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School of Nursing and Health Sciences Building
Dr Tanya M. Cassidy is a social scientist with specialisms in anthropology, sociology, and psychology, whose work has concentrated on health related issues. Her current research focuses on the global story of maternal generosity – the donation of human milk – a topic which Tanya has studied within Europe with a prestigious EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Award (MSCA). Most recently she has been given a Fulbright-HRB Health Impact award to travel to the Department of Anthropology at MIT where she will conduct a study of mothers (many of whom were both Irish and Canadian immigrants) who donated to one of the first donor human milk services in the world which was located in Boston in 1910. She will use archival materials and personal historical data, along with contemporary interviews, to tell the stories of the mothers who donated the milk, and whenever possible, the stories of the mothers and their families that received the milk.
|2019|| Banking on Milk: An ethnography of human milk exchange relations.
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Dykes, Fiona. (2019) Banking on Milk: An ethnography of human milk exchange relations. London: Routledge. [Details]
Cassidy, Tanya M. and LaChance Adams, Sarah (2020) 'Introduction' In: Maternal Tug: Ambivalence, Identity and Agency. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2016|| '‘PumpMoms: Technology, stigma and support'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2016) '‘PumpMoms: Technology, stigma and support' In: Mothers and Food: Negotiating foodways from maternal perspectives. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Pasche Guignard, Florence (2016) 'Introduction' In: Mothers and Food: Negotiating foodways from maternal perspectives. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2015|| '‘Revisiting cross-cultural considerations of breastfeeding'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and El Tom, Abdullahi (2015) '‘Revisiting cross-cultural considerations of breastfeeding' In: Ethnographies of Breastfeeding: Cultural contexts and confrontations. London: Bloomsbury. [Details]
|2015|| 'Irish Women and Lactation Surrogacy: Imagining a world where it takes a community to feed a child'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2015) 'Irish Women and Lactation Surrogacy: Imagining a world where it takes a community to feed a child' In: Ethnographies of Breastfeeding: Cultural contexts and confrontations. London: Bloomsbury. [Details]
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Pasche Guignard, Florence (2015) 'Introduction' In: What’s Cooking Mom? Narratives about food and family. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2015|| 'Production, Process and Parenting: Meanings of Human Milk Donation'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Brunstrom, Conrad (2015) 'Production, Process and Parenting: Meanings of Human Milk Donation' In: What’s Cooking Mom? Narratives about food and family. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2014|| 'Secrets of Touch and the Sexualities of Birth'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2014) 'Secrets of Touch and the Sexualities of Birth' In: Queering Maternity and Motherhood: Narrative and Theoretical Perspectives. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2013|| 'HIV/AIDS and human milk banking: Controversy, complexity and culture around a global social problem'
Cassidy, T.M.; (2013) 'HIV/AIDS and human milk banking: Controversy, complexity and culture around a global social problem' In: Breastfeeding: Global Practices, Challenges, Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes. [Details]
|2013|| 'Babies, booze and breastmilk: Complexities, controversiesand cultural considerations concerning alcohol and lactation'
Cassidy, T.M.; (2013) 'Babies, booze and breastmilk: Complexities, controversiesand cultural considerations concerning alcohol and lactation' In: Breastfeeding: Global Practices, Challenges, Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes. [Details]
