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)

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twitter : @laurenewhite184

Thesis title / scope of research

"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 research aims to explore everyday life for individuals with IBS, exploring how symptoms are negotiated in everyday routines, practices and relationships. The work will question how symptoms are negotiated in relation to space, time, and the transitions between ‘public’ and ‘private’ realms of everyday life.

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. This research was facilitated and supported by the national charity for IBS, The IBS Network.

IBS banner

Information sheet

Consent form


  • Joint supervisors: Dr Kate Reed and Dr Kate Weiner

Research interests / other experience

  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Toilets
  • Sociology of Diagnosis
  • Gender and Health

In the past I have convened a student seminar series in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. The seminar series aimed to break down the boundaries between undergraduate, taught postgraduate and the research community. Seminars involve student engagement in presenting their research interests, academic development and sociological imagination.I am also currently an editor for the Sheffield Student Journal for Sociology

Outside of academia, I have a variety of experiences working in charities such as Age UK Sheffield, Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) and The IBS Network. I have also worked within community care and patient experience organisations, such as Patient Opinion and Healthwatch. In the past, I have also conducted qualitative research in collaboration with the Sheffield City Council Voluntary Sector Team, which explored the impact of lunch clubs for older people in Sheffield, with findings disseminated to service users and stakeholders.


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.

White, L. (2015) ‘That Girl’s Got Guts: How IBS affects Women’s Relationships and Everyday Life’ Gut Reaction, 96, p.5.