Lauren WhitePhoto of Lauren White - November 2016

BA (Hons) Sociology (First Class), University of Sheffield
MA Social Research (Distinction), University of Sheffield

Scholarships and Awards:
University of Sheffield Widening Participation Scholarship
Postgraduate Prize in Sociology for Best Dissertation
ESRC White Rose +3 PhD Studentship, University of Sheffield
Joint winner, ESRC Writing Competition 2017 (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)

email :

twitter : @laurenewhite184

Thesis title / scope of research

"Negotiating Everyday Life with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) "

My research explores the social experiences of living with IBS, a common digestive condition that affects up to 20% of the population in the UK, with symptoms of constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence, abdominal pain and urgency to go to the toilet. My work particularly focuses on how the symptoms of IBS can have implications for social interactions, particularly with a view to toilet access, planning toilet trips and the negotiation of time, space and sensory elements of the bathroom. More generally, this work offers wider understandings into the taboo topic of toilets, bodily excretions, (in)continence and understanding habits, manners and practices in an everyday space.

My past two projects into IBS and social life have centred around women’s experiences of relationships when living with IBS, and how toilet mapping is conducted in everyday life, with the use of mobile methods.


  • Joint supervisors: Dr Kate Reed and Dr Kate Weiner

Research interests / other experience

Research interests

  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Qualitative Research Methods

Teaching Experience

Lauren currently convenes:
SCS3028: The Sociology of Health and Illness

Lauren has also supported teaching on the following modules:
SCS1002: The Sociological Imagination
SCS1015: Doing Social Research
SCS6086: Introduction to Qualitative Research
SMI609: Advanced Qualitative Research


White, L. (2017) 'Living and looking for lavatories – why researching relief is so relevant', The Guardian, Science: Notes & Theories, 27 March 2017.

White, L. (2016) ‘That Girl’s Got Guts: Relationships and Everyday Life for Women with Irritable Bowel SyndromeReinvention: The International Journal for Undergraduate Research, Volume 9, Issue 2.