Dr. Kitty Nichols

Bants, lads and Ervine Goffman: find out about Kitty's research which aims to help you think differently.

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Describe your job in three words:
Teaching, research, knowledge.

How long have you worked for The University of Sheffield?
Seven years.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?
I enjoy the variety and the fact that my job challenges me to think differently about the world around me.

What research are you working on now?
I am starting to work in the area of masculinity and mental health. I am interested in the ways that men understand and convey emotion within their everyday lives.

What would you like to be the ultimate outcome of your research?
I think my goal is for research to make people think differently. Even if people don’t agree with what I think, I would like it to challenge people and create new dialogues and debates.

How did you get involved with the SMI?
I have been at the SMI since it began. I was part of the team who planned the initial modules, working from the Sociology department to provide my expertise and knowledge to help develop the courses.

Do you have another area of research that you’re currently not working on that you would like to?
Based on my PhD work on lads, I would like to think about lads and life-course...do lads ever retire?

What kind of response have you gotten to your research/findings?
My PhD research and subsequent writing have been on banter, so people often expect me to be funny. For the most part though, people are interested in my work, as they likely have not thought about why they use banter or joke before.

Why is your research important? What are the possible real-world applications?
My current research is important as it continues to develop understandings of gender, specifically masculinity and challenge perceptions of how men are viewed in society.

What is your favourite thing about what you do?
I really enjoy working with students and seeing them produce work which stretches their own understandings and contributes to the development of new knowledge both within and beyond academia.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Everyone knows I love a bit of Erving Goffman. I would be interested to see his perspective on modern ways of interacting and communicating.

What is currently on your bedside table?
A book (How not to be a Boy by Robert Webb) and a bottle of water.

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