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Research Profile

Dr Sara MacBride-Stewart 

Career Profile

Sara MacBride-Stewart is a Lecturer in Sociology. She previously taught in Gender Studies at Canterbury University, New Zealand. Sara also has a professional practice qualification: a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Psychology (Waikato University, New Zealand). She completed her doctorate at Waikato University (New Zealand) in 2001.

Sara is engaged in interdisciplinary work, often working closely with medics to develop understandings about the development of professional identities in the transforming world of work and healthcare. She is interested in patient perspectives and participatory (feminist) approaches, but her perspective is often cautious. She enjoys what a critical social theory approach can offer in terms of the complexity and the opportunities for giving status to marginalised or non-normative accounts. Her knowledge has been developed through a conglomeration of queer, feminist and embodied theories because she has found this to be a useful toolkit for a discussion about the intersections between regulation, subjectivity, materiality, temporality, and affect. She is increasingly interested in the effects of policies related to the areas of health and equality.  


MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 6-8 September). When sex hurts: Women’s experiences of painful sex.  BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, Liverpool.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 4-5 September). Beyond dysfunction?: The lived experience of sex pain in women’s lives. Knowing/Unknowing Bodies, Cardiff University.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 18-20 July,). When sex hurts: Embodiment and heterosexual desire. BPS Psychology of Women Conference, Windsor, UK.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 18-20 July,). Que(e)rying the Meaning of Lesbian Health’, BPS Psychology of Women Conference, Windsor, UK.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 3-6 July). The traffic of lived professional lives: Perspectives on care, professionalism and feminisation. 10th European Congress of Psychology, Prague.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 27-29 June). New Femininities: Transformations in Medicine and Feminisation. Gender, Work and Organisation, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference, Keele University, UK.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 23-25 May) Psychosocial Perspectives on Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women. SpROGS Royal College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Cardiff, UK. Invited Presentation.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2007, 26-30 March). When sex hurts: Embodiment and heterosexual desire’. First International Conference “Body and Textuality”, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2006, 14-16 September). Doing Medical Professionalism in Wales: Contemporary Reflections on Identity, Work and Governance in General Practice. British Sociological Association Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference, Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2006, 29 June- 1 July) Being a Doctor: Experiences of Everyday Work in General Practice in Wales. Communication, Medicine and Ethics (4th Interdisciplinary Conference), Cardiff University, UK. 

MacBride-Stewart, S (2006, May 24). Painful Sex, Sexualities and Gender Research Group, Cardiff University.

MacBride-Stewart, S (2005, December 14). Feminisation and medicine. Culture, Society, Education Postgraduate Group, Cardiff University

MacBride-Stewart, S (2005, November 30). Feminisation and medicine: Are women devaluing the medical profession?, BSA MedSoc (Wales Group) Seminars, Swansea University, Wales.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara and Smith, Merryn (2005, 15th-17th September) Feminisation, Gender and Flexibility: Is Feminisation Devaluing The Medical Profession?,BSA Medical Sociology Conference, University of York, 2005.

MacBride-Stewart, S (2005, May 11). Happy and healthy: Discourses of Lesbian Health. Health and Society Research Group, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales.

MacBride-Stewart, S (2005, March 1). Realising GP Professionalism: A research proposal. Education, Culture and Society Seminars, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales.

MacBride-Stewart, S (2005, Feb 11). ‘Neither of us uses contraception’. Heteronormative expectations affecting lesbian experiences of cervical screening. The(e)ories: Advanced Seminars for Queer Research 2005,. UCD Dublin.

