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Research Profile

Prof Joanna Latimer 

Memberships / External Activities

Editor, Sociology of Health and Illness journal

Teaching Profile

Current Undergraduate Teaching

  • Social Theory
  • The Body, Health and Medicine
  • Power, Culture and Identity
  • Advanced Sociology of Medicine, Health and Illness (current convenor)

Current Masters (MSC Social Science Research Methods/MSc/Professional Doctorate)

  • Health, Biomedicine and Society
  • Masters of Genetic Counselling (Institute of Medical Genetics)
  • Interviews and Interviewing

Research Leadership

Current Doctoral Students

T. Banks. (Full-time) What is the relationship between Identity and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) with particular reference to rehabilitation? 2011-2014.

S. Davies. (ESRC 1+3) Alternative Futures: how and when is anti-ageing green? 2010-2014.

G.Thomas. (ESRC +3) Down’s Syndrome: Experiences of Stigma in the Family 2010- 2013.

D. Clarke. (Part-time PhD) Experience of gay men undertaking undergraduate nursing courses. 2005-2010.

S. Clifton. (Professional Doctorate) 2005-2010 Independence & Interdependence in Palliative Cancer Care.

M. Andrews-Evans. (Professional Doctorate). 2005-2010. High-level Nursing Service Performance Indicators for Assessment of the Quality of the Nursing Service in a NHS Organisation? 


I studied English Literature at London University, which is where I was rigorously trained in the interpretation of text.  I was meant to go on to do a DLitt at Oxford but I felt I wanted to make a more practical contribution to society. Having worked as a cleaner and auxiliary nurse in a hospital for older people, I went on to train as a nurse at University College Hospital, London.  I worked as a nurse for ten years, including helping found the first nurse-led, inner-city Community Hospital, and ending as a ward sister of an acute medical ward at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. I published in nursing as a student nurse and as a ward sister, writing about learning to listen, what is stressful in nursing and about the founding of an experimental nurse-run community unit.   In 1986 I won a Scottish Home and Health Department Nursing Research Training Fellowship that funded my research training in Social Science at Edinburgh University. I then went on to complete my doctorate on the assessment and care of older people in acute hospitals as a self funded part-time student, with two breaks for maternity leave.  My first academic post was as Senior Research Fellow in Nursing at Keele University where I was charged with helping to engender a research culture to assist in North Staffordshire College of Nursing and Midwifery’s transition into the university sector. I helped set up the Centre for Nursing Research there, of which I became acting director.   I was also appointed Honorary Research Fellow to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, where I taught two courses on the masters in medical anthropology programme. I then took up a post as Research Officer in the Keele Centre for Social Gerontology, where I helped obtain nearly a million pounds in research funds.  From there I moved to a lectureship in Social Science in 1999 at the newly founded school in Cardiff, progressing to Chair in 2009.

Doctoral/MPhil Completions

  • P. White. (+ 3 ESRC Studentship). 2002-2008. The significance of a life-threatening event: an interpretive ethnographic inquiry with survivors of an Intensive Care Unit. 2008.
  • A. Hillman. (School Bursary 1+ 3). 2003-2007 Social exclusion and the contemporary organisation of health care:  ethnography of older people in Accident and Emergency. 2008.
  • A. Mylles. (School Bursary 1+ 3). 2003-2007. The Social Construction of Sexual Identity within an Organisational Setting. 2008.
  • D. Evans. (ESRC 1+ 3 Studentship). 2002-2006. Buying into Bohemia: Shopping for morality. 2006.
  • R. Bridgens (ESRC 1+ 3 Studentship). 2001-2005. Silenced voices: understanding postpolio syndrome through illness narratives. 2006.
  • Dr H. Charles-Jones. (NHSE New Blood Fellowship 2000-2003). Primary health care team manager, family doctor or general physician? An ethnography of the role of the general practitioner under change agendas. 2003.
  • E. Barradell 1998-2001 (funded by the School of Post-Graduate Medicine, Keele University) Participation of families and older people in the social organisation of the nursing home. 2003.
  • N.  Brocklehurst 1996-1999 (NHSE New Blood Fellow). Evaluation of clinical supervision in community care nursing. 1999
  • P. Day Community psychiatric nursing: knowledge and theories in use, Keele University, 2000 (Mphil)
  • Dr J. Wright Diabetic patients in general practice: their understandings of the long-term affects of diabetes and their experiences of how diabetes is managed. 1999 (Phil).