|2010|| 'Comparing sharing and banking milk: Issues of gift exchange and community in the Sudan and Ireland'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and El Tom, Abdullahi (2010) 'Comparing sharing and banking milk: Issues of gift exchange and community in the Sudan and Ireland' In: Giving Breast Milk: Body ethics and contemporary breastfeeding practice. Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2007|| 'People, Place, and Performance: Theoretically Revisiting Mother Clapâs Molly Houseâ'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2007) 'People, Place, and Performance: Theoretically Revisiting Mother Clapâs Molly Houseâ' In: Queer People: negotiations and expressions of homosexuality 1600-1800. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press. [Details]
|2004|| ''Health, Strength and Happiness': Medical Constructions of Wine and Beer in Early Modern England'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Curth, Louise (2004) ''Health, Strength and Happiness': Medical Constructions of Wine and Beer in Early Modern England' In: A Pleasing Sinne - Drink and Conviviality in Seventeenth-Century England. Rochester, NY: Boydell and Brewer. [Details]
|2002|| 'Alcohol & Society in Ireland.:'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2002) 'Alcohol & Society in Ireland.:' In: Alcohol, Society and Law. Chichester: Barry Rose Law Publishers. [Details]
|1998|| '‘Just two will do’: An analysis of drink-driving issues in Ireland'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (1998) '‘Just two will do’: An analysis of drink-driving issues in Ireland' In: Encounters with Modern Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. [Details]
|1997|| 'Alcoholism in Ireland'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (1997) 'Alcoholism in Ireland' In: Readings in Sociology of Health and Illness in Ireland. Dublin: UCD Press. [Details]
|1997|| 'Sober for the Sake of the Children: The Church, The State and Alcohol Use amongst Women in Ireland'
Tanya M. Cassidy (1997) 'Sober for the Sake of the Children: The Church, The State and Alcohol Use amongst Women in Ireland' In: Women and Irish Society: A sociological profile. Belfast: Beyond the Pale. [Details]
|2021|| Moving Meals and Migrant Mothers: Culinary cultures, diasporic dishes and familial foodways
Cassidy, Tanya M. and El Tom, Abdullahi (Ed.). (2021) Moving Meals and Migrant Mothers: Culinary cultures, diasporic dishes and familial foodways Canada: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2020|| Maternal Tug: Ambivalence, Identity and Agency
Cassidy, Tanya, Hogan, Susan and LaChance Adams, Sarah (Ed.). (2020) Maternal Tug: Ambivalence, Identity and Agency Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2018|| ‘Exchanging Breastmilk: From Wet Nursing and Milk Banking to Cross Nursing and Milk Sharing.’
Cassidy Tanya, Dowling Sally, Mahon, Bernard and Dykes, Fiona (guest editors) (Ed.). (2018) ‘Exchanging Breastmilk: From Wet Nursing and Milk Banking to Cross Nursing and Milk Sharing.’ London: Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal. [Details]
|2016|| Mothers and Food: Negotiating Foodways from Maternal Perspectives
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Pasche Guignard, Florence (Ed.). (2016) Mothers and Food: Negotiating Foodways from Maternal Perspectives Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2015|| Ethnographies of breastfeeding: Cultural contexts and confrontations
Cassidy, Tanya and El Tom, Abdullahi (Ed.). (2015) Ethnographies of breastfeeding: Cultural contexts and confrontations Londong: Bloomsbury. [Details]
|2015|| What's Cooking, Mom? Narratives about food and family
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Pasche Guignard, Florence (Ed.). (2015) What's Cooking, Mom? Narratives about food and family Toronto: Demeter Press. [Details]
|2013|| Breastfeeding: Global practices, challenges, maternal and infant health outcomes
Cassidy, Tanya M (Ed.). (2013) Breastfeeding: Global practices, challenges, maternal and infant health outcomes New York: Nova Science Publishers. [Details]
|2012|| Sport in the Eighteenth Century
Cassidy, Tanya, Brunström, Conrad, and Zebrowski, Martha. (guest editors) (Ed.). (2012) Sport in the Eighteenth Century London: Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies. 35(2): 159-304. [Details]