MacBride-Stewart, S (2004, Nov 8). ‘Neither of us uses contraception’. Heteronormative expectations affecting lesbian experiences of cervical screening. Health and Discourse Seminars (HEADS), Cardiff University, Wales.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara* and Grace, Victoria (2004, 15-18 April) Narratives of Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Critical Phenomenological Perspective, SASP – Society of Australian Social Psychologists, 33rd Annual Meeting 15-18 April 2003, Auckland, New Zealand.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara * and Grace, Victoria(2004, 15-18 April) Experiential Meanings of Chronic Pelvic Pain. New Zealand Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, “Looking at Loeser’s Rings from the 21st Century”, TSB Showplace, New Plymouth, Taranaki, 15-18 April 2004.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2003, October). Lesbian health: Oxymoron or social progress. Paper Presented at theAustralian Psychological Society Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Interest Group, Melbourne University.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara.  (2002, October) Smears for queers: Ambivalent bodies in the space of the clinic. Paper presented at the Queer Studies Conference, Newcastle, Australia.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara.  (2002, October)  Dental dams:  A parody of straight expectations in the promotion of a ‘safer’ lesbian ‘f**k’. Paper presented Health Indifference 4 Conference, Sydney, Australia.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara.  (2001, June) Queer smears: Corporeality and ambivalence in lesbian cervical screening. Paper presented in Gender Studies and History Feminist Seminar Series, Canterbury University, Christchurch.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara.  (2001, May). Still crazy after all these years?: ‘Lesbian health’ and ‘sick lesbians’. Paper presented at New Zealand Women Studies Association Conference. Christchurch: New Zealand.

MacBride-Stewart, Sara.  (2000, August). Cervical screening and the production of lesbian bodies. Paper presented at New Zealand Psychology Society Conference, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Other Conference Contributions

Grace Victoria,.M* and MacBride-Stewart, S. (2005, 23 August). Metaphors of Injury: Making Sense of Visceral Pelvic Pain. Key Centre on Women's Health in Society, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Grace Victoria,.M* and MacBride-Stewart, S. (2005, 5 August). Metaphors of Injury: Making Sense of Visceral Pelvic Pain. Sociology and Anthropology Seminar Series, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Grace Victoria,.M* and MacBride-Stewart, S. (2005, 4-7 July) "Metaphors of Injury: Making Sense of Visceral Pelvic Pain" presented at 'Making Sense of Health, Illness and Disease' 4th Global conference. Oxford UK.

Grace Victoria,.M* and MacBride-Stewart, S. (2005, 20 August) "How to say it: women's descriptions of their chronic pelvic pain" presented at the IPPS 12th Scientific meeting on CPP, Sydney.

Grace, Victoria M* and MacBride-Stewart, Sara (2004, 16-19 September). 'Chronic pelvic pain: gender and meaning'. The first joint Italian/British meeting of the University of Siena and the Royal Society of Medicine, "Traditional and Innovative Approaches to Pain", University of Siena, Siena. Invited Contribution.


MacBride-Stewart, Sara. (2005, June), ‘Professionalism and Medicine’, Poster for Centre for Health Sciences Research Launch, Cardiff University. 

Teaching Profile

Current Doctoral Students

Sarah Whitcombe-Hayes (ESRC 1+3) Families, kinship and sexuality: queer sexuality and the reconfiguration of extended family structures, dynamics, and relationships (2009- 2014)

Gwyn Owen (Professional Doctorate) The identity of physiotherapy - language, values & practice (2007-2014)

Sanley Albia (Nippon Fellowship) Collaborative Arrangements between shipping organizations and private maritime colleges in the Philippines: A Case Study of Cadetship Programs (2010-2014)

Josie Austin (ESRC+3) Young people, bodily pleasure and sex/uality: A phenomenological study (2011-2015)

Julie Latchem (ESRC +3) Shaping, sharing and negotiating futures in brain injury rehabilitation (2013-2016)

Completed Doctoral Students

2014 Rosanna Sutton A focused ethnography of radiotherapy students’ learning on their first clinical placement


Undergraduate Teaching

Year two Gender Relations and Society (Module Convenor)

Year three Health, Medicine and Society (2015-14)

Year three Dissertation

Platform for Clinical Science (School of Medicine)

Case Based Teaching (Years 1 & 2) (School of Medicine)

Postgraduate Teaching

Masters Social Work

Masters in Social Science

Internal Roles

Year Two Tutor

External Roles

Social Science Vertical Theme Lead, Cardiff School of Medicine

BESST (Behavioural and Social Science Teaching in Medicine) Committee Member

British Sociological Association (BSA) Medical Society,Wales, Regional Co-Ordinator