122. View this article in WRRO
- The role of social networks in the development of overweight and obesity among adults: a scoping review. BMC Public Health, 15(1). View this article in WRRO
- Older people’s wellbeing in the UK: what role do universal welfare benefits play?. European Journal of Public Health, 24(suppl_2).
- Local status and power in area-based health improvement partnerships.. Health (London), 18(6), 561-579. View this article in WRRO
- A systematic scoping review of asset-based approaches to promote health in communities: development of a framework. Global Health Promotion, 175797591984892-175797591984892. View this article in WRRO
- A critique of the English national policy from a social determinants of health perspective using a realist and problem representation approach: the 'Childhood Obesity: a plan for action' (2016, 2018, 2019). BMC Public Health.
Conference proceedings papers
- Reducing inequalities in child health: a case study in an English local authority. European Journal of Public Health, Vol. 30(Supplement_5) View this article in WRRO
- "I CANNOT SIT HERE AND EAT ALONE WHEN I KNOW A FELLOW GHANAIAN IS SUFFERING; WE WERE NOT BROUGHT UP THAT WAY": PERCEPTIONS OF FOOD INSECURITY AMONG GHANAIAN MIGRANTS. ANNALS OF NUTRITION AND METABOLISM, Vol. 71 (pp 201-201)
- Understanding area-based community empowerment initiatives as events in systems and the implications for evaluating their potential to affect health inequalities. The Lancet, Vol. 386 (pp S41-S41)
- A figurational analysis of an area-based health initiative: A vehicle for social change?. British Sociological Association Annual Conference. London School of Economics, 6 April 2011 - 8 April 2011.
- View this article in WRRO How can loneliness and social isolation be reduced among migrant and minority ethnic people? Systematic, participatory review of programme theories, system processes and outcomes
- View this article in WRRO Doncaster Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme: Evaluation Report
- Use and experiences of front-line health services amongst Black and Minority Ethnic residents of western Cheshire.
- Commissioning training for behaviour change interventions: evidence and best practice in delivery.
- The National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in Cheshire and Merseyside: perspectives of people with a sensory impairment.
- Research group
Viola Casseti: Asset-based approaches to promote health and reduce inequalities between neighbourhoods: A qualitative theory-based investigation of two case studies. Funded by the University of Sheffield doctoral Academy Scholarship.
Hibbah Saeed: An exploration of dietary practices and associated factors amongst Ghanaians living in Europe.
I am interested in supporting research students in the areas of community interventions, place-based inequalities, participatory evaluation, and the work of the community and voluntary sector organisations in the field of health.
- Teaching interests
I currently teach on the Masters of Public Health within the School of Health and Related Research:
- Professional activities and memberships
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016
- Sheffield Senate Award winner (2014) for Collaborative Activities for the production of the University of Sheffield's first set of Massive Open Online Courses
- Member of the British Sociological Association
- Member of the Health Equity and Inclusion Research Group
- Member of the Politics of Health Group Steering Group
- Visiting Lecturer in Public Health at Hedmark University College, Norway