Peer Reviewed Journals
|2020|| 'Breastfeeding practices 2008-2009 among Chinese mothers living in Ireland: a mixed methods study'
Zhou, Q., Younger, K. M., Cassidy, T. M., Wang, W., & Kearney, J. M. (2020) 'Breastfeeding practices 2008-2009 among Chinese mothers living in Ireland: a mixed methods study'. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20 (1) [Details]
|2020|| 'Maintaining safety and service provision in human milk banking: a call to action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic'
Shenker, N, Aprigio, J., Arslanglu, Aye, San San N., Baerus, A, Bar Yam, N., Cassidy, TM, et al. (2020) 'Maintaining safety and service provision in human milk banking: a call to action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic'. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 47 :484-485 [Details]
|2020|| '“I was determined to breastfeed, and I always found a solution”: successful experiences of exclusive breastfeeding among Chinese mothers in Ireland'
Zhou, Q. Chen, H., Younger, KM, Cassidy, TM, Kearney, JM. (2020) '“I was determined to breastfeed, and I always found a solution”: successful experiences of exclusive breastfeeding among Chinese mothers in Ireland'. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15 :1-10 [Details]
|2019|| 'Current Trends in Research on Human Milk Exchange for Infant Feeding'
Palmquist A.;Perrin M.;Cassar-Uhl D.;Gribble K.;Bond A.;Cassidy T. (2019) 'Current Trends in Research on Human Milk Exchange for Infant Feeding'. Journal of Human Lactation, [DOI] [Details]
|2018|| 'Abstract from Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nuture Conference 2017 “Banking on Milk: Trust, translation and technology.”'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Dykes, Fiona. (2018) 'Abstract from Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nuture Conference 2017 “Banking on Milk: Trust, translation and technology.”'. Maternal and Child Nutrition, [Details]
|2014|| 'Cooking Together: Recipes of the world'
Tanya M. Cassidy (2014) 'Cooking Together: Recipes of the world'. [Details]
|2018|| 'Exchanging breastmilk: Introduction'
Cassidy, TM;Dowling, S;Mahon, BP;Dykes, FC (2018) 'Exchanging breastmilk: Introduction'. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 14 [DOI] [Details]
|2018|| 'Abstracts from the 19th International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Conference'
Cassidy, Tanya M., Mahon, Bernard and Dykes, Fiona. (2018) 'Abstracts from the 19th International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Conference'. Breastfeeding Medicine, [Details]
|2016|| 'Abstracts from the 18th International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Conference'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Dykes, Fiona. (2016) 'Abstracts from the 18th International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Conference'. Breastfeeding Medicine, [Details]
|2012|| 'Psychosocial and cultural interventions for reducing alcohol consumption during lactation'
(2012) 'Psychosocial and cultural interventions for reducing alcohol consumption during lactation'. The Cochrane Library, [Details]
|2012|| ''Scorn Eunuch sports': Class, gender and the context of early cricket'
BrunstrÃ¶m, C.;Cassidy, T.M.; (2012) ''Scorn Eunuch sports': Class, gender and the context of early cricket'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, [DOI] [Details]
|2012|| 'Mothers, Milk and Money: Maternal Corporeal Generosity, Social Psychological Trust, and Value in Human Milk Exchange'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2012) 'Mothers, Milk and Money: Maternal Corporeal Generosity, Social Psychological Trust, and Value in Human Milk Exchange'. Journal Of The Motherhood Initiative For Research And Community Involvement, [Details]
BrunstrÃ¶m, C.;Cassidy, T.M.;Zebarowski, M.K.; (2012) 'Introduction'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, [DOI] [Details]
|2012|| 'Making 'Milky Matches': Globalization, Maternal Trust and âLactivistâ Online Networking'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2012) 'Making 'Milky Matches': Globalization, Maternal Trust and âLactivistâ Online Networking'. Journal Of The Motherhood Initiative For Research And Community Involvement, [Details]
