Photo of Julie EllisDr Julie Ellis

Research Associate

(BA, MA, PhD)

Telephone: 0114 222 6447 (external), 26447 (internal)
Room: Elmfield, 110


All of Julie's sociological education has taken place in the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sociology and an MA in Sociological Research Methods. Julie completed her ESRC funded PhD in 2011 (supervised by Professor Jenny Hockey and Professor Allison James). This was an ethnographic study which explored the experience of everyday family life in families where a relative was living with a life-threatening illness.

After completing her PhD, Julie worked in the public sector as an action researcher on a project about peer mentoring in everyday ICT use and then completed an internship with the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute at The University of Nottingham. This work examined the ethics of representation and communication in the context of an emerging digital economy using genocide experience as a case study (with Bridgette Wessels, Abi Durrant and Bob Anderson). Following this, Julie joined the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at Sheffield as a Graduate Teaching Associate where her roles included Course Tutor and Student Experience Officer, before subsequently taking up a position in Sociological Studies working on grant capture activities with Dr Lorna Warren.

More recently, and before re-joining the Department of Sociological Studies in September 2015, Julie held a position in the Information School at Sheffield working as a researcher on the ‘A Shared Space and a Space for Sharing’ project. The aim of the project was to explore how people in a range of extreme circumstances (e.g. experiencing addictive drug use, humanitarian crisis or suicidal thoughts) share information, emotion and experiences online. Julie was involved in a work package which focused on individuals (and their relatives/ carers) living with life-threatening conditions.

Julie is a Council member of Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) and currently co-convenes the British Sociological Association Study Group: Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement. Julie is also a steering group member of the AHRC-funded network: ‘Crossing Over: New Narratives of Death in the Twenty-first Century'.


Julie's primary research interests are in the areas of identity, material culture and personal relationships at the end of life. She has broader interests in the following areas: material culture and everyday lives; sociology of the body; medical sociology; illness narratives; gender; life course; innovative qualitative research methodology.

Currently, Julie is part of a research team working on the ‘End of' or 'Start of' Life? project. The aim of this study is examine the impact of visual technology (such as MRI) on traditional foetal and neonatal autopsy practices. She is working with Dr Kate Reed and Dr Elspeth Whitby and they are using different qualitative methods to explore how professionals who work with visual technologies and families that have experienced early life loss feel about and experience the post mortem process.

Julie is also a member of the AHRC-funded network: ‘Crossing Over: New Narratives of Death in the Twenty-first Century’ (Principal Investigator: Dr David Kennedy, University of Hull). As part of the Network, Julie is working collaboratively with academics from different disciplines and a hospice practitioner on a project entitled: ‘Objects as untold stories: exploring material aspects of relationships at the end of life’. The aim is to explore relationships between hospice workers and dying people/ people who have died, from a material, objects-based perspective. As part of the work the team has delivered two creative workshops involving hospice workers and volunteers, where they explored the role of material objects in relationships between staff and their patients and co-produced a collaborative poem.


Publications since 2005

Edited journals

Borgstrom, E. and Ellis, J. (Guest Editors) (2017) Researching Death, Dying and Bereavement. Mortality Special Issue 22 (2)


Ellis J (2018) Family food practices: relationships, materiality and the everyday at the end of life. Sociology of Health and Illness, 40(2), 353-365. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Lovatt M, Bath PA, Ellis J​ (2017) ​​'​Development of Trust in an Online Breast Cancer Forum: A Qualitative Study​'​, ​J Med Internet Res 2017;19(5):e175​. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7471​

Borgstrom, E. and Ellis, J. (2017) Introduction: Researching Death, Dying and Bereavement. Mortality 22(2): 93-104. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2017.1291600 (Guest Editor, Special Issue)

Ellis. J. (2013) Thinking beyond rupture: continuity and relationality in everyday illness and dying experience. Mortality 18 (3): 251-269. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2013.819490

Wessels, B, Anderson, B, Durrant, A and Ellis, J. (2013) Mediating genocide: cultural understanding through digital and print media stories in global communication. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 8 (2-3): 193-209. doi: 10.1386/macp.8.2-3.193_1

Edited books

Borgstrom, E. , Ellis, J. and Woodthorpe, K. (eds.) (2017) Researching Death, Dying and Bereavement. 122pp. Routledge.

Book chapters

Ellis. J. Winslow, M. and Noble, B. (2016) Social Policy and Care of Older People at the End Of Life. In: L. Foster and K. Woodthorpe (eds.) Death and Social Policy in Challenging Times. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Warren, L. and Ellis J. (2016) Families and Photography: An Everyday Lens on End of Life. In: H. Thomas (ed.) Malady and Mortality: Illness, Disease and Death in Literary and Visual Culture. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars

Reviews & reports

Ellis, J. (2015) Book Review: Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the twenty-first century (Cann, C. K. (2014) University of Kentucky Press). Mortality 21(1): 91-92. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2015.1107535

Ellis, J. (2014) Book Review: Death, Dying and Social Differences (2nd Ed.) (Oliviere, D., Monroe, B. and Payne, S. (2011) (eds.) Oxford University Press). Mortality 19(3): 319-320. doi: 10.1080/13576275.2014.929569

Ellis J, Hockey J, Richardson T, Woodthorpe K. (2011) British Sociological Association (BSA) study group symposium. Illness Crisis and Loss 18(3): 263-266. doi: 10.2190/IL.18.3.h

Ellis, J. (2007) Well Spoken: Storytelling and Narrative in Health Care. Medical Sociology Online 2(2) p.83

Other publications

Bath, P. and Ellis, J. (2015) Save your outrage: online cancer fakers may be suffering a different kind of illness. The Conversation. July 21 2015

Ellis, J. and Hockey, J. (2011) “Death and the Working Class”: An exhibition at the Manchester People’s History Museum. ACP news, Summer 2011 p.15-18