Well-being and Health Across the Life Course banner

This theme focuses on the ways in which people move through life stages and the social and cultural processes and policy encounters shaping these. In this context, work in the Department examines childhood, young people, ageing, families and family relations.

These life course processes are socially, economically and culturally situated. Reflecting this theme questions the nature of social differentiation, policy formations and social inclusion strategies such as social care and pension provision.

The aims of this theme group are to explore the ways in which different groups in society encounter, interact with and move various life stages.

We try to examine and address how policies and cultural processes impact on and influence the identity construction of children; young people; ageing population and families.

We explore some of the following questions:

  • What are the effects of policies and systems on different societal groups across the life course?
  • How do these influence the way in which different groups perceive themselves? Construct their future identities?
  • How does wider culture affect the way different groups encounter, interact and move through different stages across their life course?
  • What kind of methods can we use to explore these different elements of life?
  • How might we access appropriate funding streams that can help us explore these areas of research?

This theme is interdisciplinary; members have links with colleagues and networks across all faculties at the University of Sheffield and beyond. Our major research areas include:

  • Childhood
  • Young people
  • Children and families
  • Ageing
  • Health

Activities of the research theme

  • Offer opportunities for colleagues with similar research interests but different approaches to share their experiences of how they go about doing their research.
  • Continue to bring colleagues to the research theme meetings to share their successful stories of grant applications and/ or their experience sitting in grant application panels.
  • Actively engage PhD students in the research theme offering practice pre-viva talks.
  • Foster collaborations across the research themes for joint collaborations for research and funding applications. We envisage this will also include applying for White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership PhD Studentships.

For more information on our work in Wellbeing and Health Across the Life Course, please contact Dr Álvaro Martínez-Pérez via email at a.martinez-perez@sheffield.ac.uk or Dr Daniel Holman at daniel.holman@sheffield.ac.uk.


Upcoming workshops, lectures and events:

Incorporating Intersectionality in Quantitative Research

Tuesday 21 May 2019, 4pm - 5pm
Elmfield building, room 215

As research on health and social inequalities has advanced from considering inequalities across single social axes (e.g., ethnoracial group, gender, social class) to considering the intersections of these, intersectionality as a theoretical framework has begun gaining prominence in quantitative research. Emerging from Black feminism in the United States in the 1980s, intersectionality has become a ‘travelling theory’, moving across spaces and disciplines. Already well-established in qualitative research methods, its more recent emergence into quantitative work has raised a host of questions regarding its best or proper applications. Central to these questions is whether intersectionality can inform quantitative work without being flattened of meaning or reduced to simple measurement of inequalities. Methodological considerations range from issues of embodiment in survey measurement (e.g., not expecting multiply marginalized participants to decompose their experiences) to those of statistical analysis (e.g., how to identify potential causes of intersectional inequalities). Ultimately, the success of intersectionality as a methods paradigm will depend on our ability to match methods to theory in a way that ensures that race, gender and other social positions and their embeddedness in social power are not erased, and that a focus on co-constitution of social positions is maintained.

Please register here if you wish to attend

Past workshops, lectures and events:

Grant capture: Observations from behind the scenes of a funding assessment panel.

22 November 2018

Louise received her first ESRC award in 2003 and over the last 15 years has experienced the highs and lows of grant successes and disappointments (many disappointments). In addition, Louise has spent the past two years on the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel reviewing applications and participating in award decision making. She has learned a lot about how the funding process works. In this seminar, Louise is going to talk about what happens to proposals after they have been submitted in order to shed light on how decisions are made on particular applications as well as offer tips on what researchers can do to enhance their chances of success, prior to submission, given the increasingly competitive context.

“Don’t call me absent!” Father’s understandings of, and challenges toward, prevalent discourses of non- resident fathering in the UK.

10 October 2018

Winona Shaw, PhD Student, Department of Sociological Studies.

Despite increasing interest in non-resident fathers in policy and practice agendas, as well as a plethora of popular media portrayals, relatively little is known academically about the lived experiences of non-resident fathers in the UK. This paper presents findings from a 'father-centric' qualitative PhD study utilising semi-structured interviews with non-resident fathers. Father’s understandings of popular media portrayals; their positioning in government policy toward separated families; as well as their treatment within services, such as schools, the courts and by the child.

Disability, hospitality and the new sharing economy

3 October 2018

Professor Kathy Boxall, Professor of Social Work and Disability Studies, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Purpose – This paper aims to explore the place of disabled guests in the new world of hotel and holiday accommodation shaped by the sharing economy.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses Levitas’s (2013) Utopia as Method as a methodological tool to develop the hypothetical future scenarios, which are used to explore the place of disabled guests in peer-to-peer holiday accommodation.

Findings – Analysis of the hypothetical scenarios suggests that, without state intervention, the place of disabled guests in both traditional hotels and peer-to-peer holiday accommodation is far from secure.

Research limitations/implications – This is a new area and the authors’ discussion is therefore tentative in its intent.

Practical implications – Planners and policymakers should consult with, and take account of, the needs of disabled people and other socially excluded groups when regulating shared economy enterprises. It may be helpful to put in place broader legislation for social inclusion rather than regulate peer-to-peer platforms. Any recourse to markets as a means of resolving access issues needs also to acknowledge the limited power of socially excluded groups within both traditional and sharing economy markets.

Social implications – The hypothetical scenarios discussed within this paper offer planners, policymakers and tourism stakeholders opportunities to think through the access and inclusion needs of disabled guests in the shared economy sector.

Originality/value – The paper extends discussion of hospitality and disability access to include shared economy approaches and the place of disabled guests in the new world of holiday accommodation shaped by the sharing economy.