|2012|| ''Scorn Eunuch Sports': Class, Gender and the Context of Early Cricket'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Brunstrom, Conrad (2012) ''Scorn Eunuch Sports': Class, Gender and the Context of Early Cricket'. Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, [Details]
|2009|| 'The New Irish Question: Citizenship, Motherhood and the Politics of Life Itself'
Cassidy, Tanya M. and Maguire, Mark (2009) 'The New Irish Question: Citizenship, Motherhood and the Politics of Life Itself'. Irish Journal of Anthropology, [Details]
|2002|| ''Playing is a science': Eighteenth-century actors' manuals and the proto-sociology of emotion'
Cassidy, T.;BrunstrÃ¶m, C.; (2002) ''Playing is a science': Eighteenth-century actors' manuals and the proto-sociology of emotion'. British Journal For Eighteenth-Century Studies, [Details]
|2000|| 'Race to the park: Simmel, the stranger and the state'
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2000) 'Race to the park: Simmel, the stranger and the state'. Irish Communication Review, [Details]
|1996|| 'Irish drinking worlds: A socio-cultural reinterpretation of ambivalence'
Cassidy, T.M.; (1996) 'Irish drinking worlds: A socio-cultural reinterpretation of ambivalence'. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, [DOI] [Details]
|2020|| 'How to promote exclusive breastfeeding in Ireland: a qualitative study on views of Chinese immigrant mothers'
Zhou Q, Chen H, Cassidy TM, Younger KM, Kearney JM (2020) 'How to promote exclusive breastfeeding in Ireland: a qualitative study on views of Chinese immigrant mothers' Research Square, . [DOI] [Details]
|2014|| Book Review: Simon J Williams, The Politics of Sleep: Governing (Un) consciousness in the Late Modern.
Tanya M. Cassidy (2014) Book Review: Simon J Williams, The Politics of Sleep: Governing (Un) consciousness in the Late Modern. Book Review [Details]
|2011|| Jacqueline Ann Christodoulou, Identity, Health and Women: A Critical Social Psychological Perspective.
Cassidy, Tanya M. (2011) Jacqueline Ann Christodoulou, Identity, Health and Women: A Critical Social Psychological Perspective. Book Review [Details]
|1998|| Alcohol in Ireland: The Irish solution.
Cassidy, Tanya M. (1998) Alcohol in Ireland: The Irish solution. Thesis [Details]
Building (Sociological) Bridges with Booze and Breastmilk
The critical iteration between classical and contemporary social and sociological theories frame my three major areas of research all of which are organised by classical and contemporary debates regarding the sociology of ambivalence, borders, identity, gender, culture, and health.
Making a Stout Drinking Nation The sociological study of alcohol issues is often linked to the larger study of drugs and addiction and has frequently formed part of a medicalized paradigm. However, along with the (not uncontested) recognition of potential health benefits associated with moderate consumption, historically grounded and culturally influenced cultures of conviviality have always been central to my work. My original doctoral project on alcohol in Ireland discussed the convivial nature of alcohol, not only framing the discussion around food and nutrition, but also using alcohol to theorise leisure, often in symbiotic opposition to the sociology of work. At the same time, I recognize historical constructions in relationship with sociology of health and illness. The second chapter in my larger revised manuscript, Making a Stout Drinking Nation: Producing self and nation through liquid modernity is entitled “Taking the Pledge: Epicene sobriety, the Church and the making of the Irish state” which extends some of the work for which I received a grant at the University of Reading. This work on abstinence is designed to destabilize certain prevalent binary categories of politics and self-help, arguing that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Ireland and Canada, so-called “good works” served to redefine the gendered context, scope and structure of what is meant by political involvement. I began with the often-masculinized study of Irish drinking culture before moving to the more often feminized context of abstinence.
