Dr Kate Weiner

BSc, MA, PhD

Department of Sociological Studies

Senior Lecturer in Sociology

Post-graduate Research Admissions Tutor

Research theme lead for Science Technology and Medicine in Society

Dr Kate Weiner
k.weiner@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6491

Full contact details

Dr Kate Weiner
Department of Sociological Studies
Room LG22
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
Sheffield
S10 2TU
Profile

Kate joined the department as a faculty research fellow in September 2012 and became a lecturer in September 2015.

Before this, she completed her PhD and two personal fellowships at the University of Nottingham and then worked as an advisor on the NIHR-funded Research Design Service at the University of Manchester.

Kate works at the intersection of medical sociology and science and technology studies. She is interested in the construction of biomedical knowledge and the interplay between lay and professional knowledge, user-technology relations with everyday health practices and their implications for health care.

Kate has undertaken research in the areas of genetics, heart disease and patient’s organisations. Recent research has focused on the everyday accounts of and practices with pharmaceuticals, foods and self-monitoring.

Research interests

Kate's doctoral research, completed in 2006, looked at lay and professional constructions of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), a treatable hereditary condition associated with heart disease.

Her analysis focussed on the themes of geneticisation, genetic responsibility and biosociality, three prominent concepts in discussions of the social implications of genetic knowledge.

Subsequent research projects looked at more mundane health technologies for cholesterol management. A two-year project funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship focused on cholesterol-lowering foods containing plant sterols.

A parallel project undertaken in collaboration with Catherine Will at the University of Sussex, and funded by an ESRC small grant, looked at prescription and over-the-counter statins.

Kate's current research is expanding this work on consumer health technologies, looking at self-monitoring technologies such as blood pressure monitors and weighing scales/BMI monitors.

All of these studies consider professional expectations as well as people’s accounts of why and how they adopt and use, or don't use, particular products or technologies. They consider the way responsibilities for health are distributed, the practices involved and the implications for forms of expertise in relation to health care.

The work critically engages with notions of 'self-care' and 'health behaviours', proposing alternative lenses such as care infrastructures and practice theory approaches.

Kate continues to be interested in developments in the biomedical sciences.

She recently completed research on the routine practices of racialised prescribing, in collaboration with Andrew Smart at Bath Spa University and contributed to an interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in epigenetics, led by Vincent Cunliffe in Biomedical Science at University of Sheffield.

Research interests:

  • everyday health practices
  • mundane health technologies
  • self-monitoring, self-care
  • social implications of biomedical developments eg genomics, epigenetics
  • social categories in the clinic
  • qualitative research methods.
Publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Working papers

  • Weiner K, Henwood F, Will C & Williams R (2017) Self-Monitoring for Health: Questions for an Emerging Field. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Kate is currently supervising PhDs on children's experiences of ecigarettes; digital self-tracking; everyday life with Irritable Bowel Syndrome; and the experiences of people living with sickle cell of forming romantic relationships and having children.

Grants
  • 2016 - 2019 Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust. Topic: Knowledge, care and the practices of self-monitoring
  • 2015-17 Sponsor: ESRC/BBSRC. Topic: EpiStressNet: A biosocial systems approach to understanding the epigenetic embedding of social stress responses.
  • 2015-17 Sponsor: ESRC. Topic: New practices for new publics: interdisciplinary dialogues about practice theory approaches and civil society. Seminar series.
  • 2014-15 Sponsor: Wellcome Trust. Topic: Racialized Medicine: the use of racial/ethnic categories in prescribing guidance.
  • 2012-15 Sponsor: University of Sheffield, Faculty of Social Sciences. Topic: Self-monitoring and consumer health technologies in the domestic, commercial and virtual realms.
  • 2010-11 Sponsor: Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness. Topic: Pharmaceutical dissent in comparative perspective.
  • 2009-11 Sponsor: ESRC. Topic: DIY heart health: accounting for the ‘use’ of over-the-counter statins.
  • 2008-10 Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust. Topic: Phytosterols: public expectations and user practices’.
  • 2006-08 Sponsor: ESRC/MRC. Topic: Lipids, genetics and coronary heart disease: the construction of a field.
Teaching activities

Kate currently convenes the following modules:

  • Introduction to Social Research (undergraduate)
  • Digital Health (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Kate also supervises students taking extended essays and dissertations in Sociology and Social Policy, and Digital Media and Society.