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Dr Charlotte Bates

Dr Charlotte Bates

Early Career Research Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 0544
Room 2.10, Glamorgan Building
Available for postgraduate supervision

My research explores the interconnections between the body, everyday life and place, with a particular focus on illness and wellbeing. I am interested in developing inventive and sensuous ways of doing sociology and my first edited collection, Video Methods: Social Science Research in Motion (Routledge, 2015), was published in the Routledge Advances in Research Methods series. It was followed by Walking Through Social Research (Routledge, 2017) co-edited with Alex Rhys-Taylor in the same series.

My first monograph, Vital Bodies: Living with Illness (Policy Press, 2019), is the story of twelve people, each living with long-term illness. Delving into the routines and rhythms of everyday life, the book reveals the significance of the things that we usually take for granted, from what we eat to when we sleep, how we move, and what we wear. Told from different perspectives, it shows how these mundane and seemingly simple aspects of living are complicated by illness, and speaks of the ways in which we all develop coping strategies and rituals of care with which to live our lives.

I am the Reviews Editor for The Sociological Review.

Before coming to Cardiff in 2017, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I also studied for my PhD in Visual Sociology.





  • Bates, C. 2017. Desire lines: walking in Woolwich. In: Bates, C. and Rhys-Taylor, A. eds. Walking Through Social Research. London: Routledge
  • Bates, C., Imrie, R. and Kullman, K. 2017. Configuring the caring city: ownership, healing, openness. In: Bates, C., Imrie, R. and Kullman, K. eds. Care and Design: Bodies, Buildings, Cities. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 95-114.
  • Bates, C. and Kullman, K. 2017. Caring urban futures. In: Bates, C., Imrie, R. and Kullman, K. eds. Care and Design: Bodies, Buildings, Cities. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 236-240.
  • Bates, C. and Rhys-Taylor, A. 2017. Finding our feet. In: Bates, C. and Rhys-Taylor, A. eds. Walking Through Social Research. Routledge



I teach urban sociology and ethnographic and sensory research methods, and convene the modules Sensory Methods and Sociology on the Move. 

I am currently working on two research projects:

Suspended motion: video diaries of wild swimming with Dr Kate Moles

What does it mean to swim outdoors? This project sets out to explore how swimming under an open sky in rivers, lakes and seas makes people feel about themselves and the natural world. Giving people GoPro video cameras to record their swims and make pre- and post-swim video diaries, we will investigate the rejuvenating effects of cold water and the connections between swimming and health and wellbeing.

The social value of walking

What does it mean to walk – together or alone? This project sets out to explore the social value of walking. Collecting stories from a broad range of walkers, the project considers why people choose to walk, with whom and where. It examines the experiential differences between walking together, with companions or in groups, and walking alone, as well as the differences that the landscape and terrain can make to a walk, from strolling in the city to rambling in the countryside. The project contributes to the recent growth in walking for health and wellbeing, and considers how and why walk for health schemes and walking groups are flourishing in our contemporary society. It also seeks to show how walking changes across a range of social situations and in different environments, and examines the relationships between people and landscapes that are forged through walking.