Research Interests, Politics and Practice

My research spans disability, gender, sexuality and intimacy, and more recently, childhood and youth, with a particular interest in how disablism and ableism both inform and shape these experiences in the everyday lives of disabled people and their families. My funded projects have centred disability activism, arts and culture and have developed innovative approaches to arts- informed and coproduction methodologies, which push the boundaries of traditional social scientific thinking and enable multiple ways of thinking and knowing.

As an avid public sociologist (see Burowoy 2013) and activist scholar, I view the effective, ethical and accessible communication of knowledge as a form of social and political justice. As such, I work within the communities I research and always translate and disseminate all new knowledges from my research outside of the academy to non-academic audiences, spaces, and readers, as well as to key stakeholders of the research (disabled people, their organisations, and allies). This is to ensure that research findings have a wider impact; that they ‘exist’ in real life worlds and thus are referred to, read by, and transfer to the everyday lives of disabled people.

While the ability to explore the social world, to question the fundamentally naturalised, pathologised, and normalised is a privilege, the most thrilling aspect of research (in my view) emerges from the potential social change that becomes possible where new knowledges, stories, lives and histories are unearthed and loosed into the world. Thus, in my own research practice, I purposefully design and utilise innovative and creative research design, co-production methods and methodologies in order to expand the ways in which academic knowledge is produced and used, and I have a commitment to co-production methodologies and partnership working, viewing research as a reciprocal, communal, and collective project.

 

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