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Dr Alexandra Hillman

Dr Alexandra Hillman

Research Associate

School of Social Sciences

+44(0) 29 2087 9602
Room 2.02, 46 Park Place

I have been working as a researcher in the school of social sciences since beginning my doctorate in 2003. I am a qualitative sociologist with an ethnographic approach to undertaking research. I have worked on a number of collaborative projects that have spanned both the school of social sciences and the medical school. These have included working with looked after children and young people, engaging with experts on the uses of remote monitoring technology for people with chronic illness and more recently, a UK-wide study exploring the issue of dignity and dignified care for older people on acute hospital wards. My teaching reflects my research interests and has meant that I teach both undergraduates and postgraduates on topics such as: medical sociology, qualitative research methods, ethnography in healthcare and older people, medicine and care.

Honours and awards

BScEcon Sociology and Social Policy, MSc Social Science Research Methods, PhD Negotiating Access: Practices of Inclusion and Exclusion in the Performance of 'Real' Emergency Medicine.

Professional memberships

BSA (British Sociological Association)

Academic positions

Research Associate, Cardiff University School of Social Sciences.













As I am a full time funded researcher, I am able to  focus on teaching that reflects my interests and research.  My teaching therefore cuts across schools and includes both undergraduates and postgraduates. Topics I have taught include: older people and healthcare, sociology of risk and professional practice, medical sociology, ethnography and qualitative research methods.

My research is in medical sociology with a particular interest in the treatment and care of older people.  A recurring theme of all my research is the relationship between medicine and the organisation of health services and how this relationships shapes everyday routines and practices of care.  My doctoral research explored categories of prioritisation in a hospital emergency department (ED) and showed how institutional logics of care constituted older people as particularly problematic to the purposes of emergency medicine.  In my current project- funded as part of a Wellcome trust Ethics and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship award- the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive impairment are explored to highlight the implications of diagnoses for the (re)making of the boundaries between normal ageing, cognitive decline and degenerative disease.  I am also interested in the social and ethical implications of a new and growing group of older people labelled with a pre-condition.  Alongside the science and the medicine of ageing, all my work pays attention to people's experiences of getting older, both of health and of illness, and the ways in which these experiences are shaped by the organisations and services that deliver healthcare.