Image of Katherine DaviesDr Katherine Davies

Senior Lecturer in Sociology


Telephone: 0114 222 6479 (external), 26479 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, LG23


Katherine joined The University of Sheffield as Lecturer in Sociology in 2012. Before moving to Sheffield, Katherine held a number of research posts at The University of Manchester where she worked on two ‘nodes’ of the ESRC’s National Centre for Research Methods. Katherine completed her PhD at Manchester in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Mason and Dr Wendy Bottero. Katherine is an Honorary Fellow of The Morgan Centre for the Study of Everyday Life.


Katherine's research focuses upon the complexities of personal relationships and she has a long standing interest in qualitatively driven methodological approaches which can capture the lived experience of everyday lives and relationships. Katherine's previous research has included a study investigating the social significance of family resemblances and a project researching how associations with friends, neighbours, colleagues and the like matter throughout the life course in both positive and negative ways (both projects were completed with colleagues at The University of Manchester). Her most recently completed project was an ESRC study entitled ‘Under the Same Roof: The everyday relational practices of contemporary communal living in the UK’ which investigated the relational complexities of shared living arrangements including co housing, housing co-ops, private lodgings and shared houses.

Katherine is currently conducting research which explores the ways in which Brexit politics are lived and experienced in everyday family relationships. She is in the process of completing a research project funded by The British Academy entitled 'Talking Politics: Brexit and Everyday (Inter)generational Family Relationships’ which explores the ways people talk about politics, particularly Brexit, in families. Katherine has secured funding to continue this work in a project titled ‘Brexit, Relationships and Everyday Family Life’ funded under the ESRC’s Governance After Brexit programme. This work will employ creative, ethnographically-inspired methods to capture the ways Brexit politics are experienced within everyday relational life.

Research areas:

  • Family relationships and politics;
  • Friendship, personal relationships and social change;
  • Sibling relationships;
  • Everyday life;
  • Qualitative methodologies.
Funded Research Projects
Date Sponsor Details
2019-2021 ESRC £248, 175 ‘Brexit, Relationships and Everyday Family Life’ PI: Katherine Davies
2017-2019 British Academy BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, £7,568: 'Talking Politics: Brexit and everyday (inter)generational family relationships' PI: Katherine Davies.
2013-2015 ESRC Co-Investigator, ‘Under the Same Roof: The everyday relational practices of contemporary communal living in the UK’. PI Professor Sue Heath (University of Manchester) £536,355.


Katherine currently teaches and supervises students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. All of Katherine's teaching is closely linked to her research activities and she encourages students on her courses to develop critical reflection through carrying out small pieces of research themselves, keeping research diaries and through group discussions and presentations.

Katherine's teaching includes:

  • Intimacy and Personal Relationships (Undergraduate)
  • Innovations in Qualitative Research (Postgraduate)
  • Sociologies of the Everyday (Postgraduate)

Katherine also supervises students taking extended essays and dissertations in Sociology and Social Policy.

See our Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate degree web pages.

Postgraduate Supervision

Current PhD students:

  • Laura Towers
  • Jiaxun Li (supervised with Helen Kennedy)
  • Nobuko Terai (supervised with Afua Twum-Danso Imho)

Past PhD students:

  • Dr Melanie Lovatt (supervised with Lorna Warren)
  • Dr Jennifer Kettle (supervised with Vicki Robinson)
  • Dr Sarah Longstaff (supervised with Philip Benson)

Katherine is interested in supervising PhD students in any of her research areas.

To find out more about our PhD programmes, go to:
Studying for a PhD in Sociology




Heath, S., Davies, K., Edwards, G. and Scicluna, R. (2017) Shared Housing Shared Lives: Everyday Experiences Across the Lifecourse Routledge.

Journal Articles

Davies, K. (2018) ‘ ‘Sticky’ Proximities: Sibling Relationships and EducationThe Sociological Review (online first)

Davies K. 'Siblings, Stories and the Self: The Sociological Significance of Young People’s Sibling Relationships’ Sociology 49(4). doi: 10.1177/0038038514551091

Heaphy, B. And Davies, K. (2012) ‘Critical Friendships’, Families, Relationships and Societies 1(3) pp. 311-326

Smart, C, Davies, K Heaphy, B and Mason, J (2012) ‘Difficult Friendships and Ontological InsecurityThe Sociological Review 60 (1)

Mason, J and Davies, K (2011) ‘Introduction to Special Issue:  Crossing Methodological Boundaries’ (Link opens in new window) Methodological Innovations Online. Special Edition on ‘Crossing Methodological Boundaries’ 6 (3)

Davies, K and Heaphy, B (2011) ‘Interactions that Matter: Researching Critical Relationships’ (Link opens in new window) Methodological Innovations Online. Special Edition on ‘Crossing Methodological Boundaries’ 6 (3)

Davies, K (2011) ‘Knocking on Doors: Recruitment and Enrichment in a Qualitative Interview-based Study’ (Link opens in new window) International Journal of Social Research Methodology 14 (4) pp 289-300

Mason, J and Davies, K (2009) ‘Coming to our Senses? A Critical Approach to Sensory Methodology’ (Link opens in new window) Qualitative Research 9 (5)

Edited Journals

Davies, K, Mason, J, and Heath, S (Guest Editors) (2011) ‘Crossing Methodological Boundaries’ Methodological Innovations Online (Link opens in new window), Special Edition 6 (3)

Chapters in Books

Davies, K. (in press) ‘Friendship and Personal Life’ in May, V. and Nordqvist, P. (forthcoming) The Sociology of Personal Life Second Edition Basingstoke: Palgrave

Davies, K (2011) ‘Friendship and Personal Life’ in May, V (ed) The Sociology of Personal Life Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Davies, K (2011) ‘Making Sense of Family Resemblance: the Politics of Visual Perception’ in Jamieson, L, Simpson, R and Lewis, R (eds) Researching Families and Relationships: Reflections on Process Palgrave Studies in Family & Intimate Life, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mason, J and Davies, K (2010) ‘Experimenting with Qualitative Methods: Researching Family Resemblances’ in Mason, J and Dale, A Understanding Social Research: Thinking Creatively about Method London: Sage

Working Papers

Wiles, R, Prosser, J, Bagnoli, A, Clark, A, Davies, K, Holland, S and Renold, E (2008) ‘Visual Ethics: Ethical Issues in Visual Research’ ESRC National Centre for Research Methods Review Paper No. 11.

Davies, K (2008) ‘Informed Consent in Visual Research’ Real Life Methods Toolkit #01 Manchester: University of Manchester.

Davies, K (2008) ‘Door Knocking as a Method of Recruiting a Sample’ Real Life Methods Toolkit #05 Manchester: University of Manchester.

Other publications

Davies, K. (2018) ‘Researching Young People’s Sibling Relationships Using Qualitative Interviews and Focus Groups’ Sage Research Methods Case doi:10.4135/9781526439574

Davies, K (2007) Review of Ebtehaj, F., Lindley, B. and Richards, M. (2006) ‘Kinship Matters’ Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law Vol. 29, Nos. 3-4

Hurrell, K. and Davies, K (2005) ‘Time Use and Childcare’ Equal Opportunities Commission Briefing