Borders, Babies and Breastmilk The Simmelian study of liminality assists an extended argument concerning the ambivalence of boundaries and borders, and those cultural objects which are located at these junctures. My work on gender, identity, and family has contributed to my post-maternity/career-break research. This work concentrates on maternal identity in relation to infant access to human milk. This global debate demands a sociological perspective in order to recognize the often-forgotten costs associated with these “choices” for many women globally. Ultimately, I am linking infant feeding to core social and cultural issues of gender inequality. This topic embraces not only the social enablement and disablement of breastfeeding but also the question of human milk banking, and what I have more broadly termed “lactation surrogacy”. I have organised this research under the title: “Borders, Babies and Breastmilk: Community, health and maternal passions in an age of globalisation”, this work is connected to my current Fulbright HRB (Irish Health Research Board) Health Impact award, as well as to my EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award (MSCA) individual fellowship (in the career restart stream). This research traces the history of twentieth century milk banking, including networks, and issues associated with ‘maternal passions’ (to apply Julia Kristeva’s phraseology) to infant feeding, in order to provide a context for the current renaissance in communal and medicalised modes of human milk provision to vulnerable infants. Premature birth rates are rising globally and could be considered a feature of a dramatic escalation of human suffering, and forms part of this story of ‘maternal passions’ and could easily be framed within an expertise associated with Gender and Change in a Global Context. This work provokes many offshoots, including discussions related to the sociology of professions, in particular maternal health-care professions. It is also related to the two edited volumes on maternal issues and food I have already published, and the one on maternal migration I am currently finalizing. While I was preparing a historical discussion of milk sharing in Ireland for Ethnographies of Breastfeeding, I was drawn again to the strong link this story has with the infant formula industry. Ireland has long enjoyed an extremely strong dairy industry, and currently Ireland is considered the world’s leading producer of infant nutrition products and produces 15% of the world’s powdered infant formula. The socio-cultural history of premature birth is intimately tied to the history of the formula industry, and it is my intention to expand this area of my research in the future, in ways that would contribute directly to research expertise on global agro-food systems.
Mothers, Migration and Manual Labour Among Women: Annie Marion Maclean, the Canadian Mother of Sociology. My research has always embraced interdisciplinary qualities whether through collaborative work or presentations at conferences devoted to the biological sciences, the humanities and the social sciences. I have worked with Immunologists, Historians, Anthropologists, and Literary Specialists on issues associated with the history of medical uses of human milk, alcohol, pub-culture, the socio-cultural implications of the Irish citizenship referendum, along with historicised notions of universalism of emotions, and the history of gender and class dynamics related to the sport of cricket (which was intimately linked to the expansion of the brewing industry and pubs). Our paper on gender, class and cricket was published in a guest co-edited volume of the flagship publication Eighteenth Century Studies. This journal also published our earlier paper on emotions which has recently been appropriated by biosecurity socio-cultural theorists, resulting in our being invited to extend our original project to embrace this important practical global issue of physiognomy and facial recognition, which is part of planned research for the future. Interdisciplinary work highlights the theoretical and methodological skills we bring to the collaborative research table, skills which several other fields have attempted to appropriate, but are unable to frame within their disciplinary imagination. As a reflexive feminist sociologist, I candidly admit that personal circumstances and events have helped shape my research agenda and priorities. My Chicago training has helped me to theorise the importance of a reflexive awareness of the researcher’s own situation within one’s research projects. I take inspiration from some of the women of Chicago sociology, such as Annie Marion Maclean, who is the subject of my Newberry Library fellowship entitled “Migration, Maladies, and Manual Labour Among Women: The foundational sociological theories and methods of Annie Marion Maclean 1868-1934”. Maclean’s understanding of public sociology involved a kind of reflexive pragmatism that seeks to erode traditional distinctions between public policy and social theory. My early work on teenage suicide was forged from a need to process events associated with people close to me. My work on Ireland, gender, family and alcohol involved a need to understand socio-cultural differences in the context of geographical relocation. My work on the feeding of premature and particularly vulnerable infants could not have been possible without the sharing of sensitive personal information in controlled and well calculated circumstances with my research participants and has contributed to my extensive socio-cultural expertise on maternal grief. I have increasingly developed a keen sense of the opportunities provided by the use of self in research, culminating in my extensive work in auto-ethnographic techniques. Although, auto-ethnographies are sometimes dismissed as more therapy than theory, I have argued that they form a natural extension of reflexive sociological theoretical paradigm, one which can should be considered part of the wholistic discussion of the politics of self in research.
|Title||Funder||From - To||Role||Award|
|Beyond Borders and Babies with Breastmilk||Fulbright-HRB Health Impact||01-MAY-19 - 31-JUL-19||Fulbright-HRB Health Impact Scholar||11,003.50|
|‘MUIMME: Milk banking and the uncertain interactions between maternal milk and ethanol.’||EU Horizon 2020||01-APR-15 - 31-MAR-17||Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellow||195,455.00|
|Name||Organisation / Institute||Country|
|Professor Fiona Dykes||University of Central Lancashire||UNITED KINGDOM|
Helping students help themselves: Active collaborative learning.
