Laura Towersphoto of Laura Towers

BA (Hons) English and Philosophy, University of Sheffield
PGCE, Sheffield Hallam University
PgDip Education, Sheffield Hallam University
MA Sociology, University of Sheffield

email :

Twitter: @ltowers728

Thesis title / scope of research

Life After Death: Experiences of Sibling Bereavement Over the Life Course

The relationship between siblings is expected to be one of the longest and most influential within a lifetime, with the capacity to significantly shape constructions of self and personhood over the life course. The death of a sibling therefore has the potential to significantly impact upon constructions of self for the surviving sibling and yet little is known about sibling bereavement. This research therefore seeks to explore long term sibling bereavement experiences, using in-depth interviewing and artefact elicitation, whilst questioning if and how individuals continue to develop their identity in relation to their sibling, even after death. Underpinning this research approach is a recognition of the social nature of grief as it exists within wider social networks. A core aim of the study is to offer sibling survivors the opportunity to share their understandings of sibling bereavement in a way that is neither medical nor clinical but a reflection of their personal experiences.


  • Primary: Dr Katherine Davies
  • Secondary: Dr Harriet Churchill

Other experience / research interests

Co-convene the BSA Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement study group

Co-convene the Sheffield Death Group

Co-convene the Lifecourse and Inter-Generational Relations reading group

Seminar Leader for The Sociological Imagination (semester 1) and Doing Social Research (semester 2)

Book Review Administrator for Mortality

Postgraduate Representative for The Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS)

Research interests include:

  • Identity
  • Kinship and relatedness
  • Lifecourse
  • Death, dying and bereavement
  • Material culture
  • Creative research methods


  • +3 ESRC scholarship
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Al Meselmani, M., Baker, Z., Basi, A., Broglia, E., Sutherland-Jarvest, A., Towers, L. (2018) 'Finding Potential: How a selective University can attract and retain high quality students with equivalent qualifications to A levels', The University of Sheffield, UK.