Jenny's undergraduate training in social anthropology at Durham University (1975-78) stimulated her initial interest in the meaning of death and dying. Supported by David Brooks (University of Durham), she carried out an empirical undergraduate dissertation and went on to develop this work in her PhD (The Human Encounter with Death). This involved fieldwork in a residential home for elderly people, a hospice and a bereavement counseling organisation. Jenny has subsequently developed these interests through research on funerals among clergy in Sheffield and more recently through an ESRC funded study of the destinations of ashes removed from crematoria.
Alongside work on death, dying and bereavement, Jenny has developed a parallel stream of teaching and research activity in gender studies. These include acting as Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Hull, editing The Journal of Gender Studies between 1993 and 1998, and acting as principal investigator for two ESRC projects: A cross-generational investigation of the making of heterosexual relationships (2001-2003) and Masculinities in Transition: identity, home and workplace (2004-2007).
Both these areas of scholarly activity have been developed through a variety of forms of collaborative work: for example, Jenny's work on residential homes has been developed in association with Tony Chapman’s research on the sociology of domestic architecture (University of Teesside); her work on later life has generated new approaches to the life course via joint work associated with childhood with Allison James (University of Sheffield); Jenny's anthropological interests in the body, institutional space and memorial items has led her into the fields of material culture studies and cultural history, along with Elizabeth Hallam (University of Aberdeen); and Jenny's interest in age and generation has enabled her to generate new questions within feminist theory through joint work with Victoria Robinson (formerly University of Sheffield), whose research areas include heterosexuality and masculinity.
|Funded Research Projects
||ESRC funded project (with V.Robinson)
||'If the Shoe Fits: Footwear, Identification and Transition', £330,000.
||funded project (principal applicant with V.Robinson)
||'Masculinities in transition: identity, home and workplace', £164,000.
||ESRC funded project (principal applicant with L.Kellaher)
||'Environments of Memory": changing practices of disposal and memorialising and their implications for grief and mourning, £208,960.
||ESRC funded project (principal applicant with V.Robinson)
||'A cross generational investigation of the making of heterosexual relationships', £85,523.
||YWCA funded project
||'Young Women in Rural Areas. Choices and Challenges', £16,500.
||Office of Fair Trading commissioned project (in association with the International Institute of Health and Ageing, University of Bristol)
||'The Psychology of Death: an exploration of the impact of bereavement on the purchasers of 'at need' funerals'.
||Australian Research Council funded project (with S.Fulgar, G.Howarth, G.Sullivan)
||'Identity, Sexuality and Youth Suicide', $A 181,259.
||University of Hull research support fund (with B.Penhale and D. Sibley)
||'Life after a death: constraints and innovations in the use of public and private space by older adults bereaved of an opposite sex partner', £2,500.
||University of Hull research support fund (with P.Christensen)
||'Children, elders and identity in a changing world', £1,952.
||ESRC funded project (co-applicant with A. James)
||'Family Based Conceptions of Dependency - a cultural construct?' £68,460.
||Cruse-Bereavement Care sponsored project
||'The role of the funeral in meeting the needs of bereaved people', £2,000.
Publications since 2005
with V. Robinson (2011) Masculinities in Transition, London, Palgrave Macmillan.
with A. Meah and V. Robinson (2007) Mundane Heterosexualities. From theory to practices, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 208pp.
with A. James (2006) Embodying Health Identities, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 216pp.
Refereed Journal Articles
with Hall, A. and Robinson, V. (2009) ‘Chronologising Adulthood/Configuring Masculinity’, in J. Burnett (ed.) The Problem of Contemporary Adulthood: Calendars, Cartographies, and Constructions, Milton Keynes, The Open University Press (J).
with Hall, A. and Robinson, V. (2009) ‘The Life Course Anticipated: Gender and Chronologisation Among Young People’, Journal of Youth Studies, vol. 12, no. 2, 227-241 (J).
with A. Meah and V. Robinson (2008) ‘What’s sex got to do with it? A family-based investigation of growing up heterosexual during the twentieth century’, The Sociological Review, Volume 56:3, August 2008, pp. 454-473(20)
with A. Meah and V. Robinson (2007) `Representing "Sex" in the Research Process´, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 181 - 194.
with L. Kelleher and D. Prendergast (2005) `In the Shadow of the Traditional Grave´, Mortality, vol. 10, pp. 237-250.
with J. Draper (2005) 'Beyond the Womb and the Tomb: (Dis)Embodiment and the Life Course', Body and Society, vol. 11, pp. 41-58.
Chapters in books
(2007) ‘Personhood and Identity in Palliative Care’, in S.Payne and J.Seymour (eds) Palliative Care Nursing: principles and evidence for practice, Buckingham: Open University Press, 2nd edition.
with V. Robinson and A. Hall (2007) ‘Mobile Masculinities: Home/Work Transitions Among Male Hairdressers’ in M. Macey, C. Beckett and O. Heathcote (eds) Negotiating Boundaries?: Identities, Sexualities, Diversities, Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Press.
with L.Kellaher and D.Prendergast (2007) ‘Sustaining Kinship: ritualisation and the disposal of human ashes in the UK’, M.Mitchell (ed) Remember Me: Socially Constructing Life After Death, New York: Brunner-Routledge.
(2005) 'Post-Communism, Pro-Natalism or Pro-Choice? The Political Context of Women' Reproductive Lives in Central and Eastern Europe', in M. Thorne (ed) Women in Society: Achievements, Risks and Challenges, New York, Nova Science Publishers, Inc.(with R.Alsop)
(2005) 'Environments of Memory: Home Space, Later Life and Grief', in J.Davidson et al (eds) Emotional Geographies, Aldershot, Ashgate.(with B.Penhale and
A full list of publications can be downloaded by clicking the link on the right of this page.