All of my teaching involves the integration of research and pedagogy, seeking within an avowedly feminist framework which recognizes egalitarian principles and advocates social justice to pursue a holistic conception of academic endeavour based on reflexivity and collaborative enterprise. My training and research experience has always been multi-methodological involving extensive ethnographic work, integrating advanced statistics, survey construction and analysis, alongside qualitative methods including auto-ethnography, in-depth interviewing, participant observational study, and historical archival work. This flexibility enables me to both perceive and deconstruct gender stereotypes associated with different kinds of sociological method. The theoretical inheritance I bring to bear on my teaching combines a “classical” heritage which includes Simmel, Mead, Goffman, Coleman, Bourdieu and de Certeau with a classical feminist heritage which includes Martineau, Addams and (Canada’s own) Annie Marion Maclean. These women did not so much reject the teachings of their male counterparts as reject the limitations of theory and practice which defined the role of sociology within institutions at various historical moments.
My approach to teaching is based on an ethic and praxis of collaborative learning which is derived from the best traditions of the Chicago School of Sociology and especially from Canadian contributors including MacLean – recently identified as a founding mother of ethnography, although she often employed a variety of more quantitative methods upholding the Chicago ethos of using whatever methods are necessary to investigate your social topic. I am a firm believer in “learning by doing” and, as my successful and published “Race to the Park” paper indicates, in the integration of my own research within a learning environment. Other innovative practical projects involving students have included the show-casing of NUD*IST (then N4 and now NIVO) using the text of Green Eggs and Ham, adapted for use with both undergraduate and postgraduate classes.
From the outset of any course I have taught, I have sought to encourage a reflexive distrust of supposedly “objective” empirical research. Theory and theorists are necessarily introduced in order to subvert assumptions regarding any supposed “field” of sociological endeavour. My most recent higher level Theories of Postmodernism course used articles freely available on the Internet, and I also arranged optional ebook access to the Powell and Owen’s edited volume Reconstructing Postmodernism: Critical debates (2007), which includes very recent discussions by theoriest such as Barry Smart (whose earlier work on modernity, ambivalence and morality significantly influenced my own work). In the previous semester, my Foundations of Sociological Theory courses discussed often neglected classical sociological theories and theorists, cutting across gender and racial lines. As the evaluations of these course indicate this inclusiveness was appreciated by the students, in particular female students who felt disassociated from classical sociological theory in part because of its overwhelming masculine voice. It is for this reason that I am in negotiations to produce a general classical sociological theory text which juxaposes traditional masculine sociological theorists with more neglected theorists.
In addition, at Windsor my Identity Processes courses introduced students to some of the important theoretical debates linking issues of individual identities (including gender, sexual, racial and disability identities) to larger national identities. Similarly my Sociology of Everyday Life courses introduced students to theorists such as Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefebvre and Jürgen Habermas, not to mention detailed discussions of Erving Goffman, especially his work on gender inequity in advertising, and theories of performativity as reinterpreted by the philosopher Judith Butler. At the University of Reading, my Sociology of Culture course was specifically designed to discuss important and widely recognised theoretical debates in this expanding theoretical orientation, including discussions of both classical and contemporary feminist theories from both Europe and North America. My work on alcohol has been applauded for its theoretical insights and innovations by Michael Bury and Peter Conrad, organisers of an important conference which set people in groups for three day discussions of debates and issues, at which I engaged in discussions about the important movement of health related theoretical issues with some of the most eminent theorists in this area from around the world. My interdisciplinary collaborative project on the sociology of emotions grew out of this engagement. All of these experiences have directly informed my teaching and has led to my emphasis on the fact that students and academics alike research within theoretical paradigms, whether they are conscious of it or not.
