Photo of Natalie RichardsonNatalie Richardson

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

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twitter: natrichardson94

Thesis title / scope of research

Witnessing Suffering: A sociological exploration of how suffering is managed in professional lives

My PhD research explores suffering from the perspective of the professional witness and caregiver. The research is concerned with the social relationships and meaningful interactions that emerge between palliative carers and patients in the context of suffering as well as the communications between colleagues. The work seeks to understand the ways in which caregivers react to, relate to and engage with the suffering of others within the workplace as well as the potential coping mechanisms used by professionals.

Joint supervisor(s)

  • Dr Kate Reed
  • Dr Matthias Benzer

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Suffering
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Death and Dying


  • John Westergaard Prize for Best Undergraduate Dissertation in Sociology (2016)
  • ESRC White Rose DTC 1+3 Scholarship (2016)


Richardson, N. (2018) "'Av a Little Chat, 'Av a Cuppa Tea, Then Go Back to us Job": Balancing Emotions in a Palliative Care Work Setting, The Sheffield Student Journal for Sociology, 2nd edition, pp. 66-86.