Dr Gareth M. Thomas

Dr Gareth M. Thomas

Lecturer in Sociology

School of Social Sciences

+44(0) 29 2087 0945
2.35, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WT
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a sociologist interested in medicine, disability, stigma, reproduction, place, and technology. My PhD was an ethnography of screening for Down's syndrome in two UK prenatal clinics. This research forms the basis of my first monograph - Down's Syndrome Screening and Reproductive Politics: Care, Choice, and Disability in the Prenatal Clinic - which was published in early 2017 (see here). I am also co-convenor of the Medicine, Science and Culture Research Group (MeSC) at Cardiff University and co-books review editor and an editorial board member for Sociology of Health and Illness.

Current PhD Students
- Lydia Harper (ESRC Studentship, 2013-): An ethnographic study of leber hereditary optic neuropathy: exploring the experiences and perceptions of children, young adults and their families
- Eve Exley (ESRC Studentship, 2015-): Transgender experiences of imprisonment: impact, identity, and change
- Kim Dearing (ESRC Studentship, 2017-): How is employment policy deconstructed and assimilated by young people with an ID during the transitional phase of their education?
- Heather Wright (2014-): What are the experiences of English NHS managers, clinicians and patients of the National cancer waiting times targets?

Speaking engagements

Conference Presentations (Most Recent)

  • Locating Down’s syndrome: stigma, disability publics, and reproductive medicine. BSA Annual Conference. University of Manchester, 4 April 2017
  • Threats and thrills: pregnancy apps, risk, and consumption. European Sociological Association RN13 Interim Meeting. University of Bristol, 7 July 2016
  • Threats and thrills: pregnancy apps, risk, and consumption. Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. The Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA, 18 March 2016
  • ‘Hands-off work’: how professionals routinise prenatal screening for Down syndrome in the clinic. BSA Medical Sociology 46th Annual Conference. University of York, 11 September 2015
  • ‘It’s just a normal place’: how young people imagine, negotiate and resist the stigmatisation of a post-industrial community. ESHMS 3rd Special Interest Meeting: Europe in a Global Perspective. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 3 September 2015
  • Sticky reputations: young peoples' negotiation of stigma and place in a post-industrial community. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Chicago Hilton, Illinois, 24 August 2015
  • Picture perfect: 4D ultrasound and the commoditisation of the private prenatal clinic. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Chicago Hilton, Illinois, 23 August 2015
  • The Organization of Care: How Professionals Perform, Routinize, and Downgrade Screening for Down Syndrome in the Prenatal Clinic. Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Annual Conference 2015. The Public Chicago Hotel, Illinois, 22 August 2015
  • 'Hands-Off Work': How Professionals Routinize Prenatal Screening for Down Syndrome in the Clinic. SKAT25: New Directions After a Quarter-Century of the Sociology of Science, Knowledge, and Technology. Chicago Prentice Women's Hospital, Illinois, 21 August 2015
  • The digitised pregnant body. Pregnancy, Parenting and Digital Media, University of Canberra, Australia, 27 June 2015 (invited)
  • Having a hard(d) time? Young peoples' experiences of safety, regulation, and place in a marginalised South Wales community. Pacific Sociology Association Annual Conference. Hyatt Regency Long Beach, California, 4 April 2015
  • An ethnographic study of prenatal screening for Down's syndrome: reflections on findings and the challenges of sensitive research. SAPPHIRE, University of Leicester, 23 February 2015 (invited)
  • 'Everything's data, darling': an ethnography of screening for Down's syndrome in antenatal care. Researching Human Reproduction: Methodological and Ethical Aspects. De Montfort University, 5 December 2014 (invited)
  • n/exclusion in the clinic: Down's syndrome, dysmorphology, and the ethics of everyday care (with Joanna Latimer). BSA Medical Sociology 46th Annual Conference. Aston University, 11 September 2014
  • Odd man out: the male researcher studying a female-dominated hospital setting. BSA Medical Sociology 46th Annual Conference. Aston University, 11 September 2014
  • Expectant parents, expecting perfection: constructing Down's syndrome in British antenatal care. XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology Conference. Pacifico Yokohama, Japan, 14 July 2014

I teach in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) on the undergraduate module 'Power, Culture, and Identity' (SI0164), and in Cardiff School of Medicine on the social study of medicine.

I was employed as a Research Associate on the ESRC-funded 'Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement' project (February 2014-May 2015). This involved working collaboratively with academics, artists, and community organisers/members to map young peoples' experiences of health and wellbeing, regulation, and place. In June 2015, I was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Canberra where I carried out a study with Professor Deborah Lupton on pregnancy and parenting 'apps'. I am in the process of working on a grant application with collaborators to carry out a qualitative study on patients' and professionals' experiences of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

Areas of expertise

External profiles