My long standing work on alcohol has engaged issues of central significance to both quantitative (advanced statistical) and qualitative research methodologies. I have enjoyed international experience teaching large classes and particular experience teaching material that students have traditionally found unfamiliar and problematic (in particular math-phobic students from either side of the Atlantic). At the University of Reading I taught advanced statistics to students over-determined by a pedagogically and culturally imposed Arts/Science divide. Ever since I was a post-graduate I have been employed to teach statistical methods to students, often many of whom are very apprehensive about the subject. At the same time, my Chicago training which included a special field in Advanced Statistics under Professor James Coleman mentorship, whose Foundations of Social Theory continue to be pivatol in helping me to challenge and redefine my own theoretical constructions. My other special field was in Sociological Theory. My extensive qualitative research experience continues to be influence by the role of Sociological Theory is interrelated to all forms of ethnographic methodology, William Julius Wilson has recently said the “good ethnography is theory driven”. Teaching qualitative methods at Trinity College Dublin, I encouraged a new level of reflexivity and methodological self-awareness among students whose initial perception of “methods” was generally hostile.
In addition to my successful undergraduate teaching, I have extensive experience teaching and mentoring at the postgraduate level. In addition to having taught on a number of master level courses in both Ireland and England, I have also developed one on one mentoring relationships with students from around the world seeking high level theoretical advice for extended sociological research projects. A list of the PhD students I have worked with is included in my currculum vitae. These advisorships have taken on a wider international dimension as I worked alongside students from France and Israel then resident in Ireland, the latter working on an interesting project about women and pubs in Ireland. Most recently I have been asked for and offered additional PhD mentorship to students from Australia, Sweden, California and the UK as well as two based in Ireland. In particular Qianling Zhou wrote her doctorate on breastfeeding among Irish Chinese immigrants in Ireland, and has now returned to China, although the CIHR funding programs for China/Canada research relationships might be used to develop this and other relationships. In fact, several of these former students are contributing chapters to my recent Nova Science edited volume on Globalization and Breastfeeding. These fascinating contributions validate my belief in mentorship publishing as an encouraging and mutually beneficial experience. It should be noted also, that while teaching at the University of Windsor I applied for and was awarded the status of Graduate Faculty.
My philosophy of teaching, based on wide-ranging and international experience, and based on the commitment to reflexivity that defines feminist methodology, asserts the inter-dependence of teaching and research at every level. Students should be made aware that the essence of third-level education is the fact that it is being delivered by those at the cutting edge of their fields. Students should therefore share, as far as possible, in the uncertainties and complexities that define the creative lives of experienced academics. Students should not be regarded as consumers within an accreditation factory but as members of an academic community, whose rights and responsibilities differ in degree but not in kind from those of faculty members. This belief requires that teaching take place in an atmosphere of contractual transparency and demands a degree of methodological imagination to secure the optimum interactive environment within which education can take place. The discipline of sociology constantly defines and redefines itself in respect of social science and humanities disciplines. As my curriculum vitae indicates, my own teaching and research has involved collaboration with historians, anthropologists, mathematicians and English literature specialists. One effect of such inter-disciplinary projects has been to give me a heightened awareness of the distinct and defining contribution that sociology can bring to areas of common concern. In terms of my more specific teaching experience, I have always welcomed the opportunity to teach courses regarded as “difficult” by colleagues and students alike. As a result I have had the rewarding experience of seeing students achieve imaginative and cognitive epiphanies from a starting point of indifference or even antipathy. Many of these students have sent me unsolicited comments regarding their experiences in my courses which I have included below.
|2020||Society, Health & Illness||NS280||Society, Health & Illness|
|2020||Culture, Health & Illness||NS272||Culture, Health & Illness|